At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
One way to save quite a bit of money each year — and send less trash to the landfills! — is to eliminate or greatly reduce the number of disposable products you use.
Here are some ideas of ways to eliminate or reduce paper products that many people purchase on a regular basis. If you purchase and use most of these on a monthly basis, I recommend just choosing one area to work on every month or two. Don’t try to eliminate all of the paper products all at once, just slowly reduce and eliminate them one by one.
And remember, what works for one family won’t necessarily work for another family. So if you try to eliminate one area and it’ just too hard, skip it and move onto another area. You can always go back and try again later.
Ziptop Plastic Bags
We do buy these, but we don’t buy them very often. I wash and re-use plastic bags as much as possible. If I use a plastic bag for storing flour or bread items in it, I just shake out the crumbs and store it in the freezer until I have more flour or bread items to refill it with.
Most of my pans have plastic covers that I use in place of foil. When I do use foil, I try to re-use it if at all possible.
Small Trash Bags
We use the grocery store sacks, or none at all. In addition, unless the trash is really full, we’ll often just dump the trash can contents into the large trash dumpster and not remove the bag.
Again, we occasionally use plastic plates, cups, and silverware, but rarely just for our family. We usually save plasticware to use when we have a large group of people over and it just makes it so much simpler. For every day use, it’s not a big deal to use normal non-disposable plates, cups, and silverware — especially now that we have a dishwasher and the kids can help with loading and unloading it!
As I’ve blogged about before, we stopped buying paper towels a number of years ago and we realized we didn’t miss them. We use washcloths or old rags instead.
Disposable Cleaning Products
I try not to use any disposable cleaning products — such as toilet cleaners or duster with replaceable disposable heads. It’s so much less money to just use a rang and cleaning solution. Plus, you don’t have to worry about remembering to buy replacements!
How Much Can You Save By Eliminating Disposable Products?
How much you save by eliminating or reducing your usage of disposable products is going to vary widely. But I’d wager to guess that most families spend around $2-3 per week on disposable products, if not more. So by eliminating most of them or greatly reducing your use of them, there’s going to be a very good chance that you’re going to save over $100 per year — if not more!