Are you someone who is always seeking new and clever ways to save money?
As you’ll find in the book, one of the ways I began to save extra money was by ditching some of the disposable products we used in our home and replacing them with reusable household items.
This may have cost us a few more bucks in the beginning but quickly turned into substantial savings each month we weren’t purchasing the disposable versions.
I know you love to use disposable products because let’s be honest, they are SO convenient and make our lives so much easier! I know this because I felt the exact same way.
I would have never been accused of being a tree-hugger or overly environmentally conscious, but the fact is that our planet is in crisis and I finally began to believe that just making small changes in our own home really could make a difference.
As a religious monthly budgeter, once I sat down to crunch some numbers, I quickly realized that not only would I be helping Mother Earth but I would also be helping my bank account by keeping more money in it.
I want to share some of our very favorite reusable products that have taken up residence in our home and kicked out their disposable – and wasteful – counterparts.
By simply switching out one product at a time and making gradual changes little by little can eventually drive bigger changes and let’s also mention that the savings are two-fold. Not only will your choices have a positive impact on the environment but they will also have a positive impact on your wallet.
The Best Reusable Household Products
Purchasing reusable products versus their disposable counterparts will absolutely save you money over time.
These are the best reusable household items that we’ve been loving in our own home lately. These eco-friendly products will absolutely help you make a positive impact on the environment and are a great place to begin making small changes in your own family that will add up.
Reusable Water Bottle
Purchasing a reusable water bottle will only require a small amount of money upfront and you will quickly find yourself politely refusing the next time someone offers you a bottle of water.
Be sure to spend a few extra dollars to purchase a bottle that is insulated to keep your water cold for longer, you’ll be glad you did. Make sure to grab and fill your bottle before you leave the house and you’ll have no need for disposable bottles.
I regularly use two different bags – one for work and one as my purse and I keep a reusable water bottle in each bag, always filled and ready to quench my thirst. These are my favorite kind…they are not too heavy and keep my water cool for days.
Trade-in your paper towels for cloth kitchen towels…reusable kitchen towels can be used for any task you would normally use a paper towel and you’ll be majorly reducing your household waste.
In the U.S. we currently use more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year and that number is growing steadily. This equals more than 3,000 tons of paper towel waste in the U.S. alone. (source)
Be sure to wash your towels often in hot water to keep them germ-free. Grab a bulk pack so you always have a clean kitchen towel on hand when you need it.
Plastic straws have become such a hazard in our environment that many restaurants have stopped using them altogether!
Have you heard the staggering statistic that half a billion plastic straws are used throughout the world each day. Each day. Not year. There are so many different options to replace plastic disposable straws.
You can opt for cute paper straws if you’re looking for something fun and decorative for a party but for daily use, try reusable stainless steel, rubber or even these awesome glass straws. Don’t forget to grab a brush to keep your reusable straws clean.
Not only have K-Cups have quickly become a huge problem in our landfills but they can be costly as well.
We all love our single-serve coffee brewers and it sure is simple to just toss those used K-cups in the trash but did you know it’s honestly just as simple – and SO much cheaper – to buy ground coffee and use a reusable k-cup?
Honestly, it takes maybe a minute longer, that’s it! Years ago when Keurigs first became popular they use to have this weird thing you would use where you removed the piece of the machine filled that up with coffee grounds and brewed the cup.
It was kind of a pain and always seemed to leak and I quickly stopped using it. But never fear, now you can grab a set of these bad boys and they are so simple to use! No mess, no fuss! Start by purchasing your favorite ground coffee (for wayyyyy less than a box of k-cups, btw), I usually grab this kind at Aldi.
It’s cheap and it’s good! You can store your ground coffee in the freezer to keep it fresh if you don’t drink it very fast, keep it in the can in your cabinet or if you buy a bag you can dump it into a large mason jar and store it in your cabinet (this is what I do and it always stays fresh)!
Next, grab your reusable k-cup and fill it up. Be sure to read the directions as they usually mention something about not overfilling (this can cause drips when using) and tapping the k-cup to settle the grounds.
Just fill, and use as you would a normal k-cup. They work the exact same. Then all you really need to do is rinse out the grounds and repeat.
Bonus: by using the reusable k-cups you also have more control over the strength of your brew.
Reusable Makeup Remover Cloths
Did you even know there was such a thing as reusable makeup removing cloths? This was news to me until last year when I began seeing them pop up around stores and I’ll admit – I was super skeptical. How in the world could these cute little microfiber cloths remove your makeup with just water?
Welp, I’ll be honest…I still don’t really know the answer to that (laughing emoji) but you’ll just have to take my word for it that they actually work.
I have sensitive skin plus I hate washing my face at night (ew, I know) that is what led me to fall in love with these guys. They are just wonderful! They are so gentle and don’t aggravate my skin and take away all my face paint makeup without feeling like I’m rubbing my face with sandpaper.
But you know what is even more gentle on your skin? Water! All you have to do is get these makeup cloths wet and you can remove all your makeup…then just toss ’em in the wash and they’ll be ready to go to work for you again.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Let me repeat…I definitely am not perfect when it comes to being eco-friendly but one thing that really bugs me is the insane amount of shopping bags that we accumulate in our household.
Not to mention those that I constantly see littered about outside. Pair our incessant need to spend money with stores putting all of two items in each bag and you will find yourself drowning in plastic bags.
This is a very simple change to make. I know it’s not always possible to use a reusable shopping bag. Maybe you forget them or you simply forget to hand them to the cashier until after they’ve finished bagging your groceries.
It’s ok. You don’t have to be perfect. Just making a conscious effort to buy reusable shopping bags and use them as often as possible it a huge step in the right direction.
I was gifted a set similar to these years ago and while I have only gotten serious about using them consistently, they’ve come in handy over the years for all types of things. I love that they are strong and durable yet also fold down super small so I can stash them in the small compartments of any purse.
They also come with a tiny bag that can clip onto almost anything so you don’t lose them! Plus you can toss them in the washing machine anytime they get dirty, which is a huge selling point for me since I’m a germophobe 🤣.
Bonus Tip: Many stores will now offer you a rebate when checking out for each reusable bag you bring…cha-ching.
Silicone Baking Mat
Save yourself the parchment paper and aluminum foil and use silicone baking mats! I had purchased two of these when I used to make decorated sugar cookies. These things are awesome! Nothing – and I mean nothing – sticks to them!
These silicone baking mats are super easy to clean and can roll up to take up virtually no room in your kitchen…and, of course, they are better for the environment!
» READ MORE: Frugal Living Tips: 55 hacks to save money
Many of us probably have a few old mason jars sitting around our home somewhere. Have a look and see if you’re able to find any. These jars are not just for jelly. You can use them for anything.
Not only are they super inexpensive but they come in a variety of sizes and colors, make adorable decor, and are a much more eco-friendly option over plastic food containers.
Grab yourself a bunch of mason jars and enjoy using them for food storage (even frozen), vases, pencil holders, makeup brush holders, seriously…the list goes on and on.
Glass Food Storage Containers
A nice complement to your mason jars would also be a set of glass food storage containers. Mason jars work for a lot of things but glass storage containers with lids are the bomb.
Use them for freezer meals, your lunches for the week or last night’s leftovers. I have this set of glass containers and not only are they super durable, freeze well and stack great in the fridge but more importantly, they don’t contain any nasty chemicals
Reusable Sandwich Baggies
Another easy switch is to cut back on the use of plastic sandwich baggies! There are so many reusable, eco-friendly options available in any shape or size you could want.
They can be a bit of an investment upfront but over time you will definitely see some savings and also ensure some of your baggies don’t end up in our oceans.
Check out cloth options, which can be tossed in the washing machine, or silicone options which can be used in the freezer plus take a spin through the dishwasher to clean and disinfect.
Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags
It’s really great that you walk Fido each day – maybe even twice a day! But think of allllll those plastic bags you use each time he does his business on his daily walk! Did you know there is such a thing as biodegradable doggie doo bags? I had no clue!
I stumbled upon some at Marshall’s, grabbed them immediately and was very proud of myself! BUT when I ran out and began trying to find the same brand on Amazon (I couldn’t find the same ones) I started reading that unfortunately, many dog poop bags that are labeled as such may not actually be.
If you are truly concerned about this I recommend doing some research into different ways you can dispose of your dog’s, er, disposal 🤷♀️to ensure everything actually breaks down! And if you’re still not convinced go ahead and check out these bags, which are flushable and certified compostable.
Reusable Coffee Cups
Why stop with reusable k-cups when you can jump on the reusable coffee cup bandwagon too? Didn’t you hear that bringing your own refillable cup to Starbucks is cool? They will even give you $.10 off your coffee if you bring your own cup instead of using theirs.
The disposable coffee cup problem is so large that if two billion people chose to reuse their cup just once a week it would save 104 million cups a year from landfills. (source)
You can use a sleek glass cup or for something lighter, opt for a cup made from bamboo (instead of plastic) like these.
Ok, now I’m really about to blow your mind…Did you know there is another hair removal option besides shaving, waxing or lasering? Have you ever heard of an epilator?
It’s this small little electric (or battery-powered) shaver without blades. Instead, it has rotating discs that grip the hairs and pull them out from the root, much like waxing.
While some find it painful at first, the pain is often compared to that of waxing…and I can tell you from experience you absolutely get used to it.
Not only can you leave all your disposable razors behind but the hair will actually grow in slower, thinner, and softer over time. Plus you will notice less ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
You will have softer skin for longer and save money since epilators are very reasonably priced #winning! This is the epilator I started with and it was so easy to use that my teenage daughter even borrows it.
Using these reusable household items is such a great way to begin shifting away from the overuse of disposable products in your everyday life and moving towards a more eco-conscious way of living plus you’ll be setting a great example for your friends and family. Don’t forget to grab your free frugal living ebook.
Kristin Stones is the owner of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.