Do you buy a lot of paper towels in your home? If so, then chances are that you’re missing an opportunity to save money. There are many great alternatives to paper towels. Many of these are eco-friendly alternatives that are good for the earth as well as your bank account. Moreover, there are smart ways to save on paper towels if you’re going to use them. Consider implementing some of the following options into your life:
1. Switch to Cheap Washcloths
The biggest problem with paper towels is that they’re disposable. In other words, you use them once, then you throw them away. It’s terrible for the environment. And it’s not a good use of your money. One quick way to make an easy change in your home is to switch to cheap washcloths. You can pick up big packs of washcloths at dollar stores, warehouse stores, and big box stores for a very low price. Sometimes you can get ten of them for the same price as a big roll of paper towels! However, you get more bang for your buck. After all, you can throw a used washcloth into the laundry and use it again. A paper towel simply goes in the trash.
2. Knit or Crochet Your Own Washcloths
When you knit or crochet your own household items, you reap several benefits:
- You get the pleasure of working on a craft that is good for you home and for the earth.
- It’s a pastime, so you save money on other entertainment by crafting instead.
- You can choose eco-friendly, durable, affordable materials. The longer your washcloths last, the more money you save.
- You can whip up new ones as needed. You don’t have to rush to the store to buy paper towels.
Once you start making your own washcloths, you probably won’t want to go back to paper products! If you don’t knit or crochet, you can also sew or weave your own washcloths.
3. Upcycle Old Clothes Into Cleaning Rags
You’re probably getting the idea here. A lot of the smart ways to save on paper towels involve not using them anymore at all. Swap them out for fabric. Cotton is great for cleaning. However, you can also use other materials for different projects around the house. For example, denim doesn’t sop up spills as well as paper towels do but it does do a great job of scouring pots and pans. Look for ways to stop buying disposable cleaning supplies for all areas of the home.
4. Use Cloth Napkins at the Table
Even if you want to use paper towels for cleanup jobs, chances are that you’re overusing them for other things in the home. For example, many of us are guilty of grabbing paper towels to use as napkins at the dinner table. This is often cheaper than buying separate napkins. However, it’s not as cost-effective as using washable cloth napkins. Consider this switch for your mealtimes.
5. Save Paper Towels for the Dirtiest Jobs
Use all of the eco-friendly alternatives that you can for various cleaning jobs around the house. Then use paper towels only for those things that you really don’t want to deal with cleaning. For example, use a paper towel to clean up dog mess if you don’t want to wash a cloth or use a plastic bag for that kind of job. In other words, limit your use of paper towels in every way that you can. Only use them when it feels truly like the right product for the job at hand.
6. Move Your Paper Towels to an Inconvenient Location
Earth Friendly Tips recommends making a simple change at home to reduce your paper towel use: make them harder to access. As you get used to using other tools for the job, you’ll find it easier if you can’t quickly grab a paper towel. You’ll still have them at home if you need them. And yet, you’ll find yourself easily adjusting to other alternatives that save money and are better for the planet. For example, Wide Open Eats points out that if you shake your hands off for twelve seconds after washing them, then you should need fewer (or no) paper towels for drying your hands.
7. Shop Around to Save on Paper Towels
Maybe you’re not going to stop using paper towels at home. That’s okay. There are a lot of smart ways to save on paper towels when you do choose to purchase them. The first and most obvious is to always shop around for the best price. Don’t assume that you know where the best price is. For example, while Costco sometimes offers the lowest price on paper products, this can vary with Target and other stores often having better daily prices.
8. Make Use of Discounts, Coupons, and Deals
If you use a lot of paper towels at home, then you should stock up when you see a good price. Once you’ve done your research to find out what a good price is in your area, look out for discounts. Make use of holiday sales, coupons, and online or in-store bulk shopping. These are all smart ways to save on paper towels.
9. Try the Select-A-Size Paper Towels
These are paper towel rolls that have tear seams at small points along the way. Therefore, if you don’t need a huge paper towel, then you can just use the smallest size. Many people find that they get more bang for their buck when they use this option. In particular, if you get used to using the smallest size for most clean-up jobs, then you can save a lot of money. However, you have to use them well to get that savings. These sometimes cost considerably more than regular rolls of paper towels. Therefore, you want to be careful as you see whether or not this option works well for you.
10. Ask Around for People’s Extras
Many people have implemented the above tips in their homes to reduce their paper towel usage. As a result, they may have stockpiles of paper towels that they aren’t going to use anymore. You may be able to get some for free. Alternatively, you could offer a price that’s fair to them but lower than what you would pay at the store. Yet another option is to barter something you have too much of for the paper towels that you need at home. Use your social media networks and neighborhood connections to see if this is an option for you.
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