Monday, May 4, 2009

Your Daily Savings Tip - 5/4/2009

Your Daily Savings Tip for today is brought to you by The Money Herder. If you have a quick savings tip, or a tip including a tutorial, we'd be happy to consider posting your tip on The Money Herder - giving you complete credit, of course. Please email me with any tip you would like me to include!

Today's Daily Savings Tip is:

Make your own detergents!

Dish detergent -
Equal parts borax, baking soda, & regular cheap powder detergent (we get the dollar tree stuff). Use one tablespoon in each compartment per load. You don't have to add in the regular detergent. We like to use regular detergent and make it go farther by adding in the borax and baking soda. You can also put vinegar in your rinse compartment!

Laundry detergent -
Hot water
½ cup Washing Soda
¼ cup Borax
½ Soap bar (Fels or Ivory. Castile bars like Dr. Bronners work well, too)
½ to 1 tsp essential oils for scent (if desired)

Grate the soap and stir into hot water in a pot. Stir it over low to medium heat until the soap is fully dissolved.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with very hot water. Add the borax, the washing soda, essential oils (if desired) and the melted soap. Stir well until everything is dissolved then add enough hot water to fill the bucket to the top.

You can either leave this mix in the bucket with the lid tightly in place or you can pour it into old detergent bottles. Remember to always mix your detergent or shake the bottle before you use it. 1 cup per load in a top loader, ¼ to ½ cup per load in a front loader. If you have hard water you may want to add in a little lemon juice every so often, too.

How much can you save by doing this? The above laundry recipe costs about a penny a load. Compare that to a bulk buy of Tide detergent at about 3 cents per load, or the average bottle at a grocery store at about 8 cents per load and you have a terrific savings! Especially if you do 90 to 100 loads a month like my family of 9.
The dish detergents nets similar results.

Remember that not all of our daily savings tips will work for every family. We don't even use every tip we give ourselves. However, these tips can be terrific money savers when you can make them work in your situation. Just give them a try, one at a time. Keep doing what works and discard the not-so-doable ideas. Also, keep in mind that what might seem like minimal savings and not worth the work does add up when added in with all the other little money saving ideas out there.