How to Save Money on Utilities – NSC Series

How to Save Money on Utilities while Washing Your Clothes

Every once in a while, there’s a glimmer of hope. You know what I mean? You’re stuck in the trenches and fighting to get out, you’re working hard to learn tips and tricks to save money on everything – how to save money on utilities, on cleaning supplies, on food, on water, etc. – and you feel trapped. There’s so much of the world that you are unable to experience because you’re stuck in the depths of this debt that is consuming.

Yet every once and a while, there’s this little, tiny, microscopic glimmer of hope that can pull you out. Today, I experienced one of these glimmers in the form of a house for sale. Now, I know what you are thinking – with almost $200,000 in debt it makes ZERO sense to purchase a home. I also know that for my job I need to remain in the home provided here on the property. Beyond that, I know that we should start by renting until we pay off debt and that’s next to impossible since no one allows pets – and there’s no way we’re giving up Sofi.

But still – it was there – this glimmer of hope. We looked at this house, my wife and I, and took it all in. The beautiful kitchen that was like every kitchen we had ever dreamed of with dark, espresso cabinets, a bar and island area, tons of light, a window seat, hardwood floors. It was gorgeous. There were enough cabinets for all of the food we could need to store *and* all of our dishes without having to store half of them in the dining room, another portion in the hall closet, and the rest in boxes in our storage area.

The bedrooms were big and perfect – not too many, but just enough. They had trim and closet space – no more sheets hung on the wall to create a make-shift storage area. The master bathroom had a double sink and a shower that was so much nicer than our moldy, two-by-two foot enclosed space.

A big basement would mean that we would no longer have to run outside and down the hill in the case of storms and a garage would mean that the mice would be less likely to eat out the inside of our car like they have been doing all year. The yard is spacious and would give Sofi plenty of room to run without having to worry about her interfering with programming.

To top it off, it’s in a perfect neighborhood. A neighborhood that we had dreamed of living in for years, but never expected to find a house this cheap in (well, cheap for the area). And it’s less than three blocks away from my wife’s work, which means she could walk to work on nice days and enjoy the weather.

I’ll just say it: this house is perfect. It’s exactly what we want, but we know that we can’t get it at this point in our lives.

Even so, the house gave us hope. We started to think about our future and what it would be like to own our home – to have a place that we could truly call ours. I love my job, as you all know, but it is hard to live where you work – you can never truly take time off and stay at home. There was hope that we could live the way we want to and feel, hopefully, free.

This hope reminds us that we need to work even harder to get out of this place where we feel trapped. It will probably take 5-10 years to escape from the grips of this debt, but when we do – a house like that may not be out of the picture. There’s hope for us. Until then, we’ll use all the tricks we can to save money. So, for today, I’ll show you guys how to save money on utilities.

How to Save Money on Utilities

If you are new to our NSC Series, start here!
-If not, you can skip this section-

As some of you may know, we are in the midst of our first ever No Spend Challenge (NSC) which started January 1.

The short story is that my wife and I racked up a ton of debt (read how HERE) and want to pay it off as quickly as possible so that we can live our dream lives (read about our goals HERE). This challenge will help us learn about living frugal, saving money, and paying off our debt faster.

Visit our post, Frugal Living at its Finest: the No Spend Challenge, to view why we are doing the challenge, what the challenge entails, and the rules.

The hardest thing about budgeting and frugal living is doing it alone and that’s why we want to invite you all to join us on our NSC. Sign up below to opt-in to our email community, filled with exclusive tips and tricks for saving money to survive living frugal during your NSC month.

Follow our rules or make your own! Join for one week or the entire month! We know that not everyone is in the same situation we are in. Stick with the No Spend Challenge for as much or as little as you are able in your situation and don’t be afraid to hop on after the starting date (it’s never too late to join in on the fun!).

We’ll be taking the challenge right alongside you – with daily blog posts, encouragements, and exclusive email information and communication: this will be the single, greatest choice you make to jump start the New Year.

How to Save Money on Utilities

So, how did we learn how to save money on utilities? Well, it all started when we first moved into our home at my workplace. We were doing laundry in the little shelter down the hill from us. Not a bad little hike, a little worse with a laundry basket, but super manageable. The only problem? In the winter, the water was shut off to that little laundry location. So, we had to drive to the other side of the property and use the kitchen’s washer and dryer in the winter. Also, not a huge deal, but kind of an inconvenience or annoyance.

Anyway, we told one of my friends about this and she suggested that we buy an apartment, mini-washer and dryer. Well, we had absolutely no idea that those even existed. We were beyond excited to see what this meant for us – could we do laundry in our house? That never has happened!

We checked it out and found this great little beast on Walmart, though it’s cheaper now on Amazon (so I’d go there if I were you). Use this link to check out the one that we bought: Haier HLP24E 1.5 cu. ft. Portable Washer with Stainless Steel Drum and Pulsator Wash System

Now, I know what you’re thinking: $350 is a lot of money if you don’t have it lying around. In fact, it’s a lot even if you do have it lying around. Back then, my wife and I were sort of… sporadic buyers. We would feel like we needed something and then simply go out and get it. We had the money because we weren’t worried about loans, so we just did what we wanted. Man, I wish I had learned way back when that putting money toward loans even in deferment is a good plan…

Anywho, we bought this washer (and a dryer, but I don’t recommend purchasing a dryer if you are trying to save money). And we set it up excitedly and started using it. It only takes half loads, but can fit a TON of clothes in it and they still all get clean. One of the best parts? It runs off a regular outlet and a sink.  Easy to set up – just plug it in to the wall in the bathroom, connect the water hose to the sink, turn the sink on and start the washer – that’s it!

Here’s the washer if you want to check it out – I promise it’s worth it (or I wouldn’t share it with you):

Then we started thinking about our laundry use. We didn’t pay utilities, but we know we are saving a ton of water by utilizing this machine instead of a big washer. So, we started to think about it and realized that this could be one of the best tips we have learned about how to save money on utilities.


Not only do we save a ton on water, but we also save a ton by hanging our clothes to dry. You see, we didn’t have a way to vent the dryer that we bought so we just started hanging our clothes around our bedroom. After a day or two, they’re completely dry!

So, by purchasing this washer – we save a ton of money on both water and electricity each year – it’s a great way to learn how to save money on utilities, isn’t it?

Anyway, if you are learning how to live a frugal lifestyle, I guarantee that you will adore this little Haier washer like we do. It’s one of our favorite purchases by far. Don’t believe me? Check out the review on Amazon for yourself!

How to Save Money on Utilities while Washing and Drying Your Clothes

How to Save Money on Utilities & Day 7 of the Challenge

It’s day seven today of the No Spend Challenge – so I certainly recommend that you remember this how to save money on utilities lesson, but act on the purchasing after Feb 1 if you are taking the challenge with us. If you’re not, then go ahead and take advantage of the lesson today!

In either case, here’s today’s quote by one of my favorite spoken-word poets, Andrea Gibson.

Quote - Day 7

“I have been told sometimes, the most healing thing to do- is remind ourselves over and over: ‘Other people feel this too.'” – Andrea Gibson

I know it may seem strange, but remind yourself as you walk through this No Spend Challenge, the burdens of debt, the struggles of life – there are other people who feel this too. You are not the only one who cannot afford rent this month, who is worried about the next car payment, who is waiting so impatiently to have a baby, or who wants to purchase that new house, but can’t.

Keep reminding yourself that there are others out there in the same situation who just need support and companionship. And that that’s why we are here – join in on the community by signing up for our e-newsletter above.

What is your biggest struggle today and where can you find a glimmer of hope?

Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.


9 Replies to “How to Save Money on Utilities – NSC Series”

  1. I am keeping one day (Saturday) for shop per week: the other days we spend nothing. It was difficult for the beginning, but after several weeks it started to be a habit. Sometimes we are not respecting because we promised one icecream to our child, Friday – but I am not buying.

    For clothes, the big commercial laundries are perfect: I was going there once per week, I start 2 washing machines, and dry everything after. Then the closest public laundry closed and without a personal car it is difficult to move with all the clothes ( we have a child) far away so we bought the cheapest washing machine at home (no name). I use cheap liquid detergent bought at offers, I use less than their recommendation, I use vinegar, and dry outside.
    I plan to wash Friday evening and Saturday , to have time to dry everything until Sunday evening.
    I bought/made pants, t shirts, socks etc. enough for 8 days, so I need to wash weekly. ( some pullover we are using 2 times).
    Some clothes I wash just with water – if there are not really dirty.
    Dry outside when is freezing is disinfecting – thing at this.

    1. This is great advice! I love the idea of saving one day per week for shopping. This way, you are saving a ton of money by not making random trips to the store! Great thinking! Also, it’s awesome that you are able to make some of your own clothing and just wash once per week. 🙂 Thank you for the comment! I always love hearing from you.

      1. With a little management I am saving a lot of time, not only money, so I have more time to spend with my girl, to do some sports or gym at home, to get a walk and read and learn a new language etc.
        I don’t know how are you, but before, I was spending… 2 -3 times per week every time 2-3 hours to go to supermarket (with dressing, walk to/back, store the products, get out the trash with plastics and cardboards etc).
        Thanks for the compliment, I am still learning from your articles and from people that are commenting …

        1. I’m so glad. I think your comments really add a lot to our conversation here on how we are all learning to live better and I love reading them 🙂 I’m so happy that you’re learning how to manage your time to get more time with your little one. How old is she? 🙂 We’ll keep working at this together!

  2. Ah, I had heard that these existed but this is the first time I’ve seen a specific product. It sounds like it’s working well for you! I will have to keep it in mind for someday when I have a slightly larger bathroom (my bathroom can barely fit a person in it, let alone a large appliance). :/

    1. That certainly does make it harder, Sarah! I know there are rollers you can put it on to take it in and out, but it sounds like your bathroom is pretty tiny. Definitely something to keep in mind for the future though! Thank you for commenting!

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