We’re talking about natural homemaking this month at the blog- “green & clean” homemaking, which of course includes eco-friendly, frugal, crunchy stuff.
Which of course includes being paperless in the kitchen.
I remember the first time I read about going “paperless in the kitchen” on someone’s blog.
I was a young mom, completely starstruck with the ideas of natural living and frugal homemaking. I was learning so much about healthy living, whole foods, and “going green” that I could hardly keep up.
Going paperless in the kitchen just made sense.
Jeremy and I were budgeting our boots off, and that included the $50 weekly grocery budget I stuck to religiously. If I quit buying paper napkins, paper towels, paper plates, and even tin foil and Cyran wrap… think how much money we could save every month!
So I quit.
Cold turkey, just like that. No more paper waste.
I was cloth diapering and making my own baby wipes at this time as well, so this paperless thing totally fit my world. It was almost as if we didn’t need trash pick up any more… well, not quite. But almost.
Lest you think I totally flew the barnyard coop, I did draw the line… with toilet paper.
Yes, I did.
I did read about this one blog lady who quit using toilet paper and starting using washable toilet wipes. Except, she couldn’t get her hubby on board. I hope she didn’t wonder why.
Anyway, I drew the line with toilet paper. But we pretty much used washable everything else… napkins, kitchen towels, and the like.
That worked for me for a very long time. It wasn’t so difficult to wash a few extra cloth napkins and towels every week. I was washing cloth diapers and wipes anyway, so no big deal.
But, after a few years, it became a big deal. It really did.
I had Baby #3. Then Baby #4. Then Baby #5.
And we moved a few times. Several times, actually. (In case you don’t know, I really, really hate moving. It stresses me out. Worse than washing cloth napkins.)
I battled some health problems and, frankly, I felt like I was drowning in a pit of things to do and expectations to keep up with.
About four years ago, I made the life shattering decision to stop using cloth diapers and
backslide switch back to disposables with our fourth child. I say “life shattering” because it felt that way to me at the time. Like I was committing this huge SIN by not doing all the “good” things that “healthy” and “responsible” homemakers do.
Somewhere around that same time, my cloth napkins disappeared and the plain, throwaway variety from Aldi’s started appearing on my dining room table. I even bought a pretty, chic napkin holder to keep them in. It was like they took up permanent residence in my home, or something.
Then those devilish paper towels had the nerve to bombard my eco-friendly kitchen. My all natural, no junk allowed here kitchen.
And the really bad thing? I loved those things. I mean, I actually enjoyed throwing them away.
It was like a contagious plague or something, because then I started using paper plates.
I still use paper plates, nearly every week day. I use them and I like them and I don’t feel guilty.
I use them, and it doesn’t break the bank (thank you, Lord). I use them and we take out the trash (every single day). I use them and we don’t have to wash as many dishes on busy homeschool days.
I still don’t buy Cyran wrap, and don’t ask me why. But I love my paper goods from Aldi’s and, yes, I’ve encouraged other busy, tired, over zealous moms to chill out and use them too.
Because life is too short and too beautiful to get hung up on all the small stuff.
Going paperless in the kitchen is a frugal and fun thing to do, if you can swing it. If you love it. If it works for you.
And if you can’t swing it, and you don’t love it, and you find that it’s working you instead of working for you, pitch it.
Make a bee line for the nearest dollar store and buy a pack of paper plates or napkins, and don’t look back. Your babies will love you just as much if you wipe their faces with cheap paper napkins that you don’t have to worry about washing or folding.
Ask me how I know. 🙂
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