$850/year in paper products??
We have decreased our expenses by about $70 a month by removing disposable paper products from our daily lives. If you include diapers, you can add an extra $50 onto that.
- Paper Napkins - $5/month
- Paper Towels - $20/month (we used to go through a huge package from Sam's every month.)
- Paper Plates - ?? I haven't bought these in years, so I'm not sure what the average household spends on them.
- Kleenex - $10/month (depending on whether or not your whole family had a cold)
- Wipes - $15/month (with 3 kids under 5, a big box of wipes also went quickly)
- Toilet paper - $20/month
- Disposable diapers - $50/month
Here's what we replaced everything with:
- Paper Napkins - use cloth rags instead. You can buy a big pack of these at Walmart for really cheap. We go through close to 40 rags a week. I've been trying to only wash clothes once a week, so this amount is definitely enough.
- Paper Towels - use cloth rags or kitchen towels instead. They work better and they're reusable!
- Paper plates - use real plates instead. lol Not a tough one.
- Kleenex- I almost left this out because we haven't bought these in forever as well. We use old microfiber towels or I cut up old t-shirt sheets or pillowcases and those work really well too. I find them much easier on my nose than Kleenex and boy you can go through multiple boxes of those with every cold virus you get.
- Wipes and toilet paper - I cannot believe I waited until my 3rd child to start using cloth wipes. For babies, a spray bottle is a must. I put filtered water in it with a drop of tea tree oil and spray that stinky bottom down and wipe it up with a cloth wipe. I cut up old receiving blankets for wipes. Also, old baby washcloths work great too. All baby wash cloths now have the designation as "pee pee rags," so that no one gets contaminated. lol I just keep a basket with clean ones by the potty and a container for dirty ones. My mom thought this was totally gross, but since we cloth diaper, this is NO big deal at all. I just wash them when I do diapers and it saves us a lot of money and trees too! My mom is really going to think I'm gross when she learns about reusable mama cloth napkins. :) When the older kids need wipes, I just wet the rag in the sink beforehand. An old peri-bottle works well too as a mini bidet. Here is an awesome blog post on reusable toilet paper. :) Family Cloth
- Disposable diapers - I did a post on cloth not too long ago that details our cloth routine. A friend just blessed me with a big stash of cloth for Owen, so now I only have to wash every 3 days as opposed to everyday! So thankful for you Kristy!