As I sit in our rented cabin today watching the falling snow turn to a slushy rain, my thrifty tip doesn’t quite seem to mesh. But down in the valley and in most parts of the U.S. spring has indeed reared its head, meaning warm and sunny days are coming. Today’s thrifty tip was again, inspired by my very thrifty mother. As soon as weather allows she completely stops using her clothes dryer and hang-dries everything. I haven’t yet followed suit, but this summer I plan to. I did a little research to find just how much running a dryer costs. According to Energy Miser 101, the average 40 minute load in an electric dryer uses about 5000 watts which adds up to about $3.96 per week, $16.98 per month (check out the complete post to find out how much other appliances cost to use – interesting!). Now that’s assuming you only do one load per day. With my family of six I use the dryer significantly more. I was an English major so it hurts my brain to try calculating the math on what my family uses, but it’s safe to say I could save quite a bit by giving my dryer a summer vacation.
Line-drying clothing requires clothes pins, so how do you store them? My mom came up with a pretty clever solution for her pins. She took an old blouse she no longer wore, cut the arms off and sewed up the arm-holes (turn the shirt inside-out when doing this so ugly seams don’t show). Then she sewed together the bottom of her blouse (inside-out again to hide the ugly seams) so she had a “blouse-bag”. She hung this on a clothes-hanger, added her clothes pins and buttoned up the blouse. She hangs it inside her laundry room when not in use. When she has a load of laundry to hang outside, she simply grabs her bag and hangs it on the clothes-line where she is working. She’ll unbutton one of the blouse buttons and is able to easily reach in and grab one pin at a time as she hangs out her clothes . . . no more holding 30 pins in her mouth! Don’t I have a clever mother?
- How to Save on Utility Costs (urbanmoocher.com)
- If everyone in the US used a clothesline (greenreview.blogspot.com)
- Thrifty-tip Thursday (easygoingorganizer.com)
- Air-Dry Your Clothes Instead of Using the Dryer (19/365) (thesimpledollar.com)
- Yes! Your Laundry-Room Makeover (timesunion.com)
- Mrs. Money: Air Dry Your Clothes No Matter Where you Live (savings.com)