Friday, August 5, 2011

Saving Money in the Laundry Room

Yesterday morning I experienced a first; a Skype "audition" with a NYC producer seeking people to be on a cable TV show about frugality. She'd found my blog and asked me to chat on Skype. Why not! It was fun, but I highly doubt I'll get the invite next week....unless they are looking for a slightly frumpy frugal midwestern estate planning attorney with two little kids.

The 10 minute chat stirred my frugality juices, and as I did a load of the kid's clothes a post formed in my mind....saving money in the laundry room:
  • question before tossing an item into the dirty it really dirty or are you simply taking it off? I find this to be most common with work clothes -- you can usually get at least two wearings out of something;
  • when possible, wash on a cold setting in order to reduce energy costs (i.e. not getting the hot water heater going);
  • use half the recommended detergent;
  • use a front loader washing machine -- you'll use less water, cutting your water bill;
  • use "no name brands" of detergent and dryer sheets when possible....I favor Target's brand (and get an additional 5% off when I pay with my Target debit card);
  • opt to skip the dryer when possible and air dry instead. If, like me, you suffer from allergies, have an indoor clothes line or use a drying rack. If you want your clothes fluffy soft, toss them in the dryer on air fluff once they've line dried -- 10 minutes with no heat can do wonders;
  • use a gas dryer if your home is equipped (sadly, ours is not at this time) -- my electrical engineer husband insists that gas is less expensive than electric heat;
  • clean the lint dryer before each use -- it will increase air flow, reducing the time the dryer actually has to work;
  • if you use a dyer sheet (which you don't have to do), tear it in'll get twice the life out of the box; and
  • select the "energy efficient" setting on your dryer -- it will detect when the clothes are dry, cutting down on unnecessary use.
And there you have it, my suggestions on how to cut laundry costs. Did I miss a favorite of yours? If so, please post a comment!

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