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JessLee's Money Saving Blog

Reuse Reuse Reuse!!

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM

ok, Don't be scared, we are not going reuse desposable items.  However we are going to look at things that are normally desposible and see their reuseable choices.

Not quite a year ago, I decided to take on a challenge of trying to use anything and everything that was available in a reuseable form.  I have only bought 1 roll of paper towels since last summer, and it was because we were in the car traveling and we needed something to wipe up our hands with.  I haven't bought throw away napkins in an even longer time.

I went to the dollar store and bought some extra hand towels to use as "paper towels".  We use them for all spills and to dry our hands off after washing instead of throwing away a paper towel everytime.  I also, very luckily, went to Bed Bath and Beyond looking for cloth napkins, and found them on the clearance rack, and BONUS i had a coupon for $5 off a $15 purchase!! I got some very nice, thick cloth napkins for under a dollar a pc!  Ok, here is one my husband has an issue with, so we do buy tissues still, but I did buy hankercheifs, and I do use them, but he refuses, and our daughter gets bloody noses frequently (we are already working with a ENT on this) and I wouldn't want her to use a hanky on that.

So, now you know what we've changed, let me go into a little more detail now as to how we have done and how things have changed.  I stopped working last fall, and I knew we were going to need to cut corners somewhere and this just seemed to make sense to me.  We were going through about 3-4 rolls of paper towels a week.  That can get quite costly!  We always had them right behind the sink, easy to grab and use when in a pinch.  The day I put the papertowel holder away, my husband had a hard time with it.  We had always had it there, and it was the "norm" at the time.  It took the kids a while to get use to it as well.  I was pretty gung ho about the whole ordeal, so it didn't bother me a bit!

A few weeks into the "no papertowel" time in our lives, we realized we needed something to clean with besides hand towels.  They were a little too big to be washing windows with and such, so I went and purchased what I call "rags" to the kids, but they are small dish towels, about the size of a wash cloth.  These work perfectly to wash windows and to clean the counters with.  We have different draws for the hand towels, rags, and cloth napkins right in the kitchen.  My kids help clean the house, and it only took them a week or 2 to get use to the new way of doing things.  They thought that it was nasty to clean with a reuseable rag, but I showed them that we clean them and it is no different than them getting their clothes dirty and us washing them.

Another thing that we used a lot was baby wipes!! We went through a ton of those every week.  We used them from everything from wiping down a small mess to cleaning our hands and face in a race out the door.  I have found a great way to make your own at home.  My kids had tons of those dollar store "majic towels" that they sell with characters on them.  They have outgrown them, and so they were just sitting in the closet not being used.  What I do now, is I have an old baby wipe container that I fold up the wash cloths in and then pour a mixture over to make them into reuseable baby wipes.  The one that I like best is I make 2 cups of tea (any herbal will work, I like peppermint or chamomile) then add either 2 tbs of olive oil or lanolin, and a few drops of your fave essential oil.  They work great and smell great.  They are so much more inexpensive as well.  Now, this is not what I use for cloth diapering baby wipes.  Check out the Cloth Diaper part of my blog for more info on those.

I know it sounds hard and sounds like a lot of work, but when you have a single family income with 4 people (almost 5) any little bit helps.  I even try and keep my old yogurt containers (we buy the big ones and put them into tupperware to bring places to eat in smaller amounts).  i reuse them with farming and giving the animals our veggie scraps, and I also use them to put our compost stuff in for the kids to bring to the big compost bucket outside.

Once you get started trying to live more frugally, you will find new uses for a lot of different things.  I even keep my egg shells for gardening, and to give back to my chickens.

I hope you have gotten a little more info on reusables instead of disposables and maybe even going to give it a try.  I can help you in any way that I can to get you started.  It honestly doesn't take that much to get started (if you go to the dollar store and not kohls to get your hand towels, "rags" and cloth napkins). It can be done on a budget, and it just may be that you buy a few pieces at a time until you get your stock up.  Another great place to look for hand towels and cloth napkins is YARD SALES!! and they are in full swing right now.  

Good luck, and let me know if you took on the challenge and how it went.

Thank you for reading and God Bless

JessLee

Categories: Money Saving Tips

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