First Time Visiting? Start Here!

New monthly series

At the start of each month, I’ll be writing about a new series that I’ve started:

Frugal
Actions 
Related 
To
Sustainability

Or FARTS for short.

That’s right people.  These are the things that keep me up at night – how can I be a 12 year old boy and incorporate silly words in to blog posts.  You.Are.Welcome!

So, the series will be a monthly tip on something that is super easy to incorporate in to your household that a) is extremely low cost and b) keeps your carbon footprint just a teeny tiny bit smaller.  These might be things that (hint hint) you don’t tell your family that you’re doing if push back is a common occurrence in your household.

This month’s FARTS tips is replace paper napkins with cloth ones.  These can be purchased new, made (one of the simplest sewing projects there is), or picked up at estate/yard sales or Goodwill.  They don’t have to match each other, or be fancy – you’re just using them to wipe your hands and face after all.  Get enough for the whole family, and have a “system” to reuse ones that are only lightly soiled to cut down on laundry.

This is our cloth napkin holder.

We put ones that can be reused on the bottom “rack”, and use those first.  If you’ve ever been at my house for a meal, don’t worry, guests get clean ones from the top of the basket!!

This is my kitchen rag bin that sits by our fireplace right outside our kitchen.

I bought this at a garage sale.  If we have company coming over, I make sure it’s empty.  Then it just looks like an empty bucket on the fireplace!

I throw a rag and the cloth napkins in there when I’m done with it, and add them to my next load of laundry.  Our laundry room is downstairs, so this bucket keeps me from having to run up and down the stairs just to put a dirty rag somewhere.  Unless the rags are gross (touched raw meat, etc.) I don’t feel the need to do a separate load of them.  Once they have been washed a few times, I don’t notice any color bleeding on to lighter clothes/items.

Replacing paper napkins with cloth ones keeps additional waste out of the landfills, and saves you money because you’re not buying replacement paper.  And depending on what napkins you find, having the cloth ones can really dress up your meal!  Just a tip if you have smaller kids – dark napkins are the way to go.

Toot in next month for the second installment of FARTS.

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

36 comments on “New monthly series”

  1. Great idea and I love your napkin holder. Looking forward to more FARTS. 🙂 Following your blog.

  2. I love this idea. 🙂 We’ve taken to buying those huge packs of microfiber cloths and using each color for a different purpose. I keep the fancy linen napkins locked away for the company we never have. 😉

  3. We have started using bar towels instead of napkins and paper towels… I work for a company that rents them to bars and restaurants, and after they have lived their useful lives, and have some stains that won’t come out, I get to take as many as I want home! So I have about 150 or so that we just wash and re-use over and over.

  4. I recently made a bunch of cloth napkins and my 18 mos. old daughter LOVES using them. A plus- she cannot rip cloth napkins like she enjoys doing with the paper ones. Happy, clean kiddo with less paper flying through the air and a life a shade greener- hoorah!

  5. Started doing this a couple of months ago, what a great way to cut down on waste 🙂

  6. This is a big fart for our family. My husband is a bit of a germophob (think Mr Burns from the Simpsons with tissue boxes on his feet) and never thinks anything is really truly clean. We have cut back on paper towels in the past six months, but today, your farts are inspiring me to add more cloth options and hide the paper towels from the kids. Slow but steady progress.

    • Does your husband say “excellent” a lot too? ;-D

      You could add vinegar to a Downy ball with the rag wash as it is a natural disinfectant. He might also like Bac Out which is a product by Biokleen. I add a splash to every load because I love it!

  7. I share your giddy joy of fart jokes. My 2-year-old daughter makes fart noises all the time because I can’t help but crack up. 🙂

    Love the cloth napkin idea–it’s a tough one for me to institute though cause it just seems gross. Not that it is, just that it seems. I have made the switch to washable cloth rags for all kitchen purposes.

    How do you handle the rag/napkin that cleaned up raw meat issue? It’d obviously be a waste to wash one cloth, but it can’t sit for a week either…

  8. Ha ha! Best farts ever! Never thanked anybody for farts before. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

  9. I started using cloth napkins a few months ago and love them! I hate spending money on things whose sole purpose is to be used once and thrown away, I feel like I may as well use dollar bills. And I throw them in with the towels, so no extra laundry.

    About the extra gross rags used for raw meat and stuff, I’ll do a quick “hand wash” right after I use it. I rinse it, put a little dish soap on it, quickly rub it a but, then rinse and hang over the edge of my rag bucket, and then wash with towels as normal.also, I wash the towels on hot, to give the rags and napkins a little extra sanitation.

  10. I’ve only just discovered Frugal by Choice today, and unfortunately, I find an unbecoming word as my first experience. Some of us ladies in the world still don’t find “bathroom humor” amusing.

    • The beauty of the internet is that it is vast and you can find thousands of people who you do agree with. I wish you the best of luck in finding them.

      And for the life of me, I can’t remember any entries in the ladylike handbook about coming on to someone’s personal page where they have the freedom to write whatever they want and insulting them. However, I do remember the entry of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it”.

    • Wow it looks like someone really needs to lighten up! Perhaps she’s been holding in a FART for too long!

    • Hey, let’s give anonymous a break. She didn’t say anything directly insulting, per se, she just stated in a round-about way that she can’t take a joke. 🙂

  11. LOL at FARTS.. love it!

    You should up it too weekly 😉 .. love these kind of posts and im sure your full of them ( tips, not farts!)

    and love the “bazinga” reply to the prude who doesnt find “bathroom humor” amusing 😉

  12. I love your blog and I check it daily because you are funny as shit! I am so freaking annoyed that someone old woman wants to complain about your personal blog. As we say here in the south, Bless her heart! Geeze, can you imagine the boredom in her household? I think F.A.R.T.S is pretty darn cleaver. I also agree with another reply and I think you should have farts weekly. My idea would be for Christmas gifts . I plan to make your lip balm, lotion bars and vicks disks and place them in a gift bag with socks and hot chocolate and label it the cold weather kit! But I do need more ideas for homemade gifts.

    • My friend from NOLA told me that “Bless your heart” is the polite way to say “shove it”. I find myself saying it quite often after she told me that!

      I don’t know if I can find tips for weekly FARTS, but let me tell you girl (I’m guessing here since I have like 6 male readers) you’ll love some posts I will have coming this month for cold weather stuff! Sneak peek: 2 soup kits!

    • Shove it or F-You! 🙂
      Yes, I am a girl a mother to a boy and wife. I started a blog earlier this summer that I never published because I am still working on it and got lazy….fitness blog/healthy eating. The title is “I can do it”. I didn’t realize until I hit publish that it didn’t say my name, Emily.
      Can’t wait to see the soup kits. I am really into putting things into mason jars..dry soup ingredients would be killer.
      I only found you about 3 weeks ago from the vicks pin. I have been going through your older posts and then tuning in daily. You seriously crack me up and I have passed your blog onto so many people in Atlanta!

  13. Cloth napkins are great, we’ve been using them for years. …and if every person in the family has a different, unique napkin ring, you just store them like that till the next laundry wash day. Years ago my father in law, an expert woodcarver, made different animal napkin rings for each of us, so we have his artful presence at every meal too. (my ring has a mini carved loon on it!)

  14. Love it. You crack me up. I’ll be looking at the option of cloth napkins. I’ve been wanting to for awhile, so now I have even more of an excuse to do so. Let’s also not forget that the fancy restaurants are the ones with the cloth napkins. So they can’t be THAT gross.

  15. LOVE the new series….I’m 45 and still giggle like a kid about farts etc!!! I’m newish to your blog but read it dilligently since I found you…your tips are great and I’m looking forward to more FARTS next month! LOL

    This is such an awesome site Sarah 😀

  16. I’m not too confident about this tip. How do i stop the spread of germs if I’m reusing napkins/rags. Although i would greatly love to stop buying and using paper towel and i remember my mom using rags and having no problems with it. My excuse is that i feel like I’ve been scarred by the stomach virus…it took my whole house out in the span of two days, fun times.

    • My question to you is what are you using your napkins for at dinner that are making them so dirty?! We wash our hands before dinner, and I can guarantee you that your cell phone, the soap dish, and pot holders are dirtier than our cloth napkins.

      My son goes to preschool and I meet with 1,100 clients a year. Jack gets sick about twice a year and I get sick like every 2-3 years. Our napkins are used for protecting our clothes and occasionally wiping our hands if there is food on it. My husband who is home for meals the least is the one who gets sick about 4-6 times a year. He’s an EMT.

      That stomach virus that you got more likely came from something like undercooked food or a door knob – not a napkin used to protect your jeans from falling salad.

    • I’m thinking more along the lines of kitchen rags to clean counter tops?
      Also are you using rags for bathroom cleaning? Thats where i feel like im using a ton of paper towels because im afraid to spread germs from the toilet. I clean the bathroom and do the toilets last but i guess im just paranoid. Thanks for the advice 🙂

    • Kitchen rags are green and bathroom rags are white, so we never mix them up and use them for the wrong room, and we don’t cross contaminate.

      Maybe it doesn’t gross me out because we did cloth diapers. ;-D

  17. I am going to sew napkins and placemats as my first-ever sewing project. Can’t wait! I am going to buy some shirts at goodwill and cut those suckers up for napkins.

    We switched from paper towels to rags a couple of years ago. The ONLY time I wish I had a paper towel/napkin is when I am making bacon and need to let it rest on something to cool off and soak up the grease.

    Also – I looooove that your son understands good and bad choices! And that does not translate into good or bad people! Bravo.

  18. We started using washcloths for the kids because the paper napkins would tear if they ate something sticky and tried to wipe it off, and the washcloths help with drink spills too. We don’t use paper napkins anymore, and rarely use paper towels. Although I have to agree that we still use them for bacon!

  19. Good grief…all you fart haters lighten up! I learned quickly when my boys and their Dad were in the same room not to sweat the small stuff! It’s just gonna happen!! And there is just pure joy hearing two little boy giggles immediately after the “toot”. Thanks for the blog, I love it!

  20. I love cloth napkins. The first time that I told my parents that we didn’t have an paper napkins, my mom bought some while she was at the store. I told her the reason that we didn’t have them was because we were using cloth napkins now. She still used paper napkins the first few times that she was visiting but I transitioned to setting the table and she seems better about the cloth napkins. We have a germy little boy too so I always put vinegar in the pre-rinse of the laundry so I feel like it takes care of most of the germs and we haven’t had any problems. If we have a lot of people at the house, we leave the cloth napkins at everyones seat to use for breakfast and then they go in the laundry 🙂

  21. Here’s a great way to use the napkins several times before washing — have each person in the house write their name on a clothespin. (Color and embelish at will.) When “done” with your napkin that you still think has another use, put your clothespin on it so you use the same one again. (All credit due to a dearly departed friend – Thanks, Jody.)