I am weird... this is nothing new. But I am reminded this when I say to someone "I need to cook some laundry soap tonight" and get a strange look. For over a year now, I have made our laundry detergent, and it's simple & affordable. Two of the three ingredients will last you over a year, easily.
You will need:
Arm & Hammer washing soda - this is NOT the same as baking soda folks!
~Bar soap - often Fels Naptha is used, but I prefer some plain Dial (your clothes will not smell like the soap you use)
~ essential oil (optional, but I typically don't use this)
Grate approximately 1/3 cup of bar soap and put in a medium pot; cover with water. Cook over med heat and stir gently to get rid of clums. Once your soap liquid is mostly smooth, take it off the burner. Add 1/3 cups of both washing soda and borax. Stire and allow to dissolve. Once dissolved, pour into your bucket. While slowly stirring, add enough hot tap water to fill your bucket.
Your laundry detergent is now ready to use. As it cools, it may get gelly/gloppy. Don't worry, this is normal! If you like, give it a stir every now and then, but it's not necessary. Depending on the size of your load, you can use 1/2-1 cup of the detergent per load. I use the plastic scoop that came with some powdered soap long ago.
If you'd like to be even more thrifty, you can pour in 1 cup white vinegar during the rinse cycle. This will act as a fabric softener and and vinegar odor should dissipate once the clothes are dried.