Time is money: How bargain hunting can wear a hole in your pocket

Soon after my wife and I decided to move to the big city, I realized that I would have to leave my beloved washer and dryer behind. On the bright side, though, I discovered one of the wonders of urban living: drop-off service.

For a small amount of money (in my neighborhood, it's $0.65 per pound), someone else will wash, dry, and fold your clothes. Given that my wife, daughter, and I generate between 20 and 30 pounds of laundry per week, this ends up being a fairly cheap luxury.

A few months back, however, I switched to a lower-paying job and began looking for ways to cut fat out of the household budged. One of the first things to go was the drop-off service, as I realized that I could wash my family's clothes for roughly half the price that Lula, the Albanian lady at the drop-off service, charges. Feeling self-righteous and fiscally responsible, I began toting my family's clothes to the local laundromat.