My husband is diabetic, so I watch his socks very carefully. When a hole or weak spot shows up, they are rags. And what wonderful rags they make. I use them for dusting at first, but when they get dirty I throw them away. I used old kitchen towels for everything I used to use paper towels. At first I did it to help cut my grocery bill and truly never missed them.
You can still use rags for the urine. Just run an extra rinse cycle. Still should be less expensive than the paper towels and more absorbent as well. I have so many rags from worn clothing and linens that I rarely wash them when I use them for something nasty and I still have piles to use up.
Plus this may save a little buy by the time you add in the detergent, bleach, water and electricity to wash them you have more expense then if you just tossed them. Never mix bleach with urine! However, Borax is a great alternative. If you need an additional rinse agent and a fantastic fabric softener remember the vinegar.
There are many that say that this is a myth because urine is not ammonia. What they get confused with is thinking that it is and you definitely should not ever mix bleach and ammonia. Another mistake people make is using bleach to clean where their pets have had an accident. I have heard of people having a strong ammonia smell in their urine and are worried about using a toilet with bleach in it but as happens so often we get hung up on the worrying and being afraid of the wrong things.
If someones urine has that strong of a smell they have bigger issues to deal with then whether to use vinegar or bleach and that is why is your urine smelling that strong. Which is what I would be taking care of. I am so glad you all are liking the article on cheap paper towels versus rags. I hope you enjoy the next couple of weeks too because I tried to go into great detail on what to use and how to use them. So much detail we had to divide it into 3 or 4 articles. I should have maybe waited and just let you all write it because you all have some really good ideas.
Certain ones go in the kitchen, certain ones are used in bathrooms, and the rest are multi-ourpose for house and cars. They go into a hot wash with bleach and are good to use again. I also buy flour sack towels very cheaply at IKEA, maybe 4 a year, and use them when I need lint-free drying, like drying dishes.
I love using cloth diapers for cleaning rags. Great artice. I need to see about finding instructions on doing rag rugs. I have alot of old sheets, etc that no one else would want to use, but hate to just pitch them. Does anyone recycle rags anymore? They used to use it for good quality paper rag content. Did your Grandma dye the cloth to get the colors? Would be great to add color to faded rags instead of the faded look. Karen in the next few articles I will talk about recycling rags mostly for cleaning but will mention some other things to use them for.
As far as dying goes my grandmother never dyed things because she had such a variety of different colored clothes, sheets etc. They look completely different when woven, braided or crocheted. My grandmother had a large loom she wove her rugs on. My mom has crocheted me several beautiful rag rugs with old sheets. She did this because it gave the rug a neater more finished look where most of the time you can see the fraying on the rug which is fine too especially if you are going for the country look.
My mom just used single crochet and worked long strips then laid them into a square, oval or circle and sewed the rows together. For braiding a rug you use not to long of strips and attach the ends to a chair or with a clamp or something and then just braid. When you get to the end sew more strips together and braid some more until you have the size you want.
Lay it down and sew the rows together. If it has a phone number, call and see if they also take rags. One company when we lived in California came to our school and told us that they re-use everything, including stained rags. The good stuff goes to a thrift shop, The rags were sorted by rags that could be sold bulk to places that used a lot of rags, and the remainder were actually sorted by fiber and somehow broken down and recycled.
Ours was a red box placed by the school. Some businesses could also have them placed free. A portion of the weight in donations was supposed to come back to the school or business. Three cheers for rags! We save them in kitty litter containers, washed out of course. I also do the rags for toss and rags for wash routine. Great subject to explore and use. My very frugal grandmother always kept a rag bag,and so do I. Worn out tee shirts, socks, anything flannel and old sheets are great for cleaning, along with old cloth diapers. Jill, my grandmother had a rag collection too. Her old dresses and mine went into it and she pieced quilts from them.
I would like to hear more about how your grandmother made rugs. Thanks for all the common sense advise. In the next newsletters I will be covering everything you need to know about rags, what to use where, how to cut them up, different types and on and on so hopefully I can answer your questions on many other things with those. The big question we were addressing here was how to save money on paper towels. I am diligently trying to wean my family off of paper towels. When I moved into my apartment in the town where I met my husband, I bought the big box bulk package.
I lived in that apartment for over a year, and then moved in with my husband when we married. I still had 9 of the twelve rolls I started with. Now, almost 13 years later, I am grateful for create-a-size and me being in charge of the grocery shopping ;. I have the kids trained to reach for a rag to wipe up spills, and have eliminated about half of the paper towel usage of our hey-day, but my goal is one roll a month. These are all wonderful tips! My grandchildren were grabbing a paper towel to dry their hands until I corrected them.
What a gimmick and waste of money and paper, not to mention making your bathroom look like something in a gas station. My wife sent me this article. Plus, we can always buy some like one lady who posted on here does. Some of those are more than 20 years old! Rags are worth their weight in gold for greasy messes and for washing your cars.
We save the socks that are worn out or have holes. We use them as dust rags or cleaning mitts for little hands. Their own socks fit over like a mitten, and work better than a rag for them. Throw them in the wash and reuse. I am a paper towel user and want to be frugal since I am on a fixed income now. Thank you all for all the tips and Tawra for your newsletter.
If anyone has a pattern for rag rugs, I would love that too. Thank you all for all the tips. My paper towel days are over!!!!! My huge concern with using rags over paper towels is the health issue. I was taught to use only paper towels in the kitchen for this reason. So for general cleaning I go ahead and use a rag but for raw food cleanup I go for the paper towels. Paper towels are a relitively recent invention. Grannie used rags for everything. Surely, if a rag was used for cleaning up raw meat mess, it went into the wash.
Personally, I just toss my dishcloth and towels into the laundry almost every day. All the rags add up to enough to do a couple of loads a week. A regular wash and dry and off we go again. We are getting to be a nation of germiphobes. Where do I get my rags? Just from Costco…they have cleaning rags in the auto section. They need to have finished edges as they are washed so often.
Yes I do use paper towels at home for bacon, then toss, and sometimes for wrapping lettuce in but at least that goes in the compost. I think we get at least a couple of moths out of a roll. Washcloths make good everyday napkins. You are right Judy. Paper goods period were rare — napkins, Kleenex, paper plates, toilet paper and paper used for writing or school.
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Once again even though we complain about how much more expensive things are now here is another thing that is so much cheaper then it ever has been. Go to the dollar store, get a big lingerie bag, and put that in a plastic trash bag. When you get done with a rag, put it in the lingerie bag. Sprinkle some baking soda in it to control odor. Keep it in the laundry room. When a week goes by, throw the laundry bag, rags and all, in the washer on cold with bleach and the rags will be fine for another go round.
Plus cleaning them recycles the fabric longer. On average I throw out 5 rags a month. I have boxes and boxes of rags because I recycle so well. And if I have a very messy cleanup, I will still use cheap paper towels. I am enjoying this article about paper towels vs. However, I have discovered an in-between measure. The local dollar store sells rolls of towels that are made of a sturdy material that can be used many times. They are sort of similar to the handiwipes.
I use one section and keep washing it in the sink and letting it dry. By the time it is used up and ready to toss, it has been quite a while. And if I clean up something really yucky, I have no qualms about throwing it away. Recently, I found that the disinfecting wipes, which I believe I must use at times, have an accumulation of liquid in the bottom of the container. Instead of throwing it out, I poured it into the next container. Now I feel even more frugal. It tells the story of a very special coat made from scraps for a little girl who needed it in order to go to school.
Thanks for bringing up a great memory! I buy a package of cloth baby diapers when the rags get so dirty they must be thrown out. They work very well and wash well in hot water; I add a little bleach as needed. There are still things that I prefer to clean with paper towels but I have cut down. This was really helpful…rather than just scold us for using paper towels you are educating us on what to use instead. I have read articles about re-using paper towels-drying them, which does not seem very feasible. I am looking forward to your next post! A previous pastor contacted me for our church newsletter to ask if our ladies would be interested in using t-shirts to make cloth diapers.
I certainly wish I had known how to do that when my girls were babies! I did not know where to look for the train your child to use the restroom by 6 months-old at the time. If anyone is interested in knowing how to make these, I would be happy to ask for the pattern. She also recommended sending these in kits to folks who have endured a disaster or providing to shelters or food banks for needy families. I know that is one area that could have helped me and neighbors when I only had disposable diapers that I could give to needy families who needed a couple of diapers to get them by until the store opened or until payday.
A few cloth diapers would have gone further. I do like the idea of using rags to clean the floors. That would do a much better job than my current solution as our home has year-old tile throughout. I cannot afford to buy diapers for them, but who could refuse cloth diapers when there is sometimes no diapers at all to donate to these families? I switched to rags about two years ago and I found it very useful to have small laundry basket in the kitchen.
I found a very small one at the dollar store, so not a big investment. I like to use the plastic grocery bag despensers with my rags to dispense them in an easy to reach way. I do also chuck rags if I use them on pet messes. I even recycle old worn out underware into rags! I cut them down the center of the front and back to make two long rags with a loop at the top, and I can loop it around the oven handle.
Instead of using paper towels for bacon and other greasy cooking situations, I bought a package of mens cloth hankies for use in the kitchen. They do a better job than cheese cloth, and I can even drain and squeez out the frozen spinage with them. Hi—what a great article! I really appreciate all of these frugal tips. At first I used nice microfiber cloths to clean off her hands and face, but they started to smell after a day or two.
Even after washing, they still smell bad same thing with my washrags, which I gave up on years ago. How do I get rid of the smell? We use white cloth diapers for this and throw them in with the whites and bleach them. BTW, I get a fresh washrag out every day and use only white rags I can bleach. That is a fact that everyone agrees on.
If I was in the hospital on the infectious disease ward I would want them to use bleach and not vinegar to make sure that room was safe for me to be in. Also people used vinegar for years for cleaning. If it was so great and wonderful why did they change over to bleach? Because they had seen family members die because of bacterial diseases, food poisonings etc.
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Bleach itself is not bad it is the way people use it — not using it properly and too much. Because they are bigger they slip over their heads easily and fall down on to their lap to catch the spills. Because they are old anyway we would just toss them in with the bleach things and wash. I also could use a clean corner to wet and wipe their mouths with. PS I have the worst time too with micro fiber cloths which I will address in the rest of the rag articles. They can also assist with getting medications for little to no cost as almost all the big pharmaceutical companies have indigent patient programs for free meds.
Sometimes just talking with someone in the billing department about your situation enables them to work with you about the possibility of doing away with some or all of the medical charges. They do this by using a sliding fee scale to determine how much you will owe based on your household income. Be sure everyone is taking care of their teeth every day by brushing and flossing in order to avoid pain, losing their teeth early, or incurring dental bills on top of the medical expenses. It is much harder to find free dental clinics or discounts for dental care. Also, if you or sweetie have high blood pressure, make it a priority to get meds and take them consistently.
Nothing can be worth the tragedy of a heart attack or stroke by one of the parents. Another thing, if folks are over weight in the family, encourage each other to go for a 20 minute walk as often as possible. Walking can benefit by managing undiagnosed diabetes, and a plethora of other physical health problems. You could really benefit from that. I am concerned there are resources available to help you and your family that you are not aware of. You have faced harder things than this, and sometimes just being persistant will win the day. Good luck to you. I am from India and since time immemorial, I remember my mother and now me never throwing out any cloth.
Old clothes went to Vincent de Paul in Church, for kitchen rags — I cut up old towels that no longer have any turkish in them and use them for wiping wet dishes. Sheets that have tears in them — I cut around the tear, bigger pieces go to make rugs doubling the material and smaller pieces for wiping counters. Regarding rag rugs, my wonderful mother used to even use the material after stitching an item of clothing like the sides. Put a strip into a bobby pin and then thread this through each weave of the burlap depending on how dense you want the rug.
These rugs are so colourful, last for years and can be put into the washing machine. Now for Barb — here my husband and I rely more on naturapathy than allopathy. My husband had just crossed the normal cholessterol level so each night, both of us have two pods of fresh garlic each. Presto — in a month his cholesterol level had come to normal. For thinning of blood, we each have half a raw onion.
I can honestly say that all the above work. If you subscribe to the newspaper when you are done reading it use it to wash windows or mirrors. These work great and give a real shine without any streaks. I love the rag idea but wanted to comment that paper napkins are extremely wasteful too. We use cloth napkins and it has been a very easy transition. I bought them all second hand from the Goodwill store and after washing they are folded and kept in a basket on our kitchen table.
If they are all used or have a sauce of any type on them they get thrown right in the washer, which is off the kitchen. Here is a site about crocheting with rags. Also, my Grandma used to do this with bread bags. We use rags the same way Jill does, but I learned a few tricks from this, too. Thanks, Jill and Tawra. I was thinking the other day I might like to try one. Glenda, Your suggestions to Barb were amazing. You offered so many avenues that could also help other readers too.
Barb, I hope you and your husband are able to get the assistance you need. Jill, I am also very frugal when it comes to paper towel use. I use paper towels for yucky spills and cleanups and only buy a roll a couple of times a year. My grandmother made me a lot of these and they have yet to even come close to wearing out in over 10 years!
Love them! I love the dish cloths you are talking about too, Anna. As Tawra said my mom her grandmother makes us these. For those of you who may wonder what we are talking about you take cotton crochet thread, cotton string or you could even try thin strips of cotton fabric and crochet or knit a square and they make great dish rags.
Especially love athletic socks. Whenever we get a hole in ours, after I wash it, I cut the toe off and split it for an absolutely great absorbent rag. I use a lot of cheap paper towels. But I have started using bar towels. Also they are absorbent and work better than the tea towels they make now. They are also white so they get lots of bleach when they are washed. My husband wears happy foot socks which do not make good rags so I keep them around for cat messes. Two old cats 20 and 23 have accidents and the socks get the mess with not too much work. Since they are rags I toss them in the garbage when done.
I also use them to clean the toilet and the bowl. They get tossed then as well.
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Thank you Tawra for another way to save money…and I see that you reuse your rags when wiping spray starch off your ironing board. You just have to continue shaking it between uses. Alot cheaper than buying spray starch! Yes that is good to use for starch. I also besides using the steam setting on my iron mist my clothes along with that and it does almost as good as using starch. This works especially well for dark things which even if you rub the starch into them can sometimes flake.
I get cans of it for free at our recycling center along with many other things. Horrific for those with allergies like me. I use microfiber towels because I have an old leaky dog. Not only do these items do a better job than paper towels, reducing, reusing and recycling saves me money I can spend on other things, eliminates the trash I produce and the waste products manufacturers produce.
I would really like more info regarding the carpet balls and rag rugs. Would love to know how to make them!! Icia, I will try to do a short thing on how to make them etc. Will let you know when it is done. I have also bought the microfiber towels for just a bit more. Now they work in the kitchen. I had also bought washrags for a very good price as diaper doublers. They also serve me again in the kitchen for everything!!! I think they just gradually leave the house as lint from the dryer… ; ]. My rags and towels clean everything!
They still clean little children bottoms when we have accidents. My disgusting things all get washed together. It all comes out clean again! I know you can buy recycled toilet paper, but I know of no way to recycle it… ; ]. For a family of six, our garbage can only needs to go to the curb once a month. Even when we had two in diapers and eight at home! Not bad! Thanks Jill. I will eagerly await any info you can give me. I even have staches of fabric remnents just waiting to be used. Keep up the great work. I eagerly await any info you have. You are a Godsend. I bought a cheep bunble of wash cloths.
I use the colored ones in the kitchen and white in the bathroom. When the white one get badly stained then I will use them in kitchen. I use a laundry rack to dry them, so all it cost is to wash and bleach them. I also save and use worn out socks to do the messy jobs in the house and garage then they can be thrown a way. Hi, I am new to these posts and am trying to remember everything I am reading!
I am a stay at home mom of 6 and need to learn to be even more frugal than I amI am wondering does anyone have a cheap alternative for a 2. I just need a solution for a few months hopefully. You could make some cloth out of old flannel blankets and just buy the plastic pants. You would only need 2 or 3 pairs of plastic pants if you did that. I have a ton! They would be great as hot pads or trivets. I have friends, who have everything! Plus, the price is right:! I found these scrubby dots the other day on Tipnut. You could probably just make them bigger and they would work as a trivet.
If you make something scrubby like a dish rag try using a combination of yarn or thread and stripes of mesh bags like the ones potatoes come in or tulle together. The mesh bags are messy to cut so you could use the tulle. The only difference would be is you are using the t shirts in place of the thread or yarn. I would suggest everyone try a small project like a trivet first anyway to practice before you start a large rug.
So, I buy J-Cloths. I use them in the kitchen until they start to show a bit of wear or get a little thin. Then I wash them. After they are cleaned again, I use them as rags. Reduce, recycle, reuse!!!! So, 40 dish cloths and 40 rags for that price!! Look out environment! Here I come!! I agree on rags versus paper towels, but I do have a question. Why spend money on paper towels to line your refrigerator bins, when you can use newspaper?
I like them so much, that about 6 years ago,I bought a package that was on sale at a baby store, just so I could have more! I have to agree with you on diapers. I was so glad when Tawra started having kids because my 25 plus year old diapers were getting soooo thread bare so that gave me a new supply.
I am the same way with my diapers. I cleaned houses for 10 years and hardly ever used paper towels. I hit yard sales and friends for old bath towels and cut them into 1 ft. I then sewed the ends so I had a tube. When folded I had several clean sides with which to scrub. I washed them with detergent and bleach to sanitize. When cleaning nasty places such as toilet seat and bathroom floors I used windex and toliet paper.
I just flushed away the germs. Like Tawra said they are different from handy wipes. Micro fiber is every where now and the biggest sells pitch for them is you can use them without having to use chemicals to clean. I am a little concerned people are falling for this pitch. Resale shops often have flannel sheets. Cut to size and zig-zag or hem. We use them for World Relief pkgs. I am familiar with the microfiber cloths. This is why a person only needs water with the cloths to clean. In general, microfiber cloths produce an electrostatic charge that removes dirt, germs and bacteria, leaving a clean, polished surface, unlike many other types of cloths that smear dirt across the surface being cleaned.
Please, please ask the guy you are referring to for more information! I just was reading this and wanted to comment about Microfiber towels. I hate touching them when they are new, but they make wonderful stuffers for our pocket cloth diapers. Once they are pretty old, they become cleaning rags. Not my favorite, but after using them for 3 years on a daily basis, getting a little more use out of them is worth it. We use about 3 rolls of paper towels a year here, and between 6 of us, that is uaually for greasy foods or for when we are out and I forget cloth napkins.
Love your website. Thank you Jeniver. Tawra will appreciate you sweet words especially today. She has had to show the house twice in three days, again today with all the kids home, Jack sick and her in laws coming in tonight. But with four yourself you know how that goes. My tip on saving on paper towels Sometimes we use paper towels for drying hands or under a spoon or lay a food etc. If the paper towel is not really dirty it can be saved and reused to wipe up spills from the floor or to put peelings etc,.
I also save and use my rags.. Nothing better in my humble opinion. I also use paper towels but am aware of how wasteful using them can be. I get newspapers from my mother in law and put them on top of the refrigerator and other hard to reach places where dusts collects. Every other month I just change the newspaper! My last hold out was draining bacon and sausage. I love to use rags, especially old gym socks that I can slip my hand into.
I sometimes use paper towels, but use the ones that are advertised as sturdy. They really are! I can clean with one paper towel all afternoon. Gabi, I have a few washcloths I keep in the kitchen just for draining greasy foods. Works for us. The main reason I use Paper towels is for the dogs… They have accidents and cleaning up is better.. Other than that I use a rag and wash them ,,, I am looking into making some with a scrubbie surface if I can find a pattern or a How to.
I buy wrapping paper at the dollar store s and use it as shelf paper. Cut to size. We have lived in this house for 17 years and the shelves still look great. An occasional swipe with a wet soapy cloth has kept them clean when needed. Yes that is a good idea Brenda. Because it was to be used on kitchen walls it is a little heavier and works great when I need to wipe it down.
I have lived here for 15 yrs and it is still working great. I will probably want something different though by the time I get around to replacing it. Wow, and I thought I was really creative. I hope I can change him over to rags before the paper towels bankrupt us! She probably should be an outdoor cat. Now that I am staying at home, I let her out most of the day.
So far, she has not strayed from the fenced back yard. I grew up using rags. My mom never had a paper towel in the house. I cannot recall using paper towels when my girls were growing up but now I do have a roll or two on hand. My favorite rags are terry towels and woe to the husband who comes in looking for grease rags and takes off with these. With the economy the way it is today we need to use and reuse things instead of just throwing things away.
I also have a basket of cloth napkins on my table. These can easily be made out of old table cloths that have been stained and seen better days. I had 7 children and tried to economize where possible, especially with something disposable like paper napkins. My youngest child is 44, and long gone from home, but I still have 4 of the old napkins left, and I use them every day. I have found those sham wow products great, the rags you cut to size and the mop heads all of which wash out great. Thank you! We use white rags for simple everyday cleaning and colored rags for messes that are not so easy.
We use alot of lemon and baking soda and bleach if needed. Instead of chunking the really nasty rags we simply drop them in the bucket of bleach to marinate for awhile. We get the buckets for free in the mornings at various grocery store bakeries. They get their icing in them and just toss them when they are done. I used to be fanatical about clorox wipes and paper towels until we had 3 kids. I hope this helps someone else! I use paper towels seldom. I have cotton tea towels that are gorgeous but not practicle for drying dishes.
So I line my crisper drawers in my fridge with them. When they get dirty I just wipe the drawer out with it and throw it in the wash. I also line my lazy susan where I keep my spices with the washable rubber non-slip shelf liner. Easy to wipe a spill when it happens. Love your newsletter. Thanks so much. Love, Love, Love it! I use very little paper towels!
Rags are great! Keep up the good work, folks! Plastic grocery bags to the rescue — I put my hand inside a plastic grocery bag and pick up the biggest part of a mess like a dropped egg and then use a rag for the remainder of the clean-up. I always use rags. Cloth diapers make the best ones, of course those are not used for the dirty messes, I use old worn out washclothes or towels. In my opinion, for me to use papertowels is just laziness. We too have a container for rags that get washed separately from other pieces of laundry, and who cares if they stained…they are for cleaning, not for wiping your face with.
One idea for draining bacon that restraunts use is to save the ends of bread that no one wants to eat and put the bacon on those to drain. You could use them 3 or 4 times, then feed them to the dog. It is a smart idea puppy gets a treat and you save paper towels.
I spend I have found two brands that live up to their promise, Bounty and Viva. I like pt because you can throw them away, and not be wiping up germs with them. I feel if you use reusable rags, you are just wiping the germs from one area to the next, even if you clean them. I think you would have to use clorox in-between every use. I have pets, and and do my best not to carry germs from one area to the next. Though it costs me I think this goes for children too.
Just my opinion. As far as the germs, a few of them help keep our immune system primed!! Hugs, Marian. Marian I love your doctors way of thinking. Too funny. I think of things too like people careful scrub their hands and then touch them to the car door handle to get in the car.
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They they touch the steering wheel and next pull a mint out of their purse to eat. My point is clean the best you can then chill. I drain my bacon on a slice of bread, then this bread becomes a treat for my dogs when the bacons gone. You can get lots of rags out of one shirt! Just cut them up and if they get too gross, chuck them out.
Paper towels are just handier at times, especially when you have them sitting on your counter. I use both rags and paper towels. I like a roll of paper towels in the bathroom for guests and friends to use after they wash their hands. Easy peasy. I also have a roll on the kitchen counter. But we use rags for many things. I use crocheted scrubbies for dishes.
And I use rags for just about everything. So much easier and they do a better job than paper towels. You mentioned that you had not found anything better to drain the bacon grease better than paper towels, well I have, …. They soak up so much more than paper towels and allot more economical. Where you would use several paper towels, one coffee filter does the job. Speaking of coffee filters, I like to use them in the bottom of a flower pot before the dirt goes in.
I use pt when my dogs 3 have messes in the house. It is not often, more in rainy season, and I use them in the kitchen when preparing chicken, etc. Any ideas on what to use for dogs messes liquid? What I use to do was I would lay two paper towels down, then a thick stack of newspaper and would then weight it all down with something heavy like a gallon of something in a plastic jug or something heavy in plastic and let it sit for an hour or so.
Then I would pick it all up toss and pour a lot at least a cup of vinegar on the spot and repeat with the paper towels, newspaper weighted down and let sit. If it is on tile or something then do the same thing but you then only need to of course wipe with soapy water after everything is soaked up. By placing the heavy object on them and letting it sit it helps the newspapers to wick it up. I agree I only use paper towels on items that I absolutely would not want to put in my washing machine like greasy messes.
I always just use rags and wash wash wash those rags. I also stopped buying the swiffer dry clothes. I just poke it into the holes of the same swifer-pole. I use paper towels all the time…the way I save on them is to cut the roll in half using an electric knife…one half goes in my bathroom for drying hands and one in my kitchen…I use the type with select-a-size.
The ones I use just for drying a surface, I spread out and let it dry and use it over. All the things you write about. I did as a child. My mother organized everything. She saved every piece of string, elastics, buttons, rags, paper bags, etc. Today, you find a lot of what my mother did when I was a child, resurfacing.
I try to follow her ways. The only problem is with rags. I LOVE paper towels. I even took my lunch paper bag and wax papered sandwiches to school…and returned them home all folded up for the next day. I would probably not use rags myself if I washed the iky ones out. I toss my rags like paper towels. Just toss like you would a paper towel. When you run out of rags then use paper towels but at least you saved a bit.
The thing is I for some reason have an over abundance of rags and never seem to run out even tossing them. I usually have one rag a week if that much to wash because if I am using them for the things I mentioned I can let them dry and use them again. Rags, they have always been part of our lives…. Let me know if you need some ideas or might need some help with a gift. Debbie Grigsby Lynch. I use socks with no matches or holes as dustr rags. They fit nicely over your hand and works great! I use rags all the time.
Mostly old T-shirts. I use them to wash dishes, wipe the counters, on the swiffer, to dust with. I do wash and re-use them. Great tips! I do want to try composting. I think it would make our garden happier too. What a great list. I love how simplifying, going gree er , and living frugally all converge so prettily. Living in a city, public transportation is my best friend—I swear, there are months when my boyfriend pays more in parking tickets than I do for my bus and subway pass. I live in an impoverished neighborhood and yet the folks around me seem determined to throw things away that could be put to use by another family.
I see car seats, strollers, exersaucers and toys just dumped outside. Yesterday, I saw a trash can overflowing with perfectly good clothes and winter coats. When people complain about being poor, I was always wonder if they have done everything they can to economize. We log on to Freecycle and find someone who can use our unwanted stuff. I do many, if not most, of the things on your list, and would add one more. We tend to use quite a few ziplock bags for lunches, snacks for soccer and scouts, etc. The only caveat is NOT to reuse a plastic bag that has had raw meat, poultry or fish in it — like if you were marinating.
She is an amazing activist and mother. Check it out. I have to say, we do almost all the same things you do! We also use cloth diapers at home, and are attempting to de-toxify our cleaning and personal care products. My favorite green and frugal activities for this year have been centered around our food. I have a ton of fabric scraps that would be great for making cloth napkins, and I love the paper tube napkin ring idea. My daughter would enjoy making some rings for our family. Great ideas and I also enjoy reading the feedback from your readers! I need to get better about my household cleaners.
It felt a little silly at first, but made soo much sense! Thanks again for the great ideas! Jen Creative and Curious Kids! When the dishes are done, we take the basin outside and water our plants with it. Our back yard is dead and brown, but it should perk up by spring with the rains. Great list, we already do most of these things. We also have started using cloth diapers, and love them. I opted for this method even though I do have a bit of backyard. As I attempt to drink more water throughout the day, I reuse the same bottle and refill it from a filtered source like Brita. I love how fresh my house feels and smells just from opening all the windows.
Thanks for the great tips. We use it for washing floors, counters, windows, tables, bathrooms, and the car! You know those old dryer sheets that innocently stick to your pant legs in public? You make some great points about such simple things! We bought a pack of 20 white washcloths at Costco five years ago and have not bought a roll of paper towels since. Thanks for the other inspiration!
Then they hung the clothespins up somewhere a sturdy string stretched between two cabinet knobs maybe? But that would be a fun project for kids to decorate their own napkin clothespin! We go through fewer diapers every day and so we have to do less loads of diapers! Then use the water to water your plants. Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at blackhatbootcamp. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno.
Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. Great tips. Kudos to those who are able to use cloth! Our family has made some amazing changes, however I am still guilty of being an AC Hog. I can not stand to be hot in my home. Love all you tips and the comment tips.
I like the tall jars with twist lids. Some can be put in the microwave. Great list! The different napkin rings are a great idea! I do write about more than just H Recently, I covered how you can donate clothes that are rag worthy, not wearable, to good causes, thus giving them a good second or third life and keeping them out of the waste stream. Thank you so much for doing these posts.
Make paper towels
As one who never really paid attention to being frugal or green, I am finding I really need to be frugal, at least. One way we found to further cut costs was to not use the dishwasher at all. Washing by hand used much less water and less energy. I also felt it was easier than having to put all the dishes in and out of the washer.
I even found my daughter a kitten for her birthday! Check it out its saved my family alot since I started using it! These are some great tips, thank you. It makes bartering so easy and simple, and they even allow you to trade services and real estate, too. It can be read in under a minute, pinky-swear. A frugal family is a greener family: easy everyday tips. Reading Time: 4 minutes. Cloth Napkins We keep a very small pack of paper napkins for the occasional situation when we have tons of people over at once, but other than that, we always use cloth napkins.
Cloth Rags Instead of paper towels, we have an abundance of cloth rags. Scratch Paper Nothing revolutionary here. No Pre-Rinsing We noticed that pre-rinsing our dishes before loading them in the dishwasher did absolutely nothing. Plenty of Real Dishes We love to entertain, and we often have large groups of friends over for dinner. Cook From Scratch We have very little trash because we usually cook from scratch instead of boxed prepackaged food — on average, we fill one small plastic grocery bag with trash daily.
Reuse Plastic Bags As I mentioned earlier, plastic grocery bags are our garbage bags. Dave Fowler on September 17, at pm. What a fantastic list. Thank you! Denise on September 17, at pm. Jennifer V. Sharon J on September 17, at pm. Lucie on September 17, at pm. I save all our egg crates for the boys to use to mix paint. Meg Evans on September 17, at pm.
If we could get a compost bin, I just know our garbage output would dwindle to almost nothing! MelissaS on September 17, at pm. A couple additional things we do: Use cloth bags at the grocery store. Linn on September 17, at pm. Sherry on September 17, at pm. CiderSapling on September 17, at pm. Hi CiderSapling, Many women share your story! Jasi on September 17, at pm. Lucie — Yes, ditto on the glass jars. And I agree, Kelly at Almost Frugal is great!
Prairie Chick on September 17, at pm.