Thursday, July 8, 2010

Got Washcloths??

'Cause we do. Lots of them.

And I'm sure you're wondering....what in the WORLD is she doing with that many washcloths?

I'm glad you asked.

You see.....a friend of mine, Mary Ostyn, (might I add that she is the oldest of eight children, mother of TEN home-schooled children, photographer, awesome cook, blogger AND author) wrote a book recently, "
Family Feasts for $75 a Week".

Already doing a pretty good job of being frugal (I thought), but always open for new ideas, I started reading it. And truthfully? I sort of felt like I was reading about myself! There were so many areas that we were so similar in! Yet I had not seen or talked with her or her family in over 25 years! (Don't you just love how Facebook
reconnects people??)

One of her suggestions was using cloth napkins or washcloths instead of paper ones. Something I had really never thought of. But I thought, "What the heck....I'll give it a shot....if we don't like it, then I will have new washcloths for the bathrooms."

So on my next big trip to Wal-Mart (which might I add I would rather take a beating than go through...I'm just sayin'), I grabbed a package of fall colored washcloths. They had them displayed in a package of 18 for only $4.oo. Decent price, pretty colors....what did I have to lose? I had never noticed that they put new ones out every season in different colors!

So I brought them home...washed them and got them ready to be used a first time, and gave STRICT instructions to everyone that these were to be used in the KITCHEN only.

Who knew?? Everyone loved them. They were softer on the face, added color to the table, and began saving me a lot of money! I couldn't believe it the next time I went back to Wal-Mart (yes...I torture myself every two weeks), when I STILL had an extra roll of paper towels under the sink that had not been used because our paper towel consumption had decreased by SO much! (Of course, moving the paper towel holder AWAY from the sink area helped not to tempt wet little hands to pull off 5 at a time).

And how hard is it to just throw them in the daily load of towels? It feels like that's all I ever wash anyway.....and folding them? Nah....that's nothin' for a 7 year old. Perfect job.

He even knows that we segregate them. No....there is not an equal opportunity for our washcloths. There are some that just simply are NOT allowed to be in the kitchen wiping our faces. Those belong in the bathrooms. Anything that is automatically a kitchen rag.....washing dishes/wiping counters, etc. The new, brightly colored ones (and yes, I buy a new pack every time the season changes....they just had patriotic ones for the 4th of July...SO cute!) are for the napkins, and the older ones that are colored that we have had forever, get banned to the bathroom.

And at first I felt sort of silly. You know....the first time someone came to our house, and I had to explain why they had a washcloth sitting at their spot at the table....but so far, everyone has really liked the idea! Which then of course, I can't take credit for, and it leads me into yet another discussion about Mary, and her book....and her blog
. I think all of my local friends have heard about her now.

The funny thing is....even my 7 year old likes her book. Really! I'm driving home the other day, and had left it in the van....and apparently Jack felt it was worthy reading material. Out of the blue, as I'm driving down the road he says, "Mom.....did Mary inspire you to make homemade pizza?"

What???????? Did he just say, "inspire" and use it correctly? That boy cracks me up.

Trying not to laugh out loud.....I explained that I had actually been making homemade pizza a long time just for the sheer savings of money, but that yes, Mary had truly been an inspiration to me in many other ways.

I'm just sayin'.