well, i know someone who managed to pull off a 4-stick steal, but its hard.
if the laundry is $1.50, you use the stir stick in place of the loonie, and get it for 50 cents...so, its alot cheaper. the laundry i used to practice on was only a loonie, so i never had to pull off more than one stick at a time.
its totally doable, but sometimes is tricky. just play with it a bit.
at school we used to tape dental floss or fishing line or thread to the quarters and then line them up in the tray and put the threads over hanging the tray and hang onto them. that way your quarters don't fall down but the lever is still pushed.
don't know if it works for all machines though - just the old tray push in kind where you line up the money.
I used to do the stirstick thing when I had to pay for laundry. Its pretty difficult to pull off. I wasn't so great at it but others had more luck. The problem is that it is really easy for the stirstick to break in the machine and then you cant do any laundry at all. You can take your chances if you want!