I have a new book coming out February 1. It's called What the Amish Can Teach Us About the Simple Life. Here's a picture of the book cover:
Chapters include Family First; Building Community; Housekeeping Tips; Backyard Gardening; Raising Backyard Livestock; Keeping Technology Where You Want It; Waste Not, Want Not; and Coming Home.
It's chock full of useful information, including recipes for lots of different products you can make instead of buy.
So in the spirit of do-it-yourself, here's a recipe for inexpensive homemade laundry soap:
1 bar Fels-Naptha or Ivory soap, finely grated (I whir mine in my Vitamix; you could try a blender or food processor)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (this is caustic so handle with care)
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container. I find that canning jars work great. Use about 2 tablespoons per load of laundry. When I use this soap I always add vinegar to the rinse water as it helps to remove all traces of soap residue and makes my clothes soft.
I'd love to hear what you and your family do to enjoy a plain and simple life--tips and pointers would be great!
Blessings to you and yours,