What is the one chore that all of us do that just never seems to get completed? For me, it is doing laundry. I will do one load every day just to keep dirty clothes getting out of hand. Laundry is a three step process for me which includes gathering and sorting, washing and drying and finally folding and putting away. Sometimes the last step does not get completed and clothes are worn straight from the laundry basket. Does this happen at your house?
The following is my list of my 5 best laundry tips that I use to see my laundry basket empty and all clothes cleaned and put away.
1. Every day I pick up all dirty clothes throughout the house and put in a laundry basket together. This will keep things looking less cluttered and more organized. My laundry consists of all the clothes just what my husband Donny and I wear, but add workout clothes and my husband’s work clothes, it can get overwhelming at times for me. My husband has a habit of leaving his clothes where he takes them off so I just make it a point a gathering all the clothes every evening.
2. Sorting laundry, yes this is still a necessity and needs to be done to ensure that clothes are properly washed and not accidently damaged. I separate light colors and dark colors with our clothing. I separate out Donny’s work clothes because he is a generator mechanic and his clothes are always dirty with grease, grime, and diesel. Last but not least is bath towels, wash clothes and kitchen towels. These are washed together because all my towels are dark colors and I have no white towels.
3. Laundry detergent and stain remover, these items are very important to ensure clothes are clean and stay clean. Take the time to pre-treat stains and use extra detergent for heavy soiled items. I use less detergent for dress clothes. I have used homemade laundry detergent and purchased detergent, I have front loader machines so lately I have been using purchased detergent for washing. I have found that some detergents are very strong and have cause my skin to become irritated. Here is my personal laundry detergent recipe.
Patricia’s Laundry Detergent recipe
1 Fel-Naptha soap bar – grated
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (yellow box) – not baking soda or detergent
4 cups of warm to hot tap water
½ cup of Borax
½ cup Blue Dawn Dishwashing soap
2-3 drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
As stated above, grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap or Ivory soap. Place grated soap with water in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stirring constantly until it is dissolved. Take a 5-gallon plastic bucket that is clean and fill with 2 ½ gallons of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda, borax, Dawn dishwashing soap and essential oils. Mix well with a wooden rod for at least 50 stirs. Then cover laundry detergent and let sit overnight. In the morning you will get a liquefied detergent. I use ¼ to ½ cup in a load of laundry.
4. My next tip is an important one and it is removing the clothes from the washer when the cycles have completed immediately and put in the dryer or hang outside. If you don’t, your clothes will become stagnant in the washer and start having an odor. I have had to wash the same load several times when I leave them overnight or even all day. The extra cost of laundry detergent, water and electricity are not financially sound. The best thing is to set your complete chime as loud and long as you can to notify you the washer is finished. Also, keep a mental note of when the timer will go off and check. Put clothes in dryer immediately.
5. This is the most difficult tip for me to achieve but I have been working on this in 2016 and have been successful at it. That goal is folding and putting away all the laundry as soon as it is finished drying in the dryer. I have a small table in my utility room with a small hanging rack where I fold my clothes and separate to be either put in drawers or hung up in the closet. I keep extra hangers so I can immediately do this step. Once all laundry is folded, I take to the appropriate room and put away.
After completing these five steps I have the satisfaction of knowing my laundry is all completed and all our clothes are clean and put away.
What is your process for handling laundry? Please share your tips in our comment section.
7 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
I grew up in a household where my parents were frugal. As I grew older and got married, I tried to incorporate frugal tips into my lifestyle to help us save money. I worked full time in a corporate atmosphere, which means I was on the road and at work for 12 plus hours a day earning a paycheck. During the course of our marriage, I succeeded at some of the tips and failed at others. This list is 8 of my top tips that saved us money while not living the fully frugal life.
8. Brown-Bagging Lunches: I did this most of the time while working because I didn’t want to pay $10-15 for a lunch five days a week. I would, most of the time, take leftovers and heat them up in the microwave at work. Other times I would eat sandwiches or make a salad. This tip can add up over the course of just a month, saving $180-$260.
7. Shopping with a Grocery List and By Yourself: This is an important tip because I will usually only purchase the items on my list and save anywhere from $20 to $100 unless my husband comes along and puts what he wants in the shopping cart. I have gone grocery shopping without my list and end up buying items that I do not need or even use just because I didn’t have a plan and purpose. Save money, shop with a grocery list and go by yourself.
6. Dry Cleaning Clothes: I used to spend $20-$50 dollars a week on dry cleaning my business work wardrobe. Included in this were my husband’s Wrangler jeans and shirts. All it took was one time with my budget being stretched to the max and not having funds to take my dry cleaning to be done that I tried washing several of the articles of clothing myself. I used the delicate cycle of my washing machine and just hung them to dry. I realized what a savings this was to our budget, so I gave away or sold several of my clothing items that could not be washed and replaced them with machine washable pieces. Another frugal tip that adds up over time.
5. Late Fees on Bill Payments: When we first were married 17 years ago, the internet was just becoming a household item and there was no online bill pay or even banking. I would pay all our bills the old fashioned way, by U.S. Mail. But I was one who couldn’t remember and incurred late charges. I have forgotten to pay the electric bill and it was disconnected. Yes, I only did it once and it hasn’t happened again. Then along came the internet and bill paying with online banking. This has saved me anywhere from $40–$80 a month because I have all my bills on auto pay. Yes, I routinely look at all my bills/statements online to review my charges and make sure I am not paying unexpected charges. It saves money, but it also gives me peace of mind.
4. Using Cash: I am a strong believer in using cash to pay for purchases. This has helped keep me from purchasing extra stuff knowing I only had “X” amount of dollars for this purchase. I notice using the debit card or credit card that those little extras sneak in on the purchase and can be a budget buster.
3. Home Cooked Meals: I will be the first to say after working 12 plus hours a day, the last thing I wanted to do was come home and cook a meal. Being tired, not having prepared for the meal, we would routinely take the easy route and order out, go through the drive-thru, or have pizza delivered. At $20 a meal ($60 for families), this can quickly add up and break your budget. Kathryn (friend and blog partner) and I prepared a week’s worth of slow cooker meals for each of our household freezers. Take the meal out the night before and let it thaw and the next morning, put it in the slow cooker and let it cook all day. Once home, dinner was done and we could eat and enjoy a home cooked meal. In upcoming blog posts, we will be sharing our recipes and freezer meals.
2. Homemade Laundry Detergent: In the Herman household, laundry is something I do every day and the cost of laundry detergent is high on the name brands that I use. I found several recipes to make my own detergent. I experimented with the recipes and made it for our household use. I will share my recipe in an upcoming blog post.
1. Overdraft Banking Fees: This is the number one frugal tip for the Herman household. No matter how diligent I was about checking our account balance online, we would have overdraft fees. This, over the period of several months, could be very expensive. My frugal tip is to put an extra $1000 in the account and do not ever spend that money. I took the money from our emergency fund and padded our checking account. I never used that amount for my budget. It was always excluded. This tip has saved me so much money that I suggest everyone use it. If you spend any amount of this $1000, immediately replace it when funds are available.
These are just a few of my frugal tips for the not-so-frugal household. They can save money in your budget and do not take a lot of time to implement. As I am unemployed, I am tweaking these tips to get more savings in our budget. I will be adding more tips to our blog posts in the future.
Please share with me some of your frugal tips that are successful in your house.