"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Cheaper Isn't Always Better

Awhile back my mother-in-law asked me "why are your kitchen towels so grey?" I thought that this was just one of those "mother-in-law" things and since I have the most wonderful mother-in-law, I let it pass with an "I dunno".

Then, while at church, I looked at my teenage son in his white shirt standing next to the other teenage boys in their white shirts, only, my sons shirt is more on the grey side.

This is not good. "Jake's getting a new white dress shirt" was my first thought, followed almost immediately by "I'm swithching laundry soaps!"

In my attempts to be frugal I had been making my own laundry soap for about a year and a half. I used a recipe I found online. I'm sure you've seen the ones using Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha soap. I felt this mixture did a good job getting my clothes clean, it just didn't seem to be keeping my clothes clean looking.

Although it was cheaper, I did find that it wasn't that cheap. I would use 2/3 of the Fels Naptha soap ($1.17) to get the 2 cups needed for the recipe. The total cost was about .06c per load. Not bad, but with a sale and a coupon I can get a good brand of laundry soap for close to that.

So I've decided to go back to buying my laundry soap and having brighter clothes. Lesson learned, cheaper isn't always better.

What frugal lessons have you learned? Have you had to learn any the hard way?

Live less, live more

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  1. Cant you just use bleach or baking soda in your load of whites?

    My mom uses the same home made detergent but puts bleach with the whites and they stay super bright.

  2. Sheila,
    I wish it was that easy but even the colored clothes look dingy.

    Some people say that it is because of hard water and they try adding water softener tablets to the mixture.
    Maybe one day I'll give it another try.

    Thanks for the idea though.

  3. Hi Renee-Glad to have come across your site-please feel free to visit me as well at:

    My whites will stay white for so long then they start getting a not as white look...but I'm bad for washing colors and whites together!