I can't remember if I ever posted how I use old phone books. I'm pretty sure I did but I don't want to search the archives for it. Anyway, it's good to go over some frugal ideas again for those who are new to reading my blogs.
My neighbors save their old phone books for me. I also get the new phone books from the porches of the empty houses on our block as soon as they are dropped there. Ours are always covered in plastic but I like to get them before any dust or dirt can settle on the bags.
What do I use them for? Lots of things. If you've read my cardboard craft blog you know I use the pages to coat the furniture. My grand daughter uses them for messies like playing with wall paper paste or home made finger paints or coloring pages.
I use them to soak up grease from fried foods. When I was a kid my grandmother used old Sears Roebuck catalogs to soak up grease. We didn't have phone books in the days of a hand crank phone. She saved the grease soaked pages to light a fire in the cook stove or the pot belly heat stove.
I use the pages for cleaning up spilled stuff from the floor or counters. I clean mirrors and windows with them. I polish things with them. Hmm.... I use phone book pages like free paper towels. Just about anything you use a paper towel for you can substitute phone book pages. Phone book pages are actually quite clean except for the ink rubbing off sometimes.
I have another use for the phone book pages. I write out my grocery list on them or use the pages like a note pad for jotting down things in a to do list. Same thing my grandmother did with the Sears catalog. Sometimes she wrote letters to far away family on the Sears pages. She made her envelopes out of butcher paper. Her grocery lists did not get thrown away after our trip to town. My grandmother took the page to the outhouse to be used once more before getting thrown away. We had a couple of extra Sears catalogs in the outhouse too.
You might ask why use old phone books when note pads and paper towels are easily bought. Well my thought is that Free is better than Cheap. Even buying paper towels from a dollar store cheap can't beat the price of free. Anything I absolutely don't think a phone book page should touch, I use a cloth towel. Like wiping off Ladybug's hands and face. I can't have ink streaks on a little face. I use cloth.
The way I figure it, each single phone book saves me about $60 to $80 because I don't buy paper towels to throw away. Geeze, that's like wiping up a spill with paper money and throwing it away. Have you noticed the cost of paper towels has gone up while the size of the rolls are getting smaller called down sizing? Hmm... that's another subject.
Every phone book I use also saves me a few dollars a year because I don't buy note pads. Those $1 note pad purchases add up over time ya know? I do keep a roll of paper towels here for guests or customers if needed. I think I bought the one roll I have about 2 years ago.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a use or two but I think you get the idea.