Paper plates or Wash?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Oldcountryboy, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 23, 2008
    Which do you think is cheaper? To use and throw away paper plates or spend the money on dishwasher detergent/dish soap, water or electricity for the water for those who is on thier own well, plus the cost of heating the water up and running a automatic dishwasher?

    Seen a tip in one of my wife's magazines that she receives that said you can save money and time using paper plates and disposable wet towelet's to clean utensils and drinking cups.

    Anyone do this?
  2. Tonya

    Tonya Guest

    I have 3 dogs. Why waste the electricity with washing! :D

    You forget to factor in that to get the plate to your table means that you're paying somone to cut the tree down, haul it to the mill, make it into a plate, package it, send it to the store and you still have to haul it home. The whole process uses oil and natural reserves, too. Plus you now have trash to haul to the curb and you have to pay for a truck to come and take the trash away.

    You don't need a dishwasher. Dishes can be washed by hand. You can get detergent for $1 or less with coupons or at the Dollar Store. You can collect water and sanitize it with a capful of bleach if you don't want to tax your well. If you let it air dry then you don't need towels. This way you can do a whole sink full of dishes for pennies. WAY less than the cost of the plates.

    Besides, when you get in a fight you can't win if you're throwing paper plates at your Hubby! :bash: You need REAL ones for that!!!

  3. Pink_Carnation

    Pink_Carnation Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    Western Washington
    I think saving money would depend on which kind of paper plates you use as well as how you wash your dishes. I hate paper plates so I wouldn't try it. I also can't imagine that disposable towelets would be anything I want to use on my silverware and cups.
  4. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2002
    Dyersville, Iowa
    Washing the utensils & cups with wet towelettes sounds like the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. :eek:
  5. Zipporah

    Zipporah Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    I wouldn't think hand washing would take much soap or electricity and if you do run your dish washer you can run it late at night.The rates are cheaper late and vinegar works well if you want to cut back on soap and is cheap.I'd be afraid that to just wipe my silverware and cups because of viruses and bacteria. Plus paper plates are high to me unless they are the thin paper ones that all fall apart or the foam ones that stay forever in the land fills.
  6. Kris in MI

    Kris in MI Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 29, 2002
    I've seen the paper vs washing time/soap/water/electricity comparisons too.

    For me, I wash! I think washable is more convenient that disposable; I only have to buy it once! Around my house, paper plates are for 'special' occassions, lol. My kids (12, 15, 16) get all excited when I say "get out the paper plates" because we so rarely use them!
  7. MushCreek

    MushCreek Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    Florida and South Carolina
    Reminds of the story about the newcomer that invited his pastor over for supper. The table was set, and the pastor couldn't help but remark as to how bright and shiny the dishes were. "What's the secret to your dishes", he asked. "Oh, we use cold water", was the reply. After supper, the pastor was getting ready to leave, when the biggest dog he's ever seen walked into the room. "Who's that?", he asked nervously. "That's Cold Water- don't worry, he don't bite!"
  8. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    SW Michigan
    we use paper - Everything around here doesn't have to be cheaper anymore. Hurray. It is all about convenience for the maid.
  9. FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    NC---charlotte area
    I only use "good sturdy" paper plates when camping. Other than that I never buy them.

    I am getting more against "disposable" items in life. I only buy those that I truly feel will make my situation easier, like camping. (most times camping I do use my regular plates, only a few paper plates are used.)

    I have a dishwasher, don't use it. Only 3 of us and the few dishes can easily be done by hand. Never a monster load so why bother.

    Towelettes for utensils....Bleck....nope, not for me..LOL
  10. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Oct 14, 2004
    I guess that might work for people that only cook prepared foods. Then you may as well eat it right out of whatever container it came in.

    If you have to wash pots and pans you may as well wash the dishes right along with them.
  11. gone-a-milkin

    gone-a-milkin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 4, 2007
    This is my thinking too. You already have to fill the sink to wash the pans. :shrug:
  12. SerenityMama

    SerenityMama Cris

    Aug 25, 2009
    We do paper mostly because its just me and three kids all week and we burn our trash so no hauling to the dump. They come in very handy when the waterline freezes-- going on three weeks of that so I am thankful we have them.

    When hubby is home we do normal dishes since we do fresh meals, while he is gone its all leftovers or quickstuff.

    I still wash all untinels in HOT water--- only used the wipe method when camping and we forgot soap once--NASTY!!
  13. thebaker

    thebaker Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    SW Va
    Only time we use paper plates here is if have a party for the kids other than that we wash the plates due to us it cost more to buy paper plates then to wash dishes. I love to use my dishwasher but it's broken and will cost 300.00 to get fixed so wash plates by hand right now.

    Could use cold water which is our dog to clean the plates first then wash them in hot water,. :p
  14. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2005
    Southern California
    I use about a gallon of water to wash up a day or two's worth of dishes (it's just myself). And my quart bottle of Mrs. Meyers dish soap has lasted over 6 months. The very clean water discharged by our local waste treatment plant flows into a lake and creek at a wildlife area, so it's put to good use. Our landfills are filling up with too many silly disposable paper plates and cups and plastics as it is.

    I haven't used a paper plate in decades.

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 25, 2006
    I am anti disposble
    i dislike the disposable mind set the use it and throw it away society angers me
    I am not disposable as a person , to many companies treat thier employees as disposable

    that said we used to get them for birthday parties and such , now even those use our regular plates that are washed

    while it maybe would make economic sence to by a 3 dollar pack 24 plates for 1 or 2 people it quickly looses any cost gain is quickly lost when you have more plates
    we have an avg use of 6 plates or bowls a meal pluss glasses and silver ware a sink of water and a tea spoon of soap makes the most cost effective dishes for us.

    we would be using a 24 pack of plates every day at 3 dollars = 90 dollars a month , i can tell you my combined water electric (electric hot water) bill is only a few dollars more a month
    water electric and sewer come to aprox 6 dollars a day for 5 people to bath, clean ,cook and flush , have light , run the furnace blower , washer and dryer so 1.20 a person a day is not to bad if you figure in soap and tooth paste a dollar thirty

    what i really want is for products like peanut butter , mayo , jelly and other such jared items to come in reusable canning jars that i can was and reuse to can other things in.
  16. Tiempo

    Tiempo Moderator Staff Member

    May 22, 2008
    My neighbors eat off of paper plates, for some reason they always seem to escape their trash and I'm always picking them up out of my pasture if there's the slightest wind :(
  17. KatW

    KatW Xander's Mom

    Jul 25, 2002
    Rainier, WA
    I can't wrap my mind around the idea of using paper plates as a regular everyday thing. You still need to run the dishwasher or hand wash the utensils and pots and pans. You might be able to get cheap paper plates but they are a very wasteful commodity. Do we really want to cut down our forests for disposable plates? They make more environmentally friendly alternatives (plates made from the waste material in sugar-- they can go into the compost pile) but then they will cost more. I can see keeping some on hand for when you're without water but as an everyday thing it seems wasteful and I can't see how it could be cheaper. You buy regular dishes once, and washing them does not cost much at all. Plus you're never going to run out if someone forgot to put new plates on the shopping list.
  18. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Kitsap Co, WA
    I hate paper plates. I hate styrofoam cups. I hate plastic utensils. If it's worth eating or drinking, and needs more than a paper napkin to hold it with, then I use real. I like real. Things taste better on real. (Chinese food tastes better when eaten with chopsticks, too!)
  19. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    I tried using paper plates way back when I was in college. Wasn't long before I realized my silverware supply was starting to dwindle. One night a friend was eating with us and went with the kids (preschoolers) to the kitchen when I told them to throw away their paper plates. He came back in the living room laughing and informed me that the kids were throwing the silverware in the garbage with the paper plates!

    We don't use paper plates here. I don't like our throwaway society and refuse to participate in it. Plus, I never found paper plates to be much of a money saver...especially after I priced replacement silverware!!!
  20. nandmsmom

    nandmsmom Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 3, 2006
    SE Mass zone 6a
    You forget the cost of having all these paper plates piled up in landfills. Imagine how many you use in the course of the week. That's a lot of trash.