Last week my very well used green & white plaid tablecloth became pinned between the table and a chair's armrest. When we attempted to pull the cloth off the table for cleaning, a large rip occurred near one of the edges. This tablecloth was one of our "everyday" tablecloths and was close to 20 years old. Eventually, even the most sturdy of fabrics will gave way. Instead of throwing it out, I decided to re-purpose it by sewing up 10 "new" cloth napkins. Not only did I get 10 free cloth napkins but I've also prevented additional waste being dumped into the local landfill, saved a tree or at least part of one, and prevented a small amount of paper making chemicals from being dumped into our environment. AND I'm not spending Mr.B's hard earned income on a piece of paper that was created with the intention of being thrown into the trash - talk about throwing money away.
Cloth napkins are small and don't take up much room in the wash. By adding them to almost any load I happen to be washing, I don't use anymore water or laundry soap than usual. I eventually hope to collect enough cloth napkins to use them exclusively.
Recycling old fabric into cloth napkins ... a very frugal idea.