Friday, November 7, 2008

Frugal Friday


We have always been paper napkin users. I can make it through an average meal with just one, but somehow the rest of the crew 'needs' to use somewhere between two and five napkins each.
Not only is this wasteful, but paper napkins cost money, of course. So this week I made the switch to cloth. This initial change was free, because I just gathered up our random bandanas and set them around the table. If I had needed more, I could've purchased them at Hobby Lobby for I think about 89 cents each. I figure we can get a couple uses out of them before they need to be washed, and at that point they can easily be tossed into an existing load of laundry.

Bandanas are fun because we can each have our own color. We happen to have 4 drawers in our dining table, which make a convenient storage spot, and we each have our own drawer (well, Handsome and I share), so we know who's napkin is where. Another way to do it would be to get some inexpensive napkin rings that could be personalized. You might argue that the cost savings are negligible...paper napkins are about $2 for a package of 500, which lasts roughly 6-8 weeks...but remember, we're taking small steps here. It's all the steps together that add up.

Photo from Country Living...mine do not look this cute.

Another similar thing I've been doing lately is using microfiber cleaning cloths in place of paper towels (but I haven't totally eliminated paper towel use, yet). I don't really know what the magic of these cloths are, but they are great! You can wash a window with just a damp cloth...no Windex...and there are no streaks. That's another savings right there. They are very absorbent, and do a better job at wiping things down than a paper towel. They do a fantastic job in the bathroom with all the toothpaste globs (kids!) and water spots.

I got mine at Dollar Tree a little while ago, and I'd love to get more but lately they haven't had them. I know you can spend a lot more on them ($10-20), but honestly I'm not sure how they could be that much better.

That's my two baby steps for this week. In my usual verbose manner, I have managed to write paragraphs about what could have been said in a few words...I replaced paper napkins and paper towels with cloth!

Check out Biblical Womanhood for more frugal ideas!

11 comments:

Sherry said...

In the past couple months, we started using cloth instead of paper. It has worked out wonderfully, too! :D I only use paper towels for yucky cleanups for initial and then follow with cloth.

Gina @ Six in the Country said...

I like to browse the remnant fabric bins at Walmart or any fabric store to find dirt cheap fabric to make our own napkins.

Any time I find a yard sale with pretty linens, I try and stock up, sometimes they are cheaper than making them myself.

Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...

I have always used cloth napkins for over 20 years. I love the feel. Even a meal of pizza feels special with cloth napkins.

Linda said...

I never thought of using bandanas! I made some cloth napkins and switched to using them a couple of months ago. Besides saving a little money, it's better for the environment.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

We stopped using paper towels and napkins at the first of the summer. I haven't really missed them at all. I took big flour sack towels and cut them in fourths. I hemed some of them, but most just didn't get finished. The great thing...they don't unravel in the wash. Then unhemed ones aren't as pretty, but really, they don't need to be pretty! (I have nicer napkins for company anyway.)

momof4sweetsisters said...

I'm not totally sold on the cloth napkins...yet. My younger ones tend to need a couple per pasta meat! I've actually gone back to the cheapest paper ones. I will try again....just not soon.

Dixie said...

I adore cloth napkins and have used them for years (as you know). I have a microfiber cleaning cloth, too, but haven't used it on glass yet, only for dusting. I like it a lot!!! I've been using the various vacuum cleaner attachments for dusting recently, too, and I wish I would have done that a long time ago!! Easy breezy.

Twice as Nice said...

We're having a give away and would love for you to be a part of it :o)

Frugalchick said...

Using bandanas for cloth napkins is a great idea! I think I have a few stashed somewhere... I better find and put them to good use.

Wildwood Mama said...

Ok, the bandanas are a great idea! We stopped using paper towels last month, replacing them with linens but we need more and bandanas are cheaper.

Tara said...

What a great idea! I am major napkin waster!!! I cannot use just one. I think I will take a step or two in going to fabric napkins!