For this savings idea, I owe full credit to my 4th grade teacher, Miss Smith (now Mrs. Eckert). Miss Smith was a new first year teacher when I had her, and oh, how I loved her! She was the reason I wanted to grow up and become a 4th grade teacher. (Side note: I did grow up and fulfill that dream of teaching 4th grade for 3 years – and loved it!) A couple things I remember from her classroom, where how much Miss Smith encouraged us to read, shooting baskets when we mastered multiplication tables, and recycling. It was thanks to her that my Mom started a scratch paper drawer at home for the 4 of us children.
You see, as nice as it is to write on plain white paper, do we really need to do so all the time? I have found that, most of the time, scratch paper works just fine. You can write a to-do list on scratch paper. Your children can draw pictures on scratch paper. You can even print on scratch paper. You can use scratch paper for just about anything.
If you are looking for places to collect scratch paper, start with the junk mail. What does your office do with the misprinted papers? If they are just going in the trash (or hopefully, recycling), could you use them first? If you have school aged children, there are many papers that come home from school printed only on one side. Designate a place for scratch paper and start using it.
Think of it this way. For each ream of white paper that you don’t have to buy, that is a savings of $4 to $5.
The place where I use the most scratch paper is in my printer. I print all my coupons on scratch paper. The stores don’t mind as long as the coupons scan! Why should I “waste” a piece of white paper when I can reuse an old one? A word to the wise. Do be careful when you load scratch paper in your printer. If you put it wrong, you’ll be printing words on top of words – and that doesn’t do you any good. Ahem. Yes, I have done that before.
If nothing less, teach your children to use scratch paper for their countless drawings. If you teach them to do so from the beginning, think how much money you will save! Growing up, we used scratch paper so much that I remember the year my little brother asked a ream of plain white paper for Christmas. He got it – and kept it safely tucked away in his closet, not wanting to share with any of his sisters. 🙂
To read all 31 saving tips in this series, you can do so here.