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And I don’t even have to make my own laundry detergent!

Steven Universe

So I do two loads of laundry pretty much every week. (I could get it down to one, but I change my sheets every week—which is worth it.)

My apartment building has one washing machine and one dryer, both coin-op. The washing machine costs $ 1.75 for a 30-minute wash. The dryer costs $ 1.75 for a 45-minute dry—and I often pull my clothes out before the 45 minutes are up, because they’re dry and I’m impatient.

I’ve used other dryers where you drop in coins based on the amount of time you want your clothes to dry, and if your clothes aren’t dry by the end of the cycle you just toss in another quarter. That’s not how this dryer works; at the end of the cycle you have to commit to another $ 1.75 and 45 minutes, whether or not you need it.

Unless you put in more than $ 1.75 at the beginning.

I’ve been living in this building for 18 months and I just figured this out. It was by accident, too; I put in an eighth quarter, felt it slip past my fingers, and thought OH NO I WASTED A QUARTER I WILL BE DESTITUTE FOREVER.

Then I realized that the extra quarter had added another six minutes to my dry time.

So I added a ninth quarter.

This is how it’s going to work, for the remainder of my time at this apartment building (and/or until my landlord “upgrades” the laundry facilities):

  1. I’ll start my first load of laundry in the washer, at $ 1.75 for 30 minutes.
  2. I’ll put that load in the dryer, at $ 2.25 for 57 minutes.
  3. I’ll immediately start washing my second load, at $ 1.75 for 30 minutes.
  4. When the second load finishes its 30 minutes in the washer, I’ll take the first load out of the dryer (with 27 minutes left on the dryer clock).
  5. I’ll put the second load in the dryer and come back to dry clothes in 27 minutes.

That takes my weekly laundry cost from $ 7 to $ 5.75, at a savings of $ 1.25 per week or $ 65 per year.

I’d say “think of all the things I could do with that extra money,” except I just spent $ 68.07 on new towels this weekend. Which means, in financial terms… it’s a wash.

(I’ll be here all week.)


I Figured Out How to Save $ 1.25 on My Weekly Laundry was originally published in The Billfold on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Billfold – Medium