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Monday Q&A | Two questions that need your input!

I was wondering if you have any clothes that are dry-clean only, and if so do you have any tricks to save on that? I’m buying a bridesmaid dress and one of the options is dry-clean only, which can end up costing a lot! Do you have any recommendations on the home kits?

sage green bridesmaid dress hanging in a doorway.

I don’t have any personal experience with home kits, unfortunately.

I try very hard not to buy clothes that are dry-clean unless they need to be laundered only occasionally (like a wool winter coat). However, I sometimes am given clothes that are labeled as dry-clean or I find them in thrift stores.

If I haven’t paid a lot for the garment in question, I just wash it on the gentle cycle in cold water and then air dry it, or I hand-wash it. I haven’t had a single garment do anything funky after receiving this treatment, so I’ve never had the need to buy a kit.

Based on my experience, I really think the dry-clean-only label on a lot of clothes is unnecessary…gentle laundering works well for most clothes.

Of course, you never know for sure if this is the case unless you try it, so I might not try this on something like a bridesmaid dress that you dearly love.

I have a 7 yr old grandson that just finished 1st grade this year. He has been reading all year. He lives in Texas (I am in Savannah) so I don’t know a lot about likes/dislikes and ability. I would like to buy books for him and am afraid I will choose things too baby-ish for him. I would like to start him on chapter books but really have no clue where to begin. I have bought the Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants books but really would like something more engaging, hopefully, something that would help him fall in love with reading.


I think it’s great that you’re wanting to encourage his reading habits…good for you!

I’m not positive what reading level he’s at, but I can tell you that all four of my children have really loved Beverly Cleary’s books, especially her series about Ramona, Beezus, and Henry (Ralph and the Motorcycle is fun too.)

If you need something easier, maybe some Nate the Great books would go over well. The stories are engaging and fun, and the reading level should be fine for a first grader. I also think the Magic Tree House series is at about the same level.

Some Boxcar Children books might also be good choices, though they’re harder than Nate the Great.


Readers, I’d really love for you to share your thoughts on these questions. Do you have any experience with frugal dry-cleaning? And what books would you recommend for a first-grade graduate?

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Thursday 5th of July 2012

I want to put in a vote for non-fiction books- there are some kids who want to read to "find things out" rather than get lost in a story. Dinosaur books, animal encyclopedias, illustrated books of myths are all super popular with my now 2nd grader. DK is a great publisher for this kind of book.


Saturday 7th of July 2012

Love DK, and Kingfisher, too.


Wednesday 4th of July 2012

I've been washing dry-clean-only stuff for years, but I've found that the detergent and the method make a HUGE difference. I highly, highly recommend products by The Laundress. (I think the website is, and it's worth looking at - they've got some surprisingly worthwhile videos on how to handwash things.) Their stuff is pricey, but it's a fraction of the cost of dry cleaning AND it's all environmentally safe, which is more than I can say for dry cleaning or dryell. I wouldn't buy the stuff from them directly because you have to pay shipping and it almost doubles the price. carries it and you can rack up free shipping pretty easily there. I use the delicates wash and the wool & cashmere shampoo and I love love love them. (I machine wash silk, I kid you not.)

That said, I also have a fancy washer with a "handwash" cycle. I have destroyed more than one article of clothing washing things in a washer that didn't have a delicate cycle, even in cold water. I now own a lot of (supposedly) dry-clean-only clothes, and I think if I actually had to hand wash them I would wear nothing but sweats because that stuff would never make it out of the hamper.

Oh, and as for early chapter books, my kids have really liked the Ruth Stiles Gannett series that starts with My Father's Dragon.


Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

As to dry cleaning - you can actually buy dry cleaning fluid and do it yourself if you have the know how. I don't but I bet google does. Don't know if it would end up being cheaper for 1 or 2 items but certainly would for several. We've also found that getting a few things dry cleaned at the same time usually gets a fair discount - like 50% off on the 3rd and 4th items or something - worth asking. I don't own anything except my wedding dress which is dry clean only. My husband wears suits sometimes for work but can usually get away with 6 or more wears before cleaning and then he takes in everything at once so it's cheaper.


Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

Can anyone help me here? I want to set up this ING account and am wondering, is there a way to transfer funds from my current bank to the new ING savings account without accruing ACH fees? Thank you!


Tuesday 3rd of July 2012 bank doesn't change me anything when I transfer money into my ING account. Yours would?


Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

Sugar Creek Gang Heroes of the Faith Boxcar Children Abeka reading books Bob Jones reading books (BJU Press) Moe

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