Cutting Costs: The Paper Towel Challenge

August 25, 2008


If you ask most Moms of Toddlers how many paper towels they use, they’ll simply answer: ALOT! I never knew how many we went through, either, until recently. I bought a larger pack of Bounty through a great CVS deal. When the pack was almost out, I couldn’t believe we had gone through that many so quickly! I had one extra larger pack left and I vowed to make it stretch as long as we could.

I decided to invest in some colored dish cloths and paper napkins for now. (Once I find some cloth napkins on clearance, I’ll switch to them.) Basically, I’ve been using different colored dish cloths for different purposes. One for cleaning. One for basic dish/counter cleaning. And one for “Nathan clean-ups.”

Since our towel loads are small to begin with, I don’t see these cloths adding any extra water or laundry soap to our budget. In the end, I think it will save us (and the landfills!) in the long-run.

For fun, I put a Post-It on the paper towel holder last week with that day’s date. I wanted to see how long it would take us to go through it. It has skewed our results though! Every time I see the Post-It, I stop and ask myself if there’s a better alternative to the paper towel! It’s been a week, and our paper towel roll has barely been touched!

So my challenge to you is this: Put a Post-It on your paper towel holder and see how long it takes you to go through it. If it’s a short timeframe, ask yourself if you shouldn’t find alternatives, too!

UPDATE: I finally had to change the paper towel roll on 9/10! 20 days on one roll! WOW!

Good luck!

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