Monday, March 29, 2010

Saving With Every Wipe

I don't know when it started for us but certainly having kids makes you realize that you can go through napkins and paper towels really fast. Those pennies really add up and it isn't so hot on the environment either. When my older was little we bought some cloth napkins and hand towels and started re-using... but now that we have our second we have really become conscious of how much we use paper products. We don't use paper plates, we use cloth wipes with our cloth diapers and recently picked up more cloth napkins at Goodwill for meal times. Our new goal is to make our few rolls of paper towels we have left last the next six months. What other things do you use to save money on paper products (and save the waste in the trash too)?


  1. I stopped buying paper towels and paper napkins maybe two years ago. I bought a bunch of washcloths at Costco and now use those exclusively for cleaning up spills, etc.
    And I had an amazing number of cloth napkins floating around. They don't all match of course, but I put them out in a basket. My 4 year old knows to grab one when he needs to wipe his hands.
    It took my husband a while to notice we didn't have any more paper towels :)

  2. I use cut up old t-shirts for dust rags and old socks as cleaning cloths. Old wash cloths get reused as cleaning cloths too, I cut them in half first.

    I would love more cloth napkins. My lovely husband, who is a big energy and water saver, doesn't like them. I need more time with this one, I guess.

  3. We use cloth napkins too, and primarily use rags for cleaning up messes. We do keep paper towels around for occasions when something is too messy to throw in the wash with the other rags, and to ease culture shock for visitors, but it takes us many months to go through a pack.

    Our rags consist of t-shirts as well, plus some pieces of towels, a "t-shirt" style sheet that bit the dust, a very thin cotton skirt, and flannel we were using as baby wipes for a while. The variety makes it nice -- we can choose the absorbency and size of the rag we need for a particular application!

    Great blog, by the way!

  4. We use cloth napkins and bar towels instead of paper towels. I save paper napkins if we get take out, and pull them out when appropriate. But, you know what? Cloth works better! Some of the stuff I use the bar towels for cleaning I can't imagine a paper towel doing the trick. We use about 1 roll of paper towels a year, for things that are too gross and go straight to trash, and I wash the towels with the diapers and baby washcloths. I don't use the bar towels on counters or tables, I use a smaller dishcloth. I use disposable babywipes for poop because our washing machine SUCKS and doesn't get poop out of them, but other than that we use washcloths so we use very few diaper wipes.

    Trying to remember where I got all the bar towels, probably the hardware store. Check Hankins?