Frugal Friday: Empty Paper Towel Holder

A long time ago we switched to cloth napkins.  It was an easy transition with a basket of napkins on the kitchen counter.  Paper towels have been another story.  With the daycare in our home, I have to use “single use” towels for the kids to be wiped up with at meals and for hand drying in the bathroom.

Both the bathroom and kitchen have paper towel holders.  I put the bathroom one away on Friday when the last daycare child has gone home and don’t take it out again until Monday morning and still we go through 3 rolls of paper towels in there a week.  The kitchen is another couple of rolls.  All that paper adds up, in the trash and on the grocery budget.

While I don’t have a good solution for the bathroom yet, I did take a step in the kitchen last week.  I pounded a nail into the upper cupboard next to the sink and hung a towel on it.  We have many kitchen towels and rags in the kitchen so wiping up spills and things is doable with cloth options.  The roll of paper towels I put on the holder a week ago Thursday ran out on Monday.  Since then the holder has been empty.  When I wipe up kids after meals and snacks I go to the bathroom and get the number of paper towels I will need. (Older kids use cloth napkins and wipe up themselves.)  My family has been great about using the towel on the nail.

We’ve saved at least 2 rolls of paper towels this week.  May not seem like much but it all adds up.  I think without having them sitting there and easy to grab, we look for a towel or rag instead.

I am considering cutting some of the ratty old towels into smaller “single use” towels (and hemming them)  for drying little hands after potty breaks.  If I were to keep an old dishpan in the bathtub, the kids could throw their towels in there and they could be thrown in the wash every couple days.

What do you think?  Have any good ideas for me to cut down on the rest of our paper towel use?

For some great frugal tips head over to Frugal Friday at LifeasMOM.

Note: I plan to replace the nail in the kitchen with a more decorative hook.  I just didn’t want to buy something that wouldn’t get used.  Now that I know it will get used I’ll look for a cute hook.

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