Yesterday I posted about how I keep up with our laundry. Today I want to share how I try to keep it frugal.
Re-wear Your Clothes
No, not all of them. Sometimes you can though. If you only wore a pair of jeans for half the day and didn’t get them dirty then there’s no reason to toss them in the hamper. I feel the same way about sweatshirts. If I just wear a sweatshirt in the evening (and I’m not near a camp fire) then I’ll hang it up again. I know some people feel a little strange about wearing clothes more than once but if you’re open to it and can encourage your kids to do the same then it can definitely help decrease the number of loads of laundry you do in a week.
On that same note, do you re-use your bath towels? Again, I know some people don’t like the idea but I don’t have any problem with it at all. I find that I can easily use a bath towel 2 or 3 times before washing it. I’ve heard that putting a little baking soda in the wash helps them stay fresh. Anyone ever tried it?
Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
I’m still very happy with my homemade detergent. Laundry detergent can be very expensive, especially if you go through it quickly. I believe it’s one of those cases where the really cheap stuff doesn’t work all that well so you almost have to buy the more expensive brands. That used to strain my food/household budget quite a lot some weeks.
As far as fabric softener goes … umm, I don’t use it. To be honest, I don’t feel like it makes that big of a difference and the only reason I ever bought it was to make my clothes smell nice. Now I know I can get the freshest smell of all by line-drying my clothes outside. Again, not everyone shares my feelings on this one and that’s fine. I’ve heard some great ideas for diluting fabric softener in a spray bottle. When I used to buy it I just used half the recommended amount.
Line Dry Your Laundry
3 seasons a year I line dry almost all of our laundry. I say almost because sometimes it just doesn’t work out. If it rains for 3 days straight then I’m probably just going to use the dryer. Generally, I check the forecast and as long as there isn’t a chance of rain I hang clothes. My clothesline is in a very convenient spot for me. There’s a door that goes outside from my laundry room and right outside that door is the clothesline and the swing set – perfect for dragging three young children along.
If you make line drying convenient, then you’ll be more apt to do it. If you can avoid it, don’t install a clothesline that’s far from your house. You can also line dry indoors. I don’t have the space for that, but if you have a large, finished basement then you may be able to string some line indoors. That would be very convenient. If you’re new to line-drying then ease yourself into it by committing to hang one load per week. Start with bed sheets or towels – those are the easiest.
Buy clothes you can wash at home
Even if an article of clothing is on sale for a fantastic price, I will not buy it if it says “dry clean only.” The only exception would be a suit for my husband for work. Other than that – I am a wash and wear kind of a girl. Not only is it annoying to have to bring things to the cleaners, it’s expensive, so I avoid it.
I wear mostly blue jeans and t-shirts so my wardrobe is pretty low maintenance. David has to dress up for work every day though, so he has dress pants, dress shirts and ties that all need to have gentle care. His work clothes tend to be more expensive so I do my best to take good care of them and make them last. I’m sure many business people take their dress clothes to the cleaner but I don’t have any problem caring for them at home. I wash all of those things on the gentle cycle and dry them on low heat – much less expensive than a dry cleaner.
So – how do you keep your laundry frugal?
Why I do what I do ~ Right now my younger niece says, “Take this on” instead of “put this on,” and “put this off” instead of “take this off.” It can be very confusing trying to understand what exactly she’s asking you to do.