Cheap Way to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

The following Everyday Savings Tip comes from, Cheryl:

I've stopped using paper towels with my cast iron skillet. I use an old t-shirt I have stashed under the sink to dry it. To season it I use plain old (cheap) vegetable shortening instead of canola oil.

I picked up a pack of 2 sponges for $0.99 at Walmart. I use one of those to wipe the pan with the vegetable shortening. I store the sponge in an old spaghetti sauce jar between uses.

I use one sponge for about 5-6 months before changing it (I've only ruined one sponge by using it when the skillet was too hot). I even use the sponge to wipe down my ‘non-stick' skillets before making eggs…so I'm not using the non stick spray or canola oil.

I never waste any extra shortening because if there is some left over on the sponge it's still there next time I need to use it. Before I would just throw the paper towel and wasted shortening/oil away.

I've bought 1 set of sponges  and 1 tub of vegetable shortening since last fall.  I figure I've saved about $18 just making these changes to seasoning my cast iron skillet.

But not buying paper towels to have on hand for the cast iron has had a snowballing effect. I have only bought 2 rolls of paper towels since Christmas, and I recently picked up 18 wash clothes for the same price as 8 rolls of paper towels. I'm using the wash clothes in place of the paper towels practically everwhere.

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