If you’re like most moms, you probably spend many hours in the laundry room weekly and do a load of washing most days. All this laundry not only takes time and effort but can get costly, too.
Happily, though, there are simple yet effective ways to cut costs in this part of your home and save money for other, more fun, things.
Spend Less on Laundry Detergent
Since you no doubt go through multiple containers of laundry detergent each year, reduce costs by making changes in this area. For example, make your own products. It’s not as hard as you think to DIY quality laundry detergent and doing so often saves between ten to 20 cents per load. This doesn’t sound like much, but over time it adds up.
Another way to save on laundry detergent expenses, if you don’t have the time to make your own, is to buy generic brands. Today’s non-name-brand products are efficient and come in a variety of options, including those fine for sensitive skin and for the environment.
Use Cost-Effective Softeners
It’s not something you probably go through as quickly, but if you use fabric softeners in your washing each week, you’ll know that these products can be quite expensive. To save money, consider switching out these items for a cheap and cheerful kitchen and cleaning staple: vinegar.
Believe it or not, a cap full of affordable vinegar added to your washing load can work wonders as a softener. It also has the added benefit of helping to get rid of any lingering odors that might be in your clothes or in the washing machine itself.
Make Sensible Washing Choices
It’s an obvious point, but one that bears repeating since so many people don’t actually do it. If you want to cut costs in your laundry room, don’t turn on your washing machine until you have a full load. Rather than running half-empty loads every day, skip a day or two, and then use your machine at capacity.
Making this one change will mean you use far less water each year and, as a result, less energy to heat this water and power the machine. If you feel like it’s hard to make up a full load as often as you need, keep in mind that it’s probably feasible to mix whites with colors. If you have darker clothing, towels, sheets, etc. that you’ve washed many times in the past, it’s unlikely these items will still leak color and cause a problem.
Another way to reduce your energy usage and thereby cut costs is to choose cold water cycles most of the time. There may be the odd occasion where you have really dirty or stained items you feel must be washed on a hot cycle, but for most of your loads cold water will be sufficient. Similarly, test out shorter cycles. Most people put clothes in the laundry basket when they have only worn them a few times (and not in dirty conditions, either), which means the items shouldn’t need a long wash to become clean.
Air Dry Clothes
Since clothes dryers consume a considerable amount of energy to do their job, you’ll save money, too, if you only use them on rare occasions. Instead, air dry your possessions outside on your clothesline or inside on a drying rack or two. This won’t cost you a thing and is better for the environment.
Plus, dryers can be harder on your clothing than air drying. As such, by avoiding using the appliance you’ll help your clothes to last longer. This, in turn, leads to increased savings over a year, as you will need to replace items less often.
For those times when you do need to use a clothes dryer due to the weather or time concerns, choose the shortest timeframe possible and be vigilant about removing lint from the machine so that it works most efficiently.
The laundry room may seem to be the bane of your existence since you spend so much time in it week after week, but it doesn’t have to be such a strain on your budget, too. Follow the steps above, and you’ll notice considerable savings over a year.