Today I’ll start with a few math problems:
19.98 x 3 = 59.94
19.99 x 4 = 79.96
Those are the best case scenarios of what I was paying for paper towels in a year. The first one is Sam’s Club. Not working in the cost of a standard membership, on average I was buying 3 packages of 25 paper towels a year. Assuming I paid the regular price for them I spent $59.94 for a year’s worth of paper towels.
Now let’s say you don’t have a Sam’s membership and instead you go to Target where the “value sized” package of the same paper towels I would buy at Sam’s has 20 rolls and costs $19.99 a piece. In this case you would buy 4 packages a year (this is just an example!) making your yearly budget for paper towels about $79.96. WOAH! I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot more things I’d like to spend almost $80 on besides paper towels; so I did something about it!
About a year ago I started using cloth napkins instead of paper towels at meal times. Just doing this reduced the amount of paper towels we went through big time! It brought me down to about 2 big (Sam’s Club) packages a year. I started off with 12 plain white napkins from Target’s Threshold brand. I bought white because I wanted to be able to bleach them if they started getting really stained. After a couple months I bought some really cute patterned napkins to use when guests come over so they don’t have to see my (stained) everyday napkins! Ever since I’ve been buying up cute cloth napkins when I go to garage sales. While it’s fun to have lots of cute napkins, for our family of 2 (+ a baby) 12 seems to work just fine most of the time.
A few weeks ago I decided to jump into this no paper towel thing with both feet- I put the paper towel roll under the sink in a cabinet and in its place I put a basket of these white wash cloths from Target. My husband thought I was crazy. He said, “What are we going to use to wipe up the counter and the floor?” I replied “The washcloths!” He was skeptical, but you know what- it’s been 3 weeks and we don’t miss them at all! I use paper towels for two things now- cleaning the windows and mirrors with Windex and for sopping up grease when I fry food. In three weeks we haven’t even gone through one roll! That’s amazing!!!! The washcloths cost $3.49 for a package of 8. I wash them with clothes or with towels, whatever laundry I happen to be doing that day and 8 seems to be ok. I might go back and get another package just to make sure I don’t run out on days that I’m behind on laundry.
And that’s it! That’s how I stopped using paper towels! I love using the cloths- it’s so easy and I can genuinely say that I won’t be going back to using paper towels!
Have you given up paper towels? How are you liking it? For those of you who haven’t, do you think this is something you could do?
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