Tuesday, September 18, 2007

pinching pennies

Lately I've been looking for ways to save a few pennies here and there. After all, they do add up. I've been on the hunt recently for autumn placemats and linen napkins that won't clash with the tablecloth I got for the season. I still haven't found anything that I like, but cute things I saw in stores inspired me to try something new.

I really get tired of buying paper napkins at the grocery store. We've got a pretty good stash of paper towels built up, but I get frustrated when a roll runs out quickly and I have to go get a new one. It's a small frustration, I know, but I've been wishing I could make each roll last longer than it does.

Today in Kohl's, I hit paydirt with cloth napkins. They had a big section of clearance dining items, so I spent some time pawing through the racks. I paid anywhere from 28 cents to $1.49 for 11 napkins. I found myself gravitating toward soft, neutral colors in cremes, yellows and greens. Those will work just fine for everyday use, and I can always look for nicer matchy-match ones for specific holidays or seasons when we have family or friends visiting for supper.

I brought them home and sent them through the washer, then folded them all and put them in a spare basket I had collecting dust in the laundry room. I'll set the basket out on the kitchen counter (and keep collecting more napkins!). I think I might add a wicker wastebasket that's in the garage to the cabinet under the sink. When your napkin's dirty, just toss it in its own kitchen hamper. When I see the stash of clean napkins getting low, I'll just wash the dirty ones and we'll be all set. I really only need a few more to have enough to last the two of us nearly two weeks. In no time, these napkins will pay for themselves, in the money they'll save at the store and in the environmental impact of less wasted paper. And hey, it's one less thing I'll have to unload from my grocery shopping!