Several years ago when we started camping, I bought a few "cheapo" towels to take along so I wouldn't have to worry about it if something happened to them. They were quickly nicknamed "non-soak-um-ups" by my Hubby and shortly put out of commission for that use.
Recently Hubby started to complain about our good towels saying they reminded him of those "non-soak-um-ups" because they weren't absorbing like they used to. I started thinking about what might be the problem as these were good towels, not "cheapos" as I would call them.
I eventually took out the fabric softener for a couple go rounds and they gained their absorbency back. From that point on I have only used half of the softener recommended in all of my laundry and found that everything smells nice and fresh, but never overly so and that my towels continue to work to Hubby's satisfaction.
I almost always use liquid softener and add water to make a 50/50 ratio, but you could just cut the dryer sheets in half and get the same effect. To make it even easier I recently had the idea to add water to the bottle of liquid when it reached it's half empty point. When that bottle is empty, I pour half of the next bottle into it and dilute it again. Then as that one is finished I put that bottle in the recycle bin and add water to the 1/2 bottle that hasn't been diluted yet, this way every bottle gets used as a diluted mixture and I feel like I got most every drop of softener out of each bottle.
Now, not only do we get nice, soft, clean clothing that smells good, and Hubby is happy with the towels, but we also save money doing this. That's a 50% savings in using half on top of the savings I got when I purchased it on sale with my coupons. Pretty good for us, and probably the environment too!