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3 handy and frugal Japanese things for good housekeeping

Washable kitchen towels

Washable kitchen towels

The best thing about washable paper kitchen towels is, well, the fact that they are washable! You can wash them twice, and one roll consists of 52 pieces. So, one roll lasts me about a month. After you try these you’ll think it is too wasteful to use ordinary paper towels. They are also very durable. Perfect for use in addition to the usual, fabric kitchen towels, as rags for cleaning, or for any other purpose you can think of. The picture on the package gives some ideas.

Washable kitchen towelsWhat to look for: 洗って使えるペーパータオル (reads as “aratte tsukaeru peepa taoru”)

Where to buy: At local drugstores or on Amazon. The beauty of the latter is that you don’t need to show any papers with kanji to the staff or try to explain what are you looking for.

How much: 300 – 400 yen.

Carton lunch (bento) boxes

Carton bento boxesMy husband does not like to eat his lunch at a cafeteria. He prefers homemade food but hates to carry reusable plastic lunch boxes around. That’s why a disposable lunch (bento) box is a great choice for him, especially a carton one. These ones don’t leak because of the aluminum coating inside.

Carton bento boxes

I stack up on them at 100 yen shops. There are 2 boxes per pack.

What to look for: ペーパランチボックス (“peepa ranchi bokkusu”)

Where to buy: Daiso, Can Do.

How much: 100 yen + tax.

Water purification tablets 

Water purification tablets

It may seem a little gross to reuse bath water but many single Japanese people use the same bathwater for 4 or 5 days. (Japanese people wash and shower outside the bath before relaxing in the bath) Families of 2, 3 or 4 people don’t have the luxury of a new tub of water for each person. Then, the water may be used for laundry too. Imagine how many microorganisms will be in it! That’s where water purification tablets come in like a knight in shining armour! Reusing water helps reduce water bills and saves mother nature for coming generations. A perfect combination don’t you think?

Water purification tabletsWhat to look for: 風呂水 キレイ (“furomizu kirei”)

Where to buy: At local drugstore or on Amazon.

How much: 200 – 400 yen.

Article by Olga Kaneda

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