Money Saving Tip: Use Less Paper Towels


This is something new we’ve been trying in my home lately. The boyfriend and I are constantly looking for ways to cut down waste and costs. Paper towels are crazy expensive here and they really aren’t a necessity, at all.

Between my boyfriend using a new paper towel as a “napkin” for every meal, and me going through a roll every two or three weeks to clean out my pets’ cages, that’s a lot of consumption already. Add in kitchen spills, household cleaning, and other daily uses, those paper towels go fast!

Sure there are cheaper and “greener” paper towels out there, but the goal is to really reduce costs and consumption. So we’ve begun dramatically reducing our paper towel consumption, and here’s how.

Cloth Napkins

Two people using 3 paper towels a day (one for each meal) use about 42 sheets in a week. That’s 2,184 sheets in a year. If we buy the single roll generic Walgreens paper towls at $1.89 per roll, we’d need to buy almost 14 rolls, costing us over $26 a year. If we wanted to go name brand and buy Bounty at $2.39 a roll, that’s about $34.

So we are saving that $26 by using cloth napkins. We were fortunate to get some cloth napkins from a family member, so there was no out of pocket cost for us. Target sells a 12 pack of white cotton napkins for $9.99. If you’re crafty with a sewing machine, you can make your own and save even more money.

Since they’re small, we can easily toss them in with any load of laundry, so were not really spending extra money to wash them either.


Got old t-shirts you’re ready to toss out? How about a faded and stained bathrobe? Flannel PJs with holes in all the wrong places? Don’t throw them away! Instead, cut them up and use them for rags.

Rags are amazing. You can use them for everything and anything. We use them for general cleaning, as well as soaking up those accidental spills.

Don’t have anything around you’re willing to cut up for rags? Find a local thrift store and search the racks for cheap items to cut up. Spending a quarter or 50 cents on a bathrobe that yields 20 rags is a great investment. Look for 100% cotton fabrics and flannel, they seem to work the best.

My end goal is to stop buying paper towels completely and rely only on reusable products. I haven’t quite reached that point yet, but we’re well on our way to saving money and helping the environment!

See Also:
Money Saving Tip: Reusable Swiffer Cloths

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