Case in point, I got all excited when I found this: DIY washing machine and homemade laundry soap. It is better for my family, both because whoever does the laundry is being physically active and because homemade soap may well be better chemical exposure-wise; it certainly is better for the environment by using less water and less electricity; and finally it is so cheap it verges on free. I told Aaron we should make one. Leave it to Aaron to already know about this way of washing clothes. But, although he is enthusiastic about the idea, he thinks we should get a plunger made specifically for hand-washing since it is designed to move water around, whereas a toilet plunger is designed to create a suction. An excellent point, but I'm pretty sure if we are going to succeed in this endeavor, we have to start changing our attitude about what it means to spend $17 dollars.
Full disclosure, we have no intention of relying solely on hand-plunging our clothes clean. I came across the bucket option as I was researching energy efficient washing machines, the kind that plug in and cost oh-so-much-more than $17.