You’re here because you want to start living a little more sustainably. I’m with ya! However, some of these products seem to be ridiculously expensive. Well, there are products that can actually save you money in the long run. Some of these products are my all time favorite eco-friendly alternatives and I only have to buy them one time! Woo!
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The best zero waste swaps to save you money are below:
Plastic Water Bottles with a Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Saves you money: The average American drinks 167 bottles of water each year, equalling around $28 in plastic water bottles. Or, you can buy a Hydro Flask for $22, save all of that plastic waste, and start saving money after just 9 months!
Tissues with a Handkerchiefs
Saves you money: A box of tissues cost you right around $1.50. The average American household uses 32 boxes of tissues per year. That is right around $48 a year you spend on tissues. Or, you can buy these handkerchiefs for $13 and start saving money in right around 3 months!
Paper Coffee Cups with a Reusable Coffee Mug
Saves you money: Many coffee shops give you a discount for bringing your own cup. Try places like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Einstein’s, Breadwinner, etc! The average company gives you a 10 cent discount for making your daily coffee zero waste. The average American drinks 1.6 cups of coffee a day.
That means you can save $58 a year by bringing in your own coffee mug. This mug costs you $26 to keep your coffee hot for many more hours than the paper cup and save you money in about 6 months. Plus who doesn’t have a freebie coffee mug at home? Bring that and save instantly!
Throwing Food Away with Composting
Saves you money: Depending upon the size of your garden and landscaping, fertilizer is a key ingredient to your harvest each year. Composting is an easy way to make completely free, organic fertilizer that will actually help you increase your harvest each year. Saving you money in fertilizer and groceries.
Sponges with Rags
Saves you money: Switch your dishwashing practices from sponges to old t-shirt rags! Go into your dresser, dig to the bottom of the bottom drawer, and find a t-shirt that you haven’t worn in years. This shirt can be used in so many more ways- cleaning, washing dishes, handkerchief, etc! And it’s completely free!
Save yourself the average $15 spent per year on sponges.
Paper Towels with Rags
Saves you money: Don’t have to buy paper towels! It’s just old t-shirts laying around- saving you $58 a year!
Paper Cupcake and Bread Pan Liners with Silicone Cupcake and Breadpan Liners
Saves you money: You can spend $10 here to never have to buy cupcake liner or a bread pan again! I think that is well worth it!
Plastic Grocery Bags with Reusable Produce Bags and Tote Bags
Saves you money: Many stores will give you a discount for bringing your own bags. Try places like Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, etc! The average store gives you 5 cent per reusable bag you use.
If you spend $11 on tote bags and you start saving money after 220 bag uses, or about 50 trips to the grocery store! Buy these colorful, mesh tote bags and you can start saving money around 1 year with this zero waste swap!
Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash with Bulk or a Non-packaged Shampoo Bar/ Body Bar
Saves you money: My shampoo bar lasts me around 3 months costing around $9! When I was buying salon brand shampoo and conditioner for about $25 a bottle, it would last me a similar length. However, I now don’t have to use the conditioner and I am saving $47 every three months!
Saran Wrap with Beeswax Wraps: pack of 3, set of 7
(learn to make here)
Saves you money: Spend the $18 to buy these beeswax wraps that you can have forever or spend $4 on a roll on single-use plastic wrap. Make this switch and never have to buy plastic wrap again! Or make your own and save even more!
Brown Lunch Bag with a Canvas Lunch Bag
Saves you money: If you have to pack a lunch every weekday, you use 261 brown bags. That averages about $27 in brown paper lunch bags a year. Or you can spend $8 on this lunch bag and save $19 your first year and $27 for every year after that!
Tampons and Pads with a Diva Cup
Saves you money: This is one of my all-time favorite eco-friendly alternatives. You can spend $25 on this cup and use it for years, or you can spend the average of $135 on disposable feminine hygiene products per year!
Here are my tips and tricks on transitioning to the Diva Cup– it is life changing.
Dryer Sheets with Wool Dryer Balls
Saves you money: Buy two balls for $3 and never have to buy a $3 box of dryer sheets again!
Ziploc Bags with Stasher Bags
Saves you money: Stasher bags are one of the best things EVER! You can cook in them, freeze them, and throw them in the dishwasher. They rock. And never have to buy plastic sandwich bags again!
Find out my 6 Favorite Ziploc Bag Alternatives here!
Buying Packaged Food with Mason Jars
Saves you money: When you buy food not in packaging, you don’t pay for name brands or the packaging!
Plastic Beauty Products with Beauty Products in Bamboo, Glass or Metal Containers
(These can be found at local stores better than online)
Saves you money: You can reuse the containers again and again!
Paper Napkins and Plates, Plastic Cutlery and Plates with Cloth Napkins, Reusable Silverware and Ceramic Plates
Saves you money: Buy no single use kitchen goods again!
Plastic Wrapped Toilet Paper with Paper Wrapped Toilet Paper
Saves you money: There is little to no variation in pricing per roll, might as well choose paper!
You may have to buy these products initially but the upfront cost will be outweighed by the number of single-use items you aren’t buying in the long run. These swaps will help save the environment and your bank account! That’s a pretty good combo.
If you have any swaps to add please comment them below! Let me know if you have any questions about the products!
Check out these popular posts about sustainable living:
- Best Ziploc Sandwich Bag Alternatives
- How to Reduce Anxiety in a Zero Waste Lifestyle
- The 5 Big Swaps to Start Your Low Waste Journey