“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We've become a generation of consumers ... and less and less producers. The economy is in the tank ... and big gov. is encouraging people to spend, spend, spend. To me, this does not feel right (the spending part). I think there are too many factors involved to be brief here ... but the treadmill spending of the past several decades has come to an abrupt halt. During this time of uncertainty is an opportunity to make do with what you have, re-purpose items that would otherwise be tossed in the landfill, and think outside the box. Our forefathers had to get by with very few staples ... and yet they survived. This month I hope to focus on a few steps to shrink your grocery bill.

Today's money saver tip:
Cut back on your use of paper towels

My kids were the biggest offenders in wasting paper towels. How did I get them to use less? I put away the paper towel holder on the kitchen counter and replaced it with a two-ring fingertip towel holder. Each day I stock it with two clean wash cloths. At one time we used about 1-2 rolls of paper towels a week ... now a roll lasts us about three months. Another big waste was using them in the microwave oven to cook bacon. How about cooking bacon in a cast iron skillet?

Washing windows and mirrors.

This was another area that paper towels were used. Recycling your newspaper really does work well and is lint free. Before you use the paper, take a full sheet and rip it in half along the crease, then crumple it up a bit. It takes about thirty seconds or so to start absorbing the window cleaner, but once the paper is a tiny bit damp, it works wonders. You will have to wash your hands or wear cleaning gloves due to the newsprint. I toss the damp paper into the compost bin. You could also use non printed newspaper ... the type used for packing moving boxes. One box would last several years.

Here is a list of products we no longer buy:

  • window cleaner
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • pre-moistened cleaning wipes
  • tub/sink cleaner
  • floor cleaner (Pinesol/Mr. Clean)
  • furniture polish
  • disposable dusting products
  • disposable floor cleaning mops/pads (swiffer)
  • fabric softener/dryer sheets
  • laundry detergent
  • bath soap
  • plug in type air fresheners
This coming month I will post some tried and true recipes you can make for pennies. You probably have most of the ingredients sitting on your pantry shelf.

Now don't think we're all covered in dirt that I've included 'laundry detergent and bath soap' to my list of products we don't purchase ... these are easy and fun to make ... stay tuned ... or do some research and find a simple recipe to replace your store bought product ... you really will save money and know what's in your cleaning arsenal.

In paper towels alone, we're saving a minimum of $60-75 a year.


Deb said...

You don't buy laundry detergent? How are you managing that?!

I re-use my paper towels. Does that count?

You amaze me! :)

Mrs. Mac said...

Hey Deb ... I put a few simple laundry soap recipes in my side bar. The dingies have gone bye-bye and no more bleach products. Even gave up the dryer sheets. I'll post on that soon. Our basement flooded a bit last night ... so I'm wiped out ... ptl ... a neighbor removed the ice berg in our back yard today that was a contributing factor. I'm pooped!!!

Maggie Ann said...

I'm sorry to read in the above comment your basement flooded a bit....wow...no fun. Our fridge leaked all over the kitchen floor again...not so severe this time. My husband was able to get the part needed for it yesterday. Hurray!

Maggie Ann said...

Hi Mrs.Mac....Those nasturtians are my baby seedlings..just planted the end of Feb. I love those paper newspaper pots. I transplanted lots of cherry tomatoes today. Hubby got a bargain on torn bags of soil..and vermiculite & perlite. So, I had a good time mixing soil and transplanting. After that...it was lay on the couch with a book all afternoon. I'm wondering how many of my little seedlings will survive.

Felisol said...

Hello, Mrs. Mac,
I remember as a very young scout, I had a voluntary work week for some missionary purpose. The Mrs. Director on the cornerstone factory made us use crushed newspapers to make the windows shine. The same was used for final polishing of shoes. I prefer an old wool sock.

BUT how do you polish your furniture??
Last week I was out of polish and totally lost.
From Felisol

Margie said...

I'm sorry about your basement!!!

I love this post!! thanks so much!!