For most families, toilet paper is a non-negotiable.
But one family has taken their money-saving techniques to a whole new level.
Amber Allen, her husband Joseph, and their three children decided they wouldn’t need toilet paper and stopped purchasing it to help themselves become debt-free.
So how do they clean their bottoms?
“We’ve used cloth instead of toilet paper for the past three years,” Amber said in a video on her YouTube channel.
“We started not using toilet paper for several reasons. We were trying to get out of about £70,000 [$NZ136,000] of debt, so we cut anything out of our budget that we could.”
The family also cancelled their Netflix subscription and have stopped shopping “of pretty much any kind” except the occasional food shop.
They also eat frugally.
Photo / YouTube
“One day it occurred to me, why are we using toilet paper? We are literally throwing our money down the toilet,” she said.
“I just couldn’t wrap my head around why we were doing that.”
Deciding to do some more research on alternatives, she discovered some people were using cloth wipes that you can buy online.
Instead of buying those wipes, she cut up old clothing that she didn’t like or were damaged and repurposed them as wipes.
However, these wore out very fast so she decided to buy second-hand baby blankets made out of flannel.
Since making the change she’s estimated to have saved between $1400-$2600 over three years.
The family still buy toilet paper but only for guests.
“We used to have a BYOR (bring your own roll) rule in our house,” she joked.
But the family eventually decided to be more generous, and eventually purchased one pack of toilet roll for guests to use.
So how do they wash their bum cloths?
The family keep a bucket in the bathroom with water in it “to keep things nice and liquidy”.
They wash used cloths every day, but urged people who want to do the same to wash them separately from their regular wash.
She added that her husband has made that mistake in the past.
“There’s no coming back from washing your soiled cloth with clothing or bedding without soaking everything in the bathtub with baking soda,” she said.
Amber doesn’t judge people who use toilet paper.
“Do what works for you,” she said.
“After using cloth wipes for years, we are kind of getting tired of it. It takes work, but we’re going to keep going, for now.”
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.