In a fit of going green last fall, I picked up a few cloth handkerchiefs. Organic cotton, to be specific. And I used them sporadically, but for the most part, stuck to my tried and true Puffs. Over the past few weeks though, I’ve had a perpetual case of the sniffles (I blame the weather), and after dealing with shredded tissues in my pockets, purse, and worst of all, in the washing machine, I decided to give the cloth hankies another shot.
I think I’m a convert.
First a caveat – I don’t know how I would feel about using cloth handkerchiefs if I had a bad cold. I would go through a lot of them quite quickly. When my nose is constantly running, it’s easier to just toss the used tissues and be done with it. But for occasional sniffles, it’s great to have a handkerchief in my purse or pocket.
I have to admit, I was worried that they would get gross and be awful to deal with, and surprisingly, it’s not bad at all. And they’re easy to wash – I just toss them in with everything else. Some people take issue with that, but if washing gets my gross, week old gym clothes clean, it certainly can get a handkerchief clean.
Best of all, I no longer have shredded tissue in every pocket and in my purse.
Is this a frugal solution or a money saving solution? Probably not the way I did it – I picked up some pre-made organic cotton handkerchiefs. They weren’t expensive, but neither are tissues. But if you wanted to go simple, you could just buy some fabric and bind off the edges. Heck, you could even use old t-shirts that you’ve cut up, though it might look funny if you’re pulling out your old Metallica concert t-shirt to blow your nose in the office. Or maybe you could start a new trend.
I’m really trying to reduce the amount of trash I throw out every week, and using these handkerchiefs makes me feel less wasteful, so I can’t complain. Plus I just like not picking bits of tissue off of my clothes every week. (You would think I would learn to check my pockets before doing laundry.)
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.