While convenience products do save time, and are… well… convenient, they are also very often heavily laden with chemicals that could be harmful to people, animals, and the environment in general. They also cost a lot of money that would definitely be better spent on other things… like getting that canning kit or the vacuum sealer I’ve really been wanting to get. Things that could save us money in the long run, help us be prepared in case of an emergency, and help us to get used to a more healthy diet and lifestyle in general.
I’ve been wanting to change these habits for a very long time, but as anyone who has made these sorts of changes can tell you, it can be extremely overwhelming. So I’ve decided that I’m going to make just one change per week. It may be something very simple, or something more difficult, but I’ll make every effort to explain all the ways in which these changes are helping my family, and how these things tie into preparedness.
Some recent changes that I’ve made include finding an alternative to those amazingly convenient Swiffer wet sweepers. Rather than continue purchasing the disposable wet “cloths”, I realized last week that it was the perfect solution for what to do with those prefolded cloth diapers that we have left over from when the boys were babies. (OK, I’m going to admit now that we only used them for a month or so for Stormageddon, then they became changing pads. We never did use them as diapers for The Master of Disaster. The whole thing was too overwhelming, and serious props to the folks who do it and stick with it.) I shouldn’t have been surprised when I read a comment earlier today in another blog by someone who was doing the same thing. I also decided to do away with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponges this past week. Very convenient, but what are they made of? And baking soda can clean anything the Magic Erasers can clean. Fact.
My change for this week is to find all the ways in which I can avoid using paper towels. We currently have 3 very large packages of them in the basement, and my goal is to make them last through the end of the year. Even better, I’m going to shoot for one of those packages lasting through the end of the year. If I can do that, I’ll bet I could make the other two last through all of 2014. I know it doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but if I can get us out of the paper towel habit, it could potentially save us quite a bit in the long run.
I have used the flour sack dish towels for things like drying off lettuce for sandwiches. I don’t bother with drying dishes. If they can’t go into the dishwasher, I hand-wash and put in the dish drainer. I think that the two things I’ll miss most if the power grid goes down, maybe even more than easy access to hot water, is having a dishwasher and a washing machine.) Lately, I’ve been using paper towels for that.
I can get a 12 roll package of paper towels at the warehouse store for around $15-20 (depending on the brand and how many sheets-per-roll). I can get a 12 pack of flour sack towels for under $15, and a 24 pack for under $21. The difference being that the flour sack can be used over and over.
We have an over abundance of rags we can use to wipe up floor spills and other messy messes that I would normally whip out paper towels for. Newspaper works wonders on glass.
Does anyone have any suggestions for paper towel replacement? Any ideas for future changes?
~ Just a Mom