14 Easy Steps To Save Money With Zero Waste (Part 1)

How to save money by going zero waste, and is it even possible?
While some people think that going zero waste is expensive, you can save a lot of cash by avoiding unsustainable items and practices.
You may be able to save at least $5000 for just one year! 
Below, you will find 14 easy-to-follow steps to save money with zero waste, including reusable products, cheaper & sustainable alternatives, etc.
While the initial price of some reusable options might cost a little more, you will save up in the long run.
  • Make DIY cleaning products 
A report showed that the average American spends between $50-$60 on cleaning products per month. That’s about $755 for household supplies yearly. Many of these cleaning products are:
  • For one-time use 
  • Filled with toxic & harmful ingredients
  • In a plastic packaging
  • Some of them are pretty pricey
You can save a lot of cash by ditching conventional cleaning supplies and making simple DIY cleaning products.
Zero waste steps to save money:
  • DIY multipurpose cleaner – Making a DIY multipurpose cleaner is super simple. Mix ½ cup white vinegar, 2 tbsp baking soda, a few drops of essential oil, and a cup of water. Transfer to a spray bottle. The vinegar smell evaporates quickly, but substitute vinegar with vodka if you can’t stand it. 
  • Purchase multipurpose cleaning supplies in bulk – If you have a bulk shop nearby, look for multipurpose cleaning products. Just bring your container and fill it up. They are usually much cheaper, too. 
  • Eco-friendly sponges – Instead of buying synthetic ones that get nasty very quickly, you can get a loofah sponge & a bamboo brush.
  • Avoid wet wipes
Buying wet wipes every couple of weeks doesn’t feel like you are spending a lot. 
But let’s make a quick calculation: The monthly cost of buying wet wipes can range from $10 to $15 per month. That’s $120 or $180 per year. 
Zero waste steps to save money:
Purchase absorbent, and washable cloth rags, that you can reuse over and over again. You can get reusable cleaning cloths for $9-$19 – 
  • Bamboo towels
  • Everyday cotton napkins
  • Bamboo dish cloth & kitchen wipe 
  • Cut an old t-shirt and reuse it
  • Ditch trash bags 
You can find a pack of 100 plastic bags online for about $16, or 0.16 cents per bag. Using a new bag every second day will be $2.4 a month or $28.8 per year. 
Trash bags are not going to save you thousands of dollars. It will only save you a couple of bucks every month. 
But plastic trash bags are treated as single-use products and can be overused easily. So a bag here, a bag there… and it can quickly pile up.
Additionally, they are horrible for the environment – plastic bags cause pollution, from manufacturing to disposal. They can’t biodegrade, so plastic breaks down and photo-degrades into little pieces. 
Zero waste steps to save money:
  • Make a DIY paper liner made from a newspaper. It is super easy – topic for an upcoming blog (stay tuned!).
  • Separate your trash and have separate and reusable bags for – paper waste, plastics, glass, and aluminum. Compost your wet waste (food scraps & wet paper). You can get something like this Triple Recycling Sorter bag on Amazon to separate your trash.
  • Ditch paper towels
A common estimate is that a family of 3-4 people uses around 1.5 to 2 rolls of paper towels per week.
You can find 6 paper towel rolls for about $11.42 ($1.90 per roll). If you use 2 rolls per week, that’s around 8 rolls (or $15.2) per month and $182 for a year.
 In general, if you ditch paper towels, you won’t just save money. You will also save other resources, such as energy, water, and greenhouse gas emissions. 
Zero waste steps to save money:
  • Cloth towels – it is a great, cheap, and reusable option. You can check reusable bamboo towels or cut up an old cotton t-shirt into squares and use them as reusable cloth towels. 
  • Ditch aluminum foil and baking paper
  • You can find a roll of 30 square feet for $1.97 online. If you use 1 and a half per month, that’s $2.95 or $35.4 per year. Not the highest number, but when you combine it with other expenses, it piles up. Also, if there are better and cheaper alternatives, why keep buying aluminum foil or baking paper?
Zero waste steps to save money:
  • Ditch plastic water bottles 
Scary fact: Americans purchase approximately 42.6 billion individual 1-liter bottles of water each year. Also, most Americans get their bottled water online. A quick online search found a cheap bulk case of plastic bottled water – $2.23 for a case of 12 bottles, 16.9 oz or 500ml
Let’s make an approximate calculation: 
  • One case will last 3 days (if you drink the daily recommended dose of ~ 2 liters). Therefore, you will need approximately 10 cases per month. That equals $22.3 per month or $267.6 per year. And that’s just for one person. If we calculate for a family of four, the price jumps to $1,070 per year. 
  • Let’s calculate another scenario: Let’s say you buy a bottle of water four times per week for $1.5. That is 16 bottles = $24 each month. That equals $288 per year OR $1,440 for five years!  
Zero waste steps to save money:
  • Reusable water bottle (between $12 – $30) – This will save you a bunch of money since you will avoid buying plastic water bottles, and… it will also save tons of pointless plastic waste!
  • Water purifying charcoal filters – A fantastic plastic-free way to filter your water, in case you don’t like the waste of your tap water.
  • Ditch unnecessary personal products 
In 2017, The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated that, on average, people spent $762 on personal care products and services.  Sounds too much. Well, that’s around $63 per month. There are many pointless beauty products, some of which can be expensive. So, $60 per month can quickly pile up.
Zero waste steps to save money:
  • Make a list – Write down your most essential beauty & personal care products. The one that you use daily. Try to keep it short. 
  • DIY – Find how to DIY essential products that you use daily — for instance, toothpaste. Or look for easier DIY personal care products that you can make at home! 
  • Plastic-free alternatives – Look for cheaper zero waste personal care products.