I have been thinking about doing a series on frugal tips and finally decided to just go for it!
With a family of 8, we use a lot of them and with this economy, I know just about everyone else is too! Some of the things I do may not seem frugal but in the long run are cheaper. Buying the cheapest item is not always the most frugal thing to do. If it runs out faster, or doesn’t last as long as a more expensive item, your really not saving any money! Like dish soap, I always buy the best dish soap, because having to wash my dishes twice does not save me money or time! I always remind myself that time is money, even for housewives. If I chose to do something that takes me all day to save a few cents, then I am not really saving myself any money. I would much rather spend an extra twenty cents on an item then make it myself if it will take me two or three hours to make it.
One of the major things I do to save money is making our own laundry soap. That does take time. But not a lot. About 20-30 minutes tops. I double the batch and make a 5 gallon bucket of it, which lasts us about a month. I spend about $3-4 per batch, and it comes out to about 2-3 cents a load to wash clothes. Much better then Tide at about 40 cents a load, which is the only other laundry detergent I would use, because it’s the only other I have found that gets the kid’s clothes clean.
To Make Your Own Laundry Soap:
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Fels-naptha or Ivory Soap (grated)
I also add one cup of fresh lemon juice at the very end. Lemon is great for freshening laundry and removing tough stains! You can find Fels-Naptha Soap, Borax and Washing Soda (made by Arm and Hammer, but NOT Baking soda!) in the aisle you get your detergent in at the grocery store. If your store does not carry it, ask if it can be ordered. Most stores are more then happy to carry it if someone will buy it!
- In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
- In a 2 gallon clean pail, or 2 gallon bucket, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well. Allow to sit for 24 hours, during which time the mixture will gel up.
- Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use.
- You can also pour the mix into an old liquid detergent container, and then just shake well before each use.
Here is a recipe for powdered soap, which uses more ingredients and doesn’t last as long, but is quicker then the liquid, and still cheaper and just as good as Tide.
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated )
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
- Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
- Use 2 tablespoons per full load.
I sometimes add grated lemon peel. Lemon is great for freshening clothes and removing tough stains! You can also add 10-15 drops of essential oils to this powdered mix and mix well.
You can also add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil for every 2 gallons of detergent once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.
Essential oil ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, lemon oil.
Be Frugal… Be Blessed…