Sunday, May 30, 2010

Call me cheap, I don't mind

One part of being a stay at home mom and keeper of the home after being a 2 income family is doing whatever is needed to spend less money. When I quit my job 3 1/2 years ago, I had to learn to be more frugal out of pure demand. It got to the point that I was standing in the toilet paper aisle in the grocery store with my calculator reading the number of squares on each roll and calculating which brand really would give us the most for the least money. At least at our walmart, it is White Cloud double rolls, hehehe. I also have done a lot more cooking and baking from scratch. I like cooking and LOVE when my family and friends enjoy what I make but having a full time job just put so many time restrictions on me that I did not get to do it often. I have learned that I can make things that I had previously thought just had to be bought like seasoning packets and bagels. One of the best money savers I have found is laundry soap. I have been making my own for about a year now and have probably already saved our family a couple hundred bucks. It is so easy and cheap and it also does not have all the unpronounceable mystery ingredients that store bought soap does. I used the recipe found on the Duggars website. I figure anyone that washes clothes for 20 people must know something about it! In the past year I have spent about $10 on laundry soap. I don't know why I haven't thought to share this process before now but when I made a new batch this weekend, I decided to take a few pictures.

All ya need is Borax (about $3), Washing soda(about $3), and a bar of soap. I use Ivory which I can get 3 bars for $1. Since you just need 1 cup of soda and 1/2 cup of borax, each 5 gallon batch really only costs a few cents.

First you grate up the bar of soap and cook on low heat in about 4 cups of water. You don't really want it to boil. I have discovered that if you let it continue to cook for a while after the soap is all dissolved it seems to help it thicken. I also add my cup of soda to the pan right when I remove it from the heat and stir it until it is dissolved. I have made some that never got thick but this step seems to help.

We have a 5 gallon bucket that we fill 1/2 way with hot water. Pour the pan on soap and soda into the bucket and then add the 1/2 cup of borax.

Fill the bucket the rest of the way with hot water and stir good. Let the bucket sit over night and it should thicken to look like this..

I have made some that did not get thick but it is still just as usable. It is the ingredients that clean the clothes and not the consistency. I have noticed that I use a lot more per load when it is thin. You can find tons of people that make their own laundry soap and they all seem to recommend a different amount to use per load. I say it really doesn't matter. I use about a cup per load. Some people (like Mrs.Duggar) also fill an old laundry soap container 1/2 full of soap and 1/2 full of water and then use that container when doing laundry. This would make your 5 gallon batch actually 10 gallons. I have done that but I usually just use it straight out of my bucket without diluting it farther and have not noticed any difference. Diluting it farther and using less per load would make this even more frugal but I am happy with $10 or less per year for soap. I just really can not see spending the money on store bought laundry soap again even if we get to a place in our lives that being frugal is not as necessary.


(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

LOVE your tips! I'm almost through my first batch which was not a great consistency, but as you said it worked just fine anyway~YAY!

Anyway, you are on my heart, so I came for a visit. I went private on my blog after a little freak-out and am still deciding what to do. If you want access you can get a WordPress ID and tell me your username~my e-mail is titus2fam(at)yahoo(dot)com. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

char said...

Sandy, I am so glad to "see" you! I have missed you and wondered often if something had happened to make you go private. Hope all is well. I will try to set up an account so I will be able to visit soon. ♥ ya

Anonymous said...

Everytime I spend 30 dollars or more for laundry, I think of making my own. You have inspired me. I am going to do this asap. Thanks,
Amy B.

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