Hang it Out to Dry

At the DP household we like saving money.  That’s pretty much what I pride myself in:  finding new ways to do things that could save us a couple bucks.  I’d read in several places that an easy way to save money on your electric bill is to use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer, at least when the weather is nice.  Since we have a good-sized yard and places to hook up a clothesline I thought this would be a fun, simple, and cheap project.  Luckily, I was right!

We went to our local hardware store and bought two very simple clothesline pulleys, like this:

These cost about $5 each.

We got 100ft of clothesline (which was plenty for our needs, but we had to make sure, of course).  This cost us another $3 (approx.).

Then we grabbed ourselves a clothesline tensioner.  That is this creature:

Beard tells me this is invaluable.  It maintains the tension of the line and just makes the pulleys function better.  This little thing set us back another $4.

Finally, in order properly use a clothesline, we had to buy clothespins and a clothespin bag.  We found a bag of 50 clothespins and a bag for $1 each at Dollar General.  (I bought two bags of clothespins, though, because I have this horrible fear of starting to hang clothes and not being able to finish because I run out of clothespins.)

This whole project set us back approximately $30.  Not really a ton in the grand scheme of things.

How hard was it to set up?

Not at all!  Each pulley came with a screw hook like this:

Beard screwed one of the screw hooks into a wooden beam on the front of our shed and the other to the top rail of our back deck.  He simply fixed each pulley to each screw hook, then strung the clothesline around the two pulleys.  He pulled one end through the tensioner (those are fairly self-explanatory and most come with some instructions), then he tied the two ends together.

We now have a cool, old-fashioned clothesline.

Our electric bill for last month’s usage was around $85, which included some air conditioning usage (we had quite a few days in the high 80’s and 90’s last month).  This month I’m interested to see just how much of a difference not using the clothes dryer every day can make in our electric bill.  I’ll be sure to update when we get the bill for this month’s usage.

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