Disposables I Ditched That Have Saved Me Money | Cashmere Sweater and Everlane Boss Boots
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As many of you know, I am on a shopping ban for the year. While the ban primarily focused on clothes and makeup, I did allow myself to buy things if I were replacing something else that was irreparable (like old socks), or that I used up completely.
I want to take a moment to talk about the things I use up consistently. When I put that rule in place, I was mostly thinking of things like makeup but as the year went along, I obviously felt I had to replace other things I used up like toilet paper or plastic bags. But then I thought… do I have to keep replacing these things? Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy these things once and be done with it? Not only would that be great for the environment, it’d be a huge money saver as well!
There seems to be a misconception that being sustainable automatically means having to spend a lot of money on everything. While that is true in some cases, I want to focus today on how ditching some single-use plastic items has saved me money today.
This is a very obvious one but one that I think is also somewhat underrated. I have recently seen several commercials on TV selling pallets of bottled water, but everyone knows that getting a reusable water bottle is not only a great money saver, but relatively inexpensive to obtain. I used to use this Camelbak water bottle that only costs about $13. However, I did upgrade to a more expensive Hydro Flask that I got as a Christmas gift. This retails for $25 but I will say that it does a great job of keeping my water cold for hours (which was super handy in the summer. Brian is a Yeti fan and I think they’re comparable. Again, you don’t have to get an expensive water bottle but any bottle you get will do a great job saving you money in the long run.
In case my blog name wasn’t a big tip-off, I’m a coffee addict! However, this habit isn’t great when I’m picking up disposable cups all the time. Even at work, I used to use one of the disposable cups every time I got coffee. I usually drink anywhere between 2-5 cups of coffee a day (5 cups is getting much less frequent, thankfully - I was full-blown addict for a while there), but that’s about 522-1305 disposable cups I’m throwing away per year (not counting weekends when I usually used my own mugs at home)! I bought a Yeti mug when it was on sale and it’s changed my life! Thermoses are more expensive than plastic water bottles because there’s usually a component that helps keep them warm longer and regular plastic won’t do. However, I’ve found that it’s worth the money. PLUS, at Starbucks, they give you 10 cents off your drink order if you bring your own cup so…
I admit, when DC first instituted a 5 cent bag charge for grocery bags, I was kind of annoyed. However, plastic bags are a huge environmental waste and the more I got into the habit of bringing my own grocery bags to the store, it wasn’t so annoying. If you also live in an area where you get a bag charge, just get yourself a grocery bag. They’re not that expensive (here’s a popular Baggu bag that’s $10) and they’ll pay for themselves in the long run.
This seems so obvious but when I first moved into my apartment, I went through paper towel rolls so quickly because I never bought dish rags! I would use paper towels to wipe, clean, and pick up everything! I have bought myself some dish rags since and I can now proudly say that I can make a roll of paper towels last at least 2 months! You can get them at a very inexpensive price (here’s a set for $4 at Target). They’re just dish rags so they don’t have to be fancy!
I cook a lot so I use storage bags almost every single time. Sometimes, I just don’t need to use a whole onion but I don’t want to throw it all away so I put it in a zip-lock bag. However, that really adds up! I recently purchased these reusable storage bags! You have to wash them after each use but they are dishwasher safe so it makes for an easy cleanup too! Plus, It’s been months since I bought storage bags so I know it can help save you money too! Again, they’re not too expensive either so they shouldn’t make a dent in the bank account, but will end up saving you money over time!
This is a new one but I recently bought myself a cloth coffee filter. I used to use paper coffee filters since making the switch from a Keurig to a pour over system. By the way, unless you’re using a reusable k-cup, the plastic k-cups are not environmentally friendly. Anyways, paper filters are better for the environment than plastic, obviously, but cloth is even better because it’s reusable and less environmentally impactful because you don’t have to throw them away after each use. Again, this has saved me money since I don’t have to keep repurchasing paper filters. Plus, I’ve found that the cloth filter works better (at least for me) than the paper filters do. I was initially worried that the cloth fibers would change the taste of the coffee but I haven’t noticed flavor changes. They’re pretty great! The only thing about cloth filters is that they are kind of annoying to clean up (because you have to hand wash them) but honestly, It’s such a small amount of work, relative to the money you save so I don’t mind it.
I bought myself a Diva Cup and ho boy, it’s been a game changer! It took a few tries to figure it out but now that I have, I’m never going back! No more spending extra money every month to keep Aunt Flo at bay - I’ll just use my Diva Cup!