Dear Home Ec 101,
Here’s my dilemma –now that school is nearly out, it’s like a “Click and Clack” theoretical dilemma, but a month ago, it was the hot topic in the house. I know other people have wondered, too. So here it is.
I didn’t really buy enough standard school attire outfits at the beginning of the school year, and now that we’re at the end, SweetCheek is on the verge of outgrowing some of it. We’re left with only about 6 skorts, shirts, and trousers, depending on her mood that day and whether she will wear something a little too short paired with leggings, or the slightly non-compliant skort with cargo pockets.
My argument is that school is nearly out, and she’ll grow over the summer, so we should wait until August. In lieu of buying, we’ve been doing an extra load of laundry midweek to wash the two or three most-acceptable items.
So which is cheaper — 50 percent more loads of laundry for two months, or buying the $15 for trousers or skort?
Muddled in Metro
Can I just point out here that this is why I’m glad I live in Rutherford County and not Metro Davidson? For non-Nashvillians, Metro Nashville went to a “standard school attire” that has been the bane of every Metro Nashville parent I know.
Now, to answer your question, I really think this is a matter of preference. On one hand, depending on the size of the load you’re washing (are you only washing the SSA stuff, or are you washing other stuff?), you might be able to save a buck or two. But time is money, so that might negate the cost savings.
But being the total hippie that I am, I also am throwing in environmental considerations. If you’re washing the clothing in big loads with an environmentally friendly laundry detergent, then washing is the way to go. But if you’re like me and adore Tide and are just tossing in small loads, then buying might be the way to go. (For the record, we’ve started using an eco-friendly lavender laundry detergent. It works fine, but I miss my Tide.)
But then you have to take into consideration the chemicals used in making these clothes, and the gasoline to get them to the store, and the gasoline to get you to the store. Buying is probably less eco-friendly than washing!
Of course, you could go to a thrift store, which is economical and eco-friendly. I would hazard a guess that toward the end of the year, there would be more SSA stuff than there would be at the beginning of the year. All things considered, I believe I would buy at a thrift store. If you have a kid that’s like my oldest and absolutely refuses to wear “used” clothing, then I’d go with the washing.
Clear as mud? What would you do, Home Eccers?
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