How to Save Money By Only Using Reusable Items

How to Save Money By Only Using Reusable Items

What are reusable items?

Reusable items are products that can be used over and over again, rather than single-use disposable items. Common reusable items include:

  • Reusable grocery bags – Sturdy bags made from cloth or other durable materials that can be used for shopping instead of single-use plastic bags.

  • Reusable water bottles – Bottles made from stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free plastic that can be refilled and reused rather than buying disposable plastic water bottles.

  • Reusable food containers – Containers made from glass, stainless steel or BPA-free plastic that food can be stored in and reused, replacing disposable baggies and plastic wrap.

  • Reusable straws – Straws made from stainless steel, glass, or silicone that can be cleaned and reused rather than disposable plastic straws.

  • Reusable coffee cups – Insulated cups that can be taken to coffee shops and cafes instead of using disposable cups.

  • Reusable utensils – Cutlery sets made from durable materials that can be used instead of disposable plastic utensils.

  • Reusable napkins – Cloth napkins that can be washed and reused rather than paper napkins.

  • Reusable food wraps – Wraps made from beeswax or silicone that form a seal to cover food, replacing plastic wrap.

  • Reusable menstrual products – Menstrual cups, pads, and underwear that can be washed and reused, replacing disposable products.

Why use reusable items?

There are many benefits to switching from disposable to reusable items:

Save money

  • Reusable items have an upfront cost but can be used over and over, saving money in the long run. Disposable items seem cheap but the costs add up with continual rebuying.

  • Bringing reusable bags, cups and bottles means you aren’t paying for disposables. A reusable cup pays for itself after 10-15 uses.

Reduce waste

  • Single-use disposable items make up a huge amount of landfill waste. Reusables prevent this waste.

  • On average, each person uses 500 disposable cups, 320 plastic bags and 150 straws annually. Reusables stop this waste.

Help the environment

  • Disposable plastics pollute the environment, harming wildlife and releasing chemicals as they break down. Reusables prevent pollution.

  • It takes over 450 years for disposable plastics to break down in landfills. Reusables avoid this environmental impact.


  • Reusables can provide convenience. Carrying a reusable bottle means you always have water with you. Reusable bags mean no more searching for bags at the store.

  • Some reusable items like straws, cups and containers can be easily tossed in your bag for use on-the-go.

Tips for using reusable items

Here are some tips to help you effectively utilize reusable items:

Keep them clean

  • Wash reusable bags, containers and utensils thoroughly after each use to keep them clean and hygienic.

  • Clean water bottles regularly with hot soapy water and allow them to fully dry.

  • Sanitize menstrual cups by boiling between uses.

Have backup supplies

  • Keep spare reusable bags in your car and by the door so you never leave home without them.

  • Having backup reusable utensils and straws in your bag means you can decline disposables when out.

Get into routines

  • Maintain habits like always taking bags when shopping or carrying a cup for your coffee order. This normalizes reusables.

  • Designate certain reusable containers for storing certain food types like fruits or sandwiches. This makes packing lunches easy.

Choose easy-to-clean materials

  • Opt for stainless steel, glass or silicone materials which are easy to wash and sanitize compared to porous materials like wood.

  • Collapsible silicone bottles and containers take up less space.

Be prepared when dining out

  • Call ahead to request no disposable utensils. Bring your own container for take-out.

  • Politely decline straws and disposable cups. Ask for drinks without lids.

Reusable alternatives for common disposable items

Here are some reusable options to replace common disposable items:

Grocery bags

  • Canvas tote bags – Sturdy and spacious for groceries.

  • Backpack or messenger bag – Use bags you already own.

  • Reusable produce bags – For loose fruits, vegetables, bulk items.

Water bottles

  • Stainless steel bottles – Durable, inert, stainless steel.

  • Glass bottles – Non-leaching borosilicate glass.

  • Collapsible silicone bottles – Fold up small when empty.

Food containers

  • Glass food storage containers – Great for meal prepping.

  • Stainless steel bento box – Layers are perfect for lunches.

  • Silicone bags – Resealable, freezable, fold up small.

Coffee cups

  • Ceramic travel mug – Keeps drinks hot for hours.

  • Glass cup with silicone sleeve – Borosilicate glass.

  • Reusable tumbler with straw – For iced drinks.


  • Stainless steel utensil set – Carry case keeps them contained.

  • Titanium spork – Lightweight combo fork and spoon.

  • Bamboo utensils – Biodegradable option.

Making the switch for good

The thought of overhauling all your disposable items for reusables can seem daunting. Here are some tips for an easy transition:

  • Start small – Switch out just a few key items you use daily like bags, bottles or cups. Once these new habits form, add more reusables.

  • Use what you have first – Turn existing containers and bags into reusables before buying new ones.

  • Research options – Find the best reusables for your lifestyle by reading reviews and trying different materials and designs.

  • Add one new reusable a month – Slowly build your reusable collection instead of all at once.

  • Be ready for accidents – Spills and breakages will happen. Have backup supplies ready.

With some adjustments, reusable alternatives can easily replace disposal items, allowing you to save money and reduce waste for a cleaner environment. The more you use your reusable items, the quicker they becomes daily habits. Soon you may wonder how you ever used so many disposable products!