Once a staple of any well-dressed person’s wardrobe, the handkerchief has gone out of fashion as an accessory and as way to keep a hygienic nose. These small squares of cotton, linen or silk, however, can help save you money as well as save natural resources when they replace the box of paper tissues sitting on your counter. Handkerchiefs come in all shapes and styles: Men’s handkerchiefs, women’s handkerchiefs, cotton handkerchiefs, linen handkerchiefs and embroidered handkerchiefs all offer great style and are easier on your nose.
Frugal families can also count on handkerchiefs to save money, which is nothing to sneeze at.
To calculate how much money using handkerchiefs can save, do the math: Amazon lists a box of 280-count, two-ply white tissues for $3.69. A household with a family of four likely uses two of these each month, spending $7.38 a month. That’s $88.56 a year.
In contrast, a $30 pack of a dozen handkerchiefs can last years with proper washing. Here is a selection of handkerchiefs that can save your family some cash during the cold and flu season, at allergy time or while delicately dabbing the tears from your eyes at a cherished niece’s wedding.
JoS. A. Bank Cotton Handkerchiefs, for Men and Women
JoS. A. Bank offers a “baker’s dozen” of these classic, hand-rolled, 100-percent cotton handkerchiefs. Each measures 17 inches square and are machine washable. The bright, white color adds to their timeless style. Price: $30 per baker’s dozen (13 hankies); shipping: $8.95.
Floral Women’s Handkerchief for Lartisana
A daintier size (13-inch by 13-inch) and a feminine floral design make these handkerchiefs a pretty addition to any women’s wardrobe. Handmade, machine-washable, 100-percent cotton with scalloped edges, these hankies cost $3 each. Shipping is $6.95.
Make Your Own Linen Handkerchiefs
Linen handkerchiefs are wonderfully light and soft, an attribute any cold or allergy sufferer with a stuffy nose will appreciate. An economical way to make a handful of linen handkerchiefs is to purchase a length of handkerchief linen, cut 17-inch-by-17-inch squares and sew in a small hem. Silk Road Fabrics sells delicate handkerchief linen in white, black, off-white and natural at $12.95 for a 60-inch-wide yard. Shipping varies.
Vermont Country Store Embroidered Handkerchief
A pretty embroidered white-on-white rose design graces these women’s handkerchiefs. The 10-inch square hankies are 100-percent cotton and available in a pack of 12 for $19.95; $6.95 shipping.