Doing away with paper products

Paper products usually make up a portion of the grocery budget in every household. I'm talking about paper towels, paper napkins or serviettes, and tissues. Toilet paper is another one, but that is one paper product I'm willing to live with. The others, well, they're relatively easy to do without, you just need alternatives.

The alternatives are, of course, cloth.

Remember good, old fashioned cloth handkerchiefs? Well, for my kids I took a
pair of old, soft flannelette pj pants that were beyond repair, cut them up into child size squares and hemmed the edges with a zigzag stitch. I made a big stack of them and they work a treat, absorbent and beautifully soft for little noses. And if they happen to go through the washing machine in a pocket, they will not cover all your clothes in lint, which is a huge bonus.

I just found a quick tutorial on making these, on Making Do With The Not So New.
Smart lady, she uses old flannel too. You must try these, they really are soo much better to use than paper!

What about napkins/serviettes? Cloth as well of course. Either hem up some fabric squares - a heavy cotton or a linen blend work well, or trawl garage sales for some beautiful old fashioned ones. Cloth napkins are classy looking and work well. A much greener alternative to paper ones.

Paper towels have a myriad of uses. Draining fried food, mopping up messes, and cleaning glass are just a few of them. All of these can be done with cloth alternatives, although you may want to keep one roll of paper towels on hand to deal with those really nasty ones, such as cat puke on the floor. For the rest, old tea towels or dish towels that have seen better days are perfect for kitchen use. I keep a few dedicated to the kitchen and for the rest, I have a ragbag with cut up old sheets and t-shirts that can be used for anything. And thrown out if they come into contact with anything too disgusting.

Ok, so see how much you can trim off your grocery budget by ditching the paper products. Off you go!

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