Saving Money While Saving the Planet

When we first started our zero waste journey, not only were we looking to reduce our plastic waste, but we were also looking financially at areas we were wasting our money.  We were on a mission to save and put our money to better use. With our big plans to change our lives, watching our spending was essential.  We ran into conflicts, like we talked about in our first blog episode, buying almonds in bulk was more expensive than buying them in plastic packaging. Our agendas were conflicting, at first reducing our waste was seeming like it didn’t quite gel with our budget to reach our savings goal.

We pushed through and kept exploring our options. One thing I have learnt so far is that going zero waste is not easy. It definitely requires extra effort, but in the long run we have still saved a ton of money by adopting this lifestyle.  Some things were a little more expensive, but so many alternatives we found were either free or really inexpensive that overall we were way surpassing our original savings goal. To the point that we realized we could double our savings goal and it would still be attainable.

This is why we are sharing our Top 8 Picks for Saving Money while Saving the Planet! We went out and priced items we used to buy with what we are currently purchasing to share with you how we have saved money.  Of course, prices vary depending on where and when you are purchasing these items, how often you use them and what is available to you where you live. Hopefully this will serve for you as an example of how this lifestyle can help you save money.

NUMBER 8 - Bamboo Toothbrush

4 pack of Oral-B brand toothbrushes cost us $17.58
4 Pack Bamboo Toothbrushes for less than $11.00

Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable/compostable, whereas plastic toothbrushes go to the landfill and take years to breakdown. We have been using these for almost a year and highly recommend them. They work well, my dentist said my teeth are boring, so they must be working!  

Approximate Yearly Savings (for a family of 4) . . . $26.32

​NUMBER 7 - DIY All Purpose Cleaner

For less than $10 worth of simple household products, you can make 192 oz of this cleaner
That is the equivalent of picking up  6 name brand 32oz spray bottles for a total of $39.78

You probably already have the ingredients for the cleaner already in your house.  You’re actually probably saving more money than we calculated because you were already buying your citrus fruit and just throwing away the peels.  So to find ways to use something you buy for multiple uses is really just a winning situation. Have you seen our recipe for a DIY non-toxic household all purpose cleaner?

Approximate Yearly savings $29.79

NUMBER 6 - Reusable Wipes

For less than $12 worth of products, you can create enough cleaner to last you a year. Just add upcycled clothing squares to this and you have your own reusable wipes.
This replaces $59.85 worth of brand name disposable wipes.

With just a few ingredients you probably have around the house you can mix up a non-toxic household surface cleaner. After each use, we just throw the clothing square in the wash and they are ready for you to use again. This is the recipe we use to make our own reusable wipes .

Approximate Yearly savings $44.85

​NUMBER 5 - Paper Grocery Bags as Cat Litter bags

Paper Grocery Bags FREE
3 month supply of Plastic trash bags $16.99 

If you have cats, you understand.  The litter must be scooped everyday.  So that means everyday you are probably (like us) scooping your cats poop into plastic bags to throw in the dumpster.  Flushing cat poop down the toilet is not advised as the parasite Toxoplasmosis gondii found in cat feces can kill marine life. So unfortunately, the landfill is the best place for cat poop, and no you can’t compost it either…..because Toxoplasmosis….

By keeping any paper bags that enter my life, or asking for other people’s collections of free paper bags in my local Buy Nothing group, I am able to dispose of my 3 cat’s poop all for free.  There really is nothing better than FREE!

Approximate Yearly Savings $54.36

NUMBER 4 -Home Made Make-up Remover

Coconut oil costs about $4.99 a jar and will last for longer than a year. Rags are free, upcycled from old clothing. A 30 count of makeup remover wipes usually for $6.79, or $71.88 for a years supply. Various make-up remover liquids can skyrocket way up there, so this is the conservative cost I’m comparing.

Coconut oil is well known for being good for skin, as an anti-inflammatory, good for acne, a good moisturizer and wound healing for its antimicrobial properties. Not all skin types are good with coconut oil, but this has worked well for me. It has also been amazing for my eczema issues. As time has gone by, I have used coconut oil for so much more than make up remover, but as a moisturizer for all over my body and lips! It really keeps saving my money the more I realize my body loves it.

Approximate Yearly Savings $66.89

NUMBER 3 - Beeswax Wrap

You can get a 3 Pack of bees wax wraps for $18.00. Those 3 wraps will last you over 500+ uses. That is the equivalent of using up 18 Packs of Ziplock bags which would cost you $85.50

They are a sustainable, biodegradable and compostable. Whereas ziplock bags and plastic wrap are generally not recyclable.

Approximate Yearly Savings $67.50

NUMBER 2 - Home-Made Liquid Dish Soap

One Bar of Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap for $4.29 makes an entire 4-6 Months supply of soap.
Compare that to 4 - 64 Fl Oz Bottles of a name brand dish soap for $54.97

Dr. Bronner’s soap is non-toxic, biodegradable and the wrapper is compostable. Yes, Dr. Bronner’s sells liquid soap but it comes in a plastic bottle. To be honest, I have used both and I way prefer my home made liquid soap .

Approximate Yearly Savings $101.36

​NUMBER 1 - Farmers Market Finds

We have access to 5 different farmers markets each week near our home. After investing some time into scouting each of them out, we found that we can save big when it comes to leafy greens, herbs, onions, and other vegetables by taking advantage of the deals they offer like buy 3 for the price of 2 (off a variety of vegetables).

We have found we can save up to 50% off our veggie grocery bill by planning to head to the farmer market. That adds up quick especially when you try to eat as much fresh veg as we do!

Shop local, eat fresh and know where your produce comes from. There is generally a lot less plastic waste if any from your local Farmers Market when purchasing veggies, especially if you bring your own cotton produce bags. By buying fresh veg and making all your meals yourself, instead of packaged processed food, you are making a huge impact in eliminating waste and improving your health. Plus, your investing in green space in you own back yard!

Approximate Yearly Savings $700


Up Next
In our next video, we go on an experimental trip to play with the idea of changing up our lifestyle in a really big way.

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Bamboo Toothbrushes
We have been using these bamboo toothbrushes for almost a year and we love them! The contain no plastic and are biodegradable. 

Glass Spray Bottle
We bought 2 of these Glass Spray Bottles for our DIY Cleaning Mixtures.  The sprayers are plastic and these are just notorious for breaking. One has worked really well, and the other did not.

Dr Bronner’s Pure-Castille Soap
​We choose to use the Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Bar Soap unsented with no added fragrance, super safe for a Baby and those with sensitive skin.

Beeswax Wraps
Made of organic cotton and bees' wax, Bees Wraps are one of the best solutions we found for replacing many our single use plastic products is Beeswax wraps.

Beeswax Wraps

Cotton Produce Bags
We use these cotton bags for bulk items and produce eliminating our need to use the plastic bags at the grocery store or market. The bags we have come with the tare weight listed on each one. which allow the cashier to easily deduct the bag weight from the purchase price.

All Purpose Cleaner Recipes
I have found this mixture works great on cleaning my stove top, in the bathroom and even for quick clean ups on the floors.

Reusable Wipes Recipes
I use this for so many things - kitchen counters/stove/oven/microwave/fridge/sink, bathroom tub/counters/sink/toilet, windows, mirrors and more.

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe
The big benefits we are interested in here is that this soap is environmentally friendly, very useful and effective for our soap needs. You can use it for body wash, hand soap, for household cleaning, on your pets and even as dish soap..

Fact Check

Zero Waste Definition - Merriam Webster Dictionary

Parasite in Cat feces killing marine life - Pets on Broadway

Buy Nothing Project - Buy Nothing Project ORG

Coconut Oil Good for Skin -  Healthline

By Mela & Don

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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