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alternatives to disposable stuff

Last post Wed, May 9 2007 6:09 AM by capitalj. 100 replies.
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  • Mon, Apr 16 2007 6:46 PM

    • helen
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 29 2007
    • Posts 176

    alternatives to disposable stuff

    When I made tea in my lovely new (secondhand English redware) teapot, I thought about the waste of teabags it was saving. Instead of a bag, tag and string going into landfill, I top the pot up with cold water and tip it onto the garden. A slight waste of water to preheat the pot. I usually use instant coffee but we also have a coffee plunger and one of those stovetop espresso pots.

    I mostly don't buy tissues unless someone has  a bad cold,

    I've started cutting up worn-out clothes for rags. (socks make the -best- dusters, esp if they have the fleecy insides!) 

    I use machine-washable cloth dishcloths;

    Vaccuum and mop instead of Swiffer (did I mention how much I love my Dyson?)

    It also occurred to me that if I buy bread from the bakery, I can take my own bags or boxes to use. (Its a healthier bread than the supermarket one, so worth the extra).

    keep a travel mug in the car for takeaway coffees (Gloria Jean's Caramel-latte is a special treat)

    what else? 

     


     

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  • Mon, Apr 16 2007 8:45 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    Helen,I'd like to suggest that a Swiffer can be frugal.    :)

     I don't recall exact prices but I had a coupon for mine and then found it on sale. I paid about half of the actual price and had it almost four years now. It is one of the classic/original/whatever swiffers. I do not buy pads for it. Shop rags and other cloths work great with it and are washable. I like this method as I detest dealing with a mop bucket.

     

     

     

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Apr 16 2007 11:57 PM In reply to

    • helen
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 29 2007
    • Posts 176

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    Of course! But you are using non-disposable cloths on it - or at least frugal recycled ones. I meant the disposable swiffer cloths -  I forget but I think they were around five dollars a packet - what a waste! I did find it good when I was desperately short of time and not dealing too well with the housekeeping, and we also had a much smaller floor so it was a great timesaver. My current house has a quite large area of lino and with kids and pets traipsing through I really need to mop.

    One problem I have is in the kitchen - paper towel is really handy. I use a castiron pan that needs to be wiped out with oil. I guess I could use small disposable rags for that instead. I also use paper towel for wiping mushrooms, and cleaning up really goopy spills like flour so it doesn't clag up the washcloth.

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  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 8:58 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    Part of the reason I prefer the Swiffer is the amount of floor space I have. It's not worth setting up a soapy bucket for. I do pre-mix some cleaner in a squirt bottle (bottle was once a dish liquid container) and then squirt the solution on the floor to swiffer over it. My swiffer clothes are a few shop rags I snagged from my husband's stash and some kitchen towels that were looking a bit too worn for their previous use.  

    My cleaning clothes are thinning and fraying bath towels currently and I did buy a pack of new flour sack towels (on sale though). 

     I have cast iron but I rarely use it right now. I wonder if the flour sack towels would work on them as well as paper towel. I know other towels have too much lint left behind that would just stick to the cast iron. The flour sack ones are great on mirrors as they leave no lint so maybe they would work.


     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 9:03 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    We don't use paper towels, napkins, plates, etc.  No zip locs, baggies, either.  We have a well stocked rag bag, use cloth napkins, reusable containers, washable dishes, cups.  We found a permanent filter for our coffe maker but are now using a "old fashioned" percolator that is about 35 years old and works just great--no filter is needed.  We compost alot of stuff, and recycle so we have about one small bag of trash every week, reusing any bags or boxes for that, friends keep us supplied with plastic grocery bags as needed.  The store I shop at doesn't provide bags so we take our own reusable bags.  It is funny to watch what happens when you want to use the cloth bags at the "regular" market--the cashier and bagger aren't quite sure what to do or if they should use them.  lol   Thanks for the tip about taking your own bags to the bakery--hadn't thought of that one and will definitely use it.

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 9:06 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    "One problem I have is in the kitchen - paper towel is really handy. I use a castiron pan that needs to be wiped out with oil. I guess I could use small disposable rags for that instead."

    Not sure this would work for you--I'm assuming you are referring to "seasoning" the pan regularly with oil--I put a clean plastic bag on my hand and use that, then store it in the fridge, reuse it quite a few times.  Saw this tip on some other site--makes sense if it serves the purpose as paper or cloth absorbs and wastes so much of the oil.   

     

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 9:15 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    Rolo,

    One of my challenges in living in a compact home is having a compact fridge. I found that the reuseable plastic containers don't work as well as ziplocks. We can conform the ziplocks to the sometimes odd spaces in there.

    It's not what I consider the best solution but one I feel we have to live with.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 12:23 PM In reply to

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    I defintely use paper towels for greasy and messy jobs- greasing cookie sheets, wiping up after kneading- I would include wiping out the cast-iron if I still had one- I don't want all that grease and mess in the washing machine with my stuff- washing clothes is diluting the nasty stuff, but not getting rid of all of it, I would be careful about esp. grease.  I use the plastic wrap for sandwiches for lunches, sometimes four or five a day, and  sometimes cookie sheets.  Yes I coould use reusable, right now only one rack works on my dishwasher, I really don't want to do millions of dishes.

    We use Ziplocks for grapes, watermelon, cereal for the car or snacks,  snacks of cheese and crackers-ditto I could be using reusable- but---once again, I don't want to be doing millions of dishes! 

    I do use rags for cleaning, although we use Kleenex, diapers,  baby wipes-

    Although it seems we are very wasteful, we use the smallest possible trashcan- 32 gallon- for eight or nine people- we compost and recycle. Once I tried wax paper bags for sandwiches, easier on the enviroment, but they would never stay closed, and the sandwiches dried out.   

    Any one have suggestions for mass lunches?  About 25 a week.  I am not really willing to stock and wash that many sandwich keepers, I think I would need six.  Any suggestions?   I have used the bread bags, but most of the kids protest!

    Tracy 

     

    Tracy
    Beginning Debt Slayer


  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 12:38 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    Tracy, I have one question...why are you the one doing all the dishes?

     


     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Apr 17 2007 3:01 PM In reply to

    Re: alternatives to disposable stuff

    Dh has been working two jobs since Nov.  My mortgage business is almost gone these days, I work about 10 hours a week at a health club childcare- I bring the 5, 2, and 3 month old to work.  So dh get home at about 5, leaves at 6:45 or so, and gets home about 11 , then goes to work about 7 am- the kids gdon't get home until 4 (2) or 5 (1).  The two that get home at 4 help with dinner and setting the table- most nights we do things- last night, school board, tonight and Thursday- Volleyball games, Wed- chess club for the 10 and 12 year old at the library, Friday church night for the 5 and 8 year old- so by the time we get home, it's time for baths and bed.

    So- when I am home, Tues and Thurs am, and between 9-11 pm, and in the morning between 7-8, are the times I run dishes and clothes- sadly, only the bottom rack of our dishwasher is working, I am running about three loads a day.  Then I wash up the pots and pans.  Then I nurse the baby and drive the preschooler to school MWF and work Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings and Tues afternoon.   Plus I drive everyone to school to avoid my 7 year old having to get on the bus at 8- she gets home at 5.  Her school starts at 9:10, it is a 6 minute drive.  The other kids school is close so I drop them too, at 9:20.

    It seems the only one avaliable to help with the dishes is the 2 year old!  

    Seriously, with only one rack is is about a five minute job-  I do wish on the weekends people would step up to the plate- it will be easier this summer with kids home and my 19 year old home.  Maybe I am not getting the chore time I should be getting in for the kids.  They have homework and music, too.

    Brandy, who does the dishes at your house?  Everyone?  How about your 3 y.o.?  She would probably be the most enthusiastic.

    Tracy 

    Tracy
    Beginning Debt Slayer


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