Save Money On Laundry
From a reader:
I didn’t even realize how much laundry I was doing until we started having drain problems. We live in a rural area and the closest town with a laundromat is 45 minutes away. Using a laundromat is not really a feasible option every week, so I purchased a washboard and wringer and had at it. That’s when I really noticed how many clothes my 2 teenage boys were going through every week. So I put rules in place as far as laundry goes. Jeans or shorts need to be worn at least 3 times unless they are very obviously dirty. Shirts must be worn at least 2 times. I have been doing laundry by hand since probably August or September, and it has begun to actually seem like a sort of therapy for me. And just my 2 cents, I think our clothes are much cleaner this way, especially socks!!
I really liked this post! It reminded me of a story of an aunt who took her niece out of town to visit some friends of theirs. The second day they were there, the aunt decided to help out by doing the laundry for the mom so she had everyone bring their dirty laundry to the laundry room. When her niece arrived, she had about 4 times as much laundry as the others. There were 3 pairs of jeans, 6 tops and 3 pairs of pajamas among other things – and they had only been there 2 days and 3 nights. The aunt pretty much said the same thing to her that you told your boys.
A couple of years earlier, the niece’s mom had gotten so tired of washing so much laundry that she told each member of the family they had to do their own. (The mom herself had taught them that they had to wear a clean pair of jeans and pajamas every day but then complained about having so much laundry.) She showed them how to put the clothes in the washer, add the soap and start it.
What she didn’t teach them was how to sort the clothes, remove stains and keep the clothes from wrinkling. This is pretty much like giving your child a box of macaroni, a pan and a spoon and saying, “Now cook it and feed yourself.” I am daily amazed at how many parents don’t bother to take the time to teach their children basic skills in so many areas. God gave us those children for about 20 years and He did that not just so that we would care for them but so that we would teach them. Showing kids how to perform a task once is not going to get it. God knew that, which is why He gave us 20 years to do it and not just 10.
But the main point I want to make is that the niece’s mom was one who always bemoaned the fact they never had any money and had no place else where they could cut back. By teaching your children only how to put things into a washing machine without teaching them to be careful about how much laundry they make, you could spend lots more money a year on laundry detergent, hot water and wear and tear on washing machines and clothes, not to mention electricity for the dryer.
Most of the time, when kids wash laundry on their own, you don’t have a clue about how much they’re washing or how they are doing it if you haven’t spent a good deal of time training them. A child may decide she wants a top for school the next day so she tosses in 3 tops and 1 pair of pants and, after washing them, runs the dryer for a full cycle to dry them instead of doing a full load.
Why do I bother to mention things like this? Well, there is a verse in the Bible that says it is the “little foxes” that spoil the vine. We often focus on the big things in our lives that we believe are causing our money worries like the car breaking down, the refrigerator dying and other “large” things like that but we often let all the “little” money wasters in our lives slide, not realizing how much they are adding up.
Make sure you aren’t just showing your kids how to do things but that you’re training them to do things. Training means repeatedly showing them how to do it and then supervising for as long as it takes until they get it right.
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