Clever Ways to Cut Down Your Laundry Bills and Help the Environment

Guest post by Vanessa Miller

When it comes to being frugal and eco-friendly, many people may not realize the amount of laundry that they do can have a significant impact on their expenses and their energy-consumption. The average size household will do at least 7 loads of laundry per week, which totals around 400  loads of laundry per year. A load of laundry can use 20-40 gallons of water meaning a year’s worth of laundry will use 16,000 gallons of water.

That is not to mention the amount of electricity that will be used to wash and dry 400 loads of clothes, towels, and blankets.

When you are looking for ways to save money and reduce your family’s carbon footprint, the laundry room and your washer dryer is the perfect place to start.

Pro Tip 1: Wash in Cold Water

By washing your clothes in cold water, you can cut the amount of electricity you use by more than half! The average load of laundry washed in hot or warm water, uses 4.5kWh of electricity (about $0.68 per load-$265/year) whereas a load washed in cold water uses a mere 0.3kWh ($.04 per load- $16/year). [Source]

Pro Tip 2: Use Other Drying Methods

The clothes dryer is a major culprit in raising electric bills. Any item that generates heat uses more electricity to operate. Use a clothesline to dry your clothes or hang them from hangers on the shower rod in the bathroom. Clothes will take longer to dry; however, you will save a great deal of money on your energy bill.

Pro Tip 3: Avoid Expensive Detergents

Yes, expensive detergents smell great and will leave you with the impression that your laundry is clean because of the way it smells. However, cheaper, economy-sized laundry detergents contain the same basic ingredients and will work just as well.

For half the price, you can purchase larger containers of laundry detergent and your clothes will be just as clean. Furthermore, there will be less packaging to recycle or toss out. You can also choose eco-friendly detergents. Environmentally-friendly ingredients to look for include grain alcohol, coconut plant oils, rosemary and sage.

Pro Tip 4: Top Load Versus the Front Loading Washer

If you are still using the outdated washing machine that you bought ten years ago, chances are you are wasting a lot of water. The average top load washer uses almost 40 gallons for one single load of clothes. A front-load washer only uses about 20 gallons per load.

Upgrading to a new washer can dramatically reduce the amount of water that you use in your home and is an eco-friendly choice.

Pro Tip 5: If It’s Not Dirty, Don’t Wash It!

Okay, this does not mean that you and your family should wear dirty clothes just because you are trying to reduce the amount of money you spend on laundry. Just make sure that you are not washing clothes that are not dirty. If you wear your nice dress slacks for an hour and then change, they most likely will be fine to fold up and put back in the drawer.

Some other tips to try:

-          Cut your dryer sheets in half (or omit them altogether). This way you can cut these dryer sheet costs by half!

-          Dilute your laundry detergent. By keeping an extra detergent bottle aside, you can fill it half way with detergent and the other half with water.

-          Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. ¼ cup of fabric softener (for big loads) saves money and does just the trick.
By paying a bit more attention to how, and when, you do your laundry, it will be completely possible for you to save hundreds of dollars each year.

This will help reduce the impact that your family has on the environment by cutting water and energy usage as well. Everyone likes to have clean clothes to wear, but this should not come at such an expensive cost and it really does not have to.

Molly Saves While Keeping Healthy and Fit

Ready … set … go for health!

Molly greets the new year with tips for frugal fitness!


Want to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle this year? This Money-Saving Digest features recipes, workouts, and other tips for the journey to fitness, whether you’re just starting out or have reached your goal and want to maintain it. But the Digest doesn’t stop there. You’ll find plenty of other advice to help you get the most out of your money and your time.

  • Break out of the winter doldrums with our flavorful Meal of the Month.
  • Teach your kids how to keep track of their money.
  • Keep your lips luscious this winter with homemade remedies.
  • Find out about a financial book that will inspire you.
  • Learn how to stretch the time between grocery shopping trips.

This issue’s special feature is:
Molly Saves! While Keeping Healthy and Fit

You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to make your way to better health. Making small changes in your everyday habits and using items you have around the house can give you a frugal fresh start toward fitness. You’re busy with your family and your work, whether inside or outside the home, but making time for health is one of the most important things you can do for the people you love. This month’s Digest gives you a head-start on the road to a healthier body.

  • Find out everything you need to know about smoothies.
  • Learn where to look for frugal and fit recipes on the web.
  • Download patterns for making your own exercise clothes.
  • Let Eleanor Joyce inspire you to make some simple changes this year.
  • Discover some small ways to increase your activity every day.
  • Short on time? You can squeeze in this 12-minute workout.
  • Start a healthy new habit this month.
  • Get some great ideas for sneaking vegetables into your family’s food.

Take a closer look at all the impressive features you’ll find in this issue of Money-Saving Digest:

  • This ’n’ That: Make time for your favorite hobby in January, National Hobby Month. And there are plenty of foods to celebrate this month, from hot tea to chocolate cake to popcorn.
  • Begin With the Basics: Smoothies are a quick, easy meal replacement or snack, and when you make them with healthy ingredients, they can contribute to your family’s fitness as well.
  • Forms, Printables, & Links: The Internet has lots of good ideas for healthy food and inexpensive exercising. Print out an exercise log and food diary to help you track your progress. Hang on to more of your money by forgoing shopping and making your own exercise clothes with free online patterns.
  • Décor & More: Eleanor Joyce concentrates this month on remodeling our bodies rather than our homes. Get her simple but effective tips for improving your health this year—and she couldn’t resist pointing you to some cute, related projects as well.
  • Meal of the Month: KerryAnn Foster spices up January with a recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Dijon, along with blondies for dessert that have a healthy secret weapon no one will ever know is in there.
  • Molly Saves! While Keeping Healthy and Fit: Take a look at your normal, everyday habits to see where you can add in some activity and opportunities to move, from parking further from the entrance to doing without some modern conveniences.
  • Tightwad Training Camp: Teach your children how to respectfully handle their money and how to keep track of it. We have tips for all age groups, from younger kids to teens.
  • Something Old, Something New: Guest columnist Claire Wolf takes away perhaps the No. 1 excuse for not exercising: putting in the time. She offers up a 12-minute workout using “equipment” you probably have right this minute in your laundry room.
  • Here’s to Your Health: Get some advice on how to make your resolution stick this time. Don’t give yourself an out!
  • You’re a Natural Beauty: Wintertime is tough on lips, but no matter how chapped, yours aren’t beyond repair. We have tips for rejuvenating dry lips and keeping them that way with homemade lip balm.
  • Molly Recommends: Draw from the simple financial wisdom of the Amish in this month’s recommended book, along with inspirational stories of how that wisdom has paid off.
  • Change One Thing This Month: Get organized with the food you already have on hand and see how far you can stretch it. With inventories and purposeful cooking, it may be a long time before you need to go on a big shopping trip.
  • Inspiration! Don’t tell the kids, but there are vegetables in their favorite foods! If you have finicky eaters, you’re going to love all of these ideas to help you sneak in the healthy stuff.
  • Directory of Links: For those of you who print and bind your Digests, you’ll have easy access to all of the fantastic links worth saving in the back of this issue. It makes your Digest easier to use!

See why homemakers love Molly’s Money-Saving Digest—see what’s inside!

Click here to view a sample.

Molly has a wealth of information and support to share in one easy-to-read, handy resource! Discover for yourself all of the exciting and imaginative ideas Molly has to offer and wants to share with you—ideas that could save you big money and needless headaches!

You’ll glean some of the best inexpensive ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find, and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful too.

Molly makes it fun and easier to be frugal! Think about it—with so much to learn and save, if you apply just one money-saving idea, you’ll recoup the cost of this E-Book right away!

Project Manager: Toni Riggs
Contributing Writers: Dena Wood, Eleanor Joyce, Toni Riggs, Patricia Hunter, KerryAnn Foster, Lori Boling, Claire Wolf, Jennifer Miller,Julie Coney, Kristen Hamilton, and Wendy Hilton
Publication: 2012
Pages: 47
File Size: 3.6 MB

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