Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to save a buck the Jackie way

Someone nagged me for not posting any recipes lately so here you go although I’m sure this wasn’t what you meant…

I admire those of you who have the patience for big time couponing or bargain shopping.  How do you find the time?  I’ve tried it and I just can’t quite justify the time I spend on running around town and the like.  Maybe you have a super system going, I don’t know.

Well I’ve found some alternative ways to save a buck or two and I’ve already had to pass along this information to a few people so I might as well post it for all.  Not that any of this is new or anything…


I am on my second batch of making my own laundry detergent and all is going well.  I’ve switched to making a lot of my own household cleaners too, in part to be a little more green and also to stop my pregnant self from passing out from the fumes, but that’ll have to wait until another day.  I don’t think this laundry detergent is entirely green per se, but it is a step up from store bought and A LOT CHEAPER.  I spent under $10 for all of the ingredients and it looks to last me for many many batches. All the ingredients are found in the laundry section of your store although the soap is not the easiest to find so be on the lookout.  It is easy enough to make as long as you know how to boil water.

How does it compare?  Well, first off, don’t expect your clothes to come out of the wash with a scent.  If it is a psychological thing and you want scent on your clothes, add a few drops of essential oil to a clean rag and toss it in with the rest during drying.  The detergent has a nice scent itself but it doesn’t linger on the clothes.  imageAs far as cleanliness it seems to work pretty good, at least no complaints so far.  One good thing I’ve noticed is that if for some reason you are lazy (what me?)  and leave your clothes sitting in the dryer for too long  the nasty mildewy smell that would typically immerge from a batch of laundry using the store bought detergent would be non-existent in a batch done with the homemade stuff.  Yay for making procrastination that much easier…

002I suppose the only downside to this stuff is that you have to shake the bottle (I just recycle my old detergent bottle) before each use as it clumps up some.  No biggie though. There are a lot of different variations of this recipe online but I was looking for an end product that wasn’t too large in bulk but would also have a sensible measurement per load value (who wants to measure 5/8ths of a cup per load I ask you?).

Laundry Detergent

Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap (grated)

  • 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, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
  • Use 1/2 cup per load (matches the measurement of my recycled detergent container’s cup), stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Try it and let me know how it works for you. 

And some other good deals I’ve found? I have acquired a lot of freebies as of late – some in the mail and some as redeemable coupons for local stores.  I’ve got loads of 4x6 photos processed, $10 worth of Schwann’s food delivered to my door, toilettries, paint, videos, restaurant food, etc., all for free.  This is nice for me as most of this stuff is delivered to me and I don’t have to chase down the deals in the stores.  Here are my links and if you know of more please let me know!  I love freebies!

Hey, It’s Free

Making Life Sweet

and on occasion iMommies


  1. Melanie TuckerAugust 26, 2009

    Since I've had some extra time lately, I've been looking into ways to save money too. Mostly, I shop at Walmart and price match by bringing any good sale ads from other stores. This saves me from running around town for the good deals. I follow several online blogs (in Google Reader) that find the deals for me, pairing sales with internet coupons. I like Have also started using CVS and the Extra Care Buck program. It took a little practice, but I've started getting things for free. It's right by my house, so it makes sense to take advantage of the deals there. I also have a separate email account for signing up for company/restaurant newsletters/fan clubs etc. Sometimes they'll send coupons for free stuff when you first sign up.

  2. OH, I made the homemade stuff and we DID NOT like it. It cleaned the clothes, but they always smelled really bad. I'm kinda slow with laundry, there is almost always a load in the washer and one in the dryer. And if I forgot to switch them over RIGHT away they smelled mildewy. Tyler got so upset about it he almost threw the whole thing away. I had to keep telling him to give it a chance. But, I finally gave in and bought our old stuff again. And I have to admit, I really missed that clean smell that lasts and lasts.

  3. Candi that is really interesting because I don't get a smell at all. I even switched before Neal realized it and he couldn't tell the difference. And I know it isn't just us as we had some others try washing with it and they didn't notice a difference. Granted I still have dryer sheets to use up so I still have those added in...
    But I definitely notice less mildewiness with the homemade stuff so I wonder if our geographic locations/humidity would have an effect here? Weird!

  4. You make your own laundry detergent now? Holy cow Jack!!! Stop making the rest of us look bad! :)


Thanks for your comment, pop in again soon!