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Thrifty Thursdays: Laundry Series - Foil Balls

Shelf Reliance Mom: Thrifty Thursdays: Laundry Series - Foil Balls

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursdays: Laundry Series - Foil Balls

This is what happened when I didn't do laundry
 for 5 days... not recommended!
Laundry is a part of everyday life.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "There are two things you can count on in life, death and taxes."  Don't you think he should have answered laundry to the list?  Of course if he did that, he would've had to add dishes... oh well.

I feel like if I don't do at least 1-2 loads a day, it stacks up super quickly...of course I have 7 people in my house so you may not have that same dilemma. With doing that many loads of laundry, we go through a lot of laundry soap, softener, dryer sheets and of course electricity.

This month, in hopes of reaching someone else out there who is struggling with the same problems, we are having March's Thrifty Thursdays focus on the greener, cheaper aspect of laundering.  There is also the added plus of zero fragrance for those of you who are allergic to all of the chemicals that are in the dryer sheets.

Who doesn't want to save a penny or two, right?!  Plus, if you cut out some of the pricier cleaners, it leaves more room for preps, if you are already living on a tight budget.

Step 1: Cut a 2 foot length of aluminum foil.
Step 2: Crumple that foil into a ball.
Step 3: Repeat two more times to create 3 balls.
Step 3: Throw your wet clothes in the dryer as usual and add the foil balls with it.
Step 4: Enjoy static free laundry laundry without the harmful chemicals or large price tag.

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Tips & Effectiveness:
From my experience, you can use these same balls for quite awhile.  Many sites say that they use theirs for about 1 week, but this blog even talks about using the same one for over 6 months.  After they begin to loose effectiveness, however, you don't need to toss the balls, simply cut a smaller piece of aluminum foil and wrap it to the outside of the balls.  As you may guess, they will grow larger over time, so according to eHow once they get to about 4 inches in diameter, you'll want to go ahead and toss them.

Some people worry about the sharper edges of the aluminum foil tearing their clothing, but as you can see, after they go through a load, they get rounded into nice, smooth balls.  If you are concerned, try using them with a load of towels as this blogger did when testing out the experiment.

Cost Analysis:
Is this really cheaper?  Let's do the math.

Dryer Sheets
Depending on where you live and the brand type you use, the dryer sheets tend to be around $10 for 200 sheets.  That means dryer sheets tend to be about .05 a piece.

At Costco you get 250 sheets for the same $10 pricetag bringing the cost to .04 a piece.

I do about 12 loads of laundry a week, somtimes more (I know, that sounds terrible, huh?!).  With 52 weeks in the year, that means that I will spend $25 a year at Costco or around $31 if I'm purchasing the dryer sheets at Walmart.


Aluminum Foil Balls I buy my aluminum foil at Costco because I cook alot, but I know that not everyone buys in bulk so I tried to go for what I thought was a fair size. To buy a 200' at Walmart depending on the brand it's about 6.50-8 so I'm going to use $7 to keep my numbers fair.

Even if I threw the balls away every week (which I won't because I will just recover them each week with a little foil so they last longer.  That $7 foil will last me for 33 weeks, so using the recover method, it will easily last me the full year. $7 for a year!

For those of you who do buy in bulk, the Kirkland brand is 1000' for $24. Doing the same calculation as if you threw the balls away each week, you would be able to use the same container for 167 weeks or when using the recover method, I'm sure that number would get extended to about 275.  This would be 5 1/4 years. $25 for for 5 1/4 years of aluminum dryer balls.... where can I sign up for that?!  In case you were curious on the price, that comes out to about $4.75/year.

For anyone saying, big whoop, you're saving $20 over the course of the year, I say, yes!
This is such a small, easy, healthy change. Why not?  Aaaannnnnndddd... I am hoping that once you start adopting multiple Thrifty Thursday savings ideas, you will set that money aside and realize, "I do have money for preps!"

Thanks for stopping by!

Question of the Day:
What green tip have you tried that you feel has either helped save your family money or made your home a healthier place?

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