In looking for ways to be more frugal, I often find that giving up a little convenience can be a great way to save money. The alternatives generally don’t take much more time or effort, and the financial reward in the long term can be great.
One way to save money is to give up paper products. I’ll admit I’m not nearly as far along in my quest to go paperless as I’d like to be, but slowly I’m cutting the paper products out of my life (with the obvious exception of toilet paper).
The savings go beyond money. In giving up paper, you keep unnecessary items out of our already crowded landfills. That’s being a good steward of the environment, too. Some ways that I have (or am trying) to give up paper are the following:
This is actually next on my to-do list. As a family with children, we can go through a lot of napkins. My plan is to search for cloth napkins on clearance and to make my own napkins out of inexpensive fabric. There are some easy patterns here. And for special occasions, these napkins are really cool! Maybe I’ll try them someday, if I get ambitious.
It’s really not that much more difficult to use regular towels or rags in place of paper towels. I haven’t completely given up paper towels yet, as I still use them to prevent splatters in the microwave, but that’s about all I use them for anymore.
I will admit to being addicted to Lysol wipes. They are so handy! But I’ve resolved to stop using them once I’m out of the three containers I bought on clearance. It’s really not that much harder to take my homemade cleaner and spray the counters and wipe them down with a regular rag.
Mrs. Micah recently bought the Diva Cup and says it works well. Stephanie at Stop the Ride bought the Keeper, which is a similar product. For under $30 you can buy a Diva cup that will last up to 10 years, and quite buying tampons! I haven’t done it yet, but I might try soon! They come in two sizes: pre-childbirth & post-childbirth.
I’ll be the first to admit that this might not be a money saving measure, unless you go for the very basic cloth diapers with diaper pins or snappis and diaper covers. However, cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly….and the new ones are cute and almost as easy to use as disposables. I know. I used them on my youngest. :)
Have you replaced any paper products? What have you replaced? What are you working on? Is there anything you can’t see yourself giving up? Do you have any tips for those of us who are still working on giving up our convenience products?
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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