52 Weeks to Effective Use of Money

This year, I’m going to take a new topic each week to blog about. Ways to spend less while still living a normal life. Ways to earn some extra money without undermining the quality of your life. Efficient strategies to use the money you have to its best effect. Money I don’t have to spend is money I don’t have to earn. Money I don’t use on boring “everybody does it” stuff is money I can spend on things that really matter to me.

This week is paper products and disposables, because so many Americans use so many paper and disposable products, it’s likely to be useful to many. I recently saw an article that re-defined paper products as not just paper towels, etc., but also paper checks, wrapping paper, anything made of paper.

With the natural progression of technology, I rarely use paper checks anymore. When one more provider starts accepting online payments, I won’t need checks at all. Ordering checks through the bank usually costs more than ordering them online. If you search on “order checks online,” you’ll find many companies. Most of them offer a discount for your first order. If you order from a new company every time, you get the new customer discount each time.

Wrapping paper alternatives can be fun. A receiving blanket makes a suitable wrap for a baby gift. Perhaps a kitchen towel for a housewarming gift. Dollar stores carry themed or colorful plastic tablecloths that can be great for wrapping large or awkward gifts. How about a red-checked tablecloth wrapping picnic supplies or the ingredients for a great Italian dinner. Reusable gift bags and gift boxes save resources and don’t have to be paid for over and over. One year I made Christmas bags from cloth, with drawstrings. If the whole family is on board with this, they can be used year after year and become part of the tradition. Just about any box can be painted, decorated, or covered with cloth to make an original and reusable gift container.

 

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