Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Laundry Cut Backs!

My power bill has been creeping up and I've made conscious efforts to get it down again. One effort we have made is:
  • Cutting Back on washing clothing from 7 loads to 3 a week.
Cutting back on washing clothing was a longish process. I've been brought up wearing something only once and then washing it. So to break this unsustainable cycle, we started to wear weekend clothes over 2 days and nightwear 5 to 7 days (I'm not talking about underwear here-that is daily). Between the Rambling Expat, Dolly and myself I found that just cutting back on the weekend and nightwear clothing saved us 1 load of laundry. So I extended this to work wear. The Rambling Expat and I try to wear trousers and tops/shirts 2 times a week (we work in air-conditioned offices). This has saved another load.

For the other 2 loads it's been a simple cut back on washing towels and clothes left on the floor/bed. We hang them up to air after our showers (sometimes in the sun). And we make a bigger effort to not put something on for a minute and throwing it down in a rush as this usually just ends up in the laundry pile.
Tackling the Expense of Dirty Laundry.
Being the messy chaotic people we are, this all takes great effort and the establishing of new good habit over bad habits. Our wash days now looks more like this:

  • Saturday: Coloured clothing & 2 towels.
  • Saturday: Black clothing and 1 black towel.
  • Sunday: White clothing, light coloured business shirts and bed sheets.

I may throw in a 4th load which consists of one or more of these items: soft toys, dolls, shower curtain, canvas shoes, floor mats or picnic blankets. But as I do laundry consciously now, anything of 4 loads no longer applies in our house. I'm saving my sanity, precious time, money and planet by eliminating the waste that I was contributing to. However when the humid and hot wet season commences again my loads may go back up from 3 to 5.

Are your bills increasing too? Are you making any conscious decisions in your life to cut back on costs and damage to the environment?


  1. I am not working. But, when I run to the store or to an appointment, I do hang those clothes up and wear again. However, when I got hot, dirty, and stinky from working in the yard, I was throwing those things in the dirty clothes. It occurred to me that I could lay them in the laundry room and wear them back out for another couple of hours of sweatiness.

    Also, I scrounged around for other pairs of ripped or stained pants for outdoor wear/yardwork. By having five or six pair of clothing that was stained or ripped, I did not have to wash clothing after three pair had been worn twice or three times. I hang everything on the line unless it is raining. The dryer is rarely used.

    I also discovered that I can give some items a vinegar rinse instead of the full wash cycle. I put pants in a vinegar rinse after one wearing to refresh the pants. The pants were not dirty, just not fresh. A 1/2 cup or so of vinegar in about a quarter tub of water is good. I usually allow the pants to soak a bit before giving them a rinse. It's just me here, so it is hard to fill the washer with light or dark clothes. The towels and other whites are full loads.

  2. I think we are all making changes in our lifestyle because the price of everything is getting just so depressing! We no longer eat out much. One reason being the cost. We now eat out perhaps once a month. The other reason is that, I find I am becoming a picky eater in tems of the quality of food consumed, and most restaurants only serve mediocre food at best. It is a pet peeve when I have to pay for terrible food. I feel I can cook much better than what is out there, 9 times out of ten.

    We always turn off the thermostat on our AC when we go to bed for the parts of house not occupied. Our home is all electric, so I also find I am trying to use my pressure cooker more than I used to because of energy savings (with the added benefit that I feel cooking thusly retains the flavor of food).

    As for laundry, I am TRYING to make my sons hang the bath towels after use, but that's an uphill battle. They think I run a hotel here! I do wear clothing several times if it passes the smell test, LOL. It is easy to just toss everything in and forget about it, but we do need to watch it, don't we?


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.