Friday, January 16, 2009

Frugal Friday: Going Paperless

My friend, Joanne, mentioned that she's going to begin Frugal Friday posts. I love that idea. In fact, I just read what she posted today about shopping from the pantry.

I have a frugal tip to share today too. 

I haven't bought paper towels in years. I also try not to buy paper plates (that's harder), and if I had enough cloth napkins (something I'm hoping to make more of soon), I'd go totally paperless. Well, except for toilet paper.

I save money by not buying those things constantly and do our environment a huge favor as well. 

Think about it. What do you use paper towels for that you can't use a dishtowel or rag for instead? And paper plates? It just takes a little more effort to wash a real one. 

I'm also excited to check in with my an update on my  no-spend challenge this week. I did much better. I'll post that tomorrow because I'm sending the laptop to work again with John. My kids have a half day of school (3.5 day weekend!!!) and I have a big list to tackle before they get home! 


19 comments:

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

I do the same thing...we don't buy paper plates or cups...even though we host a Small Group in our home every week. It's just an expense that we can do without...it really doesn't take much more effort to wash the dishes. I haven't thought abou the napkins...may try that next.

carpoolqueen said...

I know you have stuff to do, but it's really much more fun for me if you have your laptop with you. But, alas, it's not about me....

About you....yay on the no paper towel thing. Hadn't thought about how many I use (and what do you cover your bacon with in the microwave?) but now I shall. And I buy the thin green disposable dishcloths...eek...I'm a consumer. But if I use the regular dishrags, they sour. You know I have laundry issues...

Jacquie said...

I think I'll buy me some cloth napkins. I like that idea.

Can't wait to hear about your spending.

Have a productive, fun day!

Lisa said...

We stopped using all paper products except toilet paper awhile ago. It is easy to adjust and you do feel better about it.

Lisa Q

Monica said...

I'm with you on using real plates. Paper plates mean more trips to the garbage out back.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I know you're right, Meredith - I KNOW it - but this is one area that is so tough for me. I know I'm spoiled, but I love my paper towels and paper plates. But! As usual, you've inspired me to do better, so I am really going to try to cut down and start using my dish rags much more often. I actually don't mind doing dishes, so the paper plates aren't as hard for me to give up as the paper towels. Very good reminder.

Jennifer said...

What great ideas. We have a little stock pile of paper towels and paper plates that we need to finish using but I can see not using them in the future. We got a case of 20 paper towels for free so we have enough for awhile. LOL

I also was thinking about this story the other day that I saw on TV. It was about a guy who bought one roll of paper towels and hasn't bought another roll in nearly 7 or 8 years. He hang dries the paper towels daily. He uses the same roll that he bought many moons ago! Imagine that. I don't think in my frugal thinking that I could actually go to that length. LOL

Megan L Hutchings said...

I have never thought about going paperless before. That is brilliant ;)!!!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

At our family cabin in CO, we used two garbage bins in the kitchen - one for burnables and one real trash. We used the burnables in the fireplace. :) There's no heat there, so the fire is all you get.

I use paper products now, but maybe I'll think about it more when the kids are bigger and not so emotionally draining and I can handle more laundry. It's towering as it is. :)

Stephanie @ My Answered Prayer said...

That's a great idea!!! We use paper plates for small group but that's about it. I use rags a lot more than paper towels and I buy the cheap ones. I can't wait to see how you've done. I haven't done well.

Tiffani said...

I am a no paper plates girl too...I do buy one roll of paper towels but that one roll lasts a little more than a week (and I'm talkin' the cheap less than a dollar ones) b/c I tear them in half for certain things and I use my dishtowel for hand drying and wiping.

I have made grocery lists around what's already in my pantry...being a SAHM, I MUST be frugal at all costs..so, I really try to make things last longer and use toothpaste, shampoo, etc. down to the last drop..I pull the pourer thing out of the detergent and get a WHOLE load from it...then I fill it with water for ONE more after that!

I LOVE frugal tips so keep them coming!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Meredith~
You might like www.biblicalwomanhood.blogspot.com.

She has a Frugal Friday post.

have a great weekend~
Kelly

Leah Belle said...

when i moved into this house 5 years ago, i quit using paper plates. prior to that i didn't have a dishwasher.:)

i can't give up paper towels, though. i use them when cleaning bathrooms, etc. i find that cloths and sponges tend to move lint, dirt, hair around. a paper towel picks it up then it gets thrown away!!!

Christen said...

that's so funny when u say sending my laptop with your hubby...but so sad that i think i need someone to take mine away too! lol i hate using paperplates and my husband loves them, i used to get the really cheap ones and he'd use like 6 at a time i would be so mad! then i thought ok i'll just break down and get him the thick ones at least he'll only use 1 right? no still like 2 or 3, grrr so instead of nagging him i just go behind when everyone is done and put the ones underneath back away. isn't that terrible? shhh don't tell him. ~wink~

Amber said...

We gave up paper plates several years ago. We only use them now if we have HUGE amounts of company. We use paper towels -- but probably could give them up! Not something that we HAVE to have.

Can't wait to hear how you did this week!

*carrie* said...

I totally agree--I definitely avoid using disposables. I have the same question as another commenter, though--what do you use as a "splatter guard" in the microwave? That's the only thing I still use paper towels for.

Also, just curious--do you use sponges or rags or what for cleaning?

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

I am a cloth napkin girl too. And I have lots. So that I'm not always ironing them!

Do you use wash rags for the mirrors in the bathroom too? That's about the only thing I use paper towels for.

Much love,
J.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I used to be that way. And then I got pregnant with Sam. I've been buying cheap paper plates ever since. If it means my kitchen actually gets cleaned every night then its worth it to me. I should mention that I do not have a dishwasher. I am the dishwasher. And plates times 5 take up time, energy and space on my very small counters.

Gretchen said...

I love these ideas, too. It's nice to incorporate what we can and leave the rest. I don't think I'll ever be completely paper-less, but it IS a great reminder to use less of them. I'm really bad in the bathroom because I just want those germs thrown away, but it'd be easy to create a "bathroom rags" pile. Also, I don't do a whole lot with paper plates, but I'm happy to have them when toast needs to be consumed in the car on the way to school because of (ahem) poor planning or oversleeping. ;)