Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things Not To Buy: Paper Towels

Dear Cheapskate,

Another simple rule for you:

Rule: Never, ever, buy paper towels.

Every time you eliminate an item from you repertoire of things to purchase, not only do you save money, you save trips to the store, relieve yourself of things to carry home, reduce your garbage (and thus get a lighter trash can to carry), and help the environment!

Plus you can sneer at the other suckers who have paper towels in their grcery carts!

Paper towels: Who needs 'em? I mean, humans sruvived for all but the last fifty years, just fine, without paper towels.

Oh, wah, wah. No, you don't need paper towels, not even for drying your lettuce.

Use cloth towels in the kitchen, even for drying your lettuce. I have about twenty kitchen towels. Some of them are threadbare or have holes, but these are the best ones for drying lettuce! Use them for wiping things, drying things, everything you would use paper towels for.

Ok, I, myself, have often been tempted to buy just one, one!, roll of paper towels for the purpuse of washing windows. The windows were sooo dirty and it made my cloth towels filthy!
I resisted tempation and I didn't buy paper towels. Instead I bought a squeegee at the dollar store. For a dollar! It's a great squeegee! It has a spongy side and a squeegee side! It works great for windows. And who wouldn't want to say the word "squeegee" as often as possible!!!

If you want to treat yourself to the paper towel experience, you can do so for free!! Whenever you go to the food court at Costco, or a place that offers free paper napkins, grab a few! Even if you don't buy the food court stuff. (Never buy the food court stuff! See upcoming post on not buying snacks.) Then you can luxuriate, on special occasions such as washing a mirror, with a paper-towel-like wipe!!!


  1. Dude, I could not agree more. There is one exception for which I use paper towels (and I'm guessing this doesn't come up for you, due to the anti-meat-buying policy), and that is soaking up some of the grease out of the pan if needed. Usually, I pour bacon grease into a jar, but i don't really want to find a good way to reuse other greases. Surely you understand. :)

  2. I totally understand. And thanks a TON for the comment!!!
    How about using newspaper to soak up that grease? Though I know newspaper is hard to come by these days. Just an idea. My mom used to use newspaper for all kinds of things - soaking up bacon grease, lining bird cages, washing windows...

  3. Another way to soak up grease is to use cut up old bath towels (any absorbent cotton towel will do). Throw the used ones in a bucket. When the bucket is full wash the towels in the dishwasher, with a little extra soap, then hang them up to dry - DO NOT put them in the clothes dryer. They can then be re-used. (Note: It goes without saying that this method won't work if you don't have a dishwasher.)

  4. I NEVER imagined our family would give up paper towels and paper napkins. But we did! The frugal gene caught hold of me and I started looking for alternatives. (Kinda funny, when you think about it -- It was just a half-generation ago that paper towels didn't even exist!)

    I started making "unpaper" towels from cloth that are of similar shape, size & weight of regular paper towels. Next up for our family? My husband and I started working on an *unpaper towel dispenser* which resides where the paper towel holder used to stand. There wasn't any way my paper-towel-loving family was going to make the change unless it was easy!

    Every small change adds up at the end of the month! If I were to purchase 2 dozen unpaper towels and a dispenser for our family, we'd realize payback in less than 2 months.

    You can take a look at the "unpaper" towels and dispenser at


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