East Bay Momma

A Frugal Momma Providing a Rich Childhood

Frugality Needs to Work With Your Life to Truly be Frugal

I try a lot of frugal tactics and have learned the hard way that some just don’t work out well. Take for example my recent idea to hang clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer. Well, we found a collapsible/removable drying “tree” for the backyard at Home Depot on sale for $19 and it included clothes pins. The hubby spent time digging a hole and installing it. We both felt pretty frugal and pretty proud at the conclusion of our project.

I did the first load. It happened to be a load of sheets and towels. The clothesline method worked well for the sheets. They felt airy and wonderful. However, the air dried towels felt pretty stiff and not cuddly. I made a mental note that we may now need to atart using fabric softener (notably, an expense we have never has before and potentially another opportunity to expose our skin to more chemicals which isn’t exactly thrilling).

I soldiered on with load two and here is where this frugal experiment went bust. It was a load of whites. As soon as the washer signaled it was done I brought the clothes outside to hang them up. That’s when I realized the great downfall of line drying: you have to iron. I had not realized that dryers take away a lot of the wrinkles that occur from the wash cycle. Well, this realization ended the experiment.

Frugality is about saving money but it is also about finding sustainable solutions for your life so that the cost savings add up over the long haul. The added time to carry clothes up and down the stairs from the laundry area to the outside, the time it takes to get the drying “tree” out of the shed and hang all the clothes and then finally the time (and electricity) it would take to iron pieces of clothing I normally wouldn’t have to iron sealed the deal: we will continue using our dryer.

The experiment and the $19 drying “tree” purchase wasn’t a total loss though. A few days later I used the “tree” to dry sleeping bags before our camping trip and I will probably continue to use it for sheets and blankets.


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