The A-Z of saving over £1000 a year by reducing waste!

Filed in Blog by on March 4, 2014 5 Comments
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saving money tipsWe all need motivation to reduce our waste. After all, it takes time and effort.

If you believe it’s the ‘right thing to do’, are driven by religious or spiritual reasons or you want to do your bit to save resources then it’s pretty easy to get stuck in as your motivation is already there.

But what if you really don’t care, think it will be complicated or you don’t have the time?

Well how about the promise of saving money?

We all want a bit of that, right?

I estimate I save over £1000 a year just by making a few swaps and thinking about what I throw in the bin.

I’ve brainstormed some ideas below and yes, you might need to make an initial outlay such as buying a reusable water bottle, a battery recharger or some new bakeware, but once you’ve bought them the savings will start rolling in.


Who doesn’t love the smell of a kitchen on baking day? Instead of those disposable paper cases (which often come in a plastic container), make the switch to reusable silicone bakeware. If you bake 24 cakes a week in your reusable bakeware, you’ll save around £12 per year. Stick that on your rack and cool it…


How many times have been about to snap that perfect candid shot when your camera battery runs out? Or how about your child’s favourite toy running out of power on a Sunday afternoon? By having a set of rechargeable batteries in the house you need never be without power again. Cheap batteries cost around a £1 each, so how much could you save over a year?

Borrow and swap

There are plenty of ways to borrow and swap without erm, spending a penny. Our local library lets us borrow books for three weeks all for free! By joining a scheme like Streetbank you can borrow equipment and tools – it’s great for using those ‘once a year’ things like a garden shredder or set of ladders. Average saving? I’ve no idea but it could add up to a lot.

Bin Bags

Once you remove food waste from your waste stream, there isn’t really anything stinky to put in your kitchen bin. So in theory you won’t need to buy bin bags. These black beauties cost around 14p per bag so you could be saving around £15 per year.


Do you make sandwiches for lunches every day? Cling film is notoriously difficult to smooth out and reuse, it’s almost impossible to clean and it’s not easy to recycle. By swapping to a ‘wrap ‘n’ mat’ or using a reusable air tight container you could be saving another £14 per year.

Ditch bottled water

Have you ever totted up how much you spend on buying drinks? Make the most of that stuff that comes through your taps at home by taking your own reusable bottle full of water wherever you go. If you do this every day instead of buying a drink at lunchtime, your savings could add up to an eye watering £150 per year.

Feminine hygiene

Disposable towels and tampons can cost us as well as the environment. With the average woman sending over 16 thousand disposable sanitary products to landfill over her lifetime this can cost around £50 per year. Switch to the mooncup or washable pads and watch the savings add up.

Food waste

Reducing food waste is my passion! The average family throws away over £600 of food per year. By menu planning, viewing leftovers and ingredients and buying what you need you can seriously reduce your household budget.


Getting green fingered can be expensive if you buy new kit. Why not save toilet roll inners to make biodegradable pots, start a small compost heap and sprinkle coffee grounds under your roses? You’ll save money on buying bags of compost and if you grow vegetables and herbs you’ll slash your food bill too.

Kitchen roll

Here’s my confession – I used to get through at least 2 kitchen rolls a week. I’d use it to wipe over work surfaces, mop up spills and I hang my head as I admit I used to wipe my hands in it instead of using a towel. By switching to washable cloths I’ve saved around £78 per year.


Disposable nappies are a relatively new commodity. If you think they’ll be a hassle, some councils offer a ‘try before you buy’ scheme as well as discounted options. You could try just using washables at nighttime if you’re not ready to go the whole hog. But if you embrace washable nappies 24/7 you could pocket £180 a year.


Are you aware of the gifts your postman brings you every day? By carefully opening packaging I haven’t bought a roll of bubble wrap, a pack of rubber bands or a set of padded envelopes for about 10 years. Can you imagine how much I’ve saved?

Toilet paper

You’ve switched to reusable menstrual products and your baby is swathed in cloth. Are you ready to wave goodbye to toilet roll? No, me neither, but advocates do and they are laughing all the way to the bank, so maybe we should consider it – even if it’s for wee cloths 😉

Wipe away the tears

Make up wipes, bum wipes, floor wipes, furniture polish wipes – is there anything we can’t get in wipe form these days? Yes they’re handy but they’re also expensive. Why not use washable cloths and flannels for everything and bank the £63 a year you’ll save?

I’d love to hear your thoughts; is reducing waste saving you money?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Peter says:

    Re: Ditch Bottled Water

    I won’t use tap water – it is laced with the neuro toxin Sodium Fluoride, which is probably why dementia and Alzheimers disease is so prevailant in the UK.

    I think it is better to use (quality) filtered and boiled rain water, which in my area is 10 times cleaner than tap water – buy a TDS meter on eBay and test it yourself.

  2. Karen Hughes says:

    I recently moved to a house that has a bore hole for water. The water is so pure but is filtered before coming through the tap. It has no fluoride . I wonder why more people don’t have this. I no longer have to pay for water.

  3. Philippa says:

    Here we are at the end of 2017 and there has been an increase in wet wipes and flushing these can cause the most enormous fatbergs:

    Yes we should be using alternatives!

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