Cutting Back on Paper Towels

After posting here that I do my best not to use paper towels and that a 12-pack would last us a year, or possibly more, I got several questions of, “How Do You Do It? Especially with two little kids?!”

Let me tell you that I thought that I could never break my “paper towel obsession” (especially after having a second child.) I felt like I spent half my day cleaning up spills and my first instinct was to run into the kitchen and grab a paper towel. Quick. Convenient.—-and yet costly and totally not good for the environment.

I first started with my “Paper Towel Challenge.” I simply put a Post-It note with my starting date on the paper towel roll. Each time I’d want to grab a paper towel, I actually thought twice about it and tried an alternate route. You see, I love challenging myself and my goal was to see how long I could make that one roll of paper towels last. It ended up lasting us 20 days.

This got me to thinking, hey, if I can go 20 days, I can probably just about do away with them completely. So I kept my eyes open for some super great deals on dish cloths in different colors and this is what we use now. I usually have three cloths going: one for floor spills, one for dishes and one for “kid clean-up.” They are real small and don’t add much to our laundry loads so I really don’t use any extra soap/water. I’ve had the cloths for over a year now and they are all still perfectly intact.

So simply put, the way to not use them is to not have them around! Now, I do buy them to keep on hand for our parties and playdates. I don’t expect everyone to quickly learn our “system” and adapt to it. Plus, when you have usually 15 kids in one house, more than one “kid clean-up” cloth is needed! :)

One question I get sometimes is “What do you do for cooking bacon in the microwave?” We actually use this Presto Microwave Bacon Cooker which works real well and eliminates the need for paper towels between the slices. I either use that or cook them right in the skillet if I have that going for other things.

Just try the “Paper Towel Challenge” for one month and see if you can cut back on your paper towel usage, too!

Also, if you’re looking to cut some costs in your budget, check out a few of my other postings in the “Cutting Costs” series that I did. I really do need to get a few more added to that series!