Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cheap Tricks: Save the Trees!

Why am I so frugal?  I am often asked that question.  The answer is I like to spend my hard-earned money on things that will provide a better quality of life for me and pets, such as healthy food.  Yes, organic food is more expensive initially, but in the long run, if I or my pets eat a healthy, species-appropriate diet, we won’t have chronic expensive diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, thyroid problems, etc.  So I will end up saving money overall and my pets will live a long, happy, healthy life.

What’s one way you can save money to help pay for a healthier diet?  Paper products!  (And not only will you be saving money, you’ll be saving trees and the environment, too!)  Some examples:

1.  Instead of Paper Towels: Use Rags!  After using the rags, simply wash and use again.  And you can save even more by using cut up old towels, sheets and clothing rather than buying new rags.  Or you can go to thrift stores and buy cheap towels and wash cloths.  That way you are also recycling material instead of it ending up in the landfill – another win for the environment!

2.  Instead of Kleenex/Tissues:  Use Handkerchiefs!  Your grandparents did – they may even have pretty embroidered ones they can hand down to you.  Or you can buy them online or in stores.  I have about 20 handkerchiefs which I’ve been using for the past 4 years.  Initial investment = $20.  That works out to $5 per year and my handkerchiefs are still going strong.  Before that, I spent about $5 every couple months on tissues – even more during the cold and flu season.  And handkerchiefs are super easy to clean – they’re small and lightweight so you can launder a small batch by hand in a couple minutes.

3.  Instead of Paper Napkins: Use Cloth Napkins!  Not only are cloth napkins more environmentally friendly, they’re softer and prettier, too.  Again, you have an initial investment of about $20 for some cloth napkins, but you can wash and use them for years and years and years.  I recommend getting darker colored/patterned cloth napkins – they hide possible stains better and you won’t have to use bleach to whiten them (bleach is NOT good for you or the environment).

4.  Instead of Disposable Diapers: Use Cloth Diapers!  There are wonderful cloth diapers available now that are easy to clean, easy to fit (none of those scary pins involved) and made with eco-friendly material (organic cotton, wool, bamboo, etc.).

I draw the line at toilet paper, however.  I admit I just can’t get past the “ick” factor with using cloths instead of toilet paper.  But I do buy toilet paper that is made from recycled paper so it’s more eco-friendly.

So there you have it … I used to spend about $150 a year on napkins, paper towels and Kleenex, but now I spend that money on healthy, organic food for me and my pets … a much tastier alternative to paper products!


  1. I love this are a natural blogger, Kristi!

  2. Oh, yeah, look for handkerchiefs in the men's department of almost any department store...I saw them at Target, Belk, Dillards.

    1. Good suggestion! I forgot about letting people know which stores and which departments actually carry handkerchiefs. Thanks!