SO the cost of just about every item you need to live is increasing. Often times our salary does not! Let's talk about laundry soap!
I just made 6+ months of soap for a family of 9 for about a total cost of 2$. The cost will vary some depending on where you live but not by much.
I got his nifty recipe from http://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent-and-save-big-money/ . I doubled it and I add a few teaspoons of essential oil. If you are concerned about clothes becoming "grey" a tablespoon of vinegar will take care of that. If you want to make your own vinegar here is a recipe. http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodscienceprojects/a/How-To-Make-Homemade-Vinegar.htm
What about the dishwasher?
One more item. Soapnuts. These are a natural "fruits" containing the chemical saponis. They are part of the Lychee tree family. My kids lucked upon a tree last Fall and we spent several weeks experimenting with these cool little "soapballs!"
Money saved is money earned. :)