We’re not working with much cash right now. Annoying and stressful as it is, it is also a bit humbling. It forces us to really look at where we are spending and how we can make a difference. I say “us” but I really mean “me” because Frank doesn’t have anything to do with any of our money. Besides earning it. So many times I’ve said that I need to sit him down with me while I pay bills to he can see where the money goes.
. . . . .
A while ago I was reading up on some ways to be thrifty and came across some information on cloth napkins, which… inspired me. We could try cloth napkins, I thought. First, I planned on making some. I scoured my house for fabric but found none. I also didn’t think I’d be satisfied with the outcome of my own sewing. So I kept my eye open at Goodwill for some. They did occasionally have them, but they were .69 cents a piece and something in my head told me that was too much to pay for used cloth napkins. Found some at Pier I, but they were muy expensive. I found some at TJMaxx and was thisclose to buying them. They were $10 for a pack of 6, I believe. Buuuuuuut didn’t get them, thought Goodwill was a better bet. With 7 people in our house, we’d need at least two packages, and $20? Bah. Couldn’t bring myself to do it. I kept the cloth napkin idea on the shelf, but didn’t want to settle for anything less than a bargain.
In Target one day post-Christmas, there was a sale on all the leftover Holiday goodies. 75% off. I was looking for wrapping paper and scotch tape, maybe some chocolates. But you know what I saw? Some rectangular packages, red cloths… my mind clicked. Napkins!! At $9.99 each my tired brain tried to calculate what they would be at the discount. Realizing that this was the best price for brand, spanking NEW napkins, I took all they had and put them in my cart to “think” on it for a bit. I knew I’d want 4 for sure, maybe five. But I hoarded all available napkins in my cart for safe keeping. I did end up purchasing them, but my hoarding came back and bit me in the butt because I forgot that I had grabbed ALL of them, and at the checkout I just threw everything on the moving belt and paid.
Patience paid off. I’m very glad I waited, and I’m not bent out of shape that I got a few extra with the deal. They’re red, so they don’t show stains and I can throw them in with my colored laundry. It seemed like I had way too many at first, but the good thing is I don’t have to worry about them running out.
We’ve used them for a week now, and haven’t run out. And we don’t frivolously use up the napkins, as we did with paper ones. My oldest son wondered if we were really saving money, considering they would need to be washed. However, in the long run I think it is more economical and less wasteful. And, everyone enjoys wiping their hands on the cloth napkins. It is kind of a treat. The other day we had Buffalo Wings. How nice it was to wipe our hands on the cloth napkins and not have to use paper, which peels and rips, leaving sticky paper attached to fingers. I smiled at Frank, happily, hearing little pennies go “cha-ching” adding up in my head the benefit of the cloth napkins.
Here’s some links to articles on making your own cloth napkins — I might just try them. Some flannel ones might be nice. But as far as purchasing goes, I’ll keep my eye open after holidays. I’m sure making them would be more cost-effective. I’m a little rusty at the whole sewing thing, never making it past novice, high-school sewing class, but I could probably handle some squares.