I was recently asked why I don’t buy paper towels. My friends think it’s strange – so I thought I’d write about it!
I stopped purchasing paper towels 3 years ago, not on purpose – but because I only had so much money in my grocery budget. Something on the list had to go! I was a new stay at home mom, and to make it work on one income we had to lower our grocery budget (among other things).
It was interesting that after only a couple days I stopped noticing that they were missing. Even my husband and kids stopped asking where they were. It was an easy switch…we just used kitchen towels.
The whole thing got me thinking about what else I could cut out of my grocery budget without anyone really noticing.
Paper plates and cups were next. It was a little harder; especially because it was summertime and I used paper plates and cups for every meal! When I decided to cut them out, I stopped at my local dollar store and purchased plastic cups, plates and bowls – it hardly cost me a thing and has been well worth it in the long run! (Plus they have some really cute patterns!)
I figured that with the above changes, I was saving around $6.00 – $7.00 per week (depending on sales. Admittedly this wasn’t a lot but at $30.00 per month and $363.00 per year it becomes a more impressive number!
I was pretty excited, so I started looking for even more ways to save. I considered using cloth napkins in place of paper, but with so many kids – I would be doing a lot more laundry washing cloth napkins…it’s not a good tradeoff for me. Maybe once the kids are a bit older!
The next thing to go was my Swiffer. Now, I realize this seems a bit extreme, especially with a house full of kids and pets – BUT hear me out! I have a ceramic tile floor in my kitchen (which is directly off the front door). It’s white and gets very dirty – very quickly. The Swiffer was great for spot cleaning, but it never got in between the tiles where food and everything else would stick. It also didn’t do a very good job scrubbing the corners. I found that more often than not, I was getting out the bucket and rags to scrub it myself. So why buy special cloths and cleaners?
When I cut out the Swiffer expense – I saved our family another $20.00 – $25.00 per month (I used the Swiffer wet jet and had to buy the cloths and the floor cleaner). That’s $240.00 – $300.00 per year!
My combined savings saw a $50.00 (and $663.00 per year) reduction per month in my grocery budget. Not a huge number…but a great start!
This began my quest to eliminate everything in my grocery/household budget that wasn’t an absolute necessity. Cooking foods from scratch seemed to be the key – but that’s another story!
What about you? What, if anything, have you eliminated from your grocery budget to save money? I’d love to hear from you – money saving tips are much appreciated!