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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
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
By Cindy K.
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!
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?".