How many of these ideas are you using?
8 Ways to Save Time and Money on Laundry
by Shaunna Privratsky
Is Wearing More Than Once a Smart Way to Save Time and Money on Laundry?
Natural Homemade Laundry Soap
Buying a New Washing Machine
Laundry chores loom large on the household task list; the piles seeming to multiply when we aren't looking. If doing the laundry is eating away at your time and budget, here are some easy ways to corral those piles and lighten the laundry load.
- If you are in the market for a new washer or dryer, let your fingers do the walking first. A few phone calls to local businesses can pinpoint the best bargains and save you hundreds of dollars. Don't forget to factor in delivery, set-up, and haul away fees. Watch for sales and see if a rival store will price match and maybe throw in an additional discount or free delivery.
- No matter what price range you fall in, the washers are high efficiency, so the guidelines are a bit different. Read the manual for optimum operation. It will save you time and aggravation down the road. For instance, our washer recommends bunching sheets on one side instead of wrapping them around the center.
- Laundry soap is like liquid gold. Take a stroll down the laundry aisle and you'll be shocked! Do you need the most expensive kind or a specific soap for high-efficiency washers? No. All laundry soaps are designed to work in cold water, which is recommended. The key is to use less soap. The more suds in a load, the more water you waste and the longer it takes. If your water bill suddenly spikes or it takes longer than an hour for a load to finish washing, check the soap amount. Less is definitely more!
- Always watch for sales and look for coupons for laundry soap savings. Stock up if you find a really good buy, or you can make your own soap for a fraction of the cost.
- To get the most from your washer, you should only wash full loads. If you do need to do a smaller load, choose the option of auto-sensing, which only uses as much water as needed. If you have separate laundry baskets for whites and colors, it will already be sorted, saving you time. Also, pretreating stains with Shout® or similar products helps tremendously.
- The dryer is another hot spot in the budget. If practical, use clotheslines or folding racks when possible. Otherwise, always dry on the lowest heat and for the shortest time. This saves electricity and wear and tear on your clothes. Always clean the lint trap with every load and frequently check the outflow pipes for built up lint. This increases efficiency and prevents fires, which can be deadly.
- When possible, fold and put away each load as it finishes. If clothes sit in your dryer for too long, they get wrinkled. Therefore, take out the nice shirts and outfits and hang them or fold them. The less necessary items can go in baskets. When you are sitting down to watch a favorite show, grab a basket and start folding. You'll be surprised at how quickly you finish and you can put piles away on the commercials! It is a win-win situation.
- Share the load! If you have a family, get them to pitch in. Even small children can fold washcloths and towels and have fun helping you. Don't become a laundry martyr by doing everything because you're the only one who knows how to do it "right." Trust me when I say that you want teenagers and spouses who know how to do their own laundry.
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Don't let laundry take you to the cleaners. Use these time- and money-saving tips to clean up with laundry savings. Now excuse me, I have to go put a load in the washer. Happy washing!
Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Please sign up for the free newsletters at The Discount Diva. You can also visit Shaunna on Google+.
Take the Next Step:
- Decide which of these 8 ideas you'll use to save and money.
- Spend less time and money doing your laundry. The Dollar Stretcher Frugal Laundry Guide can help you do both.
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