Washing dishes is not something I particularly enjoy doing. Actually, it’s probably my least favorite household chore.
Unfortunately though, I like to eat and my family likes to eat, which means I do have to cook at least occasionally. 🙂 Plus cooking and eating at home is much healthier and cheaper than eating out.
Of course, cooking means I will have dishes to wash because I don’t happen to be blessed with enough money to hire someone to do them for me. Yes – I have actually thoughts about doing this. 🙂
Granted, it doesn’t cost a lot to wash your dishes no matter what method you use, but if you are trying to be more frugal, you look for ways to cut expenses where ever you can. So when I was washing dishes the other day, I thought of some ways you can save money on this household chore.
Scrape Your Dishes
A lot of people already scrape their dishes to make it easier to wash them, but my suggestion is to scrape your dishes over the trash can instead of the disposal, and to do so before the food gets dried on. Better yet, you can turn some of those scraps into compost for your garden. But they point is, you shouldn’t scrape them into the sink and turn on the water and disposal if you can help it.
You should also avoid pre-rinsing them under running water. If you must pre-rinse your dishes, do it in a bowl or shallow tub instead. This will save you money on water as well as the energy it takes to run the disposal each month.
Use an Energy Efficient Dishwasher
Some research shows that hand washing your dishes is cheaper, and other research shows using a dishwasher is cheaper. If you are confused, do what I do: Use both.
I don’t get too stressed about the numbers for either one. I just try to save money as much as possible on each method.
I use the dishwasher for normal plates, glasses, and silverware as well as plastic storage containers and a few other small items. But my dishwasher is a high efficiency one that I opted for in my kitchen upgrade and I wait until it’s full before I run it, which saves both water and energy. Then I hand wash any delicate or crystal dishes (crystal will crack and possibly even shatter under high heat in the dishwasher) as well as large pots and pans, using the other money saving tips in this article.
Collect Your Water
Most people turn the tap on and let the water run until it warms up before filling the sink and adding soap to begin washing. I used to be guilty of this one too. But instead of letting all of that cold water run down the drain, collect it in an old, rinsed out milk jug, or other container, and pour it into the back of your toilet after you flush, or use it to water plants. This will save you several gallons of water and reduce your water bill a little bit each month.
Use a Plastic Tub
When you hand wash dishes, put a plastic tub in the sink and fill it part way with sudsy water instead of washing them directly in the sink. The smaller container requires less water, reducing what you pay by a few dollars each month. Or you can just not fill the sink up all the way.
Even though most of us don’t enjoy washing dishes, it must be done on a regular basis if you cook and eat at home. Knowing how to save when you wash dishes can help you shave a few dollars off your bills each month instead of letting those dollars run down the drain.
Can you think of other ways to save when washing dishes? What household chore is your least favorite?