Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Those Laundry Soap Liars!

I admit I had a dilemma last time I went grocery shopping, and it occurred in the laundry detergent aisle. Knowing that edible food was a top priority and clean underwear was a close second, I had to find the best bang for my buck. I perused the aisles of soaps looking first at the cheapest prices and then looking at the big number on the container that says how many loads it would clean of my kids stinky socks and stained t-shirts.

And since I can’t get the powder soap to dissolve in cold water like it should, which therefore leaves my only choice being liquid soap; I quickly eliminated all the bright shiny boxes and headed straight for the jugs.

I finally found one that said it would do 35 loads for $1.98 which works out to be about a nickel a load.


I threw it in my cart feeling quite proud of myself AND my superior shopping skillz. I have to admit I walked through the rest of the store with a little skip in my step.

When I got home, the anal retentive woman that lives inside of me and is only allowed out when there is chocolate to distract her, grabbed a permanent marker and had the great idea to tally each load on the back of the bottle….just to see if I could get even MORE loads out of the jug.

And the days went by.

And the tally marks grew.

Now today, 5 days later, my tally marks have reached the number 17 while the jug of soap is nearly empty.

Nearly Empty, Ladies!

There is no way I’m getting 35 loads out of that bottle! I might be able to squeeze 5 more out but I’ll probably have to cut the top off and stick my finger in there to scrape the sides, just like I would when I’ve made cake batter and the kids aren’t looking.

I just won’t lick my finger.

So my little Works For Me Wednesday tips is this;

Don’t believe what they write on the detergent boxes!


And the menu today looked like this….

Breakfast – I scrounged out half a bag of frozen blueberries from my freezer and made THESE blueberry muffins.

Lunch – Canned Baked Beans, Southern Pride Sweet Cornbread (the 9 x 13 pan is too much for us so I make two 8 inch square pans and freeze one of them) and Broccoli Slaw (I shred a carrot and the fresh broccoli stems that I wouldn’t normally eat in my food processor, make a dressing from ½ cup mayo, ¼ cup sugar, 1 TBS cider vinegar, ¼ cup craisins or raisins and stir it all together. )

Dinner – Baked potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Salt & Pepper and Butter. We serve this like a buffet and everyone build their own. Sometimes we steam broccoli or add chili.


Kacie said...

$1.98 / 35 loads = about a nickel a load, not a penny.

Gayle said...

Oops, Thanks Kacie!

Gayle said...

OK, my sister is a genius. She said to take the powdered laundry detergent, put it in warm water in a mason jar, shake it up and THEN throw it in the wash.

So simple...why didn't I think of that?

Melissa Stover said...

did not know you started this blog.thanks for the link.

Ronnica said...

17 loads in 5 days. That blows me away. Sorry, I'm single and forget what it must be like to have a family. I do 2-3 loads every 2 weeks. I buy nice-smelling expensive laundry detergent because I get away with only buying it ever 6 months or so.

Anonymous said...

I am picky when it comes to detergent. I am a Tide and Downy girl. BUT I have found that Tandil, which is Aldi's Tide works great. I I just think that it is more expensive to have to wash a stained shirt a few times and or throw it out than by a good soap. I am cheap on other things though. I am enjoying your grocery blog here. When my stepkids were living with us we had 9 mouths to feed. I would make a lot of casserole dishes (since they require way less meat) and also serve rolls or some sort of bread each meal. It is cheap, filling, and yummy:) Jiffy corn bread is a good one too.

Becky said...

This is going to be funny to you, in a way, but hear me out. You'll understand when you get all the way through this. I used to can my own green beans grown in my very own garden. I didn't do it to save money, but because I like the way they taste better. My husband grows a BIG garden--the green beans alone were a bed and a half five feet by fifty feet, so each batch was HUGE. I wash my beans in the washing machine, gentle cycle, cold water. The first year I had my front loading machine with the window in the door, I decided to run a couple of cycles to get all the soap out of the machine. It took FOUR cycles to get it all out. That's when I decided to cut back on how much soap I use. I use about 1/4 of what the measurements on the bottle call for. Guess what, my clothes are just as clean. I use less than half of the fabric softener than called for as well. I am not in a position where Abraham Lincoln must scream before I turn loose of a penny--my children are on their own, I have a job where I get my own mad money and buy what I need/want/deserve =). We are trying to cut our grocery budget some, but then once in a while the dear hubby will say something like, "I am really hungry for some shrimp." I used to hate taking him with me to the grocery store because I would end up spending $60 or more OVER what I had budgeted for groceries. GASP. By the way, where in Washington are you? I am on the east side where it is currently snowing.

Laurie said...

I once bought some ALL detergent that printed the # of loads. I filled the cap with water, then dumped it in a measuring cup and calculated how many loads the bottle would do - which was less than they claimed. I called the 800 number and they sent me free coupons.

17 loads in 5 days--ughhh!

candi said...

I have found a detergent at walmart called Sun that isn't too bad, but I am not a detergent snob like my bff (see 5 little ducks comment):)
I have also found that soups are very cheap to make and go a long way!! We eat soup most of the winter.

justjuls said...

I have kids who break out form the powder because it doesn't rinse as well either. Soo --- no powder for me either - not to mention the fact that my new-fangled front loading washer only uses liquid detergent - the HE (high-efficiency) kind.
And is it a savings if the detergent doesn't get your clothes clean - because I've tried to look at losses that way as well - it wastes money if our clothes don't get clean and end up stained and unwearable.
I am curious if you were happy with this detergent.

I had to make a decision about fabric softener with low cash flow - but we really really need it. Static is a horrible problem here. Do you use that stuff?

Ranni said...

That blueberry muffin recipe looks wonderful! Thanks.

Ranni said...

That blueberry muffin recipe looks wonderful!

I'm a Tide gal, too, but only because it's the only detergent that hasn't caused me to break out. And it has to be a specific one, not just any of them. I'm going to tally my bottle, too, to see if I'm really getting as many loads as I should be.

ames said...

My mother swears that the amount they tell you to put in with the clothes is far far too much, so she gradually added less and less detergent to her loads and checked to see when the second rinse was really coming out suds-free (also as a consequence of using too much detergent, it stays in the clothes and even attracts more dirt). She ended up getting down to about a third of the amount they say to put in and the clothes come out just as clean!

Duckygirl said...

This is one of the many reasons I started making my own! I have the cost to a penny a load....


Anonymous said...

Hey Gayle,

I will tell you another little secret that the detergent and toothepaste companies lie about as well - the amount needed to get your clothes and teeth clean. It is a little bit the soap and a lot the agitation that gets our clothes and teeth clean. You can use 1/3 of what they tell you and still have sparkly clean clothes and teeth!
( :

Unknown said...

Make sure you are only filling up to the 1 mark. If you fill up your soap to the 2 or 3 mark for one load, it will go faster. (The marks on the inside of the cap.)


Memarie Lane said...

I always wondered about that. I wonder how they define "load."

Halfmoon Girl said...

I think you can use less than they say on the box as well. Have you ever noticed the same thing when you make chocolate chip cookies following the recipe on the bag? My daughter has definitely heard the speech about how the company just wants us to run out so we will buy more of their product.

Kacie said...

That's a great idea about shaking up the powdered detergent!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried making liquid laundry soap from the powdered stuff?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried to make liquid laundry soap by pre-adding water to the powdered stuff? Much like flour to make gravy? I use liquid, but the other may be cheaper?

Amanda said...

Thanks for the muffin recipe and the detergent tip. I hate laundry, particularly when the detergent is so pricey!

Also, as for the muffins, one of our local grocery store chains puts produce on deep, deep discount just as it begins to soften or become overripe. I picked up three huge containers of blueberries for $1.99 each which we ate on for a day or two, and then I split them into ziplock bags for freezing. Each container after having been reduced by my kids still had about 6 bags that are bigger than the little carton of berries for sale in the store for $3-4. The thing is, you can only have so many blueberry waffles or smoothies. I've not made muffins yet, which should have been one of the very first things!

I bought avacados at that same store last week just as they were guacamole perfect. 6 in a bag for $1.00. Some leftover chopped tomato and onion from dinner earlier in the week, and guac for a buck. You cannot beat that!

Deanna said...

Good point about detergent staying on the clothes.

I know everything isn't washing out when I break out after using Oxiclean spray on my shirts before even putting them in the wash!

Unknown said...

Great stain remover - 1/2 cup of all of the following: wisk, vinegar, water, ammonia.