Monday, April 04, 2005

Laundry Day

Monday's are always laundry day for me. The past two weeks I have been grateful for the sporadically warmer weather so that I can hang my clothes to dry. I have never seen the logic of spending money to heat up the house with the dryer during warmer weather. Quite a few folks hang out their clothes on a line year round, but I tend to need my clothes quicker than they will dry on a line in winter, not to mention that the coldness makes clothes extra stiff. We were without a dryer for a week this winter, and I hung my clothes on racks in the garage, but it still took quite a while for the clothes to dry, and it was a source of embarrassment for my daughter every time the garage door went up, making it possible for neighbors to see our skivies. In days gone by, everyone hung their clothes to dry - for all to see. Thus, the phrase "airing your dirty laundry." I particularly enjoy hanging my clothes now as we are looking for ways to lead a simpler life in order to have more money to share with those in need.

We are in the process of researching our options for cutting corners so that we have more time and money resources to offer. So, I thought I could take this opportunity to list some them here. Not all of them will be practical, and many of them you may already be doing. This is a list that I hope will continue to grow as we become more creative.

  • Hang your clothes out to dry rather than use the dryer.
  • Set your thermostat at 68 or lower during the winter, and 73 during the summer. (A lot of folks can do without A/C, but our allergies make this difficult.)
  • Buy a more fuel efficient car. This is not always practical, but for us, it will be soon after vacation.
  • Buy a smaller home that is closer to work, school, or church. Again, this is not practical for everyone.
  • Ride a bike for short errands. (I'm not here on this one yet!)
  • Plan your menu for the week and eat at home as often as possible.
  • Take your lunch rather than buying it.
  • Eat less meat.
  • Grow a garden. Everyone should be able to do this on some level. Most herbs can be grown in pots indoors. Start small on this and gradually build up to a full scale garden. After all, wouldn't you rather grow than mow?
  • Shop resale, not retail, for clothes. (This will be hard on my daughter.)
  • Plan your shopping trips so that you do not backtrack. With the cost of gas, this is a must.
  • Sell unwanted CD's, movies, and books to a used bookstore. WARNING: This can be dangerous, as we often come home with more books than we sold! :)
  • Cancel your preferred cable or satellite subscription. Do you really want to spend that full 10 years of your life that statistics show we spend in our lifetime watching a box that makes us want to spend more money?
  • Cancel your newspaper subscription if you can read your paper online. If you want the coupons, buy only the Sunday paper or wait until Sunday evening to pick up the papers that businesses discard.
  • Cancel your gym membership and cut your own grass and do your own housework.
  • Don't buy or drink soft drinks.
  • Wait one week or more longer between haircuts.
  • Wash your own car.
Most of suggestions listed above involve doing things yourself, so you may ask, "How does that save me time?" The logic behind this is that you won't have to work so long to pay someone to do the things you can do yourself. While this is a work in progress, we are very open to suggestions; so, feel free to comment or email me.


lottie said...

Hello again!

I'm doing pretty good on the list...we're on post so we actually don't have to pay for electricity...I still hang somethings though...we don't eat a lot of meat...never drink soda...I've always done the family haircuts...

I think what's hard is when you already cut back so much but then you still aren't saving! :) I know we spend a lot of money on our hobbies though...yarn, fabric, cross-stitching supplies &c...I guess I need to work on that?? :P I figure if I stock up now, I will have plenty of things to work with when my husband is out of the Army in 12 years!

God bless!

Calla Lilly said...

That's great to not have to pay for electricity! My daughter will no longer let me come near her with scissors to cut her hair, so I insist that she pay for her own haircuts! I know what you mean about not being able to save, but we are still a work in progress!

Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

This is a great list. Thanks for the suggestions.