There are so many disposable products that we use on a daily basis. Common household items like paper towels, napkins, dryer sheets, plastic sandwich bags, sponges, and the list goes on. And when you run out of one or more of these products you probably just add it to your shopping list with no second thought about it.
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Did you know that there are better and cheaper alternatives? Almost every disposable product out there has a version that is reusable (even toilet paper!). Reusable products oftentimes are initially more expensive, but over time it ends up being the cheaper alternative.
I started to make the switch from disposable to reusable products last year. I actually started making these changes because I like that reusable products are more environmentally friendly. The saving money part was just a humongous perk.[mailerlite_form form_id=5]
I’m still in the process of trying out different reusable products (not all are created equal) but I’m loving the changes that I’ve made so far. I’ve found that the key to making lasting changes is to try things out one at a time so you won’t feel overwhelmed and you have enough time to use the product to decide if it works for you.
Related: 11 Super Easy Money Saving Tips
Realistically, I won’t be able to replace every single disposable product that I use. However, the few changes that I’ve made so far will eventually save me money (and the environment).
Swap dryer sheets for:
Wool dryer balls – Dryer balls are the perfect replacement for dryer sheets! They help reduce the amount of static in your clothes, they dry your clothes faster, and they’re not made with a ton of chemicals like traditional dryer sheets. You can even put a few drops of essential oil on the dryer balls to leave your clothes smelling fresh. Plus, they can be used for 1000+ loads of laundry. I leave mine in the dryer at all times so I won’t forget to use them.
Swap plastic sandwich and snack bags for:
Cloth sandwich and snack bags – These bags are durable and very easy to clean. You can wash them by hand or stick them in the dishwasher. They have zippers and are fully lined so you won’t have to worry about crumbs sneaking out of the bag and making a mess. However, they are only water resistant so it’s best to use with dry foods and foods with only small amounts of liquid.
Stasher reusable silicone bags – Stasher bags have saved me from buying a ton of ziploc bags. They are really sturdy and seal up airtight. They don’t leak so it’s great to pretty much put anything in these bags. They can be washed by hand or thrown in the dishwasher without any issues. The only annoying thing I’ve experienced is that crumbs can get stuck in the zip part of the bag.
Swap disposable food pouches for:
Reusable food pouches – These reusable food pouches are easy to use and clean. You no longer have to buy the expensive pouches for your little one and you are able to use them for up to a year, or even longer.
Swap Swiffer pads for:
Microfiber Cloth – Microfiber cloths are the perfect alternative to the Swiffer pads. Once I realized they did the same thing, I stopped buying them and now wash the same cloth over and over again. You can grab one for $1 at your local Dollar Tree.
Swap plastic wraps for:
Silicone lids – Plastic wrap can be a pain. It’s messy, tears easily, and it doesn’t always get the job done. These silicone lids provide a leak-proof suction seal making them a better alternative to plastic wrap. They can be cleaned by hand or on the top rack of the dishwasher.
Swap plastic straws for:
Stainless steel straws – If you’re a straw enthusiast like me, you need these straws. They are easy to clean and will last for years.
Silicone straws – These straws have a wide opening making them ideal for smoothies and milkshakes.
Glass straws – These shatter resistant straws are durable so they can be reused time and time again. They are easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher.
Swap coffee accessories for:
Reusable K cups – Those who love their Keurigs don’t have to give up the convenience of the single serve coffee. These reusable K cups will give you the same convenience without the guilt.
Cotton coffee filters – This coffee filter is made from organic cotton and can be used over and over again. It’s easy to clean and reuse making it an easy switch from the paper filters.
Swap sponges for:
Reusable sponge – Your kitchen sponge carries a ton of bacteria after a few uses. The Wall Street Journal reports that a kitchen sponge can be 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, with 10 million bacteria per square inch. Gross! No wonder it’s recommended to use a new sponge every other week at the very minimum. Instead of buying 24 (or more) disposable sponges a year, try these reusable sponges that you have to buy only once or twice a year since they last several months each. This sponge can easily be cleaned by throwing it in the dishwasher (top rack only) and comes 2 in a pack so you can rotate them out weekly.
Swap paper towels for:
Skoy cloth – I know so many people that use paper towels like it’s no one’s business. And paper towels are not cheap. Skoy cloths are an amazing alternative! It can be used many different ways and can clean most surfaces (even dishes). One cloth replaces 15 rolls of paper towels! They are super durable and can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher or washing machine. This cloth lasts several months and is biodegradable so when it’s time to retire it, you can compost this cloth.
Cloth napkins – I love cloth napkins! Not only can they be used to add to the decor, but they are durable too! I made the switch to cloth napkins last year and never turned back! I’m not a messy eater so I generally use the same napkin for a few days and then throw it in the wash with my other laundry. Here are the cloth napkins I use. It’s described as a dishcloth but I like to use it as a napkin because I like the smaller size. I still have a roll of disposable paper towels in case we need it, but the rolls have been lasting much longer than ever before.
Old Clothes and Towels – Before you throw away any old clothes or towels, use them as rags for dirty jobs.
Swap plastic containers for:
Glass containers – I cook all the time so I know how important it is to have nice tupperware. I used to buy a lot of plastic containers but they would get stained and warped. I started to invest in a nice set of glass containers and it was a game changer. I’ve had the same set for years and they’ll probably last forever at the rate we’re going (or at least I hope). My personal favorites are these Pyrex dishes. I absolutely love them! They’re airtight, leak-proof, oven safe, and stain resistant.
Swap plastic water bottles for:
Stainless steel water bottle – Bottled water can be up to 2000 times the cost of a gallon of tap water. You’re already paying for water so get your monies worth! Buy a reusable water bottle and even a water filter if you’d like and it won’t take long to see the savings from making this one change. This stainless steel water bottle is great for people on the go and will keep your beverage of choice a hot and cold for hours!
Tumbler – This is a great tumbler that is super durable and keeps your drinks hot or cold for long periods of time. I drink my coffee from this tumbler and it keeps it hot until the last drop.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list! Make sure you save it to your Pinterest board to come back to it later!
What are some of the reusable products you absolutely love?