Laundry, The Frugal Way

09 February 2009
I am beginning to think it is not possible to have dirty laundry lurking somewhere in a hamper. Just when I think I'm caught up, I find more! It's a never ending, vicious cycle! Ugh!

Since I spend so much time doing it, I've been trying to find ways to make taking care of the laundry a little more frugal. I already wash everything in cold water, but that's just a start.

First, I noticed a huge increase in our electric bill once I started using the dryer again. Some days it is not possible to hang out clothes, so the dryer is my friend. But, I hate paying high electricity bills. I have found two ways to get more bang for my buck here. One, throw a nice big, fluffy towel - a dry one - in with every dryer load. It really does help things dry more quickly. The other is to figure out how long it actually takes a load of clothes to dry. I've found that I can completely dry two loads of laundry in the time my dryer considers a complete cycle. Since the laundry room is outside, I start a load then set a timer here in the house. I cannot believe I was using energy to continue heating already dry clothes! I'm glad I figured this out and stopped wasting energy as well as time!

I've already shared one frugal fabric softener tip with you, but here are a few more I've discovered. Rhonda over at A Home With A Smile has a recipe for turning hair conditioner into fabric softener. I've pretty much always got a stash of free shampoo and conditioner laying around (thank you CVS!) so this was a good find for me. I was very pleased with the results.

As for stain pretreaters, I've started using good old dish soap. It works great on food and greasy stains. Here is another homemade spray and wash type stain remover I've used and liked -

1/2 cup ammonia

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup baking soda

2 tbsp. liquid soap

2 quarts water

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle. Use as you would any spray stain remover.

As for laundry soap and detergent, I have not tried to make my own yet. I normally buy all my detergent with ECBs at CVS or at Kroger with coupons when it's on sale for a great price. I do use about half the amount that the measure shows, and our clothes are still nice and clean. I always use water to rinse out the last little bits of liquid detergent; I usually get another two loads of laundry this way.

As for keeping things smelling fresh, I use vinegar and baking soda. They have so many uses and are extremely budget friendly!

Every little bit helps when it comes to saving money. What are your frugal laundry tips?

SAVING is good.


lynette355 said...

So you have the short cuts???
You wanna do mine too. LOL
Lady you are so good at watching the bottom line. I admire you in that. Makes me just feel like a spend thrift.

Mary Q Contrarie said...

You have some great tips for using that clothes dryer. About two years ago I gave my dryer up completely and I now use a clothes drying rack for drying all my clothes. Saves lots of money and I know that it really reduces my carbon foot print so maybe my children will have a chance for a better future.