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 a little above the fill line. 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!