10 Ecofriendly Ways To Save Money

reusable menstrual pads

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When I first started trying to be more conscious of throwing out less and wasting less, we were living on an extremely tight budget. My boyfriend & I were living together but we were both in college so finances were rough. I couldn’t regularly purchase organic household products, for example. I wanted to still do what I could, so I started to become more ecofriendly in ways that we could manage on our limited budget, and that would save us money in the long run. Here are my top 10 ecofriendly ways to to save money.

10 ecofriendly ways to save money
1. Reusable food storage containers. Instead of tin foil, ziplocs, etc. We buy lunch meat that comes in plastic containers that we reuse for leftovers, and we have a set of Tribest glass storage containers that I got 7 years ago for review! They have held up great and because they are glass they can be used to bake in and they can go in the freezer. It looks like Tribest has discontinued them but similar sets like the Pyrex 12 piece set on Amazon for $33.83. Well worth that kind of a price for how much use I get from mine.

2. Stop using paper towels as much as possible. This can be a hard change to adapt to, but most people use paper towels for really simple messes. I used to be in the habit of using them to clear crumbs from my counter tops! There is no reason why a wash cloth can’t be used for that. I now use paper towels only for nasty messes where I wouldn’t want to wash the cloth in my machine afterwards, such as vomit.

reusable menstrual pads

3. Reusable menstrual products. I ordered a set of cloth menstrual pads from Etsy around 2010 and they have held up wonderfully. I used to go through two box of pads or tampons for every three periods or so.  If I remember correctly I spent around $60 on about 10 pads so they have paid for themselves by now through how much I have saved. I’ve heard many people say that they are very simple to make on your own if you have basic sewing skills try finding a tutorial online.

4. Reusable water bottles. Growing up my family drank right out of the tap. When I got my first apartment as an adult I didn’t care for the taste of tap water, so we bought gallon jugs. I later switched to a filtered water pitcher. If you are in the habit of buying disposable water bottles, switching to bigger jugs, a sink filter, a filtered water pitcher or a filtered water bottle would all be great options. I have a Mavea Microdisc pitcher and Mavea Microdisc water bottles that I love.

5. Ditch paper plates. I used to think that paper plates were a must for pizza night or other greasy foods. This really isn’t true as long as you can wipe your fingers on a napkin or towel throughout the meal.

6. Reusable muffin liners instead of paper ones. While you may not use them super often, any time you can ditch disposible for reusable, you’re winning both on your budget and at being ecofriendly.

7. Reusable snack bags. If anyone in your house eats lunch at work or school, buying reusable snack bags can save on ziploc and produce far less waste.

8. Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk can save you money per ounce and save on packaging in many items. For example, buying the large refills for hand soap is much cheaper and uses less product overall vs buying several individual bottles.

9. Choose classic clothing. I realized a few years ago that I would buy a trendy piece of clothing and wear it half a dozen times and then stop. In part because the trend would come and go, but also because loud statement clothing really stands out, so wearing the same ‘statement’ piece stands out if you wear it twice in a short time period. Since then I’ve started choosing clothing that is a little bit simpler, but won’t go out of fashion quite as quickly. I buy a lot of simple jeans, v-necks and t-shirts, and cardigans and I can create a lot of looks so it never seems like the same outfit.

10. Buy durable shoes. My boyfriend likes pretty simple slide-on casual shoes. Discount shoe stores often offer these types of shoes for around $15 a pair. At first we thought that was a good deal, but they would fall apart in about six months. After a few years of him going through 2+ pairs a year we finally bought a more durable pair for around $50 and they lasted him over two years. While they cost more upfront, they were a better value in the long run.

How do you save money while being ecofriendly? Share your ideas in the comments!


Hi there! I am Emily Evert, the owner of Emily Reviews. I am 25 and live in a small town in Michigan with my boyfriend Ryan and our two pugs. I have a large family and I adore my nieces and nephews. I am a calorie counter who loves soda. I budget to save money so I can spend it on my dogs. I love reading memoirs, and learning about child development and psychology. I love watching The Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, Sister Wives and Veep. I like listening to Jason Isbell, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and Blue October. I created Emily Reviews as a creative outlet to share my life and the products that I love with others.

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This post currently has 12 responses.

  • Peggy Nunn

    These are great ideas. When possible, I use the slow cooker and cook two meals at one time. It uses my bulk food purchase and energy once. Then I have a meal that can thaw overnight in the refrig and have the next day with only warming it up instead of cooking.

  • Michelle S

    These are practical ideas that can easily be done in a home. I’m not sure I would do them all but even doing a couple can help.

  • ellen beck

    I do all of these minus the pads (I am over that) I also am really thrifty. About the only thing I cant break is paper napkins, but they get reused too and later composted. I would say one of my tips would be plan meals that serve double duty. Make a roast, save your extra and the juice make soup or beef and noodles, same goees for any meats.

  • Amber Ludwig

    We do a lot of these things!! I also try and shop in season and look for items on sale!! We don’t shy away from store brands or lesser known grocers!!! We use reusable water bottles and collect our drinking water from a local spring! I use a menstrual cup and mama cloth (which I adore) and try to use our reusable bags whenever I remember to lol!!

  • These are cool I’m goddammit do some of thesethings.

  • Omg sorry about the previous comment.im gonna try these

  • Jeanine Carlson

    I have a circle of friends who share a love of reading. We cycle the books around our group, then donate them to various organizations who need books, like senior centers, jails, VA hospitals, etc.

  • Donna B

    I do a lot of these. I try to reuse as many things as possible.

  • gloria patterson

    A lot of good suggestion here… paper towel I use a roll about ever 6 weeks, have learned to use cloth more. As for water bottles I stopped buying them years ago. I have several water bottles that I fill if I am going out but at home just a regular glass, ice and water from the tap.

  • All of these are such good ideas! I really need to work on using less paper towels. I find myself using them ALL day when I could just use a wash cloth like you stated. Currently right now I try to use reusable grocery bags and water bottles. But I would love to do way more.

  • Bryan Vice

    I would say the most important for me is Durable shoes! I am always walking and definitely needing good shoes..!

  • Great tips! For menstrual I pretty much bled all the time and ended up using the cup ~ saved loads of $$$! I admit to using the same cleaning rags now for 11 years ~ they used to be my kids burp cloths 😀 I still need to stop the paper towel usage, I like how you still use them for the worst spills ~ may do it this way as a way to wean myself off.

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