Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Absolutely no money saving idea, frugal living way, or cost cutting device in the whole world will work if you don’t “do it” or “use it” or “form it into a habit”. You can read about ways to save money all day long but reading about them doesn’t save the money. Doing does. Over the years I had grown accustom to some of the time saving (but money guzzling) ways that the advertising media convinced us we must use.
One of those was the use of my washer and dryer. I realized I’ll never be able to afford a new set of those high efficiency washers and dryers. Then I asked myself why would I want to? I remember a time when we washed our clothes in an outdoor wash house in a tub with a wash board. I don’t want to go back to those days but I can still save energy which also means save money.
So, I decided to drastically cut back on the energy use of the set I do have in order to save money. I started with the washer. A thought occurred to me that if a washer is set for a large load using cold water….
and run on the normal wash setting…..
that it uses the exact same amount of electricity as the smallest load? So, let me say that again. If I have a small load of color clothes, set on cold water, for a normal wash, it uses the exact same electricity to run the washer as a super size load of color clothes with cold water and the normal setting. So I ask myself why should I run the smaller load? Because the washer company and the laundry soap company told me to do it that way? I’m changing my ways. I’ll use the large load setting and make sure the washer is full everytime. That’s not easy to do when normally I have very little to wash. So I’ll put color and white clothes together in the same load making sure it’s large.
Yeah, I can hear you thinking about the mixing of color with whites in the same wash load. Maybe your thinking about how you accidently put a red sock into the wash with your white blouses and suddenly you had several new pink ones? Ok, are you afraid of bleeding colors? Really? Gosh, my clothes are old enough, and washed enough times, that nothing bleeds anymore. If you are afraid of colors bleeding, then why not use a color catcher in the full load? Those things do work. If you have one item you know for certain will bleed, simply hand wash it by itself or “fix” that by using vinegar to set the color.
I would love to be able to hang clothes out on a line in the yard but that’s not possible here where I live. The west end STINKS and the west end is extremely DIRTY. There is a black soot like or mold like substance that covers everything. Houses, cars, trees, and just about everything else is coated with the stuff. I believe if kids set still long enough that stuff would gather on them too. I do worry about what is going into our lungs. How much of that stuff are we breathing?
Anyway, I decided to rig up a clothes line in my house. I used to have one and then when I started earning money from quilting I stopped using it because I told myself I didn’t need to live without convenience anymore. Yeah, I listened to the media hype. I got affluenza the minute I started earning money.
I had been thinking about doing this for quite some time. I would start hanging my clothes in the house like years ago. When I found a really good bargain on a clothes drying rack I bought it. I set it in the tub so if there is any dripping water it won’t be on the floor.
When not in use it hangs behind the door out of the way.
This takes care of the smaller stuff but larger items like sheets or pants really needed to be higher. I went to the closet and brought out my previous “line” and put it back up. Here you can see the whole set up in use. Well, not the sheets yet. The best photo I could get was through the mirror. See the wood bar above the tile? That’s the new clothes drying line.
Ok, so you don’t like the stiff feeling of line dried clothes. They are stiff and scratchy. Now I ask you, which is cheaper, a half hour of drying time using full heat or 5 minutes of fluffing? I dry the clothes on the indoor line then put into the dryer for five minutes to rid them of that stiff feel. It’s your money, you choose. Give your money to the utility company or spend it on something you want for yourself. As for me, I can put up with scratchy clothes and put that money into a Christmas savings for the grands.