Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Disposing of the Disposables
Now well into our second month of cut rate living I've realized how far we've come in regard to ridding ourselves of disposable household items.
How far is that Donna? You might ask.
Far. Really, really far. Like, way out there. For example, we no longer purchase any of the following: napkins, plastic baggies, aluminum foil, wax paper, parchment paper, Q-tips, hand wipes, paper towels, plastic wrap, SOS scrub pads, paper plates, cups or silverware.
We did not accomplish this overnight, it took time, the real motivator was money and lack of it. With a grocery store budget of less than $40 /week, which includes all household non-food items like cleaners and disposables, it came down to this. Did I want to spend our money on paper towels or more fresh veggies?
The cucumbers and spinach won out. So here is how we get by without those items mentioned above. We use dishcloths for paper towels and napkins, we re-use plastic containers that come to us free with some of the groceries we buy (like cottage cheese), we recycle every plastic bag that comes through our door like with any packages that arrive or with any veggies or fruit we buy. I use nifty nylon scrubbies, a handmade gift this past Christmas, over and over. Like the dishcloths. they are washable. And speaking of dishcloths, the one in the pic above was made by Martha Witcher in Metamora Illinois. Handwoven and gorgeous, her items are high quality and meant to be used and washed over and over. Their durability is fantastic. Check her blog out HERE.
I've also become very creative with newspaper. There are three free ones we get every week. I cut them up into strips and use them to coat cast iron pans and baking wear with butter or oil, I use half sheets to wash windows and mirrors, I use whole sheets to drain greasy food like fried chicken.
We never need aluminum foil since we have so many left over plastic containers to store food (and I hate the stuff) plus I use our glass canning jars to keep quite a number of things fresh in the fridge. Yes, I do wash dishes often since we don't use any disposable dishes, but it's only a matter of keeping a sink full of hot soapy water. I wash, or simply rinse, dishes as soon as I dirty them.
In case you're wondering though, we still buy toilet paper, we're not complete barbarians.
So, tell me what disposables you live without and what you use in their place.