I am always looking for ways to save our family money. Over the past several years that has meant more Meal Planning and less frequent trips to the store for “extras”. I also budget out our school supplies and seasonal clothing purchases (we do a lot of hand-me-downs too) so we don’t have one HUGE purchase without preparation. It has worked really well for us so far.
But several months ago I realized just how many paper towels our family went through in a week and just how ridiculous it was. I grew up using paper towels and I love the convenience they offer. However every time I used one (or two), dollar signs flashed in my head and I could hear *cha-ching* as if I was actually tossing money in the trash. I just knew there had to be a better way!
That’s when I remembered seeing several pins on Pinterest about reusable paper towels. So I decided to peruse Pinterest, Etsy and other online stores to see what I could find. *GASP* The prices were crazy expensive – at least for what I was willing to spend. So I sent a few of the pins to my Mom, who is a wonderful seamstress, and asked for some reusable paper towels for Christmas!! She agreed and said that would be perfect. Our journey to going paperless in the kitchen was underway!!
But…I didn’t want to wait until Christmas. I wanted to start saving our family money NOW!
The very next weekend I went to the Farmer’s Market with my Mother-in-Love – just the two of us. I was able to spend some real time looking at all the different booths and what they had to offer. Low and behold I found a lovely lady who had some hand-crocheted dish rags that would be perfect for the kitchen. She informed me that she has used them for years and hers last up to 5 years, so long as you take care of them. She uses them for a day and then puts them out to dry. Then they sit until she is ready to wash them.
I figured she knew what she was talking about so my MIL bought me 3 dishrags and 2 hand towels to use in the kitchen. A great start to my new paperless kitchen that I was working toward.
Since that day I have added several more dishrags, as I’ve purchased more every time I go to the Farmer’s Market. I now have 8 reusable, hand-crocheted dishrags. And I absolutely LOVE them!! Honestly, I would love to have at least 8 more – but the Hubster has put his foot down (at least for now). NOTE: The dishrags do not get that icky, stale smell when I only use them for a day (or two max). Also, the cotton yarn helps eliminate the stale smell.
Another way we’ve moved toward a paperless kitchen is using dish towels to clean up even the smallest messes. I have one hanging on my refrigerator and one hanging on a hook near the sink. Those are primarily what I use when wiping up water spills or drying my hands after doing the dishes. It works very well in our house and most every one has become accustomed to no paper towels.
In fact, other than the occasional grease spills, we don’t use them at all. They are tucked neatly away on the bottom shelf of my kitchen island. No one even knows they’re there except me! And I don’t reach for them unless I absolutely need them.
In the future I would like to completely rid our kitchen of the paper towels, but so far that hasn’t happened. I have read several other blogs where they too use paper towels for those greasy clean-ups and others that have specific towels in their drawers used only for those grease spills. I have also seen where some people have different colored towels for different clean-ups and messes, but that seemed a bit too complicated for me (at least right now).
Other ways I would like to go paperless in our kitchen – ideas taken from Whistle Pig Hollow:
Cotton Bar Towels (24-pack) – great for those deep cleaning jobs like the stove top
Reusable KRUPS coffee filter – I seriously can’t wait until we are nearly out of our paper filters so I can justify purchasing this!!
For now I will stick to my simple hand towels and hand-crocheted dishrags and call it good. But, you can believe that some of these things are on my Christmas and Birthday Wish Lists!!!! My how things change as you get older! LOL
Are you paperless in your kitchen? What tips do you have for those wanting to make the switch?
Have you thought about going paperless, but have so many questions? Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them!
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