I started using Arm and Hammer laundry detergent a couple of months ago. It is only like $4 for a big box (I use the powder kind because it goes further but a friend of mind uses the liquid and she loves the way it works too). It leaves your clothes smelling fresh instead of a perfumy. But once I stopped using fabric softener, I didn’t like the way my clothes felt coming out of the dryer. So, I started using vinegar in the rinse cycle. I’m really bad at catching the rinse cycle so I started using one of those Downy balls. I put 10-15 drops of essential oil in first (love lavender for sheets and geranium rose for my clothes) and then fill up the the Downy ball. My clothes came out of the dryer or off the drying rack feeling wicked soft and smelling great, (but just subtly great). I also started using those dryer balls. It cut down on drying time and made my clothes even fluffier.
So, 50 cents for a gallon of white vinegar, a couple bucks for a bottle of essential oil (depending on what scent you want) and $4 for the box of Arm and Hammer laundry detergent. And it all lasts for several months!