Quick! What’s missing in this picture? If you guessed dirty laundry, wrong. That’s in a pile at my feet.
Dryer, anyone? Yes. But not just any dryer. An extra large capacity high-efficiency front load dryer on a pedastal, please. Matching set? Oh, even better.
We included our front load set in the sale of our last home. That left us with a big open space in the laundry room of our new home. My husband and I halfheartedly shopped around, but neither of us was interested in getting our credit dirty just to get our laundry clean. It had to be cash and cheap.
On our third trip to a Sears Outlet, where stock changes constantly, we decided to run through the Salvation Army next door. They were having one of their 50% off sales, and I thought I might find a pair of boots for my son. We split kids and headed off to explore in different directions.
I was happily wandering through the clothing racks when my husband found me, “Guess what? They have a washing machine that looks like it’s in pretty good shape. At half off, it’d be just 30 bucks!”
I looked at him blankly. Why is this strange man talking to me? Who buys washing machines from thrift stores? I’m almost positive I told him I wanted a front loader.
“What do you think? Em, say something!” Clearly my husband was eager to get back to his bargain machine before someone else snapped it up.
So I said the first thing that popped into my head, “I’m speechless. Just let me think.” I did some quick mental math and decided that our checking account would be much happier with a $30 charge than a $1,500 one. I was tired of signing papers and spending money.
“Ok, let’s go for it.” I was being agreeable! I was being frugal! I was making my even-more-frugal husband a happy man! We didn’t actually know if the thing worked, but with a brand name like “Estate,” how could you go wrong? And at $30, we weren’t exactly gambling with the kids’ college funds.
After two weeks of getting to know one another, I can confidently say this: the Estate takes its job seriously. In fact, the first time I fired it up, my daughter raced out of her bedroom during naptime to ask what was wrong with the house. So it rumbles and shakes a little? It works, and for that, I am thankful. Even if our clothes now come out wrung within an inch of their lives, our fleece jackets collect the lint like a sponge, and my son’s train shirt is sporting a pink sleeve. You know what? For $30 I can live with that.
In fact, we decided we would live with the cheap washing machine and line dry our clothes outside (or inside on drying racks) through the summer. We’ve set September as our goal and plan to pay cash for a better set. If all else fails, I suppose we could buy a cheap dryer to make the set complete!
Because if I have learned anything on this frugal journey, it is that it usually takes patience and creativity and a sense of humor to make it work well. Delayed gratification is still gratifying.
A noisy washing machine? At least it gets the clothes clean.
Leave a comment! What big purchases have you saved up to pay for with cash? Does the patience and flexibilty of being frugal come hard or easy for you?
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