Clothes drying on the rack

So when we moved, I knew I’d have to figure out some ways to save money.  We were saving on rent, but were going to have to use oil heat.  And in an old drafty house, that still means keeping space heaters plugged in everywhere to help keep the oil bill down.  I’ve been at my wit’s end trying to figure out where I can cut costs.  I’ve been trying to feed 5 people on a limited budget, trying to cut gas costs, but when the temperature is -25, you can’t even walk the kids 10 minutes up the road to preschool, and really, we don’t have a lot of fun that we spend money on anyway.

So I was looking around on Facebook and found this link on the Eco Nuts Facebook page (it was in a blog posting they did.)


Even more clothes hanging in the shower!

So I put in my numbers (I only do about 25% hot washes which are the diapers) and figured out that I am spending $510 a year just on laundry!!!!  $43 a month! Yes, this chart doesn’t take into account what percentage of clothes you hang up or how much energy your individual machines use and probably many other variables that I am not thinking about, but the number shocked me!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Then I did some more math.  If I never used the dryer (who am I kidding, but if I cut it out to only when necessary) and switched to homemade laundry detergent (which I calculated crappily at 5 cents a load) I could save around $390 a year!  Or about $30 a month.  That’s a big chunk of change!

So I have made some laundry detergent and have been testing it off and on and really like it.  It will be months before we’re full-time on the homemade since I still have 2 jugs of detergent that my husband bought months ago on sale.

Here’s the recipe with links to the items I purchased (I upped the amounts.  I think I doubled it):

1 cup of finely grated soap (I will probably try harder to find Sunlight or order Fels Naptha next time.  You can also use Ivory or castile soap.)

1/2 cup of borax

1/2 cup of washing soda

The directions say to use 1/2 a cup of detergent per load, but I get away with a couple of tablespoons easily.  I used the directions from the side of the borax box.  This is a non-sudsing soap.  There will be bubbles, but not anywhere near what you are used to.  Don’t be alarmed!  Your clothes are still clean!  If you want liquid or another powder recipe, a simple search will find you tons!

So for drying, I only have the one drying rack pictured above at the moment.  I’ve been trying to get my husband to build me one, but it will probably be a while.  As soon as the warmer weather hits (and I mean above 0 for a few days!) we’ll be fixing the clothes line outside so I can take advantage of the sun.  But I have been hanging all shirts on hangers in the bathroom and that’s been working really well.

Take a look at that link and let me know how much you could save on your laundry!

ps.  I do about 12 loads a week!  (I’m drowning in laundry!)