We use cloth napkins. Way back about 8 years ago I bought 4 cotton white and 4 blue napkins and I also have 5 black and 5 brown hemp napkins. Brown and black are much more practical than white and light blue, let me tell you. Especially after 8 years of use.
Conveniently, I also have a friend who does, among many other great things, wonderful tie dye shirts, tablecloths, etc. So I asked her if she could tie-die my stained old white and blue napkins and she did! We now have these beautiful fun napkins that are all different so we can tell whose is whose without napkin rings, etc. and best of all, the stains don’t show!
Also, as you may know, I buy second hand clothing for myself and my boys (except socks and underclothes). Well, if you have a son, then you know that at a young age, the go through the knees in their trousers after a while. And my little guy is wearing the hand-me-downs of his older brother which were second hand to begin with. Needless to say, the knees have worn through on most of his trousers. In the summer when I figured we needed the shorts and he wouldn’t be able to fit in them by fall anyway I made a couple of pairs of cut-off shorts for him. They worked well and he was happy with them. Now that it’s winter, though, I figured it was time to get to work. So I spent a day patching knees a couple of weeks ago and got through all but 2 pairs before the needle on my old sewing machine broke! Anyway, he has enough to get by until I get to a sewing store to pick up some replacement needles.
So I’ve managed to breathe new life into a few old products and get some more life out of them, which is not really that new an idea for me, since I did the same with old receiving blankets, making hankies out of them (which, incidentally, are great for noses, hands when the towel is out, napkins when you’re out and about, and my boys both now prefer them to paper!), but these are a couple of things that I never would have thought of a few years ago.