Welcome to 31 Days:The No Spend Month. If you are joining for the first time, you may want to start on Day 1.
Laundry is actually one of my household responsibilities that I don’t mind at all. I know, I’m weird. Unloading the dishwasher, that’s a whole other story.
I regularly do laundry every other week with one or two loads in between (kiddo wets the bed or gets chocolate on a white shirt). In an attempt to meet our utility goals this month, I am only doing laundry twice. I did it the first week of the month and will be doing it this week, as well.
Here are 5 other ways I am saving on our laundry costs:
Reduce and Reuse
The #1 way to save on laundry costs? Do less laundry. This doesn’t have to mean that you buy more clothing. It means:
- Encouraging the family (specifically my husband, ahem) to hang clothing after they wear it. Clothing laying on the floor, all wrinkled up, usually gets tossed in the dirty clothes basket.
- Just because a pair of jeans was worn once (and for just 20 minutes, in my daughter’s case) doesn’t mean they need to washed. This is a mantra I’m drilling into the kids. I often go through their clothing at the end of the day to help them get their items back into the closet or into the laundry pile.
Our front-loading washer and dryer are about 4 years old and can handle large loads. I am separating clothing into whites, darks and colors and hoping to do only 3-4 loads of clothing for our family of 4.
I use white towels and sheets in our entire home so it’s easy to toss those in the wash together. We do have a few colored towels that we don’t need regularly so I keep them in a laundry basket, stored until I have a full load. I also add filthy shoes to this load.
Cheap Cleaning Aids
I have a few secret weapons in the laundry department that are so cheap, I can’t even believe they work. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. I use vinegar as my fabric softener and hydrogen peroxide as bleach. Both of them are added in the washing machine in the specific compartments.
I also use a homemade stain remover, I’ll be sharing that later. I like both the cost and how simple these solutions are – no chemical residue in our clothing or linens.
I always wash in cold water unless the load has a lot of stains or bodily fluids in it. I’ve been doing this for years – it works – and it saves money because you aren’t using energy to heat the water.
Don’t imagine yourself dragging a basketful of clothing outside every day. I have this drying rack and keep it propped up outside my laundry room when I’m washing.
Once I’ve washed a load, I pop it in the dryer for a few minutes to get the wrinkles out and then hang it on the rack. Dress shirts and dresses get hung on hangers. I can hang one entire load this way so I usually get 1-2 loads done per day. Even the children’s clothing gets hung up.
I honestly believe that the combination of cold water + line drying keeps our clothing in the best condition possible. We have avoided faded and shrunken clothing and it allows us to resell our clothing at a higher cost.
Do you love or loathe laundry? Any other cost-cutting ideas?