Paper towels, diapers and corn dogs…do I need them?

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a restful and creative weekend, and your week is already turning out fabulous.  By the title of this post you may have wondered if I have given up all my vices over the weekend, and the answer is no.  I still am heavily addicted to Diet Coke and Red Vines, so no need to think I’ve lost it altogether.  A few months ago, I began to pay attention to how much of my monthly budget was being spent on convenience items.  While for years I would not have considered paper towels a convenience item, I must admit I was curious what one would do without them.  So began my little experiment.  I like experiments, they excite me and make my neighbors a little nervous (sorry guys) plus we are homeschoolers so we like to experiment anyways. 
I am not against the use of paper towels, I love them quite a bit.  But, I also have a house of five right now and with three kids six and under we can CONSUME.  I have taken a closer look at all areas of consumption in  my life and found that it’s not really just about choosing one thing to focus on.  But a heightened awareness of how quickly money passes thru our hands and what value I am left with after the fact.  I love to go thrifting, go to yard sales, I love the fabric store, and have amassed “good deals” for years.  I just am tired of so much “stuff” and enjoy a little less, but more meaning in what I have.  I still love to hit the yard sales and thrift stores, but a shift to living and shopping in a more conscious state is something I must say is really refreshing.  Plus I won’t have to have as many yard sales to sell the stuff I bought and didn’t use the previous year.  You know, the stuff the hubs said “That’ll be in the next yard sale” and you say “No it won’t, what are you talking about?” When deep down you know he is right, but you cannot admit it because then this could impact your future yard sale endeavors.  Oops, I may have revealed a bit too much.  Let’s hope he is too busy to read this today…
Ok, onto the paper towel experiment.  Pretty Simple: Two plastic bins (Dollar Tree, boo-yah!)  under the kitchen sink, one for clean towels, one for dirty towels.  I bought a few bundles of inexpensive white washcloths at Walmart, I think I ended up with about 36 for about $12.  So far we are into this for $14.  I was spending about $10 a week minimum on paper towels, so you can see how quickly I began saving money.  I run a medium-sized load of them about twice a week and wash them with my homemade laundry soap (holy cow I have a TON of this left after 7 weeks btw!) add a little bleach and I am loving it. 
Not only have I really enjoyed thinking about how much I will save per year on reducing/eliminating one item in my budget, but we have all become quite used to the system and it’s not a big deal.  I think that is the allure for convenience items.  Almost a “how will I live without it?” mentality.  Like I mentioned before, I am not on a crusade to rid the world of paper goods.  I use disposable diapers and wipes, and I buy frozen corn dogs.  I am a Mama trying to find balance in my life, and a few ways to creatively pinch a few pennies without sacrificing my way of life or time with my family.
I hope this doesn’t cause you to think you are not doing enough, because you are.  And we all find different ways to budget and care for our families and homes.  Mine may be different than yours (but it’s ok to send me yours I like to save money and  have more cash for yard sales!)  I hope you don’t forget you are appreciated, and that you are fabulous, creative, resourceful and I think you are awesome. 
xoxo, Tanya :)

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  1. Gah! We were so good about this for so long. And then, I found a really good coupon or paper towels thinking I would only use them sparingly. Instead, I spent money on something we don't really need (paper towels) and totally messed up a good habit we had going. We have gone so far to the other side. Picture Harry and Lloyd on Dumb and Dumber wiping their tears with money. That's my

  2. Jennifer says

    I do this in the bathroom for the daily "swish & swipe" but never thought to try it in the kitchen…nice idea!

  3. Looking for ways to cut back on household expenses and waste is always a good thing! And you're right, we homeschoolers (mine have graduated)LOVE experiments.

    Be sure to stop by an enter my "French-inspired" giveaway, if you haven't already. 😉

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  4. We do something similar with white washcloths. We use them for wiping up everything from counters and tables to spills on the floor, and it works great! It always feels good to be "doing our part" 🙂

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Sunshine Award on my blog today! (You're just getting tons of those right now!) I really love your blog and am

  5. What a great idea! I don't go through that many paper towels, but if I did, I think I'd be trying this out! Smart solution!

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Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: And these awesome parties: