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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Recipe of a Different Kind

Have you noticed how expensive everything is getting?  From gasoline to groceries to the things you need to keep your home clean, everything seems to be stretching family budgets to the max!  As a stay at home mom, I clip coupons and try to keep spending (even for necessities) at a minimum.  Out of all the "chores" around the house, laundry is one that NEVER gets completed.  I think my laundry baskets can be empty for only 2.5 seconds flat at any given time!  I do multiple loads everyday of the week except on Sundays.  So, I go through a lot of detergent and even with coupons, it can still be very pricey.  Plus, it seems I'm always running out at the most inconvenient times.

I had been hearing of some people making their own laundry soap and using things like vinegar in the place of fabric softener in order to save money.  To be honest, I was a little skeptical with questions like:  How clean does it really get your clothes?  Do your clothes smell like vinegar if you replace the softener with it?  And most important, how will if affect my Psoriasis?  The cleaning affect was the biggest thing for me, because I have three children who can get pretty messy, especially the littlest two, ages 6 and 2.  My 6 year old son loves to be outside and when he comes in in the evenings, well...he just stinks!  There's something pungent about little boy funk!!

With all of this in mind, I went to the greatest source of information on the web today...Facebook!  I posted some questions about homemade laundry soap and if anybody had ever tried it and so forth.  I was directed by one of my Facebook/Blogging friends to this website:  Being Creative To Keep My Sanity.  This lady is a genius!  She has a plethora of tips to help you live frugally.  Yesterday, I made her recipe for homemade laundry soap!  Here it is:
76 oz. box of Borax
4 lb. box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
55 oz. box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soap
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap
3.5 lbs. OxyClean
You mix all the boxes/containers of powder.  Grate the bar soap and add to the powder ingredients.  I found all these items at Wal-Mart.  Here's the cost of each:
  • OxyClean (I used the SunOxygen brand, because it was much cheaper than than the OxyClean brand)  $1.96 X 2
  • Fels-Naptha   .97 X 3
  • Baking Soda  $2.12
  • Super Washing Soda  $3.24
  • Borax   $3.38
  • I also bought a plastic latch container in which to store the detergent   $3.97
  • TOTAL:  $19.54
The average 64 load size of laundry detergent costs anywhere from around $8 to $12 depending on the brand you are buying and sometimes more.  I go through 2 of those in ONE month.  And sometimes run out before the end of the month comes around!  That's say an average of $24.00 a month on laundry detergent alone.  The lady over at Being Creative To Keep My Sanity uses 1 to 2 tablespoons per load and this recipe lasted her NINE MONTHS! 

When I was mixing this up yesterday, the kids were really mesmerized by the process.
The grated Fels-Naphta looks exactly like grated cheese.  My two year old kept saying, "You washin' my clothes in cheese mama?"
I washed my first load using this detergent last night.  The clothes came out clean and very fresh smelling and they were soft.  This was a fun experiment.  I'll keep track of how long it lasts and let you know in a few months how much money I've saved by not having to buy laundry detergent every time I turn around!

What are some ways you are saving money and living frugally around your place?



Angeleyes said...

Hey Jen. Love this blog. On my Blog(recipes for life). I have alot of ways to save money also. I've been making my own detergent for about 6 months now. I've also made my own Fabric softner. It's a great way to save money.And it goes along way. Also John and I save on our power bill,we cut the breaker off to our electric stove if we are not cooking, also the washer and dryer. and if we are going to be gone for a few days we cut the hot water heater off. Unplug all your small appliances. Our bill had been running 187.00 a month now it runs around 50.00 to 70.00. It's a geat way to save alot of money.If their is anything on my blog that interest you, you are more than welcome to use it on yours if you think it will help others save money. We love yall and have a blessed day.

Angeleyes said...

The same recipe. I got it from a friend of mine. She has been doing it for a few years now. I love it and it last along time. I've made one batch 6 months ago and it looks like it's going to last me another 6 months. It doesn't take much at all and it gets the clothes clean. I also so made a batch for my mom and dad. They love it because it's so cheap to do. plus it's knda fun to make your own stuff.

jodi said...

I'm glad you tried it! And I love JennaBeth's comment about washing her clothes in cheese! LOL!