Frugality in Photos — Clothesline Magic and The Art of Haggling

by Katy on February 20, 2010 · 8 comments

The Beauty of Line Dried Clothing

Portland, Oregon has been enjoying a bizarrely sunny and warm week, which has startled us Oregonians who are not used to that big bright round thing in the sky. We’ve shed our rain gear and looked for any and all opportunities to enjoy a little outdoor activity. For others, this may mean long bike rides and hiking, for me it means the luxury of line drying my laundry in the bright and sun drenched outdoors.

Ahh . . . .

Although we also air dry our laundry indoors, a load can take up to three days to completely dry, and we simply do not have a large enough wardrobe or backup linens to wait that long. But this unseasonably warm weather has brought back the deliciousness of air dried towels and jeans.

I was hanging a load of laundry on the line this morning, when I noticed a science lesson in the making as the evaporation of water molecules steamed from the blue jeans so neatly clipped on the clothesline. Like a 1970’s Blue Oyster Cult rock concert, I was entranced; and I stood there watching the mystical swirling water molecules wafting up to the sky.

A reminder than when I throw a load of laundry into the electric dryer, I’m paying for evaporation.

I ♥ my clothesline.

The Art of Haggling

My household finally worked its way through a full ream of paper, which is high drama to my sons, as they will often draw for hours.

So my younger son and I walked over to the Fred Meyer grocery store which boasts a few aisles of office supplies. Oddly, someone had opened up every package of paper, and had even torn the thick paper covering from both the reams of recycled paper that I had wanted to buy.

I picked up the package that was least ripped and brought it to the register. I politely pointed out that this item was damaged, but that I still wanted to buy it. The clerk offered 10% off, but I asked if it were possible to get more of a discount. He then called over a supervisor who asked me what I thought would be fair. I suggested a 25% discount, which she happily agreed to. I payed $4.50, which was $1.50 off the $6.00 asking price. The entire transaction took maybe, two minutes, which would equal $45 per hour. ($1.50 for two minutes work, times 30.)

Tax free earnings baby, tax free!

Who says the art of haggling is dead?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

magdalena February 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I am anxiously scanning the backyard to determine when I can get a clothesline hung. There are lots of big trees, and there are two big dogs who could make a mucky mess of fresh-washed clothes! so dogs and clothesline will need separate areas. The clothes wills tay put (most of the time) but dogs sure don’t! And where can I get real clothespegs – not spring clamps?


Brenda February 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Oh, I look forward to those days again! I love hanging clothes on the line at first light with the birds singing in the background.


Mrs. B February 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I am with you Katy…I am outside of Seattle and soaking up this wonderful sunshine while I can. This has been the most wonderful winter that I have seen in awhile. Enjoy your clothesline. I live in an apartment and cannot hang clothes out. I have a couple of portable clothes dryers that I set up in the living room to dry the heavy items…towels, jeans, rugs etc. The rest has to go into the dryer.


Bellen February 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I rack dry my clothes in the guest room – even drying king sheets only takes 24 hours and they are doubled to fit the rack. I have found if I reset the washer to the last spin cycle it removes enough water to make drying easier.
In our community the HOA only allows umbrella dryers in a side yard hidden from view. When eventually our Florida weather gets warm and sunny, my racks will go out on the lanai – acceptable even if full view because its not a clothesline!!


Rebecca February 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I miss line dried clothes, but right now in WI its below freezing and I have over a foot of snow in my back yard, so I will have to wait a few months. We can’t dry clothes inside, our thermostat is set at 61, and nothing dries!


D Ferguson February 21, 2010 at 6:58 am

Back in the day, my mamaw gave us kids the backs of cereal boxes to draw on. These days, I save printouts from baby & bridal registries for my grandkids to draw on.


Shir-El February 21, 2010 at 9:28 am

Get more out of your cordage:
string two lines parallel to each other, about 3 feet apart. Now check which way the wind is blowing and hang the laundry BETWEEN the lines, with around 6 inches between each item and one edge facing into the wind (more or less).
/ / / / / /
You’ll get nearly twice as many pants/t-shirts/towels etc. per line and
you can hang socks/small items between the pegs ;).


Lisa February 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

@Bellen- Thanks for the great idea of using one more spin cycle to aid indoor drying. That being said, I gathered a stray sheet and bathtowel that had been hanging on my outdoor line for several days (ok, I had forgotten them!) this morning. They smelled so good that I actually had to bury my face into them for several minutes before I could fold them and put them away.

As for haggling, I do it whenever it’s possible and practical. Like you said, it’s an easy way of saving big!


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