One of the ways that I save is by making my own powdered laundry detergent. Not only is it less expensive to use, my clothes are very clean, and all of the products used to make it are right in your cupboards. It is also more ecological than most other detergents.
I use the following ingredients:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 cup grated bar soap (fels naptha, Ivory, Zote or any bar soap that you would like to use) I usually use Zote.
I mix all of these ingredients together, and keep it in a jar. I usually make several batches at a time so that I don't have to do it too often.
I use 1 tablespoon of detergent for a regular wash load. If the clothes are extra dirty, I use 2 tablespoons. This detergent also works for delicate laundry. Also, it doesn't suds up, so it works well in the 'he' washers.