Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days: Day 1 - In the Laundry

If this is your first visit I welcome you to my little corner of the world!  You might want to start at the introduction of this series.  It explains what 31 Days of Change is, and has links to each day's post as they occur.  Just click on the 31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly button at the top of my sidebar on the right.

Ready? Here goes. This first post is a bit of a cheat, but you are getting a twofer today...two for one :)  I already posted about my homemade laundry soap and free dryer sheet substitute. Before you click off because you've seen a ton of laundry soap recipes, give this one a look-see. I've tried the liquid and didn't like it. My clothes still had odors and the whites turned gray. But this recipe has an added ingredient that has made all the difference. Plus it's a dry powder that is much easier to make than the liquid. I absolutely love the clean fresh scent my laundry has now! And my whites are staying white.

What I didn't get into in that post is the cost breakdown. Now if you're eyes glaze over reading through the breakdown, you can just skip to the bottom and find my savings! So here it is: (To level the playing field, I am using prices from unless otherwise noted. Your prices may vary.)

I had been using All liquid laundry detergent in the big 150 oz containers. It states on the bottle that it will clean 96 loads, but that is for the smallest amount marked in the lid. If you do larger loads like I think most of you do, you are probably not using the smallest amount.

The directions state, "How much to use: line 3 (1.9 oz) large load. Line 2 (1.5 oz) normal load." When you divide 150 oz. by 1.5oz for a "normal load," you actually get 100 loads. I'm not sure why the bottle states 96. If you use the top line for a "large load" you should get 79 loads.

To be fair lets split the difference, which would be about 88 loads. Using the price at of $10.97, the price per load is 12.5 cents per load. I do about 10 loads per week (more when my daughter is home from college). So my cost for using the All would be $65 per year, or an average of $5.42 per month.

If you use tide, at $17.97, (you get 78 loads from a 150 oz bottle using line 2 (middle line), your price per load is .23 cents, or $119 per year, for an average of $9.97 per month.

These calculations assume you use the 150 oz. bottles. You're savings will be even greater if you buy smaller sizes.

Now the breakdown for my homemade laundry soap: (for the actual recipe, click on the link)

20 Mule Team borax 76 oz. @ 2.98

Arm & Hammer washing soda 55 oz. @ $3.24 at my local Walmart (not listed at

Ivory bar soap 4.5 oz bars @ $4.27 per 10 pack

Oxygen cleaner i.e. Oxiclean (I used the brand at The Dollar Tree - 16 oz @ $1.00 - also not listed at Walmart)

Following the recipe I used here, each batch will cost about $2.95. If you use about 1.5 tablespoons for each load (I use 1 heaping tablespoon per large load, and I have hard water), you will get about 75 loads per batch. That will cost about .04 cents per load or $20.80 per year, for an average of $1.73 per month.

Bottom line savings:

If you use All liquid in the 150 oz size, you would save $44.20/year, or about 3.70/month.

Tide users would save $98.20/year, or about $8.20/month.

Now if you add in my tip about dryer sheets I save about $13/year ($1.08/month), over using Great Value dryer sheets in a 160 pack. If you use Bounce you would save about $20 a year ($1.67/month).

When you break it down by the month, it may not seem like much, but over the year it really starts to add up. I will be back with another money saving tip tomorrow that could save you an average of $112 per year.   I will keep up a running tally of my savings at the bottom of each new post. Just scroll down to the bottom to see.  Come on back now y'all...ya hear?

Green Willow Pond

My tally so far:


  1. I've reeeeeeally been wanting to try some homemade stuff (so far I've done a couple cleaners and do the oil cleansing method on my face). Excited to try these soon!

  2. I've been using this same recipe for a few months...and just started noticing my whites were turning a bit grey! I'd love to try adding oxiclean, but isn't that a liquid? how well does it mix with all the dry powders? Or does it come in a powder? I'd love to know the brand of the Dollar Store one, I'll look there.

  3. Great information! I love seeing the breakdown because I really have never done it myself. I am still making the liquid detergent for now but have started the oxi-clean. I will probably try your powder recipe next time around.

    Thanks girl...

  4. I was not aware that oxiclean came in a liquid form LOL! Yes it the powder that I use. I hope you like it.

  5. Deborah, what a great idea! Any idea if this is safe for HE front loaders?

    Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl

  6. I don't know Brittany. Michelle over at Emerald Cove said she tried this with Fels Naptha and it clogged her front loader. I can't recommend it as I have a top loader.

  7. What can I use instead of ivory soap I'm allergic to it.

    1. I first used Fels Naptha that many recipes call for, but I just don't care for the smell of it. Many people like it, so you could try that.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment. They make my day!


Related Posts with Thumbnails