I felt like this would be a good topic to share today, since I just ran out of paper towels from cleaning up dog vomit the last 2 days. First of all, the dogs are fine. They caught some kind of bug that really only lasted a few hours for each dog. But this is exactly the type of occasion that the paper towels are reserved for. Generally though, I don’t buy paper towels and other disposable items. My thought is there are certain items made for convenience, and convenience always comes with a price that I am rarely willing to pay… I say that I am rarely willing to pay that price because I actually have them all sitting in my pantry right now (with the exception of the paper towels I just ran out of). However, I reserve these items for when convenience is really needed, and make do with non-disposable items the rest of the time.
The following is a small list of disposable items that we rarely buy:
1. Paper towels– these are the least convenient for me to replace. I think it’s so nice to grab one, clean up a mess, and then throw it away. It has taken me a while to get to the point where my desire to save money was greater than my desire for convenience. I replaced them with a stash of small rags that I use to clean the counter tops and other surfaces in the house. We dry our hands on hand towels. I have a cloth that I use to dry fruits and veggies after they have been washed. Now, we literally only reserve the paper towels for things like absorbing grease from meat or cleaning up messes that I don’t want to use real towels for (aka regurgitated bodily fluids from the dogs).
2. Foil– foil is super easy to replace. I mentioned in a previous post that I save all kinds of jars and tupperware. This is exactly why I do that. When I have leftovers, I put them into a resealable container, and save the foil for things like taking food over to someone’s house. I also use foil when I make baby food. I bake the fruits that I make for my son, and cover with foil so the juices will stay in the pan, then I use those juices to make the puree. I will typically re-use that foil for the next batch of baby food, since it doesn’t get dirty anyway.
3. Gallon-sized Ziploc bags– I don’t necessarily try to find a way to get around using these, I just happen to reuse them. After I empty one, I just wash it like I would any other dish, let it dry, and put it back in the drawer until I need it again.
Of course, when you don’t buy these things, you are usually committing to doing a little more grunt work… i.e., extra laundry and dish duty. However, as my family and I work toward becoming debt-free, we have made the decision to not pay for convenience.
What are some ways you save on disposable items? Share your thoughts below!