How To Green Your Laundry Routine

How to Green Your Laundry Routine and Save Money

Laundry is one of the biggest ways we impact our environment. There are chemicals leached into our water supplies that are potentially damaging, running the machines themselves are often huge drains on our energy resources and the amount that we do each week really can make this all add up. If you are trying to get more eco-friendly, starting with your laundry routine is one of the best ways to make a big impact. Here are some tips for greening your laundry routine.

How to Green Your Laundry Routine

Don’t automatically think you need to replace your appliances. Sure, there are eco-friendly versions out now that use less power, but throwing out your old machine may be damaging as well since it adds to the waste and some of the really old machines contain mercury. If you really want to get an energy efficient model, make sure to donate your working model or sell it to someone who won’t just be trashing it.

Use the weather to your advantage. Before the days of dryers, people hung their laundry to dry. On the warm summer days, do this and you won’t even have to turn on your dryer for most of the season. If you belong to a homeowners association that won’t allow a clothesline (like I do), you can still buy some inexpensive drying racks and dry as much as possible on your back porch or deck. Who doesn’t love how great clothes smell that come off the line?

Start making your own laundry soaps. You can make it with some naturally derived ingredients that are also very low cost to boot! Look for recipes on Pinterest for your best bets. I will be making my own soon (just need to go through what I have now), but you can also try my simple homemade fabric softener recipe!

Stop using dryer sheets. They are wasteful, hard on our environment and full of chemicals! Instead, if it is the scent you are craving, use an old rag, put some essential oil on it and toss it into each load that you dry for a great clean scent! Lavender oil is great for this!

Don’t use hot or warm to wash your clothes. Unless your clothing items are heavily soiled, there really is no need to use the heated water. Cold water washes just fine and as an added bonus, you will see less running of colors as well. This one is a little harder for me since I have 3 kids and they generate plenty of stains, but I will at least stick to only warm water loads. I only do hot water about once a month when I give their socks the “serious treatment”.

Stop doing small loads. Only do a load if it will be full. If not, you are wasting water, soap, electricity and time.

Wash some things by hand. You would be amazed at how clean you can get things when you wash them by hand. Rather than throwing things like greasy shirts, or jeans in the wash, do them by hand. You will find that they hold up better as well. Things like bras and other delicates often need to be hand washed in order to maintain their shape. You will use less water and no electricity if you do things this way!

Stop being so “wash happy”. Most things we wear, other than work clothes, undies and socks, can be worn more than once before needing to be washed. In fact, it is often recommended that you don’t wash things like jeans every time you wear them to make them last longer. So not only will you be doing less laundry, but you will also be saving money by not having to replace things as often.

Do you have any other tips for how to green your laundry routine?

What Not To Buy at Costco

What Not To Buy at Costco

How many times have you walked out of Costco spending WAY more than you intended to spend? If you are honest with yourself, you will say “more than a few times”! It is so easy to overspend at Costco. You walk in to the store just intending to buy a rack of ribs and some muffins and you walk out after spending $300!

If you are getting great deals and can afford to spend the money, then that is fine. However, if you got sucked in by a tasting stand or an impulse buy and ended up spending a fortune…then that is a problem.

As I said in my “What To Buy at Costco” post, we are conditioned to think buying in bulk will save you money but the truth is, Costco is a business too and they need to make a profit. With that in mind, you need to know that some items at Costco just aren’t that great of a deal and you should buy elsewhere!

Now – before you say “I shop at Costco because I don’t want to have to worry about coupons”, let me tell you this: If you simply watch the sales at the grocery stores and stock up whenever there is a good deal and never use a single coupon, you will STILL save money over buying certain items at Costco!

So without further ado, here are the items that you should never buy at Costco:

Soda/pop – while soda prices vary around the country, as a general rule, you should never buy your soda at Costco. I know that, compared to the everyday price of soda in the grocery stores (typically $5 for a 12-pack), Costco prices are pretty good. BUT – you need to keep in mind that soda goes on sale almost every week at grocery stores. During the summer months, I see it as low as $2.25 for a 12-pack, but you can usually get the soda you like (Coke vs. Pepsi) for about $2.50 for a 12-pack about once a month. That is much cheaper than the $10 for a 36-pack at Costco! Simply stock up when it goes on sale and you will save money!

Cereal – even without using coupons, if you just shop the sales and stock up at a good price (not even a great price…just a good price) you will STILL save money on cereal if you take advantage of the drug store and grocery deals!

Breadcheck the sales in your area because you can usually always get bread much cheaper at the stores. The one exception to this is gluten-free bread. I have found that the twin packs of Udi’s gluten-free breads are a fabulous deal at Costco (more on me going Gluten Free coming soon) !

Toiletries- I have shown you time and time again how you can get free-to-almost free deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair care and more at the drug stores.  Some weeks you don’t even need to use coupons to do it.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – this is the protein that we eat the most in my house and I tend to be quite psychotic about it.  If you live near a Wegmans, the price on a similar-sized package is $1.99 per pound every day of the week.  Compare that to the $2.99 per pound price at Costco!  The Costco price is STILL better than the non-sale price at most grocery stores…but just watch the sales at your store because you can often get it cheaper!

Dried Spices – unless you will use up that huge bottle of Oregano within a year, you are better off buying them in smaller quantities.  Dried spices only have a shelf life of about a year and, while they don’t “go bad”, they will lose most of  their flavor after that.  A better solution? Grow your own herb garden in the summer and freeze the herbs to get you through the winter!

Books/CDs/DVDs – it used to be that Costco had much better prices on these items, and for some books, that is still true.  But these days, you will often find better prices on Amazon.com!

Like I said, Costco does have some great prices and there ARE certain things that you should be buying at Costco.  I just want you to be careful and not overpay for others!

Do you have any other products to add to the list?

Grocery Deals Updated | Food Lion, Giant Eagle

grocery store deals

The grocery store store deals and matchups pages have been updated with all the best bargains at Food Lion and Giant Eagle for the new sales!! Make sure that you check out Coupons.com, SmartSource and RedPlum for any printable coupons that you may need! Don’t forget that you can also access all of these deals […]

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Pumpkin Belgian Waffles Recipe

Fluffy Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

Waffles are a favorite in our house…so much so that we will often have them for dinner! Whenever we make waffles (or pancakes, for that matter), I usually end up making a triple or quadruple batch and freeze the leftovers. My kids love to have pancakes or waffles for breakfast before school and by doing […]

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Sunday Coupon Insert Sneak Peek | October 26, 2014

coupon database

There are 3 confirmed Coupon Inserts in the paper this weekend (October 26, 2014)… a SmartSource, a Redplum and a Proctor & Gamble insert. You can check it out on my Coupon Insert Preview page! Don’t forget to stop back Saturday morning for my weekly Coupon Insert Preview post, where I highlight what I think […]

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