365 Frugality Tips: Scrap Paper

January 21, 2013
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Day 21: Year of Renewed Frugality

I use a lot of scrap paper. If you were to come over and look at my desk right now, you would see pieces of already used printed paper, folded in half, with the clean side facing out, with lots of writing on them. I use this scrap paper to make notes to myself, my daily to do list, to jot down story ideas, and shopping lists.

For the longest time I would reuse scrap paper in my printer so that I could get twice the mileage from scrap paper and not have to buy new paper. I think I went a whole year without buying new paper for my printer.

However, recently my laser printer has become temperamental about taking used paper and has been jamming. Because a new laser printer costs way more than the money I’m saving on not buying a case of paper, I have stopped reusing paper in the printer. Plus, I have justified this new habit with waiting until Staples is offering its 100 percent Staples Rewards back promotions on paper that have allowed me to get my paper for free.

Though I have stopped reusing paper in the printer, I have not stopped reusing scrap paper. And that means that I have been able to go years without having to buy a notepad.

I know that I can trace back this habit of using scrap paper to my own mother, who always had a pile of scrap paper next to the phone for taking phone messages–you know, back when everyone was calling on your landline. I know that my mother still has a pile of scrap paper at the ready whenever she needs it.

Me, I’ve creating a file folder labeled, what else, “SCRAP” that I keep on my desk with all my other work files. It is where I put paper that I’ve only printed on one side. Then whenever I need to jot something down, I can grab a sheet of used paper from that scrap folder rather than use a brand-new piece of paper.

I just checked my Staples account. The last time I purchased paper was in January 2012, a year ago. And I still have nearly a full case of paper left to continue using in 2013. So even though I’m not reusing paper in the printer as much as I used to, that is proof positive that even reusing paper as scrap goes a long way towards saving me money. I know it’s good for the earth, too.

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2 Responses to 365 Frugality Tips: Scrap Paper

  1. JUDY INGRAM on January 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Fortunately, my old printer is not finicky about already-used paper so my feeder drawer is full of scrap paper. The only time I use new paper is when I print important documents. And, yes, Leah is correct, I do have a basket full of scrap paper next to my phone and a basket on my nightstand, too. If my head is swimming with ideas or things to do in the morning, I jot them down to clear my brain and then can sleep soundly.

  2. theresa on January 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    My favorite scrap paper is last years desk calendar. The square ones with a word a day. I just flip it over and use the back. Its already in a pad!

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