Ditch the disposables. How much I saved in a year by opting for reusable items

Ditch the disposables. How much I saved in a year by opting for reusable items

We recently celebrated one year of minimalism, and in the anniversary post, I mentioned what we purchased in the last 12 months. But there’s also a lot of stuff that we didn’t buy, so let’s talk about reusable items.

When we were still in the decluttering and minimising phase, we tried to switch everything we can to a reusable option. I wrote a blog post about all the new habits we were trying out, but the emphasis was on space optimization and environment, but the truth is, we also saved some money. Let’s do the math together.

Reusable items – how much you can save

Kitchen paper towels

  • I would have bought one pack of 3 per month: £1.59 x 12 = £19.08.
  • Replaced with microfibre cloths, pack of 4: £3.
  • Savings in year 1: £16.08.

Paper tissues

  • Would have bought a set of 10 packets about 3-4 times a year: £1.68 x 4 = £6.72.
  • Replaced with cotton cloths, for free from Mom: £0.
  • Savings in year 1: £6.72.

Tampons

  • I would have bought three packs of 20 per 2 months: £2.75 x 18 = £49.5.
  • Replaced with OrganiCup: £21.
  • Savings in year 1: £28.5.

Bottled water

  • Would have bought one bottle every day: £0.39 x 365 = £143.35.
  • Replaced with tap water: ~0.
  • Savings per year: £143.35.

Groceries plastic bags

  • One new bag per shop, we shop twice a week: £0.05 x 104 = £5.2.
  • Replace with reusable tote bags that we received for free at events: £0.
  • Savings per year: £5.2.

Alin’s haircuts

It may not seem to be part of the same category as the others, but it’s about having a reusable product at home instead of going out to “buy” the haircuts. However, it’s worth mentioning that I’ve been taking care of this job almost since Alin and I met, so he never got a haircut in a barber’s shop in the UK. We had no idea how much it costs; I had to search online.

  • Alin gets about ten haircuts a year: £15 x 10 = £150;
  • Replaced with an electric hair clipper: 19£;
  • Savings in year 1: £131.

How much money I saved in a year by switching to reusable items. A minimalist and environmentally friendly home.

Total savings in year 1: £330.85;

Savings per year starting with year 2: £373.85.

Plans for more change

1. EcoEgg

Having heard a lot of good things about Ecoegg Laundry Egg, a reusable laundry capsule that can be used up to 720 times, I decided to purchase it next month and start using it as soon as my current pack of capsules runs out.

The EcoEgg would add another £100.95 of savings for every egg used.

Update: I bought the EcoEgg and used it with good results for the past two months. It doesn’t have a strong smell, and it handles our laundry well. But with no kids, I can’t say if it would work for someone who has children.

2. Grooming

Alin has just switched to a reusable razor, and I’m still in the process of laser hair removal, so I don’t have numbers just yet. Something to talk about in a future blog post.

Maybe these don’t seem like much yet, but they do add up. However, it depends on the brands that you buy; I made the math with the cheap, brandless items we used to purchase.

Money in your pocket

As a small part of any disposable item you buy ends up in the bin; you are literally throwing money away. Don’t hate your money.

And don’t hate the planet. We made these changes mainly to minimise our impact on the environment and not add to the mountains of garbage that are taking over the Earth. The fact that we also did ourselves a favour and saved £330, enough to pay all the utilities for a month (without including the rent), is a bonus.

Do you have any other reusables that I didn’t switch to yet?

Want more saving tips? There’s plenty of excellent advice in my e-book, “The Smart Girl’s Journey to Financial Bliss“, go check it out!

This post was shared on Brilliant Blog Posts Linkup.

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4 Comments

  1. I also reuse or recycle or use alternatives for all the above except for getting big jugs of water. The tap water here is not so good and we get a poison control notification about it every year. It isn’t safe to drink, so I don’t use that even with a filter. Perhaps I am too skeptical about that one. Otherwise, I am working on getting a bidet for our toilet so I don’t have to use toilet paper any longer too. 🙂
    Great post and I agree so much with it all.

    1. Author

      Toilet paper is something that is still a bit extreme to me, but never say never, I need to do more research. Too bad for your water problem! But if you do get big 5kg bottles, maybe reuse them after? I think I would cut them in half and make some flower pots 🙂

        1. Author

          Oh I love how small it is! I imagined a huge thing next to the toilet, but that’s not the case! Please let me know how it’s working for you once you have it.

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