In the summer when it is really hot our family uses our air conditioner alot, and in the winter we use the heat. It is expensive, the heat that is but I am a cold natured person and even if I layer up my feet get cold. As for the air conditioning, I keep that set at 76 degrees because that is comfortable but it still uses energy. We have been lucky this year and there has been a strangely “comfortable” summer and not our usual “hot and humid”.
Our food comes out of the garden which helps on the grocery bill, and we try to keep lights off when not in the room but our electricity bill gets high in the summer. To offset that I try to dry our clothes on a rack or out in the “free” sunshine. But, as I said, this summer was unusually rainy and cool so outside drying was not available as much.
To eliminate some of the cost of drying our clothes I have been trying to not use our dryer as much.
Here are some ways to save on laundry if you are like me and cannot hang them outside all of the time.
Put A Retractable Clothesline In The Laundry Room Or Basement
Try to find a clothesline at Home Depot, or Menards. It can be used only when needed and then put away. If there is no basement or laundry room see if one can be put in another area of the house. This could potentially save about $80.00 on an electric bill.
Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
I know this one sounds like a lot of work, but our family has not purchased laundry detergent in 3 years. For about 15 min. of work the savings is phenomenal at around $100.00 per year. Not to mention that it is very “green” for our family. Alot of chemicals are in the store laundry detergents.
Use Cold Water
Instead of using hot water to clean all of the time use cold. It still gets clothes clean and saves money. There is not the extra expense of heating the water heater for your laundry. Or if there are some extra dirty clothes, use it on that wash only.
Don’t Over Dry
Set a timer and stop the dryer, if clothes aren’t completely dry hang them on a hanger, an indoor clothes line, or a designated area. A shower rod can be put in a door way to hang some clothes so they dry.
Spin Clothes Twice
This will get all of the excess water out and they will not have to dry as long and the dryer cost more to run than the washer.
Do The Laundry Later
Ideally, the later the laundry can be done will be cheaper. Midnight may be a little hard to maintain, but rates are cheap at that hour. Look on the gas/electric bill and see the usage times. If they are not listed, then call the company. They may tell you that it doesn’t make a difference, but just like anything else, peak times are more expensive.
Start A Laundry Schedule
Do a little family research and try to give each person a day. On that day all of their clothes will be washed, and if something does not get put in the laundry then they must wait until the next week.
For example, I have a dry erase board next to my washer/dryer and everyone’s names are listed. My clothes get washed on Wed. I have enough clothes that they will last me until Wed. so that is the day I clean my laundry. I do towels on Monday, and bed sheets on Fri.
It helps me keep track of who’s laundry gets cleaned, and also my washer gets a break on Thurs, Sat, and Sun.
Stain cleaners are very expensive. Try to make your own. For instance, use lemon juice for whites instead of bleach and dawn dish soap for hard stains like ketchup. Just apply the dish soap directly to the stain. They work wonders!
Borax is a great stain remover too, and it is very cheap for the size available. Borax can be doubled in a detergent recipe for double savings.
Baking soda is a great fabric softener, and white vinegar is good for static clean. Try some of these and see the savings.
Use The Quick Wash Cycle
If clothes are not that dirty, then use the quick wash cycle. They still get clean, but in 1/2 the time.
Hopefully these tips will save you some money that can be used toward a college savings account or a vacation!