My Paperless Kitchen ~ Tossing In The Paper Towel!

In 2008 I began to look for ways to save a little money.  I was in nursing school and had to drive an hour one way just to get to class.  As you can imagine that wasn’t cheap!

Giving up paper products and creating a paperless kitchen is an easy way to save you hundreds of dollars a year with once simple switch! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.comI began experimenting with coupons trying to save money on food and household goods.  Using coupons and watching the sales made me more aware of the price of different items we used every day.  It also caused me to pay more attention to how we were using those things.

One area where I noticed that we were spending a lot of money, and then throwing it in the trash was in the kitchen.  We went through a lot of paper towels, paper plates and plastic cups, and by “we” I mean mostly my husband.  He never seemed capable of using just one or even two paper towels to dry his hands, it was more like five or six waded up.  It drove me crazy.  Since the cups were also disposable it was way too easy to get a new one versus keeping track of the one you already had.  It was such a waste.

So I decided to stop the hemorrhage of money… and paper products.  I threw in the paper towel and refused to buy anymore.  My husband was not thrilled at first, he balked at the idea of our new paperless kitchen.  He pointed out that we would have more laundry and dishes to do, and he was right.  But he failed to realize the amount of money we would be saving!

 My Paperless Kitchen

Stop Buying Paper Products.  For such a simple statement, it can be a hard thing to do.  We are so reliant on paper goods that it almost seems second nature to just toss them into the grocery cart once every couple of weeks.  However, the quickest way to start a paperless kitchen is to stop buying the paper products to begin with.  Once you have made the decision to make the switch it is easier to get started than you may think.

Giving up paper products and creating a paperless kitchen is an easy way to save you hundreds of dollars a year with once simple switch! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.comUse Cloth Napkins For Every Meal.  You can quickly and easily build up a small stock pile of cloth napkins once you stop buying paper napkins and towels.  Simply use the money you would have spent to purchase those items and instead purchase cloth napkins.  I personally keep about 2 dozen on hand for our family to use.  I simply toss them in the wash, when they are dirty and clean cloth napkins go back in the drawer to be used for the next meal.  Every couple of days I have freshly laundered cloth napkins to use.

When we have company I use a separate set of napkins that are a bit fancier.  Holidays have themed napkins that only come out during the season.  I find that cloth napkins turn even the simplest meal into a special event.

Cloth napkins can often be founds on sale, or even made yourself very inexpensively.  Just think of all the money you will be saving by investing the $15.00 dollars you would have spent on a large package of paper towels into the cloth napkins you will be using over and over again.

Finally for those of you who are concerned, like my husband was, on the cost of washing the napkins remember my homemade laundry detergent is only $0.04 per load.  You can’t get much more economical than that.

No More Paper Plates Or Plastic Cups.  Remember those pretty dishes you got as wedding gifts or just couldn’t resist purchasing yourself.  It’s time to get them out of the kitchen cupboards and start enjoying them once again.  Sure, paper plates are quick and easy but it doesn’t take that long to wash Corelle dishes by hand or stick them in the dishwasher.  The savings here add up much quicker than you may realize.

Giving up paper products and creating a paperless kitchen is an easy way to save you hundreds of dollars a year with once simple switch! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.comTwo Kinds Of Dish Towels.  Now that I had stopped buying paper towels, I needed a system for cleaning up spills, doing general kitchen cleaning, and for drying clean hands and dishes.

For cleaning and other dirty jobs I use old washcloths, cloth towels or bar rags depending on the size and type of mess.  Then I simply put them in the laundry to be washed by themselves or I toss them out depending on their condition after the job is done.

For drying clean hands and dishes I simply use my nicer cloth kitchen towels.   I typically change them out every couple of days or sooner if they get dirty.  No more using 5 or 6 paper towels to dry clean hands!

Having a paperless kitchen was one of the first frugal decisions we made as a married couple and it has been a great experience for us.  Not to mention how much cash doing this one thing has saved us over the past 6 1/2 years.

Finally, enjoy the savings your new paperless kitchen is going to bring you for a long time to come!

Do you have a paperless kitchen?
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11 Replies to “My Paperless Kitchen ~ Tossing In The Paper Towel!”

  1. This is a great idea! We are a (somewhat) paperless kitchen. We don’t use any paper plates or anything to eat off of, and we use old cleaning cloths for wiping down the counters and a nice hand towel that’s always hanging by the sink, but we do use paper napkins and sometimes use paper towels to clean up larger messes (usually made by the baby, hah). I think I could definitely get down with using cloth napkins for eating though. It would probably feel like quite a luxury too! Plus, I already do mountains of laundry everyday…I honestly don’t think adding a few napkins to the pile would be that big of a deal!

  2. We are definitely a paperless kitchen kind of household. 1, it saves us money, and 2, eating on actual dishes instead of paper plates just feels so.much.nicer. Doesn´t it? I just feel like the meal looks and tastes nicer, and that my hard work cooking deserves a nice presentation. Haha. We do have paper napkins around, but only the free ones we get from if we ever get takeout.

  3. My boyfriend is addicted to paper plates/towels and whenever we are running low, he stocks up religiously. I understand the plates, because we don’t have much time to do dishes among other things but I’ve been trying to wean him off the paper towels for the longest. I don’t even want to think about how much extra change he wastes by keeping up with this habit but I will certainly share this post with him 🙂

  4. I love it Tennille! My kitchen isn’t paperless yet, but I think this post is the final inspiration. It reminds me of a post I read once where the girl said that who knew that the best way to grow her hair out long was to stop getting it cut? 😛 Simple common sense just doesn’t work on all of us all of the time. I actually hesitated when I picked up paper plates this morning and paper towels the other day. Next time, I’ll hesitate, and then walk away without them! 🙂

  5. I basically do the same thing. We use cloth napkins and towels. I throw them in the laundry room sink when they’re dirty then put them in when I wash towels and sheets once or twice a week. It works great!

  6. I need to find some cloth napkins! The hubby and son use dish towels as their napkins. Lol! We only use paper plates and disposable glasses when we have more people over than we have dishes. I think the hardest for us would be our select-a-size paper towels. You got me thinking!

  7. I think about how much money I waste on paper towels all the time! I am so sick of buying them and the amount of money they cost. I’ve always been nervous to use cloth – I don’t know why. I think I have this fear of mixing them up and trying to keep separate ones for cleaning, kitchen use, wiping my hands, etc. Do you have a favorite kind you use?

  8. I have been wanting to do this for awhile, paper towels are ridiculously expensive and we seem to go through them like crazy! I think getting my husband on board will be the biggest challenge… that and I’m terrible at keeping up with laundry. Thanks for the ideas, we’re out of paper towels now… I may just not buy any more!

  9. Once upon a time I switched us to cloth napkins and we did ok until the babies came. For awhile it was really easiest to tosh the dishes out versus having them stack up on the counter and to throw away the vomit soaked paper towels rather than do laundry. Because let’s face it, laundry isn’t getting done!

    But as the baby gets older and housework is easier to keep up with, this is seriously a change I need to reintroduce in our house. Glad you posted this. It’s a good nudge.

    1. I can totally relate to where you are coming from. Kids can easily double your work load and suck up your time in more ways than one! I could have easily gone back to buying paper when the boys were little but every time I thought about it I remembered the waste and so stuck to my guns. Sometimes being stubborn can be a good thing!

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