According to a past DFA Tip of the Week, my wife & I have stopped using paper products (with the exception of toilet paper) and switched to non-disposable products instead.
For example, instead of Kleenex, now we use handkerchiefs. Instead of paper towels, we use washable microfiber towels (Sam’s Club sells a great 24 pack). Instead of paper napkins, we busted into our stash of cloth napkins that we NEVER used. All these changes have been a joy for us. Not only do we not miss the paper products, we found that we heavily prefer the cloth products! The benefits are multi-fold, which you should use your imagination to discover.
Also, making this change caused me to challenge the entire disposable product industry.
Come to find out, this genius marketing idea of “disposable products” was invented by King Camp Gillette, the founder of The Gillette Company of razor fame. From Wikipedia:
“Gillette realized that a profit could be made by selling an inexpensive razor and generating a market for disposable blades. This has been called The Razor and blades business model, or a “loss leader”, and has become a very common practice for a wide variety of products.”
Now again, use your imagination and you’ll undoubtedly begin to conjure up over 20 products you use in every day life that have sold you on this idea of “disposable products”. Why? So they can keep you coming back for more. It’s the same concept as a service provider selling you a subscription instead of focusing on a one time service fee…scheduled & guaranteed return business (consider the swiffer mop & duster for example).
My wife & I are currently auditing our life for the brainwashing affect of this marketing idea, and trying to make a frugal return to the days of true recycling…not using disposable products! I challenge you to do the same. Work to rid your life of the brainwashing effect the marketing industry has had on us, and instead reevaluate how to be more frugal in every day situations. Challenge the norm, don’t be afraid to stand alone in a thing if it be good, make responsible choices in all areas of your spending and you will undoubtedly see your a drastic reduction in your spending.
Read our DFA Tip of the Week series to learn about how to adopt more money saving, frugally based tips!
Hi Matt! Back again. lol I’ve really enjoyed going back through a lot of your previous entries, and I completely agree with the stopping of buying disposable items. I have long ago abandoned paper napkins for the cloth ones, and I have tons of microfiber cloths and various dishtowels and rags. I do buy paper towels to keep on hand should I have to clean anything particularly nasty (I do have a 2 year old and 2 cats), but I don’t even use a whole roll in 2 months.
I do have a swiffer wet jet, which I had a love/hate relationship with. I love the convenience and it’s awesome that I can mop without having to wait for the floor to dry (very nice when you have a toddler running around). I had considered getting rid of it, but instead, decided to try and be more creative. Yes, I had spent $20 on it, is throwing it out the best idea? Not for me. I did some nosing around online and discovered how to open up the non-refillable bottles and now I can fill it up with some water and vinegar and clean with my swiffer for just pennies. As for those crazy expensive pads, I made my own reusable pads from some cheap towels and even a couple of microfibers for when I want to dust mop. And the best part is that I can wash those with my homemade laundry detergent. 🙂
Oh, another tip, disposable razors are actually able to be used for 6 months if you dry them with your hair dryer and put a little bit of oil on the blades when you are done. It’s not that the razors are dull, but that they rust up. Now I find coupons in the paper for any razors, and get the smallest pack, which is usually the 3 pack and with the coupon it’s typically about $1, sometimes less if you can pair it with a sale at a CVS or Walgreens, etc. 🙂
Matt Jabs says
Great to see you here Lara, not many people make it this deep into the archives as you can see! 🙂
I try to remember to store my Gillette Sensor in alcohol which has the same effect, since like you said – it’s the rust that dulls the blades.
My wife also uses our microfiber clothes on here swiffer… but she bought a generic swiffer mop for $1 at the dollar store! Can you believe that? She’s been pretty happy with it so far too. Go figure right.