July 02, 2010

Frugal Tip #3 - Using less paper products

Each week I have tried to incorporate a few frugal tips that I have learned along the way.  Today's post is about the benefits of using less paper products.  This is one area I didn't change until last week. 

I went to buy a package of Handiwipes at the Dollar Tree and they weren't selling them anymore.  I have always liked Handiwipes to use in my kitchen as they dry quickly.  When they start to smell I can wash them once and use them again and then throw them away.  This isn't very economical in the long run.

So I stood there looking at my choices and I picked up 3 - 2 packs of dish cloths.  I now have 6 dish cloths to use in the kitchen.  The reason for using the Handiwipes was due to how a dish cloth can smell after a while.  (Yes, I have a dishwasher but I still have to handwash pots and pans and such.)  Now I use them for a day. Sunday's and Saturday's dish cloth can cover both days.  Then each evening I toss the dish cloth into my laundry sort pile.  No more smelly dish cloths and no more buying Handiwipes.

I took all of my old dish towels and put them in a container under my sink.  These are for my DS's use.  He likes to use a dish towel as a napkin.  It was a losing battle as day in and day out he took the dish towel that I had hanging up to use as his personal napkin.  Now he has his own stash and I don't have to worry about if a dish towel I am using to dry dishes was used as a napkin.

While at the Dollar Tree I picked up a few packages of terry cloth bar towels.  These are being used for all of those paper towel clean ups.  In fact, I prefer using a towel to wipe up a spill as compared to paper towels.

Next up - cloth napkins.  I need to buy or make cloth napkins for our table.  Actually I am starting to think that my DS may be on to something in using terry cloth dish towels as a napkin.  Think about it, they are absorbent and thick and they wash up great.  So I may be heading back to the Dollar Tree to get some dish towels for our every day use.  When it comes to company, I have plenty of paper napkins on hand.

Micro Fiber cloths - I bought a stash and keep them with my cleaning supplies.  I also have some in my bathrooms to use for daily clean up.  I love micro fiber cloths.  They do a much better job on cleaning mirrors, sinks and faucets.

Dust cloths and lambs wool - I have quit buying swiffer dust cloths. I don't think they were really that great in the first place.  In their place I purchased some dust cloths and I invested in two lamb's wool cleaning tools.  These are like sticks that have lambs wool wrapped around them.  One is long so I can reach and get all those high spots and the other is smaller for getting in and around places to dust.

I have quite a supply of paper towels on hand as I purchased these at some great sales with coupons.  I am using these for cleaning up pet mishaps.  Lately it would appear that my cat loves to chew on grass and then comes in the house and gets sick.  Paper towels are great for that purpose.

Kleenex - sorry, I will continue to buy these on sale as I don't think I could start to use a hankerchief like grandma.  All of grandma's hankerchief's were beautiful embroidered works of art, so I don't think she ever used them anyway.

Toilet Paper - no way am I going to use pieces of cloth. I draw the line.  Toilet paper is bought on sale with a coupon and always will be.

Of all of the frugal tips this one was a little harder for me to start.  It just seemed more convenient and "clean" to reach for a paper towel or a napkin when I needed it.  Now it is just as easy as I have plastic bins of these items under my sink right next to where I keep a small roll of paper towels. 

1 comment:

Paula said...

For many years, our everyday napkins for meals have been dishcloths that match our dishes. (Not the waffle weave kind that shrink up.) They are NO trouble because they go in the load of towels for laundering.

Nice cloth napkins that require more care are only used for company or special meals. And I do keep cheap paper napkins in a holder on the counter for snacks.