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Topic: Saving on paper goods

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Subject: Saving on paper goods
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 373
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We are saving money on paper towels and napkins by using cloth napkins and wiping the counter, etc. with dishcloths.  I found 7 lovely Christmas napkins at Goodwill for 1.31.  We also use the inexpensive, small bath cloths for napkins.  I buy the white ones in a package of 12 and because they are white, we don't get them confused with the ones used to bathe.  You can even blanket stitch around them to decorate if you like. 

Sam's Club sells white bar cloths by a package of 12 and these make wonderful kitchen towels to save on paper towels.

I keep a bowl on the counter for all scraps and they go to the compost pile with little clean-up.

We are seeing a definite savings on paper products. 

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I need to move us that way, use cloth napkins over the paper ones.  when it is just the 2 of us I have enough for 3 days....I should get more!

and the ones I have were actually remants of fabirc that someone hemmed around the sides for me.

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
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I made cloth napkins out of remnants I found at JoAnn Fabrics.  I didn't even hem them...just stitched all the way around and they fray so far, then stop.  There wasn't enough of any one remnant so I bought several patterns in one color.  Some are square and some are more rectangular but who holds up a napkin to compare!

Date Posted: 12/20/2008 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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that's what I did Cindy...remanents at JoAnns or Hancocks or something.  They aren't perfectly square and they are slightly different sizes, but they work!

Date Posted: 12/20/2008 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
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Hey!  Not matching is the beauty of them.  Look at any home decorating magazine and mix-and-match is in!

Some people might flinch at this, but I mark which napkin belongs to who for the two of us, and re-use them several times before laundering.  Unless they are spotted with spaghetti sauce or something, they seem okay to me.  Of course, I re-use a bath towel several times (not as a napkin!) before laundering too, so...

Date Posted: 12/27/2008 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 373
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A tip if you have a swifter mop - use an old washcloth instead of buying the disposable cloths.  Remove when used, toss in washing machine and reuse.  You can also cut up old hand towels or bath towels to use.  I like the mop because is swivels so neatly and makes it easy to get in small places, but I sure hate to buy to disposable cloths and this seems to work.  If you want to use as dust mop, just spritz slightly with water.

Subject: Making napkins & dishtowels
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 1,065
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I look for used cotton tablecloths ,curtains or shower curtains cut them  to size a sew the edges. I get nice towels etc for a small cost.

Subject: Hankies
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 14
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Use handkerchiefs!!  I started using them when my allergies were so bad I was using a box and a half of tissues per day!  Not only do they save you a lot of money, they are SO much easier on your skin.  I havent had problems with sore, raw noses since I started using them.  Just rememeber to add a tiny amount of bleach during cold season, or at least wash in hot water to kill the germs.

Subject: Rag towels
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 14
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Before they had paper towels, grandma used rags to clean.  I have a small hamper in my laundry room just for them, and when washcloths or towels get too old and ratty to use, they go on the rag pile.  I use them for everything except cleaning the toilet.  One extra load of wash every week or 2 and the amount of paper towels I DONT use anymore is amazing.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I cut up a bunch of old clothing to make our napkins/"paper" towels.  They sit in a basket in the kitchen and in the corner is a small hamper to toss them in.   It works pretty well!

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2008
Posts: 2
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I use SHOP TOWELS! I found some at WalMart that are white and plainly hemmed (a REAL hem). They work great as napkins! I was dumbfounded to find a quality, cotton "rag" in the automotive department. They work great. All cotton so they did shrink some, but they fold up nicely and wash clean in a snap. I keep a roll of paper towels on hand for the occasional mess that has to be thrown away (e.g. doggie messes, broken eggs, etc), but a roll lasts forever 'round here.

Subject: cloth napkins
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 2
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I was just at my local thrift shop. I found dozens upon dozens of cloth napkins.  I didn't think to purchase them. I think I will go back and get them. Sheryl

Subject: Paper Towels & Grease
Date Posted: 1/18/2009 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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When my husband fries things, like French fries, he drains them on paper towels. I tried using a cloth for that, but I ended up throwing it away because I couldn't get it cleaned enough to use again.

What can we use instead of the paper towels?? I would Love to be paper towel- free!

Date Posted: 1/19/2009 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2007
Posts: 2,289
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I've gotten in the habit of taking a coffee filter and placing it in a collander and placing the collander on top of a larger bowl.  One coffee filter takes alot less paper than paper towels and is much cheaper.  Plus then you can just throw all the grease away from the larger bowl and it drains the grease off better.

Date Posted: 1/19/2009 1:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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We try to use as few paper towels as possible.  We've used cloth napkins for 16 years. Some of ours have lasted for more than 10 years.  We have lots of different patterns but no one seems to mind.

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 2
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Okay, I have a suggestion.  You have to be a little open minded, though.  Instead of tampons or pads, use a menstrual cup or cloth pads.  I know, it sounds disgusting, but I've been using a $42 menstrual cup for the last 4 or 5 months and I've easily gotten my money back.  Also, it's much better on heavy days because they hold more.  Just do a google search for menstrual cups.

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I use single or stretched out tube socks for wiping up spills, cobwebs, dusting furniture, ect. Then I just toss them in the washer with my kitchen towels and some bleach.