18 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Items That Can Save You Over $500 Each Year
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April is Earth Month, which gives us a friendly reminder to take care of the planet. While it can be intimidating to make eco-friendly lifestyle changes, it doesn’t have to be. The kitchen has tons of easy eco-friendly swaps and investments that are not only better for the earth, but also better for your wallet.
With some thoughtful purchases and sustainable kitchen swaps, you can save a significant amount of money per year and reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling to find out which sustainable kitchen essentials will help you save in the long run.
The Cost-Saving Benefits of Switching to Sustainable Kitchen Products
Take a look at the chart below for a comparison of the annual costs of common kitchen essentials by the average American family — like paper towels, aluminum foil, and sponges — versus the annual cost-saving benefits when switching to eco-friendly alternatives.
When you add up the costs below, the high-end of the annual average spent on regular kitchen products is approximately $3,683, whereas the annual savings on sustainable versions total $3,130.
|Common Kitchen Items
|Approximate Household Costs Per Year
|Annual Savings With Eco-Friendly Swaps
|Disposable Mop Pads
|Average Yearly Costs: $3,657-$3,683
|Average Yearly Savings: $3,059-$3,130 (w/ eco-friendly swaps)
Saving Money the Sustainable Way: 18 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Essentials You Can’t Live Without
1. Wettex 10-Pack Swedish Superabsorbent Dishcloths – The Wallet-Friendly Alternative to Paper Towels
Price: $19.95 $12.65 at Amazon
Ditch the paper towels and pick up these Swedish dishcloths, which are completely biodegradable, compostable, and reusable. The average American family spends about $182 per year on paper towels, which is taxing on your wallet and landfills. On the other hand, these dishcloths last anywhere from three to six months and offer the qualities of sponges and paper towels. Plus, they come in different colors so you can designate a dishcloth to its own task, whether it’s drying dishes, wiping counters, or cleaning up messes. To clean them, just wash them by hand or in the washing machine — it’s that easy to make the swap.
2. Organic Cotton Casual Napkins – Better for the Earth and Mealtime
Price: $20 at Pottery Barn
Eco-friendly swaps can be stylish and luxurious — just take a look at these beautiful organic cotton napkins. These napkins come in beautiful colors that add an extra touch of warmth to the dinner table and are low maintenance. Plus, these cotton napkins are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which is the global gold standard for organic textiles: these napkins were made with high social and environmental standards.
If switching to cotton napkins feels like a bit of a stretch, make it easier by placing a laundry basket in the kitchen for used napkins, then washing them on your usual laundry days. These are high-quality napkins made to be used, so you’ll save quite a bit of money on paper napkins over a number of years. Check for Pottery Barn coupons, too — you’ll save even more with a discount.
3. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Beeswax Wraps – Zero-Waste Food Storage for Less
Price: $18 at Sur La Table
Instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, try these reusable beeswax wraps to store food. These perform just as well, except they’re reusable, biodegradable, and compostable. Each beeswax wrap is made of an organic cotton wrap coated in beeswax. Use them to pack sandwiches, cover bowls filled with leftovers, or store unused avocado halves. With the right care, you can use these wraps regularly for up to a year. These wraps from Sur La Table are also waterproof and antimicrobial because of the beeswax. If you use a lot of plastic wrap, you’ll easily save a lot of money making the switch to beeswax wraps.
4. Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag – The All-Purpose Solution to Storage Bags
Price: $12.99 $12 at Amazon
Reusable food-grade silicone storage bags are popular, and for good reason — they’re a perfect replacement for single-use plastic storage bags or brown paper bags. These Stasher bags are versatile and useful for packing sandwiches, freezing soups, or storing meal prep ingredients. They’re also dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe, so the possibilities are endless. Use them to organize loose items, too — they have an airtight seal and also work great for storing travel toiletries, makeup, or purse essentials. These bags last for years and are an aesthetically pleasing upgrade from single-use bags.
5. 8-Piece Square Glass Food Storage Container Set – The Solution to Eating Out While Spending Less
Price: $25 at Target
Cutting out on takeout is both an eco-friendly and money-saving habit: instead of picking up lunch at your usual spot, you can prepare healthy meals and bring them along in airtight glass containers. This set of containers from Target is perfect for prepping meals or storing lunch from home. Whether you’re ready to kick your takeout habit or make an occasional home-cooked meal, these glass containers make it much easier. Pair them with reusable utensils and a cotton napkin for a complete zero-waste meal.
6. Food Huggers – A Delightful Way to Eliminate Food Waste
Price: $16.95 at Sur La Table
These fun Food Huggers eliminate food waste by keeping your halved lemons, onions, cucumbers, and produce fresh longer. By creating an airtight seal around your food, you’ll have more time to figure out how to use leftover produce throughout the week. In the U.S., the average household wastes about 31.9% of food purchased. You can start reducing your grocery costs by making sure you use as much of your groceries as possible. It’s an easy way to cut your weekly food costs without having to cut back on your purchases. With these Food Huggers, you’ll have more money in your pocket while creating less landfill on Mother Earth.
7. Vejibag Vegetable Crisper Bag – The Miracle Product that Keeps Veggies Fresh
Price: $20.95 at Sur La Table
This handy vegetable crisper bag extends the life of vegetables that thrive in moisture — think carrots, celery, and lettuce. With this bag, your fresh veggies will last up to two weeks. Plastic bags trap air and ethylene gas, making vegetables go bad more quickly. You’ll cut down on food waste and stress less with these crisper bags around. Plus, all Vejibags are made of organic cotton and manufactured in the U.S. with ethical labor.
8. Indoor Herb Kit – Fresh Herbs Without Carbon Emissions
Price: $20 at Urban Farmer
Enjoy fresh herbs year-round, and skip the herbs at the supermarket with this adorable indoor herb kit. It comes with basil, cilantro, rosemary, chives, and parsley seeds, along with soil, biodegradable pots, and wooden plant markers. This is perfect if you buy fresh herbs often — you won’t have to throw away any unused herbs, since you can cut only what you need. It also doubles as decoration for sunlit windowsills around the kitchen.
9. YETI Rambler 14 oz Mug – Great for Starting a Home-Brewed Habit
Price: $30 at Amazon
Take your home-brewed coffee to go with this sturdy mug from YETI — you’ll save a lot of money on your coffee shop spending, even if you opt for coffee from home a couple of times a week. Your cup of joe will stay hot for a long time: This mug boasts a double wall of insulation. YETI’s products are made to be camping-friendly, so this mug is guaranteed to last a long time. Bringing your own coffee to the office is an easy swap that saves dollars and waste. Even better, this one from Amazon is $5 cheaper than the same mug you’ll find at other stores.
10. Our Table Reusable Pastry Bag in White – A One-and-Done Buy for Baking
Price: $4 at Bed Bath & Beyond
No need to buy single-use pastry bags with this nifty reusable alternative — baking can create a lot of waste, since it usually uses a lot of single-use supplies. Bed Bath & Beyond carries a reusable pastry bag that helps you make baking a zero-waste activity. Decorate cookies and cakes while spending less on your baking supplies— this pastry bag is designed to be extra sturdy so it doesn’t burst while you use it. Just put in your usual decorating tips, and use it as you would typically use a pastry bag. You can even cut the opening wider to accommodate larger decorating tips.
11. OXO Reusable Stainless Steel Straws with Brush – The Only Straws You’ll Ever Need
Price: $9.99 at Target
Skip the disposable straws with these dishwasher-safe straws — each set comes with two straws and a cleaning brush. Straws seem like a minor purchase, but once you’ve purchased a reusable straw, you’ll never have to buy a straw again. Americans use 500 million drinking straws per day, which breaks down to 1.6 straws for every person daily. Two stainless steel straws are enough to kick the habit: You can leave one at home and take one with you, so you’ll never need a disposable straw again.
12. Secura French Press Coffee Maker – For Coffee Shop Quality Brews Without the Waste
Price: $39.99 $20.10 at Amazon
If you’re a coffee connoisseur who loves to go to coffee shops for excellent brewing, look no further. This French press coffee maker is half off right now and has a ton of rave reviews from coffee lovers. Made of stainless steel and crafted with insulation, you can make a barista-level cup of coffee right at home. Many of the reviews mentioned that this coffee maker is super sturdy — a worthy investment if you’re looking to buy one that’s a staple in your kitchen. Even when you account for the cost of this coffee maker and the coffee beans needed, you’ll still save a lot of money crafting your own coffee at home.
13. Reusable Permanent Cone Coffee Filter – A Way to Save on Coffee Filters Forever
Price: $19.99 $11.99 at Amazon
Coffee machine owners, rejoice — your days of purchasing coffee filters endlessly are over. This reusable coffee filter is fashioned in surgical-grade stainless steel and works with coffee machines from many popular brands, including Cuisinart, Ninja, and Hamilton Beach. Paper coffee filters cost around 10 cents each, which means you’ll spend about $36.50 each year if you brew a cup of coffee once a day. With this stainless steel coffee filter, you’ll start seeing savings in less than a year — a great reason to consider making the switch.
14. Café Flow Stainless Steel – For Earth-Friendly Single-Serving Coffee
Price: $12.99 at Perfect Pod
If you already own a Keurig or single-serving coffee maker, you can still make an eco-friendly switch with this stainless steel filter. Just load your favorite coffee grounds, and use it as you would your regular disposable coffee pod. Standard single-serving cups can cost anywhere from 40 cents to $1.24 per pod, so the savings you get from a reusable pod really add up over time. You’ll be able to use the Café Flow for years, so the cost per use is low if you’re a dedicated coffee drinker.
15. SodaStream Terra – Zero-Waste Sparkling Water on Demand
Price: $99.99 $69.99 at SodaStream
Get your sparkling water kick with the SodaStream terra. You’ll cut back on sparkling water costs, along with the number of aluminum cans and glass bottles used. Once you get the SodaStream, all you’ll need are refills of the carbonated gas cylinders once you run out. Each cylinder makes up to 60 liters of sparkling water and costs $14.99, so it still costs less than buying bottled stuff. Plus, SodaStream reuses aluminum gas cylinders, so no need to worry about extra waste once your system is set up.
16. Bon Ami Household Cleaner – The Original Nontoxic Cleaner
Price: $2.59 at Target
You’ll want to swap out your chemical household cleaners for this inexpensive, earth-friendly heavyweight: Bon Ami is an all-purpose powder that was on shelves long before other nontoxic cleaners were available. Made with only five ingredients and packaged in a recyclable shaker, this cleaner is great for scrubbing and polishing surfaces. It’s a popular nontoxic option for cleaning cookware, eliminating shower soap scum, and getting the stove sparkling clean without leaving scratches. If you’re shopping at a store, look for the cute chick on the label — this environmentally-friendly cleaner is a household staple.
17. OXO Good Grips Microfiber Spray Mop – A Reusable Mop Without Extra Costs
Price: $39.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
Cut down on cleaning costs with this super useful microfiber spray mop. Unlike other spray mops with disposable cleaning pads, this one has reusable microfiber pads you can throw into the washer. Cleaning pads from popular brands usually cost anywhere from 28 cents to 59 cents each, and you’ll usually need more than one for each cleaning job if you have a larger space. With this spray mop, you won’t need to make extra purchases — just refill the bottle with your preferred cleaning liquid, and you’re ready to go.
18. Package Free Dish Washing Brush – A Better Buy Than Disposable Sponges
Price: $12 $8.40 at Package Free
A scrub brush is an excellent swap for your typical kitchen sponge for good reason: It’s reusable, biodegradable, and still cheaper to use. Most experts recommend tossing and replacing your kitchen sponge every week — two weeks max. Sponges typically cost around $1 per piece, so you’ll be spending anywhere from $26 to $52 per year on the disposable kind. Scrub brushes last longer than sponges, even if you do need a replacement head every six months or so. With all the costs considered, the scrub brush wins out: It’s earth-friendly, saves you more money over time, and is tough on stains.
SavingsCARES: Partnering With Eco-Friendly Brands to Benefit the Rainforest TrustThrough SavingsCARES, Savings.com’s charity initiative, we’re giving a minimum donation of $5,000 to the Rainforest Trust. In honor of Earth Month, we’re partnering with this nonprofit to help protect vulnerable ecosystems worldwide. You can contribute to the $5,000 we’re giving by using coupons from a participating SavingsCARES coupon page. Every time you do, part of the proceeds goes towards the Rainforest Trust.
FAQs: Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products for Sustainable Savings
How many single-use items does the average American use each year?
|Approximate Used Per Person Per Year
How do I create an eco-friendly kitchen?
It’s easy to make your kitchen eco-friendly with a few swaps. To make your cooking space better for the earth, take stock of which single-use items you use often, and see if there are reusable alternatives you can introduce instead. Paper towels, straws, and plastic bags are a good start, since they create a lot of waste and have reusable alternatives you can pick up immediately.
How do I find the best deals on eco-friendly brands?
You can find the best deals on eco-friendly brands by keeping tabs on sales and promotional events — usually, you’ll find deals readily available at places like Target, Amazon, and Bed Bath & Beyond. You can also subscribe to the newsletters of your favorite brands, as you’ll be the first to know about major savings events.
How can eco-friendly products help me save money?
Eco-friendly products are often reusable, which means you’ll save a lot of money over time. Although there’s usually an upfront investment, paying only once for items like water bottles, dishcloths, cleaning supplies, or kitchen items will help you cut costs on single-use purchases. It’s an easy way to lower your expenses while making decisions that help the earth.
What are the best eco-friendly brands?
There are many eco-friendly brands out there that offer high-quality products. If you’re looking for great brands, start with ones that are reputable and local — smaller brands like Bee’s Wrap and Package Free have well-made products and tried-and-true reviews.