A while ago I stopped using my dryer and started hanging the clothes on the line to dry. I've said this before but I'm gonna say it again... I really enjoy doing laundry. I know, I know, I'm crazy, right?! Not really. The process of hanging the clothes on the line is soothing and I know that with each load that I am accomplishing something, saving money and restoring order in my home.
We have many nice days here for drying clothes outside but there are times when it's not so nice. And sometimes those not-so-nice days are consecutive. If we have a couple if icky days and it's time to wash Country Boy's uniform for work then I have no choice but to use the dryer... cha-ching. I also found out that the clothes weren't drying on really cold days here because it's too damp. There are also times that I have more clothes than will fit on the line (especially socks; boy, they take up a lot of room!).
I found a really nice handmade drying rack online; much better than any of the cheapo ones I've seen in stores (that is, if you can find them at all) but it was a little pricey for me. I showed it to Country Boy knowing that he could make one similar for me (he's so awesomely handy!). After pondering the design awhile and getting my input, here is my new drying rack...
You can see the clothesline in the background and Precious in the foreground. I can now do all the laundry in one day and on icky days I can bring the rack inside and get at least one load done.
It worked really great; I was quite pleased and am very happy with it! It is also lightweight and folds and unfolds easily AND it was a fraction of the cost to build vs. buying the rack online. This new piece of homesteading equipment makes the cheapskate in me very happy!
Speaking of cheapskate, I just finished reading The Cheapskate Next Door, The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager. What a great read if you're looking to live within or even better, below your means.
Since Country Boy and I willingly chose to become a one-income family, I have become quite the cheapskate (and am proud to say so!) and have made it a point to find ways to not spend so much money, to pay off any debt and to actually put money in savings each pay period. It is not an easy task especially in this day and age of instant gratification and the sheer magnitude of 'stuff' that is available for purchase. And technology? Don't even get me going on all the latest electronic, technological contraptions and devices. One can never keep up with it.
This book is chock full of ways to save money. For example, do you waste money by throwing food out that you think is spoiled because of a date on a package? Here's the scoop on dates from the USDA (straight from the book)...
- A "Sell By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
- A "Best If Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- A "Use By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
The USDA also says that because "Use By" dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates, "even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome, and of good quality - if handled properly and kept at 40 degrees or below."
So there ya' have it. Don't throw your hard earned money away just because of a date on a package. If you notice you are approaching or have even passed the Use By date on the package make it a point to eat that item right away or fairly soon therefore not wasting the money that you spent on the product.
There are lots more ideas on how to be frugal and to save money so if you're interested in taking back your life and would like to live happily below your means, whether that's one income or two, then go to your local library and check this book out; you'll be glad you did!
Meanwhile, I've got some yummy cake to eat up whose Use By date was 1/27/2012. I'm off to make some coffee to go with it.... mmmmm!
Till next time,