I did a little experiment this week. I hid the roll of paper towels that normally resides above the kitchen sink. They're too easily accessible there.
My family (OK, I guess that would be my husband and me) seems to go through paper towels pretty quickly. At some point, I had this great idea—buy the "select-a-size" paper towels—after all, many jobs don't require a whole normal-sized sheet. That seemed to help some.
However, as I watch the price of paper towels increase—like $17.99 for a 12-roll package of Bounty (granted, according to the packaging, 12 GIANT rolls = 18 regular rolls)—it just made me go, "Hmmmm...I wonder if we could save money here?"
So I bought a cheap package of kitchen wash cloths at Target. At lunchtime, instead of grabbing a fresh paper towel every time my hands are sticky (which is a lot when you're feeding two hungry boys) I use a wet wash cloth. Same for the boys. Since I do laundry about every 3-4 days anyway, what impact would a few extra wash cloths have? Nothing too serious. And sure enough, it's working!! We're still working on the same roll of paper towels we started on last Monday! PLUS, it gives Brandon an extra little chore—help Momma fold the wash cloths. And we Mommas know that when our kids help with household chores, it gives them a sense of belonging and being part of the family.
It's hard to say how many rolls we were going through per month (I've never actually counted, although I've been tempted to!)—but if I ventured a guess I would say we probably spent around $10/month on them. Hey! That's $10 I could use for.... coffee! or Christmas gifts! or to help someone less fortunate than myself! Now that's much more productive.