Does your family go through a ton of paper towels and napkins?
Here is an easy way to save money and help out the environment at the same time. Buy 1-3 packs of brightly colored, cotton cloth napkins, bar towels or wash clothes and a few dish towels. Use the small cloth napkins or towels for your family at breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of using paper towels or paper napkins and use a dish towel to dry hands after washing them. Just remember to switch out the hand towel daily for a clean one and let air dry between uses. The cloth napkins are great because you can let kids pick their own color or assign a favorite color to everyone in the family. Just make sure to have enough to get through several meals before you have to wash them. At my house some of the cloth napkins need to be washed after 1 use and others can be used again before being washed.
The cost breakdown- the average family goes through several rolls of paper towels a month. My family was using at least 1 roll of paper towels every week and some weeks we were going through them even faster. In an average year, we spend $60.00-80.00 on paper towels and create several trash cans full of trash from those paper towels. By using cloth napkins and dish towels, in place of paper towels most of the time, you can cut down on your trash, your monthly cost for paper products and help to reduce our use of paper goods that come from forests.
The cost for dish towels varies but you can get a 7 piece kitchen towel set from Target for $14.99 or a 3 pack of kitchen towels (trendy designs) for $16.99 and there are less expensive options available if you buy a set of white no-nonsense bar towels for a few dollars. I would recommend having at least 7 on hand so you can easily replace a dirty one with a clean towel or wipe up a spill with an extra towel. So, for between $15.00-$30.00 (if you buy 2 packs) you can cut down on the amount of paper products you are buying and using. The cute cloth bar towels in the picture were from Target and ran about $4-5 for a pack of 4 towels/napkins.