Friday, July 11, 2008

I don't think I'm going overboard, but...

...a few days ago we ran out of paper towels. Those of you who do the shopping in your household know just how expensive paper products are! We have a stash of paper plates, plastic utensils and plastic cups, but we don't typically use them unless it's a really bad day and we can't face dishes or it's a rowdy backyard event.
I decided not to run out and get paper towels right away when we ran out...just to see how long it would take for my hubby to 1. notice; 2. say something; 3. get really frustrated (just kidding!). Actually, I ended up mentioning it last night. I was folding the laundry and noticed some of our washcloths are really dingy or worn out so I set them aside to use as rags. Then I got to thinking. Maybe I won't run out and get paper towels at all! What do we use paper towels for? Spills, drying hands, napkins (don't get me started!), cleaning glass, anything else?
So is there anything in that group that we can't use old washcloths or kitchen towels for?
I didn't think so either.
So I told him-if I'm going to take a cut in pay, we're going to have to find more ways to save around here and that includes paper towels. Not that I won't buy a roll to have in case we find that one use that no other product on earth is appropriate for, but for normal use, we can simply use towels or washcloths.
I wouldn't say we're super spenders. I typically buy store brand, in bulk, shop the sales, & shop the sales SMART (is this store's sale price is more than the other store's regular price?). But I don't think we've ever really considered more ways we could be saving, even considering lifestyle changes.
Such as a clothesline. I was shocked when my hubby thought it was a good idea! Often times he is reluctant to change, reluctant to have things (other than his toys) in the back yard, reluctant to consider my suggestions. (maybe a stretch there, but it feels like it sometimes). But it would mean getting up early, running a wash and hanging it in the backyard all before work.
Now I don't know about you, but I'm no morning person. I get to work at 9 am and sometimes I'm still late! I wake up at the last possible moment! But if I'm serious about saving money this way, I'm going to have to discipline myself to do this consistently.
Am I up to it?


Heather said...

I keep a roll on hand for the following unrelated reasons:
dog mess (either end)
draining bacon
any grease spills
Other than that it's cloth here, too.

MJ said...

Oh, I remember dog mess. (yes on the either end as well!) Seems like my dog could make it from just about any part of the house...right to the door and no further! We don't have a dog anymore, but maybe someday...and good point about the grease. It would be more of a pain and expense to wash out of cloth rags, huh?
And by the way, I LOVE your blog! I have learned so much from it and refer back to it constantly!! Thanks so much!

Chile said...

I have a glass canister filled with old t-shirt squares in the kitchen for paper towel subs. I pick a colorful shirt so that these "rags" don't accidentally get used for any other cleaning duty other than kitchen.

One alternative for the bacon draining is paper bags. They work well for cooling cookies, too. Open the bag so you can use the inside, not the printed side.

MJ said...

Great ideas Chile, I remember my mom using paper bags for cookie cooling. I was just thinking about what I could do for storing the rags on hand in my kitchen, thinking about a tray-type napkin holder (but not crazy about the idea...but the jar sounds like a fun and practical solution. Unless I clean out that extra junk drawer and throw them in there!

Chile said...

The jar I have them in is actually a glass canister with metal lift-off lid from an old medical office. Think back to your last visit and those glass jars on the counter with the tongue depressers and gauze pads in them. That's what they look like.

I used to have a very pretty heavy glass jar with a huge cork top, but I got tired of all the dust build-up on the cork.