Making Do: Frugal Substitutions for Toilet Paper

Have you seen that crazy talk on the ‘net about using corn cobs in place of TP? Other than farmers, who has corn cobs laying around?! Leaves sounds more reasonable, albeit not dried ones. I can’t say I know that for a fact because Wayne is a party pooper. (I apologize in advance for the unfortunate and unintended puns in this post).

Here’s how it went. We were sitting in our three season sunroom yesterday afternoon which was glorious. The sunlight brought the sunroom temp up to seventy even though it was still in the 40s outside. The local indie oldies a.m. station was playing on the vintage radio. We sat on our rocking chairs and I asked his thoughts about leaves in lieu of TP if it came down to that. Then I had a great idea on how to find out!  I can’t believe he didn’t want to play along with my novel quarantine game.

I had leftover chocolate frosting from when I had made his birthday cake on Saturday. Wouldn’t it be fun to simulate different TP substitutions in a makeshift lab? All I had to do was place some frosting on a plate and then wipe it off…anyway, you get where I wanted to go, but like I said, Wayne wasn’t having it. I’m sure you all think I’m off my rocker. My humor gets darker in times like this, but it’s how I cope and I’m OK. Promise.

In all seriousness, I do have five frugal suggestions for what you can use should you run out of toilet paper. Most of these things are likely laying around your house. You will need a large pair of scissors to cut some of these things into scraps to go into the trash and not down your toilet after one usage:

  1. Socks. You know, the ones missing their mates or have holes.
  2. Bed sheets and pillow cases. Do you have some plain guest sheets or ones you haven’t used in ages? If not you can buy them new online. One large sheet can give you loads of scraps.
  3. Handkerchiefs. Obviously you wouldn’t want to use your fine hankies but if you have some that are older and fraying, instead of tossing, put them into service once more.
  4. Knit clothing. Maybe you have old clothes you’ve reserved for gardening, house repairs and painting.
  5. Washcloths. I have to replace mine after many uses as they start to fall apart. They used to go into the trash.

Thankfully we don’t yet need to go this route yet but it’s reassuring to know that there are thrifty options that you have right in your house!

12 thoughts on “Making Do: Frugal Substitutions for Toilet Paper

  1. Your experiment is a great idea! We have had a lot of shear, dumb luck this year, and part of that was getting our usual costco cube right before things went south (ha!) was one of them. You’re right – it is hard to avoid unintentionally punning on this subject – Abe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ha, thanks! I also had some dumb luck. Normally we get a case on a regular basis from Amazon but sometime in January I accidentally signed up for two subscribe and saves instead of just changing the date so we had twice our usual amount.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s hope the poopoo paper makers keep on producing and we have nice clean hineys!!
    But, yeah, a soft/ damp washcloth is my worst case scenario hiney plan. (Then was my in hot, soapy water)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Averyl,
    Your blog made its ‘debut’ last week while I was ‘looking up’ some other info.on my iPad.
    I have checked out your stories and photo treasures…..all endearing!
    Keep on blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We have a basket of cut up t-shirts we use around the house, so I’ve designated some for bathroom use and dedicated a large tupperware with lid to contain those that have been used. I am using them for numero uno and reserving our TP for numero dos, to make it last. I honestly think thrift stores around the country should get in there with the scissors and start cutting. There are so, so many old t-shirts around that no one wants. Why not distribute them accordingly and educate people on how to implement the ‘family cloth’ method. It really hasn’t been bad so far. I’m realizing I should have been doing this all along. But yes, there is a bit-o-chafing. It’s a learning curve… By the way, I was off social media for a while, but am back on for all the same reasons you posted. I have still been reading and following your blog through email, and you and Wayne have been in my thoughts. Sorry for being a lurker!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Melanie! I assumed that you were taking a social media breather but trusted you would be back so yay! Of course I wish it was under better circumstances! I didn’t realize you were lurking all this time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Also, I just realized… there are so many people who have to go to laundromats or use shared laundry facilities in apartment complexes. People hoarding TP should keep that in mind. If one has the ability to wash and re-use, they should, because not everyone has this ability.


    1. I don’t plan to “go” the family cloth route unless things get really bad and it’s a necessity, but I’ve cut back my usage of TP in other ways that will stick.. As an example I used to use it to wipe down the area of the floor near the shower where some water escapes from behind the curtain. Now I use a washcloth that was heading into the laundry anyway. I also used to use it in lieu of tissues to blow my nose. Now, hankies.


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