OK, I know “hang your clothes to dry” is amongst the first five tips on EVERY frugal website, and investing in a piece of equipment to save money in the long run is not on most people’s list of favorite things to do. That said, I am SO GLAD I bought this clothesline. I use it at every opportunity and I noticed a significant dip in my electric bill the first month I used it. I have a family of four and I average three loads of laundry every other day – more when it’s time to wash sheets or if it’s cold and we’re layering up. I work full-time, so I can’t use it every day I do laundry, there just isn’t enough sunlight left in the day when I get home. I use it when I can and don’t beat myself up over it – so there! Now, the first thing you will notice about this clothesline is that it is shaped like an inverted umbrella and is stuck in the umbrella hole in my patio table. WHAT?! Yes, this nifty invention has enough clothesline space for THREE loads of laundry and only takes up the space above the patio table. And when I’m done I just pull it out (it’s not that heavy), collapse it like an umbrella, and replace it with the umbrella that normally lives there. No unsightly clothesline the neighbors might be offended by. It does come with a plastic piece that lets you set it in concrete in the ground with the same “remove and collapse” option – way cool. I like the “over the table” option because I can set my laundry basket on the table and hang everything from that one spot by rotating the clothesline. My Granny would have LOVED this! Got a good tip? Stop by the Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home and share!
One of Aaron’s favorites this week . . . he’s celebrating a big birthday in just a few days and I can’t help pampering him a bit. This time next year I won’t be making his lunches – he’ll be eating them in a dining commons or a dorm room. (Short feeling sorry for myself break here) OK, get a big package of frozen, dehydrated, or refrigerated tortellini stuffed with cheese, chicken, or some combination of the two (I think they all turn out just as well, so I buy whichever’s on sale). Prepare according to package directions, adding two heads of chopped fresh broccoli during the last couple of minutes of cooking time. Drain and return to pot. Toss with your favorite Italian dressing (I used Caesar), coarse ground pepper, kosher salt, and a few leaves of chopped fresh basil. I bought several pots of herbs on clearance a couple of weeks ago just as the garden shops were closing out the perennials and am hoping to keep them alive in a window box in my kitchen over the winter. This is good hot or cold, as a main dish salad or a side dish with a sandwich or soup. With this weather, I think soup’s going to be on the lunch menu for next week. I’d better go hunt up the thermoses.