Save Money – Reduce.

saving money


You remember the three R’s from grade school, right?  No, not those three.  The other three.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


These R’s are so relevant and effect that we haven’t had to add or subtract from their wisdom in decades.  And not only are they good for Mr. Earth, they are excellent ways to save money.


In making serious efforts to save money, we’re finding how many things in our lives are simply luxuries and can reduce from our spending.  Things that used to be staples in our budget have been cut – and barely missed.


Paper Towels

How many paper towels are we using? No paper towels, that’s how many.

You heard that right, we haven’t bought a single ply of paper towel since we moved to Canada 8 weeks ago.  It’s one of the very first things that I realized had to go from our budget.  I just couldn’t justify spending however-many dollars on something so darn disposable.  It’s a two-fer deal, save money and save kitchen waste. That’s right, we’re going green in the kitchen, baby – and saving the green stuff to boot.

Use Cloth

So what are we doing instead?  Using cloth, of course. Towels, washcloths, napkins – all cloth. What has surprised me the most about this transition is that it wasn’t much of an adjustment at all.  I thought I would really notice the absence of my slighted paper products, but I haven’t.  Paper towels really were just sucking up my money without filling a real need in my life.

Surprisingly,  I’m not doing more laundry because of the switch.  The first thing you think about when using cloth towels and napkins is that your going to have an extra load of laundry a week, eh? I haven’t found that to be true.  Honestly, we don’t get things that dirty.  We can use the same cloth napkin several times before it needs washing, while we would have only used it once and disposed of it had it been paper.

Not often can you go green and save money in one fell swoop. Often times going green, organic, natural, whatever-you-want-to-call-it is associated with switching to more expensive, albeit healthier products.  Here’s a chance to do both things at the same time, plus save yourself some garbage.  Win-Win-Win.



ways to save moneyHow are your reducing to save money?




  1. I stopped buying paper towels about seven years ago, and haven’t missed them! I forgot the usual tea-towel that I take to picnics the other day when we were on our way to one, so I grabbed a roll of paper towels in the supermarket to compensate. We used a few sheets at the picnic, but now that roll is sitting in my cupboard with nothing to do and no place to go! Cloth definitely does the trick just as well –better, in my opinion.

  2. I tried to go paperless in the kitchen last year. Hubs was fine with either paper towels or napkins, but not both. So we use paper towels and cloth napkins. We don’t go through the paper towels all that fast, though. We mostly use them for drying fruits & vegetables. We have been using the select-a-size for years, and now I feel like regular-sized paper towels are gigantic and wasteful.

    But here’s the real question- how do you drain bacon? :)

    • That IS a good questions. And scenario that I haven’t’ had to tackle yet. Lol. A colander?

      • Harriet Bowman says:

        Exactly. A collander sitting over another pan. I had the same roll of paper towels for 4 years in Nigeria and they were only half gone so I packed them up to ship to Kenya.

  3. i also find a desperate need for them when someone has puked all over .

  4. We haven’t bought paper towels in….months. At least. Maybe a year now. Its been a long time. We don’t miss them.

    I either use a cooling rack on a baking sheet or just a cloth napkin on a plate for draining things like bacon or egg rolls or any thing else I happen to fry. I have one particular napkin that I use just for that purpose. I just throw it in the wash when I’m done with it and I never have any trouble washing it. We don’t fry all that often though, so that issue doesn’t present itself too frequently.

    I also wash and reuse plastic zip top bags. I’m all frugal like that. Lol. Unless they have unwrapped meat or something in them, then I just toss them. But the ones I use for cookie/bread/fruit or whatever storage, I flip them inside out, wash them, and use a glass or something to prop them up to dry. Once they’re dry I flip them back right side out and put them back in the plastic bag cubby of this sweet holder thing I have hanging on my wall ;)
    I just hate the idea of buying stuff like that and using it only once.

  5. I’ve been doing this for awhile now. I still use paper towels (for gross stuff) and school lunch boxes, but I came across a windfall of FREE dish towels at a yard sale this summer, so I’ve been able to use them much more often. It’s a lot easier to clean up a mess with a dish towel when I know I’ve got another clean one ready to go. I probably use at least three a day–and no, it’s not much addition to the wash, and I’ve given the job of folding them (rolling them up actually!) to my 8 year old daughter, so I don’t even have to do that part anymore.

    Another note–the paper towels I DO buy are the expensive ones that are stronger and that last longer. I made this decision when we got a second cat and the first cat decided the litter box didn’t exist. TMI, right? (Said cat has finally learned to use the box again, but I still like the nice paper towels!)