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You can save money and reduce waste by replacing almost all disposable items with reusable ones. The best part is, most of the reusable items actually work better than their disposable counterparts! Here are 10 brilliant reusable items to save money and reduce waste. What disposable items have you switched to reusable? Were you happy with the results?
10 reusable items to save money and reduce waste
A good water bottle
Are you still buying water bottles? Stop! Water bottles are such a ridiculous expense, but I really do get it. If your tap water tastes gross, bottled water can be tempting. Consider using a water filter and several good water bottles. My kids use the Thermos Funtainer bottles, and they have been going strong for over a year and a half. I recently bought a Hydroflask. I bought the big one, 40oz! It was a huge expense that I thought about for months, but I have ditched bottled water and upped my water intake considerable. The water in the Hydroflask stays so cold, even on the hottest Florida days.
Buying a good quality water bottle is an investment, but it will pay off over time. Cheap, plastic reusable bottles break, don’t work well, and have questionable chemicals. I highly recommend choosing either glass or stainless steel.
As a bonus, most places (like Starbucks) will give you a discount if you bring your own cup. Many other places will allow you to refill your water bottle for free or nearly free, since you aren’t using their cups.
I know that talking about periods is taboo for some reason, but come on ladies, we all have to deal with it! I gave up pads and tampons long ago, even though I initially resisted the idea of a menstrual cup. Cloth pads are another option, but I wasn’t a fan of them. However, the Diva Cup was a great alternative to disposable period products. I have found that the brand doesn’t matter, this $15 “Blossom Cup” is less expensive, and works just as well.
One of my first work at home ventures was making wool dryer balls. That didn’t work out, but I still use some of the ones I made to this day. My mom is still using hers too! They’re also a little more “mainstream” now and can be purchased on Amazon. Wool dryer balls replace chemical-filled dryer sheets. This one-time expense will save lots of money over time, because they last for years. If you miss the fragrance, you can always add a little bit of essential oil into the dryer ball.
We drink a lot of smoothies in our house, and I noticed that we went through a lot of straws. About a year ago, I bought a set of stainless steel straws. We love them! Granted, straws aren’t very expensive. However, you’ll still save money over time since these straws will probably last a lifetime. They’re also much better for the planet. Another reusable straw that I use is the Koffie straw. I use this every morning in my coffee. It’s an earth-friendly alternative to plastic coffee stirrers, and keeps your teeth whiter.
I use this pink Koffie Straw every morning!
Cloth Diapers and Wipes
I used cloth diapers to some extent with all of my kids, and we absolutely loved them. It’s a pretty big initial purchase, but there are lots of ways to save. It can save thousands over the span of the diapering years. The best part is that cloth diapers in good shape can be re-sold when you’re finished with them. To learn more about cloth diapers, check out my cloth diapering series:
- Cloth Diapering 101: Types of Cloth Diapers
- Cloth Diapering 101: How to Wash Cloth Diapers
- Cloth Diapering 101: How to Use Wool Diaper Covers
Cloth wipes are another reusable that we used. If you’re doing diaper laundry anyway, it makes sense to just wash the wipes too. You can use wipes made specifically more babies, or even soft wash clothes. Speaking of wash clothes, we use them for everything. Napkins, paper towels. Why buy disposable when the “real thing” saves money, is better for the planet, and works better?!
Reusable coffee filter
This is a simple money saver! You can buy a reusable coffee filter for nearly any type of coffee maker. If you use a Keurig, you can also buy reusable K-cup pods. I wasted so much money on k-cups under I figured this out. They do wear out over time, but it’s still a huge savings when you consider how expensive K-cups are. I have noticed the regular reusable filters last much longer.
Glass food containers
Buying a good set of glass food containers will save money over time, and also save you from whatever questionable chemicals are lurking in your plastic wrap and disposable containers.
Reusable Gift Bags
Does anyone else hate the massive mess of wrapping paper during holidays? Well I do! I haven’t used reusable gift bags yet, but I’m considering it. I found some on Amazon, but they’re kind of pricey. I wonder if they would be a fun DIY with some bargain fabric?
Reusable grocery bags
We recently took a trip to Hawaii, where they’ve banned plastic bags. I think that this is a great step in eliminating waste, and I hope more states follow. Even if you don’t live somewhere with a plastic bag ban, reusable bags are far better for the planet, and very cheap! Target even gives you a $.05 credit for each bag used, so it’s another reusable that pays for itself over time. You can even go a step further and use reusable produce bags, to eliminate plastic from your grocery trip completely.
You might be wondering how a subscription service could possible save money. I’m not generally a fan of subscription services, but I’ve been loving Kindle Unlimited. If your family loves reading, it could be a good deal for you too. If you purchase more than one book per month, or have limited library access, it can be a huge savings! At $9.99 per month (and you don’t have to have an Amazon subscription) you can share the subscription with your entire family. My son is sharing the subscription with me, and reading all of the Star Wars Rebels books.
The 7″ Kindle Fire is under $50 now, making everything relatively affordable. It’s also going to save paper and space, so it’s a win-win-win in my book. If you’re on the fence and want to try it out, you can get a 30 day free trial with this link!
Choosing reusable over disposable can save money, reduce waste, and make life a little easier overall. There’s really no reason not to switch! If you have any suggestions for reusable items to save money that I forgot about, please let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to use the share buttons to share this post with all of your frugal friends.