Frugally Fit Week 3: Napkins, Freezer Meals, and Electricity

by Merissa on January 17, 2011

in Frugally Fit

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Welcome to week 3 of Frugally Fit! Do you feel like you are saving money yet? Maybe not, that's ok, it's still early in the year! How did you do on last week's challenge? Well I learned that my dishwasher doesn't have a short cycle so I couldn't do that one. I did pretty good on starting to use rags instead of paper towels though, which for me is a big deal! I love my paper towels! I found some cheap cheap dishrags on clearance at Target this week and I already had a few rags laying around the kitchen and now I keep them right under the sink to use. The hubby is having a harder time adjusting to the rags than I am. And as you saw from my post I did get my winter garden started. So here's what we are adding to the list this week:

Make one freezer meal per week.

When I told the hubby this he asked how this saves you money. Well here's my thought. There are some nights when I finish working and I'm just too tired to cook. Those are the nights when it's tempting to have the hubby grab something fast from the store to make for supper. By putting away a meal I have the option of having a lazy night during the week and I don't have to compromise my diet or my budget. And I'm not saying that you have to make a special time during the week to create that meal for the freezer. One evening while you are preparing supper just make a double batch, and stick part of it in the freezer for later. So simple!

Make sure the computer is turned off at night.

This is something that we just don't do right now and I think we don't have a real excuse for it other than we are just lazy. We turn off the monitor but the computer doesn't get shut down. Even if your appliances look like they are shut off, if they are still plugged in they are still sucking electricity. For us I think one of the biggest things we leave on is the computer. Well that ends this week!

Switch to cloth napkins.

I've been wanting to do this for a while but I didn't want to spend the initial investment on the cloth version. A few weeks ago my mom found the Christmas cloth napkins at Walmart marked down to 75% off so I had her pick up 8 for me. She also gave me an idea. There are 2 of us so I had her get 2 different colors. One color will be my napkins and the other color will be the hubby's napkins. That way I don't have to wash them after every single meal and we don't get them mixed up. Paper napkins are expensive and there is rarely coupons out for them. I have a feeling that this little switch will be saving us quite a bit in the near future!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy January 18, 2011 at 12:55 am

One idea for the cloth napkins is buy them at garage sales. Also I read this some where I must thought it was a good one because who can remember anything anymore but if you see a linen tablecloth at a garage sale even if there’s stains cut it up and sew them into napkins.

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2 Valerie Z January 18, 2011 at 2:58 am

My target had a ton of tableclothes on clearance, that sounds like a great idea!

My dishwasher doesn’t have a short cycle either, but I do have an option to turn off the heat dry. I usually run it before bed so everything is dry when I wake up =)

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3 Jennifer January 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

If you double a meal you are already making for the freezer you will save money another way. You can buy the ingredients needed in bulk, instead of separate, which saves money. You also save time by creating 2 of the same meal, versus making that meal on 2 separate occassions. Good luck!

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4 Mel Free January 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Victorians used napkin rings..they were all different, so that everyone would know their own napkin…they didn’t know about germs back then, so they would use their napkins for a very long time!…I am not advocating that, but sometimes people don’t even use their napkins..that would be a good “green” idea, I think?

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5 Merissa January 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I like the idea! Then you could get all the same color napkins just different little rings. Thanks for sharing that tip!

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6 Lana January 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm

We have used cloth napkins for about 18 years. With 5 children times 3 meals a day that saved alot of paper napkins. We use them for the entire day and then throw them in the dirty towel basket after supper everynight. We have a ring for each person and rings with grandparents names and one that says ‘friend’ in case someone is staying for a few days. I have made most of mine from $1 a yard fabric and I have also bought alot at thrift stores for 25 to 50 cents each. One thing I really likes about them when our children were small was that if someone spilled something we could just throw our napkins on it to contain it quickly rather than having to run for rags. AND they are so nice compared to paper napkins! Look after holidays for clearance holiday themed fabrics to make napkins out of. We have every holiday covered after lots of years of watching for fabrics, I even have birthday napkins!

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7 mxgal March 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

My cousin leaves a basket in the center of the table for cloth napkins, so they are always near the food and there is no temptation to go into the kitchen to pull paper towels off the rack.

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8 Stasha August 25, 2011 at 9:53 am

One other thing you can do is in the bathrooms instead of using one big hand towel buy bunch of wash cloths and stack them up, so every time you wash your hands you use one and toss it in a little basket, it is like using one big towel little by little, buy the time you go through all of them it’s like adding only one big towel to your load, this is really good for households with kids, as moms know little ones don’t always wash their hand good, and sometimes I can see dirty marks on my towel and have to replace it more often then I would normally. Also for the dish washer maybe you don’t have short cicle but you can turn off the heat and let the dishes air dry.

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9 Betty September 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I have used cloth napkins for years. I almost always pick them up from garage sales or second hand shops. I bet my children were the only ones that had cloth napkins in their lunch boxes, at school.. :-)

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