Monday, March 7, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Intros and Laundry

So two days ago, I asked TCF what she thought about having a blog contributor, namely me. She has so kindly agreed and here I am! The goal of Money-Saving Monday will be to share a piece of advice, a technique I have learned, or just any random thing I do personally to save money.

But first, a little about myself! My name is Laura, and I'm a whopping 22 years old. I have a daughter who is nearly two and a husband who doesn't act much older. I run an in-home child care and sell Scentsy. Oh yeah, and I am cheap. I mean really cheap. I haven't bought new clothes for myself in over one year. I am a regular at Goodwill and a Craigslist troll. I love saving money, and I love that the money I do save helps my family afford things that we need.

This week, we had to buy a washer and a dryer. The washer and dryer we had both decided to keel over and die at the same time. We bought the set used for $200 almost four years ago. After browsing Craigslist for about a week and lugging our laundry to my in-laws to wash (we cloth diaper, by the way), I knew we needed to buy new. Luckily for us, the sales-lady was super helpful in not trying to up-sale us, and led us to exactly what we needed: a basic washer and a basic dryer. They are high-efficiency, which is a choice we made (less water is cheaper and better for the earth, folks!) together.

All that long introduction to get to here: How do I save money on the ever-looming laundry mountain in my home? Here are a few things that I personally do.

  • Cold water. Simple right? Seriously, I wash almost everything in cold water! I don't have to pay for the gas that it takes to heat my water and there is virtually no change in how the clothes are washed!
  • Do you have a high-efficiency washer? Do you buy that fancy-schmancy detergent that is supposed to go with it? DON'T! Use about 1/3 of the regular detergent that you have always used and you should be totally fine!
  • I don't do this all the time, my husband thinks it's ridiculous and stupid (rude!), but I have made my own detergent. There are lots of easy recipes online that can equal less than 5 cents per load! There is one of my favorite recipes, super simple, and I use an old plastic cat litter bucket to store the soap in!
  • Dryer balls. Have you heard about these? Dryer balls are generally made of wool yarn and felted over and over. Throw some in your dryer with your clothes and they absorb the moisture from the clothes so that they can dry faster. They also reduce static. These cost around $10 each, which is too steep for my pocket. My solution? I bought some wool yarn off of amazon (with my Swagbucks earnings, of course!) and made some for myself. Here is the tutorial I used,, it was super easy and much cheaper!
  • Not drying. Old-fashioned, I know, but it's one of those that's an oldie-but-goodie. I may reside in Oregon's City of Sunshine, but the weather here is not exactly ideal for outdoor drying. I have a drying rack in my garage that I snatched out of my parents' garage that I use for drying some clothes. I have also been known to line my couches and floor with soaking wet blankets and sweaters, but that's just me ;)

Have another tip? Let us know in the comments what you do to save money when you do laundry! Who knows, we could feature your tip in another blog post- and how special would that be?

-Merry savings to all and to all some spare change!


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