One of the simple ways I have chosen to save money in our home is through an old fashioned idea of wash and reuse again. Here are three examples of how to do this: cloth napkins, luncheon sets, and a punch bowl.
I started collecting luncheon sets a few years ago. I got my first two sets as a gift, from my sister Sierra. Luncheon sets are an ingenious idea, where a box has four luncheon plates and four small cups in it. They fit neatly away in a cabinet or buffet and are perfect for entertaining. Churches and civic groups used to use them, when people still were willing to take turns and do dishes. I use them for entertaining, and I put them straight in the dish washer. Luncheon sets are essentially pressed glass. They are really lovely, but they are also very durable. These were made during the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, when housewives still had baby showers, bridal showers, and card parties in their homes.
I use cloth napkins because they are so cheap and readily available. They are easy to wash, dry, or hang on the line. You could even try making your own out of vintage towels, flour sacks, or cotton sheets. I literally have all kinds of napkins that I have picked up from garage sales and thrift stores. I have sets that I have been washing for well over eleven years.
Lastly, the punch bowl, another wonderful item that has gone the way of convenience. Punch bowls are so pretty, and you see them all the time at thrift stores, garage sales, and antique shops. My friend Alison said to me, “If you want to get a party started, get out the punch bowl.” I have never forgotten that, and she is right, nothing says celebration like a punch bowl. It is so much easier and cheaper to make a large batch of punch, than it is to provide copious amounts of soda for everyone.
And finally, aesthetically speaking, cloth napkins, luncheon sets, and punch bowls are beautiful compared to paper or plastic. I also love them, because Americans are the trashiest people in the world due to our cultural obsession with the disposable. We produce the most trash for the least amount of people in the world. I would personally like to help be a part of ending that. We can all help by doing what it says in Genesis 1 where God calls us to be good stewards of the earth. So I encourage you the next time you are having a party, a gathering of friends, a bible study, or whatever, get out the punch bowl, luncheon sets and cloth napkins. Choose to be both frugal and fill your home with pretty things that can be reused again and again.