If you're anything like me you hate doing laundry. Even more annoying than the time it takes to sit through each cycle before sorting and folding your clothes is thinking about all the money you're spending each time you do a load. Rather than resorting to washing your clothes in a big metal tub, there are a few practical tips you can implement to help save money on your laundry expenses. Even small adjustments to your routine can make a big difference to your laundry room's bottom line.

1. Always use cold water

Every washing machine has at least three temperature settings, but if you're looking to save as much money as possible in the laundry room, your dial should stay parked on "cold" at all times. There are vocal opinions that whites don't get as white in cold water and the like, but having to tap your water heater to do a load of laundry makes the associated expense of each load shoot up dramatically.

If you're concerned with the cleaning power of cold water, ultimately you're battling the wisdom of an old wives tale. Still, there are plenty of products available today that are engineered to work best with cold water. You can even use detergent additives if you're bent on getting the best results.

2. Never do a small load

This is a crucial point. I agree, it's definitely more convenient to throw a handful of garments in the washing machine at a time – it definitely cuts down on folding time – but small loads are energy abusers. No matter what, your washing machine uses the same amount of energy every time it is turned on. Bang for buck, washing 50 garments at once is far more efficient than washing just 5.

The next time your favorite shirt is in the hamper with just three other garments, exercise some self-control and pick out another outfit. Your wallet with thank you at the end of the month!

3. The value of air-dry

It can definitely be said that using an electric dryer is inescapable at times, but there are also many times when another solution is just as effective to dry a load of laundry. Particularly during the warmer months, clothes lines are a great way to cut down on your energy costs. For just a few dollars you can string up a line that will allow your clothes to dry nearly as quickly, for free! Plus, your clothes will enjoy a natural de-wrinkling process blowing in the wind for a couple hours.

Air-drying can also work in the winter if you use a drying rack in your home, though drying times could be longer. Either way, if you have the opportunity to leave the dryer off, you'll be taking a giant leap toward decreasing the energy consumed by a load of laundry.

Try one, try all! You're sure to see your expenses fall!

In all seriousness, being mindful of the amount of energy you're using each time you do a load of laundry can help you reel in your expenditures. Try out a few of these tips and see just how much you can save!

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