Monday, July 30, 2012

Paper or Cloth?

If you know me at all. You know that I am cheap thrifty. Sale signs make my heart beat faster. And I get a high when I bag a bargain. It's in my genes. Definitely passed down from my mom.

I also hate to spend money on things like deodorant and paper towels. Consumables are the anti-bargain. Total buzz kills.

So about a year ago, while BSD was away on one of his trips, I decided to switch to cloth napkins. I found some clearance (wheee!) fabric at Joann's and whipped up a set. I bought a vintage-looking wire basket from TJ Maxx (where else?). Put the napkins inside. Set it on the windowsill next to the table. And gave them a test drive.


The ballerinas were hesitant at first. Not wanting to get them dirty. But about two weeks later their default to the paper napkin drawer dissipated. And they were taking the few extra steps to the basket when they needed to wipe their mouths. Victory!

There were also no complaints when I packed cloth napkins in their lunch boxes. Even if the pattern I made them out of was a bit juvenile. It was the only way I was going to get away with using that adorable fabric.


I decided to take it one step further. And picked up some cute cloth dish cloths at Walmart.

These came in a pack of eight. Two each of green, red, blue, and yellow stripes. Only about $5 for the pack. And into the trash went the old, stinky consumable sponges.

Phase three was replacing the paper towels. This was the hardest hurdle. Paper towels and me. We go way back. Smear a dab of jelly on the counter? Grab a paper towel. Time to give the counter tops the once over? Grab 10 paper towels. Spill a glass of water on the floor? Throw down the whole roll.

Every time I reached for a paper towel, I had to wrestle my hand back off the roll. I was an addict. The withdrawal process was long and painful. But almost a year later. And I am still using the same 12 roll pack I had before the switch. And if weren't for BSD. Who uses two paper towels to dry an apple. I would probably still be using the same single roll.

It feels good to be using less. Helps with my crunchy-granola, chicken farmer image too. I'm trying to get BSD to hook me up with clothesline next. But I draw the line at reusable toilet paper. And the whole GladRags and Lunapanties idea. That's a whole other league.

So...what about you? Paper or cloth in your household?

23 comments:

Megan said...

Love this post. We are a cloth napkin and dis rag family, but I too use the paper towels to dry an apple. Why is that? And to clean bathrooms. I don't know if I could figure out how to clean a bathroom without them!

Sheryl said...

We are a cloth family. There is no lovlier sight than clothes on a line blowing in the wind! Something I would definitely recommend!

Kerri said...

Cute napkins! We use paper napkins...but I haven't bought a roll of paper towels in years. I have a stack of white cloths under the sink and then I just throw them in with the bleach load. I do not miss paper towels one bit.

Gabe said...

I can barely get my barbarians to use a napkin, period...cloth ones might push them over the edge! But I don't use many paper towels....a trait passed down from my mom!

Caroline said...

UGH...paper towels and me...yeah we go waaaay back. I love them. But you are right...I don't them as much as I think. Oh gosh then there are the zip lock baggies...Oh boy ever harder to stop using!

Jen said...

We use dish towels to dry hands always and rags for cleaning counters....but paper napkins for sure. I'd have to think the cloth napkin thing through...where to put when finished and how to get them home from school. I really need to try the reuse able sandwich bags though. They are super cute...and crunchy granola ish of course.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love the cloth napkins! We are a half and half family. I clean the counters, floor and my hands with a towel, but for dinner, unless we have special guests, we usually use paper. However, I tend to reuse them if I never used them...either for another dinner, or for a spill or something. The other commenters are right about ziplocks though. I use waaaaaay too many of those! But hey, it's better than buying pre portioned snacks!

Cindy said...

we are cloth napkins and dish towels all the way!!:) my mom made them for us and we use them every day. the girls love the ones she made for their lunchboxes too.:)
have a happy day kim

PS
we had those same soap dispensers...target right?? they totally fell apart on us and the metal started deteriorating and coming out into your hands with the soap...ugh!! loved those things too:(

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