Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Frugal Challenge Room By Room - Saving Money in the Laundry Room

Thought I would start off this series with a room I spend a great deal of time in. With four kids, dogs and a husband that works out doors, I have to do laundry every day of the week except Sunday and at least two to three loads a day. That is sheets, clothes, dog beds. You get my drift.

So here is how I try to save money in the laundry room. I literally am going to do a detailed list of all efforts to save in this room.

1. The light:
  -Changed the ceiling fixture to a flouresent bulb years ago. It is still going strong and costs very little to run.

2. The washer:
    - Run the washer only full. This is easy for us.
   -  I have also turned down the number of minutes recently. How few can I use to get a load of laundry clean? Instead of running it 12 minutes I am now running it 10. Clothes seem fine.This may seem like nothing but two minutes times four loads is eight minutes a day times six days a so 48 less minutes the washer is churning a week. That has to save some electricity.
   - Can you get a load clean on cold water instead of warm? Our water does not get that cold in winter so I have turned up the cold tap on the warm cycle as well. If your homemade detergent does not dissolve then you can put it in a cup of hot water for a few minutes before you pour it in the washer. This has happened to me and this is what I do.
   -I do not use fabric softener so no money spent there.

3. The Dryer:
    -Keep your buzzer on. If yours is like mine it will buzz when the dryer is done and then keep going for a few more minutes. I try to get the clothes out on the first buzz.
  - Put the next load in while the dryer is warm still. This will save money on the dryer heating up again.
  -Clean the lint trap every single load.
  -I rarely use dryer sheets but if I do need one I tear them in half. Works fine and you get twice as many dryer sheets.
  -Of course you could hang your clothes. I do have a small line out back but I do use my dryer. I just don't want to spend the time with all the loads I do hanging it out. We have a gas dryer and our gas bill is very low so this is an area I feel is worth the use of the dryer.

I make my own laundry soap and stain remover. Recipes for homemade laundry detergent and stain remover
are here and here. I will buy laundry soap if I find a really great deal. Have not bought stain remover in over a year since I started making my own. You can see the post where I buy my supplies cheaply here.