Confession: I am a habitual hand washer. Yes, I admit it. I wash my hands at least 15-20 times per day—especially when I’m cooking or cleaning the kitchen. And because of this, I use a whole lot of paper towels. I could go through a whole roll of towels in a day if I spend enough time in the kitchen. This can become a very expensive habit being that a multi-pack of paper towels at BJs or Costco costs well over $20.
So I decided it was time to figure out how to save money on paper towels. Here is a simple 9-point plan to reduce your usage of paper towels.
- Place a large hand towel near your sink to dry your hands.
This should be a towel that’s bigger than a standard hand towel and extra fluffy, so invest in a good one. Hang it from a towel rack over your sink so that you have easy access. Throw the towel in the laundry every week or so.
- Place another absorbent small towel in a convenient place that’s only for drying dishes.
Dedicate this towel just to drying your dishes—no hand drying or wiping the counter tops with it. Hang it on your stove or dishwasher. Keep a pile of clean, dry ones handy.
- Reserve a few large old towels to do big clean ups.
For those big messes, keep an old or tattered large towel or two under your sink. Wipe up the mess and throw the towel in the laundry pile (preferably with similar dirty cloths that come into contact with the floor or your pets).
- Purchase only rolls of paper towels that have half-perforated sheets.
When you’re shopping for paper towels, choose select-a-size rolls that allow you to take a half a sheet instead of a whole one. You may find that in most cases, a half of a sheet is more than enough.
- Place a basket next to your paper towel holder for sheets that can be used again.
There are some instances where you might use a sheet of paper towel for a quick, clean job, and it can be used again for wiping something down. Put a small basket near your roll of paper towels to hold these re-usable sheets.
- Get a bottle of hand sanitizer to use whenever you feel the urge to wash your hands.
When you’re cooking, cleaning up, and handling raw meats, use the hand sanitizer to quickly disinfect your hands. Shake them out a little and let them hand dry instead of using a sheet of paper towel.
- Keep a $1 box of tissues in your kitchen for sneezing.
When you need to blow your nose or sneeze, a sheet of paper towel really isn’t necessary. Just go to the dollar store and get a $1 box of tissue for those moments.
- Use paper bags to drain excess oil out of fried foods.
Instead of using a bunch of paper towels to sop up excess oil from fried foods, use leftover paper bags. You might not want to put your food directly on the bag, so just lay one or two paper towels on top of the paper bag as a buffer and then put the food on top. (Reducing or eliminating fried foods from your family’s diet is also a great idea!)
- Use disinfectant wipes to clean off your countertops and surfaces.
Chances are, you use disinfectant wipes (like the Lysol brand) a lot less often than you reach for paper towels. Use one wipe each day to disinfect your countertops in the morning before you start cooking—that way, you can feel more confident that your surfaces are clean throughout the day. Resist the urge to use a paper towel or another disinfecting wipe unless you accidentally spill meat juice on your counter top.
You may find that there aren’t many good reasons for buying and using paper towels on a regular basis if you take these simple steps to save money on paper towels. Simple solutions!
Posted by Jasmine
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