If you feel like you're drowning in dirty clothes, you may be wondering if you can save money on laundry detergent while balancing your household budget. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can conquer Mt. Dirty Laundry without breaking the bank. From whipping up homemade soap to employing smart shopping tips, find out how you can let frugality work for you.
Finding Ways to Save Money on Laundry Detergent
While every family is different, there are a number of strategies you can use to save money on laundry detergent. Don't be afraid to experiment with different tactics until you find the method that works best for you.
Make Your Own
Making your own laundry detergent can be somewhat time-consuming, but the results may be well worth the effort if you have a large family and a mountain of laundry. Check the following resources for detergent recipes:
- Making homemade laundry detergent
- Laundry detergent recipe
- Recipes for liquid laundry detergent, powdered laundry detergent, and stain removers
While homemade laundry detergent is suitable for most purposes, you may find it difficult to remove tough stains with your own concoction. Some people also feel that homemade detergent doesn't leave their clothes smelling as "fresh" as a commercially-prepared product.
Do Less Laundry
One of the easiest ways to save money on laundry detergent is to simply do less laundry. Consider the following:
- Hang your clothes up immediately after drying so you're not rewashing clean laundry in an attempt to remove wrinkles.
- Ask your children to wear the same pajamas to bed two or three nights in a row. If you bathe before bed, fresh pajamas aren't necessary each night.
- Color code your towels and have each family member use the same towel more than once.
- If you wear an outfit for only part of the day, think twice before automatically throwing it in the wash. If it doesn't smell and it doesn't look dirty, it probably doesn't need to be washed.
Doing less laundry has other advantages as well. For example:
- You'll save on electricity and water expenses by not running your washer and dryer as frequently.
- Your appliances will last longer because they're not being used as often.
- Washing makes most fabrics fade. Doing less laundry can keep your clothes, towels, and linens looking newer, longer.
Use Less Detergent
Did you know that you don't really need to use on entire capful of detergent when doing your laundry? In many cases, you can use just half the recommended amount and still produce acceptable results. If you get in the habit of paying close attention to the amount of product you are using, you may be shocked to see what is wasted. Incidentally, this trick works equally well for shampoo, shower gel, dish soap, toothpaste, and many other daily necessities.
Be a Smart Shopper
If you have a favorite brand of laundry detergent, make a point of checking your local newspaper for sales and coupons. Comparison shopping can be quite profitable if you're diligent. Laundry detergent doesn't expire, so feel free to stock up when you find a bargain.
Buy a Cheaper Product
If you're a fan of Tide or other name brand laundry detergents, consider switching to a cheaper product. Remember, brand loyalty is the enemy of frugal living!
While there are slight formula variations between brands, much of the cost of name brand detergent is merely advertising and marketing expenses the company passes along to the consumer. The basic ingredients are the same in all brands of laundry detergent. If you're trying to save money on laundry detergent, experiment with less expensive brands until you find one that produces satisfactory results.
Don't Ignore the Bigger Issue
While wanting to save money on laundry detergent is a noble goal, it's important to keep your cost savings in perspective. In many cases, people who go out of their way to save $2 or $3 on laundry detergent are trying to compensate for larger struggles.
If you're drowning in credit card debt or struggling to make your monthly mortgage payment, finding ways to save money on laundry detergent shouldn't be your main concern. Look at small cost savings as a tiny part of your overall financial health.