If your goal is to reuse, recycle and redo, you’re in for some creative ideas in today’s column. I never would have thought to modify my paper towel roll, but I’m going to try it after reading Claude’s tip.
PERFECTLY-SIZED PAPER TOWELS. We are committed to using the most eco-friendly paper products, and also reducing the waste and expense of brown paper towels. We cut the roll in two uneven rolls, 3 inches and 8 inches. We then thread them onto our vertical holder, with the smaller roll on top. When we need only a bit of towel, the 3-inch piece suffices. My friend who has a wall-mounted holder cuts the roll carefully without damaging the cardboard center, and gets the same cost-saving results. Claude, Massachusetts
FREEZER JARS, NOT FREEZER BAGS. Better than zip-type freezer bags, I put onions, peppers and other strong-smelling items in glass jars for freezer storage. The jars protect the food better than plastic and you can wash and reuse the jars, too. Yvonne, EC Blog
ADDRESSING PRICES. I have kept a price book for many years now and it definitely helps me purchase with confidence. I like to use a small address book and a pencil. I list items under the corresponding letter tab (for example: Rice in the “R” section). I note the item and then leave room to note a few variations. I include the brand, package size, price, date and store. I use pencil so that I can update when prices or package sizes change. The tabbed letters of the address book make it quick to look things up on the fly. I also keep a small calculator in my purse so that I can easily calculate per ounce/piece/etc to compare items. I’ve even had friends call me when they’ve seen a sale or special to find out if it really is a good deal. Kristine, Colorado
FABRIC SOFTENER SAVINGS. Many people these days are making their own laundry detergent for the cost savings. Did you know you can make your own dryer sheets for pennies a year? All you need is a new washcloth (the thicker the better) and a small bottle of liquid fabric softener, which will last you for months. Place the washcloth in a bowl or large measuring cup, cover it with fabric softener, and let it sit a few minutes to get thoroughly saturated. Take the cloth out carefully and squeeze the liquid out until it’s just damp. Pour the excess softener back into the bottle. Hang the cloth or lay flat to dry completely.
Toss the cloth into the dryer exactly as you would a fabric softener sheet. One treatment should last you 10-12 dryer loads. Then just repeat the process (no need to wash the cloth in between). Be sure to buy a washcloth that’s a different color from the ones you use in the shower so that you’ll know which one is the dryer sheet when you unload. Maribeth, EC Blog
Question: Do you modify household products to meet your needs? If so, tell us here.