Saturday, July 9, 2011

Up and Running Out of Papertowels

For the past decade I've found myself drawn to frugality and simplicity literature like a moth to flame...except these rubies never burned me...only enlightened.  Some books and articles were poorly written and only had a nugget or two of good or useful information.  However, many of them are so useful and timeless that they are more loved by myself than any Velveteen Rabbit could ever be.  This past winter I joined a simplicity group for a 6-week discussion and found that these pieces of information gleaned over these years are very valuable to others trying to economize and scale down.  They have even useful to my mother who calls me "cheap."  Knowing these useful tid-bits and keeping them all to myself is not charitable and simply not right in a day where we have an increasing number of families struggling to make ends meet.  So here I begin sending out the rubies I have collected all these years...

What was my first course of action in my struggle to get out of credit card, student loan, and car debt??

Cloth Napkins and...

In my previous life I had purchased four lovely plaid napkins when on a spending spree (hoping to become Martha Stewart in home decor).  I didn't use those napkins for years and through observation of another family I reflected that If I used cloth napkins I could stop buying paper napkins and paper towels.  Since that time I have acquired many more cloth napkins at garage sales and thrift store (all these napkins were new at both locations).  Cloth napkins can be purchased or made for cents if you take the time and look for them.  Cloth napkins have become such a staple for our family that I even pack cloth napkins for road trips and trips around town (they work much better than their paper counterparts). 

Paper Towels

Who says you have to clean windows and mirrors with paper towels?  I clean these items with old rags and cloth diapers.  When I got off the paper towel habit I used old newspapers like my grandmother did. Now I like using cloth rags or old cloth diapers better.  

Using cloth napkins and paper towels is not going to eliminate all of your debt (unless it is a very miniscule debt) but it is an easy change that just may trigger  new thoughts about what you consume and how you can save.  This one change led me to a whole new thought process and I've saved a few trees along the way. 


"However, here are some scary figures. 2.5 million paper towels are thrown out a year--a number that is quite remarkable, considering that paper towels are a disposable product. Also, 51,000 trees must be replaced just to make up for how many paper towels are used in a day. "

Read more:

If your household consumes two rolls of paper towels weekly at an average of $1.00 a roll in a year's time you would save over $100...that could be used to pay down debt or placed in savings.

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