More fun with cleaning - everybody's least favorite activity.
All Natural Dishwasher Soap
You don't need to purchase dishwasher soap ever again...just rinse those dishes really well (which unless you have a way better dishwasher than I do, you need to do anyways) - then fill the soap containers and rinse-agent space in your dishwasher with my favorite substance on the planet - white vinegar - and wash! They come out clean and sparkly.
Castile Soap - Almost as Great as White Vinegar!
Castile soap is one of the most versatile substances, second only to white vinegar. It derived from natural oils - often olive oil and is 100% vegan. You can use it on ANYTHING - from dishes to your own body. I currently am using it in lieu of dish soap, hand soap, and body wash. It also comes in solid form - which can be grated and added to make your own laundry detergent (see recipe below). Remember, the more uses you can get from a single product, the fewer products you have to buy, the more money you save, AND less packaging (and phosphates in the case of most soaps) which is better for the planet!
Do-It-Yourself Laundry Soap - phosphate-free and cheap!
Mix together 4 cups baking soda (you can purchase big boxes of it in the cleaning section of Walmart) and 3 cups Borax (also available at Walmart and Target). Grate 2 cups solid castile soap (can purchase online or at any natural food store) and mix with powder. That's it!
When doing laundry, I add about 1/2 cup of the powder/grated soap mix per load of laundry and pour about 1/2 vinegar into the water as well (helps decrease odors - which is helpful during those sweaty 110 degree summer days in the Southwest!)
On the subject of laundry - hang a line in your backyard! Saves electricity and money. My mother lives in northeast Ohio, where air drying clothes in the backyard is sometimes impossible...so she has a clothesline in her basement! My kids think it's fun to help me hang clothes, and they smell REALLY good afterwards (the clothes, not the kids...)!