Why I don't make my own laundry detergent (and other things I am not doing to save money)

Nope. I don't make my own laundry detergent. Or my own bread. Every now and then I might make my own tortillas  because they taste amazing, not because they save me money. 

Here is my opinion. Sometimes things save you a lot of money, but that doesn't mean that provide you a good value. 

Note: This is not to ridicule, hate on or talk down to those of you who do these things. Stand in your decisions, sister. Don't let me stop you. :) 

So why did I stop making my own laundry detergent? 

1. It didn't work. I tried to make my own laundry detergent. I tried to make it work for us. And it just didn't.

My husband works a blue collar job and often comes home smelling like sweat. He will be covered in mud and dirt and other really gross things. And the homemade laundry detergent just didn't get his clothes clean. 

The "man smell" remained in his clothes. It was so gross. I had to wash them twice, sometimes three times. Who has time for that? 

2. It left my machine dirty. After using a mix of baking soda, borax and a bar of soap I found a strange build up in my laundry machine. I even tried making the liquid detergent and that somehow was even worse! I ended up washing my machine with vinegar and hot water to get the residue out.

And this makes complete sense. Have you ever noticed how bar soap can leave a residue on your shower or even your skin? Why would a ground up or melted bar of soap (even Dr. Bronners!) not leave a film in your washing machine? 

3. My plumber told me to stop. When we moved into our new house we had to call a plumber to fix a few issues for us. When talking to him about a laundry plumbing he told me to use a liquid detergent and he put an emphasis on NOT using homemade detergent. He said the build up could cause issues with our plumbing that could lead to costly repairs. 

4. Because I can get great detergent free. Last month I got two bottles of detergent for $.27 at CVS. And then I got two bottles of free Seventh Generation laundry detergent from ePantry

Homemade laundry detergent might save a lot of money, but it doesn't beat free. 

However, I do understand that a lot of times it is not about saving money but it is about controlling the potentially harmful chemicals that your family contacts. I get it. I understand. Believe me, I understand. 

When I decided to stop making my own detergent I felt a very real sense of guilt. Looking back I know that's crazy. 

But I felt the same way when we quit cloth diapering and gave up clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. 

I still print coupons using some of my favorite coupon blogs and I still get diapers on the cheap, so our expenses haven't increased in those areas. I just found ways to stretch my dollar that were less time-consuming and brought me more fulfillment. 

I tried my hand at making bread. Jason told me it was gross, so I stopped making it. I now buy the Arnold bread by the truck load when it's on sale at Publix and stick it in my freezer. 

And I do things to save money or live simply that might not appeal to you. We currently have 27 chickens roaming our backyard. That's a lot of chicken poop to dodge. And this morning I picked 20 pounds of tomatoes while my kids hit each other with a pool noodle (not in the pool, y'all!). 

I have a crazy amount of respect for the women who fit it all in. The moms who bake bread, wash the diapers, make their own detergent. 

Just like I have a lot of respect for the women work a full time job and come home to read to their kids every night. Bottom line, I just respect other women. 

So if there is something in your life that you thought was guaranteed to save you money, but instead has only brought you stress. Let it go. Saving money is not a competition. 

What about you? What have you quit doing?