4 Week Frugal Challenge – Giving Up Paper Towels

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Last week I challenged you to cut all paper towel usage from your household.  It’s understandable that when you handle raw meats one may be necessary, but other than those few, try to get your family on board by using rags or wash cloths. It’s not hard for the average family of 4 to use 59 paper towels per day!

Based on the cheapest brand of paper towels I could find on amazon when bought in a 30 roll package, a single paper towel costs $.01. (Don’t even get me started on the cost per towel if bought in a single roll package for just – insert eye roll here- $1.50!) Granted most people I know that seem to be paper towel lovers wouldn’t use recycled (i.e. not soft) paper towels, but let’s assume they’re savvy shoppers and are able to buy the soft towels for this price by shopping sales, using coupons etc.
How much impact does that have on a budget?

Small picture – $.59/day is no big deal for the convenience/potential improved health of using paper towels – for a day!

Big picture – $18 per month or $215 per year is more than I want to spend on a throw away towel used just to wipe up liquids.

Bigger picture – The average family would have to earn $376 in order to have $215 to spend on said paper towels, or they could save it for another trip to Disney World.

Biggest picture – My husband works 3 days a year so we can have the convenience of throwing stuff away. Or he can work 3 days a year so we can feed/clothe a child or help provide clean drinking water for children in a 3rd world country. Or closer to home we could use those funds to stock a local food pantry or provide diapers for a children’s shelter.

Just some mathematical food for thought for our challenge :-)

There are so many needs that other people have, and yet we – myself included- are too hooked to our conveniences to feel like we can help. Or perhaps we help, but don’t want to be inconvenienced by things like washing rags that could allow us to help more.  Everything we have belongs to God, so throwing it all away doesn’t make much sense to me.  How about you?

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  1. Thanks for this – I have never thought about the waste of paper towels and cost before. I will be more mindful…

  2. We use a ton of paper towels and napkins–but since your challenge I’ve been reaching for our cloths instead! :)

  3. Wow! Breaking it down into hubby working for three days JUST for paper towels is mind-blowing. Thanks for this.

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