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Saving Money on Napkins

Putting napkins on the table does not have to be expensive. This guide is about saving money on napkins.


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By 14 found this helpful
May 27, 2009

When eating out at fast food restaurants, we are usually given too many napkins that end up in the trash. Now we fold them up and take them with us. They end up in the car for kid clean up, in the purse for emergencies, on the vanity for makeup removal, in the kitchen as a substitute for paper towels or on the table as - surprise - napkins. I'm sure you can come up with lots of places to use these leftover napkins. We never let them go to waste.

Source: We have been doing this for several years now.

By marchall from San Juan, Puerto Rico

Comment Was this helpful? 14

August 2, 2010

I love to have tons of dinner napkins, but I do not like the high price on them. I go to Walmart and look through their remnant bin for cheap materials. I just took a remnant home that cost 39 cents and made four dinner napkins out of it. All I did was cut a triangle edge on it. If I had owned a pair of pinking shears, I could have done it much faster. These can be used for all around cleaning and little place mats. I love these little dinner napkins, I make them in smaller sizes than what you would buy at the store for the children and normal if not smaller sizes for me. I am happy with my large collection of dinner napkins.


Also the little remnants of string (from using the pinking shears on the sides of the napkins to keep them from unraveling) can be turned into hair bows by tying them into little ribbons and then gluing them onto some sort of hair clasp.

This picture is a dinner napkin I just brought in and it is not completely dry, but it is one of my favorite materials.

By Robyn Fed from Hampton TN

Comment Was this helpful? 4

January 19, 20070 found this helpful

Thrifty Reusable Napkins

Instead of paper towels, we use washcloths for napkins. Purchase small dishtowels and dishcloths for napkins; they can be laundered and even ironed!


Recycle Tablecloths

When my tablecloths wear out in the middle, I cut down the usable part and make cloth napkins out of it.

By Cindy K.

Kitchen Towels

We use old kitchen towels that don't seem pretty enough to hang up any more. It doesn't matter what the kids (or us) spill on it, and they wash really easily when needed.

By Beth

Extra Fast Food Napkins

We carry the paper napkins we get from fast food in the car so when we have a mess they are already there. I make my own cloth napkins and use them for everyday living and for facial tissue.

By Ziggee

Saving Napkins From Delivery and Take Out

Save those extra napkins provided when you get takeout or delivery food! They're just the right size to pack in lunch boxes or to keep in the car's glove compartment.

By Jennifer

Scraps of Fabric

About 20 years ago, a friend gave me a bag of scraps of fabric. They were too heavy for quilting, so I made table napkins. They just started wearing out a couple of years ago. Most of them are still in service.

By Coreen

Dollar Store Napkins

I buy my napkins at the dollar store. You get 150 to 200 for $1.00

By Cheryl


When my husband was younger he would get hankies with a dress suit, shirt and tie. Usually they were mostly white and a few were colored. We didn't know what to do with them, so I saved them. I don't know of anyone ever using these to wipe their nose. When my children were small we used these as table napkins and I washed them after every meal. It was part of the table setting. Now my kids always look for the cloth napkin at every dinner, whether formal or not. Now I watch for more at thrift stores and garage sales. I still use these now and when I buy a tablecloth I don't have to look for the coordinating napkins because I have them at home! I never use paper.

By Barb

Dishtowels as Napkins

I have purchased dishtowels or dishcloths and used them for napkins. I also have regular cloth napkins that I bought as seconds. They are just as nice as expensive ones. Each person in my family has his or her own napkin ring, so we only change napkins when they are soiled. When buying napkins, buy good quality napkins on sale rather than cheaply made ones, as they last so much longer. They are less expensive in the long run.

By Louel53

Make Your Own

Material is fairly inexpensive at thrift stores (old tablecloths, or clothes) cut down (to about 11 1/2" square) fold over the edges (1/4" on all four sides) and sew them down. You have a 10 1/2" napkin.

By Dahart

Good Weight Fabric

I have made a bunch. I used good weight fabric and they refuse to wear out.

By Rosie


Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 23, 20050 found this helpful

Use cloth placemats and napkins. They're a treat you'll come to enjoy every day.

Cloth placemats and napkins dress up your table, help with any spills, keep the dishes and silverware more quiet from banging on the table, and set the mood for your meal. They are easy to make, or you can buy them at thrift stores. Mix and match, according to your mood. They are easier to care for than a larger bulkier tablecloth. Wash them with your kitchen towels.

You will get so accustomed to this little luxury that you'll never want to use a flimsy scratchy expensive paper napkins again, and you'll feel your table is incomplete without the nice look and feel of placemats & cloth napkins.

I've used them for years now and I don't fuss with them. They come off the line and I fold them, and use. No ironing allowed. I do have a few that should be dried hanging straight or over a wooden rack in order to come out nice and flat. Sometimes my guests have reservations about using my "good" cloth napkins and they actually apologize for getting the napkin dirty. I laugh to put them at ease and say, that's all I use and I wash them with the towels. Go for it!

By Jayne

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

February 27, 20170 found this helpful

If you are trying to save money and be environmentally friendly this question is more complicated than you may assume. This is a guide about, "Do paper or fabric napkins save the most money?".

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes
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