13 Things To STOP Buying Now to Save $37K Over 10 Years (& Save the Planet!)

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woman holding black menstrual cup making confused face

Buy smarter, help the planet, & save more money.

While we’re constantly searching for the very best deals on everything, we think it’s time to employ ways to save money inside your home and as a part of your personal care. By ditching these 13 common household items, you’ll save money & the planet with these cost-effective, environmentally-friendly product swaps.

Here are 13 household items you should ditch:

1. Ditch aluminum foil & parchment paper in favor of silicone baking mats.

hand holding reynolds wrap aluminum foil waste of money with target cart in the background

According to Statista, 318.97 million Americans used aluminum foil just in 2020. Producing just 1 ton of aluminum foil takes about 170 million BTUs to produce which is about as much as 1,400 gallons of gasoline. The process also emits about 12 tons of greenhouse gases and takes 400 years to break down after it’s discarded.

hand holding two silicone baking sheets

The average family is likely to use a standard size roll of Reynolds Wrap in about a month or less. And at close to $4 (or more for larger rolls) that means you’re spending about $48 a year in tinfoil.

By switching to silicone baking mats, you’ll have a sanitary and simple way to cook all your meals including even the oven or toaster oven! Plus, they can even be used for baking which will replace any parchment paper that you may currently be using.

If you get in the habit of using silicone baking mats, you’ll save 24,000 sq. ft. of foil and $480 over the next 10 years! 🎉 

2. Swap plastic straws in favor of reusable straws.

hand holding waste of money pink plastic straws with target cart in background

Approximately 500 million straws are used each day in America alone. A lot of huge companies are nixing plastic straws including Starbucks. It’s been calculated that by 2050 there will be more weight in straws than fish in the oceans – that’s only 29 years away, friends. 😱

two glasses with red and orange iced drinks

If you have a family of 5 that uses just 1 straw per week, that’s 260 straws a year! By switching to a reusable straw, you’ll be helping save our oceans and your hard-earned cash. Plus, they come in many forms like silicone (safer for your teeth), stainless steel, and even bamboo!

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable straws, you’ll nix about 2,600 plastic straws over the next 10 years! 🎉

3. Paper towels are a waste of money, so hop on the Swedish dishcloth trend with us!

woman holding blue swedish dishcloth and paper towels

Ditching paper towels may be a big adjustment for many people, but they’re an even larger culprit to waste in our country. According to ZeroWasteKit “More than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year in the USA, amounting to 40 pounds – the equivalent of 80 rolls – per person, per year.” 😱

And in order to produce all of that paper, it requires a whopping 110 million trees and 130 billion gallons of water per year. GULP! 😳

hand holding pink swedish dishcloth wiping stove top

A 12 pack of Bounty paper towels will run you close to $20. Not to mention, they’re still pretty hard to come by during this pandemic. Even worse, if you have a family of four, statistics show that you’ll power through them in three weeks or less! 😳

Swedish dishcloths are biodegradable, useful on many different surfaces, reusable, and easy to clean by throwing them in the dishwasher! Over 3,500 Hip readers have already made the switch to Swedish dishcloths with us, so what are you waiting for?!

woman using zap cloth on window

There are even more alternatives to consider, such as reusable and washable bamboo paper towels, Zap cloths, microfiber cloths, bar mops, and even some new cloth diaper inserts.

Collin’s mom is a huge fan of Zap Cloths!

“I am forever hooked on Zap Cloths! It’s impossible to screw up with the Zap cloth and amazingly easy to use – no more sloppy window cleaning! Simply wet in water, wring out a bit, and wipe the window. I am constantly in awe of how it works!”

If you and your family get in the habit of using an environmentally-friendly alternative to paper towels, you’ll save 3,200 rolls or about $4,048 over the next 10 years! 🎉

4. Skip drying sheets which are a toxic waste of money, and toss in a wool ball instead.

hand holding orange box of bounce dryer sheets with target cart in background

As EWG states, dryer sheets are “full of chemicals that can harm your health, damage the environment, and pollute the air, both inside and outside your home.” Plus, most users tend to pop more than just one sheet (natural or not) in the dryer just for good measure. 😏

hand holding environmentally-friendly everspring wool dryer balls with target red cart in background

If you’re using 2 dryer sheets for 5 loads of laundry a week, you’re using an entire box of Bounce dryer sheets in just 10.5 weeks. So you’re spending about $30 every year and adding to the toxic waste problem.

The Everspring brand available at Target offers really affordable dryer balls at just under $10 for a 3-pack which will last upwards of 1,000 laundry loads or until they fall apart. Dryer balls also help decrease your drying time, they’re biodegradable, dye-free, non-toxic, and don’t contain any harmful fragrances. You can also opt to use nothing at all and save your cash.

If you get in the habit of using dryer balls, you’ll save 5,250 dryer sheets or about $300 over the next 10 years!  🎉

Hip Tip: We shared all the pros and cons of dryer balls vs. dryer sheets, plus we even shared our top recommendations and where to buy them!

5. Switch out plastic water bottles for a refillable one instead.

waste of money bottle water sitting in red target cart

Don’t stop drinking water, just stop drinking it out of plastic. Bottled water is ranked the #1 U.S. beverage by volume sold and according to the Container Recycling Institute, “more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day – a total of about 22 billion last year.” 😳

woman holding various styles of water bottles

While water consumption continues to grow every year (way to go us! 💦👏), the average family currently spends about $100 per person each year on bottled water. That’s about 540 bottles per person or 2,160 bottles for a family of 4 per year down the drain – literally.

By investing in a great water bottle that you can reuse every day, you’re not just saving money, but also helping mother nature, too.

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable bottles, you’ll save 21,600 bottles of water or $4,000 over the next 10 years! 🎉

6. Say “bye” to plastic baggies for reusable wraps & bags!

hand holding waste of money plastic baggie with trail mix

The number of plastic sandwich baggies I was wasting occurred to me when all 3 of my kiddos were in school. Every day, I was using at least 3 baggies per lunch! 😱That’s 45 sandwich bags in just one week – never mind the random bags I was using for other things when it was convenient.

That’s about 4 boxes of these Ziploc sandwich bags per month! If I stayed on that track, I was projected to spend about $172.32 or more just on baggies that had a lifespan of fewer than 24 hours. 😳

lunchbox with bees wraps covering food

I recently made the switch to these bees wraps and they’ve been working out so wonderful! Plus, they can be used to store leftovers, cover up a block of cheese, and so much more! My kids say their food stays intact and it’s easy to ball up and put back into their lunch boxes. 🙌

Bee’s Wrap is naturally antimicrobial, made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. All of the ingredients combined create a malleable and easy-to-use food wrap that can be used over and over again!

Hip Tip: Trader Joe’s also sells entire rolls of beeswax wraps for just a few bucks – and while I’ve never tried theirs, I know they’ll be another great practical choice or you could even make your own as Lina shared!

Here’s an eco-friendly solution if you’re storing even more food:

hand holding clear stasher bag in freezer drawer

If you need a solution for storing more of everything, Stasher Bags are a new love of mine! They’re 100% silicone, are easy to open & close, freezer and microwave safe, sous vide safe, oven-ready, and can even be thrown in the dishwasher for hassle-free cleaning!

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable wraps & Stasher Bags, you’ll save 21,600 plastic sandwich bags and $1,723 over the next 10 years! 🎉

7. Split with your kitchen sponge and replace it with a brush.

hand holding waste of money scotch brite sponges waste of money

Did you know that the sponge is considered the germiest item in your kitchen according to the NYU School of Medicine? And you’re more likely to get food poisoning from an unsanitary sponge in your home than in a restaurant. 😱

hand holding a oxo brush in package with target cart in background

It’s recommended to replace your sponge every 2-3 weeks. If you’re replacing your sponges every 2.5 weeks (on average) and buying a 3-pack of these sponges, you’re spending approximately $27 every year.

By using a brush in the kitchen, you’re not only saving on disposable sponges, but you’ll even cut down on dish soap when you go for a model with an efficient soap dispenser. Plus, brushes are even dishwasher safe!

If you get in the habit of using a dish brush, you’ll save 208 sponges and $276 over the next 10 years! 🎉

Hip Tip: Here are 9 other items in your home that should be replaced more often than you think.

8. Switch out the plastic wrap that’s a waste of money and opt for silicone stretch lids instead.

three boxes of reynolds plastic wrap sitting on store shelf waste of money

According to Superbee, the average family goes through close to 24 rolls of plastic wrap per year! That’s about $100 per year just for plastic wrap and a huge waste of money when there are better alternatives out there.

hand turning glass upside down with pink drink inside and silicone lid on top

Now’s the time to stop throwing your money away, literally! Silicone stretch lids are perfect for storing leftovers, covering odd-shaped bowls or ones that don’t have lids, and even fruits and veggies after they’ve been cut. Not to mention they work a heck of a lot better than plastic wrap!

They’re also conveniently dishwasher safe, BPA free, non-toxic, keep food fresher for longer, and reduce your household waste (obviously 😏). I’ve had mine for well over a year and they’ve been so handy!

If you get in the habit of using silicone stretch lids, you’ll be saving about 60,000 sq. ft. of plastic wrap or $1,000 over the next 10 years! 🎉

9. Keurig K-Cups are a waste of money, so switch to reusable cups or opt for a pour-over coffee maker instead.

hand holding a box of starbucks k-cups with red target cart waste of money

I’m not one to tell a person how to enjoy their cup of Joe in the morning, but there’s no denying K-cups are a convenient invention. However, with their ever-growing popularity, they’re contributing to a huge amount of plastic waste. In fact, the number of K-Cups that have been trashed in landfills could wrap around the planet 10 times! 😱

If you and your spouse are brewing a cup of coffee with the Keurig every day, that’s 728 K-cups a year or about 45 of these boxes of Starbucks’ K-cups…priced at $11.99 each. Psstthat’s $539.55 a year. 😳

resuable k-cup pod with ground coffee inside

If you don’t want to kick the convenience of your Keurig to the curb, opt for reusable K-cup pods – there are many options available and they’ll help keep more money in your pocket, create less waste, and still allow you to brew your favorite ground coffee blends.

hand holding a box of bodum pour over coffee maker with target cart

If you’re interested in ditching the K-cups altogether, you may really love pour-over brewing as a frugal alternative. This pour-over brewer at Target comes with a stainless steel filter so you won’t even be wasting paper filters to brew your steamy cup of coffee. 🙌

If you and your other half get in the habit of using a reusable K-cup or pour over, you’ll save at least 7,280 disposable K-cups or $5,395 over the next 10 years!  🎉

10. Stay away from new retail and buy secondhand clothing.

woman clothing shopping at Kohl's

According to Forbes, more than 150 billion garments are produced annually, enough to provide 20 new garments to every person on the planet, every year. 😳 And Americans throw away about 70 lbs of clothing per person every year.

It’s also ranked the 2nd biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet and accounts for 85% of the human-made material found along ocean shores, which are threatening marine wildlife and ending up in our food supply.

Getting rid of some old clothes soon? Check with your local Goodwill or other thrift stores – many of them have textile recycling programs!

designer pilcro jeans on rack at thrift store

According to Credit Donkey, “the average family spends $1,800 per year on [new] clothing with $388 of this on shoes. Women spend (on average) between $150-$400 per month on clothing and are estimated to spend around $125,000 on clothes in her entire lifetime.” 😱

If you and your family get in the habit of buying secondhand clothes, you’ll be projected to save $18,000 on new clothes over the next 10 years! 🎉

11. Ditch the Swiffer dry cloths and switch to a Turbo mop!

hand holding box of Swiffer dry mop refills in store waste of money

Have you ever thought about how much waste happens with regular Swiffer cleanings? If you’re averaging 2 dry pads a week, priced at $11.99 for 52, you’re spending over $20 a year or more just in Swiffer pads that’ll end up in a landfill. This isn’t even including all the wet Swiffer pads you might use for deeper cleanings.

woman using turbo mop on white wall

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative that’s even more effective, consider a Turbo mop, which happens to be made right here in the USA. They can be used wet or dry, are reusable, machine washable, and can even be used on multiple surfaces like your walls!

The good news for all of you that already own a Swiffer mop, they even make reusable Swiffer pads (made by Turbo), so you don’t have to eat the cost on a new mop!

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable mop cloths, you’ll be projected to save more than $200 over the next 10 years! 🎉

12. Tampons & pads are a waste of money, so make the switch to a menstrual cup – it pays for itself!

box of pads and tampons on floor waste of money products

According to National Geographic, 5.8 billion tampons were sold in the U.S. in 2018, a third of the global total. Even more startling, when tampons are flushed down the toilet, they can end up in the ocean when sewer systems fail. Although plastic applicators from tampons are technically recyclable, they are usually not accepted for sanitary reasons.

Before making my eco-friendly switch, I was spending about $10 every month on Tampax products, that’s $120 a year.

woman holding a menstrual cup in hand smiling

Menstrual cups are 100% silicone, so they’re completely safe for your body (unlike tampons), reusable, and easy to clean – mine still looks brand new almost a year later! Even better, it literally pays for itself in just a couple of cycles! Not to mention, there are incredible benefits to wearing one as opposed to tampons and pads – read all about my experience HERE.

If you get in the habit of using a menstrual cup, you’ll be projected to save more than $1,200 over the next 10 years! 🎉

13. Use less toilet paper and try a bidet!

person holding a blue package of Cottonelle toilet paper in front of store display waste of money

I certainly don’t expect your household to ditch toilet paper altogether, but there are ways to cut back significantly – and it might even save you from sewage problems down the road.

According to BidetsPlus, the average person uses 24 rolls of toilet paper per year! For a family of 4, you’re likely averaging 96 rolls or more per year – priced at $19.99 per 24 pack of toilet paper, you’re easily spending over $80 per year just to wipe – of course, this can vary significantly with how much I know my kids waste every day!

white toilet with blue neon light under seat in bathroom with dark blue gray walls

By switching to a bidet, you can cut back on that usage significantly! Sure, bidets are not the cheapest alternative, but they’re a lifestyle many parts of the world are already accustomed to. Plus, they have many benefits, the ones we love can easily be installed yourself, and we often share deals on bidets so they’re more affordable when you make the switch!

When a family of four incorporates a bidet in their daily lifestyle, it averages a savings of 80 rolls of toilet paper per year – which is a tenth of a tree! This means you’ll likely only need 16 rolls of toilet paper per year for 4 people! 😱That’s a mere $16 on a Cottonelle 18-pack that should last all year or a total of just $14.72 spent on toilet paper every year!

If you and your family get in the habit of using a bidet, you’ll be projected to save $652.80 or more over the next 10 years! 🎉

Bonus tip: Bring a reusable bag instead of picking up plastic at the store.

hand holding reusable bag with cactus and family photo on it

Remember, when you’re shopping, bring along some reusable bags. Plastic bags are a huge contributing factor to our waste and if I can’t convince you to make the switch, maybe these scary facts from PADI will…

  • Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world – that’s 1 TRILLION bags a year!
  • The amount of petroleum it takes to produce 1 plastic bag could drive a car 36 feet.
  • A plastic bag is used for an average of just 12 minutes.
  • Less than 3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most found in coastal clean-ups and have affected 267 different species of animals.
  • If we joined all the plastic bags in the world together, they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times!!!

If just one person used reusable bags over their lifetime, they would be removing about 22,000 plastic bags from the environment! 🙌

In summary… if we make these environmentally-friendly changes together over the next 10 years, we can potentially save:

  • $480 on aluminum foil
  • $4,048 on paper towels
  • $300 on dryer sheets
  • $4,000 on plastic water bottles
  • $1,723 on plastic sandwich bags
  • $276 on sponges
  • $1,000 on plastic wrap
  • $5,395 on K-cups
  • A whopping $18,000 on new clothes
  • $200 on Swiffer cloths
  • $1,200 on tampons
  • $652.80 on toilet paper

That’s an incredible sum of $37,374.80!!! 🎉

*Note that everyone’s family is different in size and these are just estimates based on our research and what the average person uses/buys for each of these products. The outcome or sum of savings can vary greatly and will depend on the cost of what you’re replacing these household items with.

You can turn trash into treasure around your house with these genius hacks.

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 116

  1. Christi

    Great post. Thank you!

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Christi! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

  2. rshebester

    I LOVE this post!! Let’s take care of our planet for the sake of our babies and be good stewards of the resources God has given us.

    • s

      Ditto. ❤️

    • Sara

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for stopping by, friend!

  3. Mandym

    We bought a bidet during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. We got one with all the bells and whistles too. Great reviews on Samsclub.com. Not impressed at all. I can do the same thing with a cheap squirt bottle. haha

    • Amber


    • Cami

      😂 That’s what I use – the episiotomy bottle from after birth.

    • Sara

      Oh no, Mandym! LOL So sorry it’s not working out for ya!

    • jason

      I wouldn’t feel too bad about not using a bidet, as the electric and water use energy that no one wants to talk about (and the resources that go into creating electric and purifying water that goes up your inards) still taxes our resources. At least the toilet paper can break down into compost.

      • Evie

        Yes, and water is very expensive, depending on where you live and how it is delivered.
        But, didn’t the globalists say it would take hundreds of years to see a difference? I guess the green movement is another way for elite control and for them to make$s. Lots of our water is being sold to other countries.
        I look at ways to save $s for myself. Use very minimally.

      • Morgan Ross

        The amount of water used to make toilet paper far outweighs the use of a bidet.

  4. Paisley

    I love that Hip2Save is featuring environmentally friendly options! Thank you 🌎

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Paisley!

    • Sara

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks H2S

  5. nancypantcy

    Great post. Thank you! I’m doing most of these but can do even better.

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, nancypantcy! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you!

  6. Jill

    I tried the cup many years ago and it was sooo uncomfortable. I saw an ad for one recently and thought Imd give it a go again, for around $4. This one is smaller and I LOVE it. I’m never going back to tampons and pantyliners. I’m so glad I tried it again. Now to get rid of paper towels!

    • Sara

      I’m thrilled you found something that works for you, Jill! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa

      Which smaller one did you try Jill??

      • Jill

        The June Cup! It’s smaller than the one that came out 10 ish years ago and it seems thinner and more flexible in comparison (to my memory)

        • Sarah

          I’ve tried to use the June cup and I just can’t get it right!

      • Liz N.

        If you’re unsure what cup to try, check out http://www.putacupinit.com – they are a great resource for the MANY different cups and can guide you based on age, flow, pregnancies, etc.

        • Sara

          Liz, thanks for sharing this resource. I’m going to get my first cup based on their recommendation

    • Ivy

      Wondering witch one you were able to get for$4? I’d like to get a new one and that’s a great price point.

      • Jill

        Yep, the June Cup. I had a promo code that made it $4, but even at $6 it’s totally affordable and worth it!

    • Impactbrianna

      The June cup is $6

    • Andre

      Used the Lily cup which has great reviews but found it very uncomfortable and could never get it right and would leak quite often because of positioning, switched to the Lumma cup and it’s been night and day, so comfy, I can’t even remember if i have one in and it has a perfect seal. Highly recommend, they also have a BOGO free promo running pretty much always.

  7. Jessica

    I do so many of these! I LOVE my cup or as my husband calls it – vampire shot glass. I never even thought to put the cloths in the dishwasher! I have microfiber ones, do you think it would still work?

    • Sara

      Hey Jessica! I’m not sure about the cloths you have, but the ones featured in our post are specifically marketed to go in the dishwasher so I would check with the company for the ones you have. 🙂

  8. Melissa

    Great post and while we already have made many of the switches I still some I would love to try. Another easy thing we do is use cloth napkins. I often find them at garage sales. I have found free or cheap fabric at garage sales too that we just cut up and use for our cloth napkins.

    • :ana

      We have used cloth napkins for 25 years and love them. No going back to thin paper.

    • Sara

      Yes, great idea, Melissa. 🙂

    • Liz N.

      Yes! We switched to cloth napkins (Ok, they’re really washcloths) and we love them! If we go somewhere with paper napkins, we agree it feels weird now! Hahaha!

  9. alexisrobinson-davis

    Am I the only one not a fan of the BIDET? It’s water splashing your buns… no soap-no soft but vigorous rub, just a splash of warm water to wet the bacteria and spread it a little. Not a big advocate for 100 squares of toilet paper either but I don’t understand how a bidet replaces toilet tissue. Just my Opinion. And I know other countries have been doing it for years but that doesn’t make it the next best thing.

    • Kim Tennyson

      I’m with u on this…can’t ride that bus…

    • MyView

      TP you’re just smearing bacteria. The water comes out at a decently high pressure and blasts everything away. You still need to blot dry unless you have a fancy drying one but between using family cloth and a bidet I only use maybe 6 rolls of TP a year.

    • rocme2

      Yup. People on this site will go to war with you over this, but I’ve lived in other countries where bidets were routinely available and I just find them messy and cold. I use wipes instead.

    • Ashley

      I’m not going to go to war on this, but water is about the best and healthiest way to clean just about anything. Also it prevents just about the germiest place on your body (your hands) from touching your nether regions. So you’re spreading less germs. Also most proctologist’s highly recommend them because abrasive papers can actually make issues like hemorrhoids and fissures worse. I will never ever go back to wiping and I kind of feel like a cavewoman when I have to. And that doesn’t even touch on the enviromenta benefits- which is just a nice added bonus.

  10. Patricia Goff

    Great post. I don’t buy most of these items though. I do buy aluminum foil but it lasts a year or more a roll. Don’ use it very often. I still have a bag of ziploc bags that we bought two years ago so don’t use them much either. I love the washable sponges. That is what we used growing up so glad that I found them thanks to your site a few months ago. We wear the same clothes until they don’t fit or are stained. The stained ones go to the local thrift store where they either send some to the animal shelter (blankets, towels, etc) or to the local quilting club. Being raised overseas by a military father and german mother I used some of these ideas already. My mom grew up with nothing during the war not even food some days so she taught us some tips. She used to make dandelion salad all the time.

    • Lisa

      I would love to hear the dandelion salad recipe if there is one to share! 🙂

      • Amanda

        The key to a good dandelion salad is not owning a dog.

        • ella


        • Kristi

          Too late…even if you don’t own a dog yourself, your neighbors sure do I’m sure. That’s why they take their pets for walks around the neighborhood (to do their business in other people’s yard).

      • JD827

        Limestone soil to grow in so they don’t taste bitter and clipped very early in the spring so the greens aren’t tough.

    • animity

      Europeans do know how to stretch an Euro. They use up anything and everything. Love it!! The younger generation is getting away from it but the older generation is amazing with what they can do.

  11. ReneeAnn

    Does anyone make a silicone baking mat that actually covers the entire pan like up the sides and over the edge? If so I would absolutely use it! Btw, I love my period cup. Best switch ever. If it’s uncomfortable then trim the stem or completely cut it off, makes a huge difference!

    • BlueWaterGirl

      We are nomads right now and have a tiny storage unit for what we do own. My point is I can’t look at the brand but the one I have is bigger than a regular sized baking pan and fits nicely in the 20×24(ish) pan I bought last year. I got it when H2S when kept posting this kitchen site with things like that on it. Also got ss measuring spoons. If I remember it, I’ll respond again to your message.

  12. jon-0

    I saw nothing worth mentioning as appositive.

  13. marine_grl

    Love, love, love this post! Thank you so much for putting together such a thoughtful post that makes it easy for people to make the swap 🙂 You all ROCK!

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome!

  14. Blessed mom

    I wish the menstral cup worked for me… Cough… Large family mama here… It tends to fall out.. I also have extreme flooding… Working on all of that. Any suggestions? I have tried different brands…

    • Jess

      Try a menstrual disc. Same thing happened with me- the menstrual cup fell out, so I switched to menstural discs. Try the Lumma or nixit.

    • Large Family Mama 2

      Definitely try the disc! I have a Lumma Large and love it! No leaks and so easy to use. I’m not a fan of the cups. I have one that works, but I also have an IUD which you aren’t supposed to use with a cup. Check out the FB group “Put a Cup In It Community”. Most open group of ladies I’ve ever (not) met. 🙂

      (I’m a large family mama too!)

    • Large family too

      YES! I thought I was the only one! Large family momma too-plus, all our babies were large-I can’t do tampons anymore, and have the cup that she’s holding in the picture. Scared to rely on it in case it falls out when I’m not home, haha. Scared to use a disc-nothing to grab onto.

    • aninity

      Also you may want to check your vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels too. You could have low iron, or high estrogen and low progesterone etc.. Also could be iodine deficiency. There are so many things that could point to why your periods are so heavy. It is all linked to our diets here in the States. We don’t get what we need from our food anymore.

      • Blessed mom

        Thank you! I have a wonderful P.A. who checked the major hormones. My progesterone and estrogen were fine. My DHEA and testosterone were terribly low. I’ve been supplementing with DHEA, but it may not be enough. She said that the estrogen test was only circulating estrogen. It is possible I am still estrogen dominant in my fat cells. It’s an interesting journey!

    • Jill

      I just learned about the menstrual disk last summer and the ad said you can have sex with it in?!? I might have to try this 😆😁

      • RabbidBunny14

        I’ve done it with the disposable discs several times. The endge sometimes rubs weird on him but overall works great!

    • Liz N.

      Check out https://putacupinit.com/ – they have a quiz and a chart guide to help with the many choices! Hope you can find one that works! I switched 2 years ago and am so glad I did.

  15. Melissa

    Great post. But I have to question the plastic wrap one: “the average family goes through close to 24 rolls of plastic wrap per year! That’s about $100 per year ….” How is that even possible? There are only 52 weeks in a year. That means the average family buys a new roll every 2.14 weeks. I don’t think so.

    • ET

      Yeah, that number definitely seems off! One roll of cling wrap last us probably at least a year. I use mostly Pyrex containers for storage.

      • Sparrowfly

        Right, with storage containers, who uses cling wrap like that? My FIL bought our current box some time before he passed two years ago. There’s no telling how long he had it. Lol!

    • Jen S

      Only a couple rolls per year here too! I love the slider roll that Walmart makes… I can just leave it on the counter and grab it when necessary.

    • Bellabella

      I agree. That figure is exaggerated. Not even a big family will use that much in a year. One roll from Costco (comes in two) lasts us almost a year.

      • eas

        I’ve had 1 roll of plastic wrap for about 8 years. lol

        • rocme2

          I think I have the same roll I bought before I moved 6 years ago 😬

    • Ashley

      I’m pretty sure I’ve had the same roll of plastic wrap forike 5 years. 😅 I hardly ever use it.

    • Wren

      Totally exaggerated, give me a break!! 🙄 I have mine for years.

  16. Ang

    Great post! Thank you! I never thought to replace my sponges with brushes. I’ll be making the change!

    • Jennine

      A fun switch for sure! We’re talking environmental friendly in this post, skip the plastic if you can! They have wooden ones with Bristos as well.

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Ang!

  17. Emily

    I know I had tried a disposable menstrual cup back maybe 6 or 7 years ago and I didn’t like it (it was like a rubbery disk with a saran wrap-like plastic that collected the goo). But I bet the new silicone ones are more comfortable…. However, I am sooo grateful for my IUD now – it’s stopped my periods, so I haven’t had to buy tampons in over 5 years! (Your mileage may vary on that option, though).

    • Becca

      I’m on my third IUD and still get monthly periods however I usually get by with maybe 3 or 4 tampons per cycle. I also use period panties (Bambody) on light days.

  18. Jennine

    Oh goodness do not ditch parchment paper for silicone mats. Please be aware silicone is still apart of the plastic family. Yes, A better option if you cant part with plastic.

    • Zara

      Silicone is much more unhealthy too. I use unbleached parchment paper a lot.

  19. ella

    I really like the Swedish dish cloths made from cellulose. I’m wondering when people will start to realize the damage that microfiber is doing to our aquatic environments. Everybody totes microfiber (which is always made of fine polyester/plastic fibers) as being environmentally friendly because you do use less paper and cleanser, but at the same time these fibers wash into our rivers, lakes, and oceans and are consumed by fish and get into the entire food chain. These fibers hold onto toxins and then the toxins accumulate in the food we eat. For these reasons, I’ve given up on microfiber and opt for safer more natural fabrics.

    • Jennine

      YES that’s why I went 😶 when loom mop was the alternative.

    • Sara

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Ella!

    • rc

      thanks had no idea

  20. Kyuu

    Not everyone likes tampons, just like not everyone likes pads. I’ve heard from reviewers that the silicone insertion is uncomfortable for some people, even among those who use tampons.

    For period panties, I suggest Thinx, Kinx, or Padkix.

  21. Zara

    Menstrual cups are so unsanitary, I imagine using public bathroom. No way in the world I would even try that!

    • blondie7940

      Three months into a cup and I love it. Slight learning curve, but just wear a liner until you’re confident. Public bathrooms aren’t an issue because they last so much longer than a pad or tampon. I go all day without emptying with the larger size on my heaviest day (which was a super every 2-3 hours). I have two sizes – Saalt Duo Pack in soft. No discomfort unless it’s not inserted correctly. Wish I’d made the switch sooner!

    • rocme2

      I hate menstrual cups. I’ve tried 3 brands. Must be my anatomy, but I find them to be terribly uncomfortable and yes, I never could go the whole work day without having to empty it. They’re a serious PITA in public.

    • Molly

      Depending on your flow, you don’t have to empty it while out in public. Even on my heavy days (1 and 2), I insert in the morning and don’t touch it until I get home after work. I also wear period panties (Thinx) as a backup, but I rarely have leaks. When I wore a super plus tampon, I was changing it regularly AND leaking, too. Glad I tried the cups, as they work super well for me and save $$!

  22. JD827

    What a great article! I would like to see a return to natural fibers which last forever for sheets and clothing. I would add that aluminum foil can be washed and used over again. It can also be washed and recycled. The WWII generation never wasted a smidgin of it and in turn I picked up the habit as well from my mother.

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s great to know, JD827. Our generation needs to learn tricks of the previous generations for sure!

  23. desiree

    Is no one gonna talk about the astronomically large tail on that menstrual cup?? 0.0

    • Liz N.

      HAHA! Agreed!! That would FREAK me out! I cut the stem off my cup anyway – but that one is HUGE!

  24. MyView

    If the menstrual cup doesn’t work for you, try reusable pads. They are so much more absorbent then disposable pads. Also I use family cloth for urine. Never thought I would make that change but it was pretty easy.

    • Dawn

      Or just coupon and get tampons for almost nothing. I like some of the ideas on here but some of them are total non-starters. Plus, I am a couponer and I spend pennies on things.

      • Sparrowfly

        Same, Dawn. I’ve never paid more than $1 a pack for pads or tampons, and that’s on the high side.

      • SavingsMama

        I’ll agree there. There are actually a growing number of churches and organizations that are providing women with quality personal products. Anytime youre able to score one of the free packs of Carefree etc. or maybe you tried a brand you didn’t much care for, there’s always places to donate. That helps the earth also 🙂

    • Becca

      I have a very light period and use maybe 3 or 4 tampons a month. N the really light days I use period panties. They are comfortable and I throw them into the wash (hang dry). Easy peasy.

  25. Liz N.

    Thanks for focusing on the environment! We have slowly switched to a lot of these. By going a little at a time, my husband was easy to get onboard and we didn’t feel overwhelmed. It did help us see how wasteful we are and look for ways to improve our eco-friendliness.

    Getting a period cup was a big win for me. It took 2 tries to get one that worked for me, but it’s been 2 years now and I love the change! If you are trying to find a cup for you, I recommend putacupinit.com – it really addresses FAQs and helps you find the right cup – there are MANY options!!

  26. georgeow

    I use bidet and love it-clean is better. Why these are not everywhere is beyond me. Clean is clean. Whoever recommended squirt bottle? Maybe for camping-but that is kind of odd and sloppy for me. Just say NO. Ditch plastic water bottles – get a culligan or an RO filter and youtube the maintenance. The wool dryer ball is cool—- I coupon paper towels for almost free and use for those times when you really need a toss away cloth and not a newspaper like for hairy wipe ups. Do not love silicone for all but for some. Aluminum is forever recyclable-just do it. Do not love reusable baggies at all. Lets ditch the mask waste and opt for common sense fresh air too!

  27. Molly

    For napkins/paper towels, we use wash cloths! A few years ago, I bought a colorful assortment of washcloths from Target and spent maybe $15-20 for a big basket full. We’re a family of 5, and we fold them nicely and use them at the dinner table for napkins, as well as grab them from the basket if we need a quick paper towel substitute. We toss them into our laundry daily and wash them with our regular loads. I love that they take no extra effort, yet save us tons of money and prevent additional waste! (We do have paper napkins and paper towels for guests, lol!)

  28. J

    I do like some of these recommendations, especially the wool balls in replacement of dryer sheets. But I do think the cling wrap one is off. We are a family of 5 and at most, I buy maybe 3-5 rolls a year.

    Also, the sandwich ziploc bag count is off. If you are using 3 bags a day, that is 15 a week, and 45 a month…not a week.

    • J

      Oops…meant to say 45 in 3 weeks, 60 a month.

  29. J

    Oops…meant to say 45 in 3 weeks, 60 a month.

  30. Carrie

    Lots of great information, however, if it wasn’t for people using paper, my dad, who has been in the paper industry since age 13, and husband, who’s been in it for 22 years, would be out of a job. We couldn’t save enough to make up for the lack of income . Paper towels for me! Bidet are just germy!

  31. Denise

    Menstrual cup is a total game changer for me love it❤️

  32. Jackie

    Be aware that the “Swedish “ towels are NOT NADE IN SWEDEN! They are made in China. Lots of people complain that they start “shedding” after a few uses and that are made in China. I found these that have amazing reviews and are actually Swedish made in Sweden (Wettex The Original 10-Pack Swedish Superabsorbent Dishcloth). They are cheaper also 😉 and I looooove them

    • csmith82

      I’m in my late 30’s and have never even used a tampon..the whole situation seems like self harm! I still can’t understand how women can violate their bodies in that way! Jam some foreign object up your privates?!!! No thank you! I call that torture

    • J

      Do these work for really heavy flow?

      • Sue P

        If you’re talking about the reusable pads, yes for heavy flow, just buy the larger size.

  33. Becca

    I’m right there with you on most of these. I use a fuzzy sock bought at the dollar store and put it over the swiffer head. It works great wet or dry. Then I just throw them in the wash.

  34. Amanda

    I’ve been following you guys for year and trust your input. I just purchased $100 of product on amazon (dish towels, silicone lids, cup, dryer balls, and the stasher bags). Im excited to try them all out!

  35. Sandy Bottoms


  36. Morgan Ross

    The best way to be eco friendly is to reduce first, reuse and recycle. Don’t buy a bunch of crap, especially new. Stop at garage sales when you see them. Use up your current stuff before you buy an eco-friendly replacement. You don’t need 50 reusable straws and water bottles. You save a ton of money using these methods too.

  37. Andre

    Instead of replacing aluminum and parchment paper with silicone mats, use a stone dish, food actually cook better on stone because silicone is heat resistant. Stone is also much easier to clean. For those worried about the microfiber leaking into the water from washing microfiber washcloths, you can use a cora ball to catch them during the wash cycle https://earthhero.com/products/home/cora-ball-microfiber-laundry-ball/?attribute_pa_type-2=single&gclid=Cj0KCQiA0rSABhDlARIsAJtjfCcT2cpDlONQsSdP5ZgkMofEHwN-jC51hNBkbso6TwjL977v3glTBlkaAqsZEALw_wcB

  38. Family First

    I can’t part ways with aluminum foil. There is no other easy clean up method. You cook, ball it up, and put your pan back, so easy! Silicone mats however, they get greasy and hard to clean. You can’t cook cookies on the same one you had fish on, always have to have multiple on hand. I use more water and dishcloths cleaning them off after, plus time wasted that I could be spending time doing something with the family.
    Menstrual cups just seem worse than tampons and I personally never liked those unless it was a necessity for swimming, rare occurrence. They seem gross and intrusive. No way can they be made by a woman, I’d be surprised!
    Wool balls are fine for the dryer, but fabric sheets leave your clothes smelling good! I know they’re not for every type of material.
    Also, as far as paper towels…during the sick season and especially now through COVID, I’d discourage any use of shared towels or reusable clothes. Use the tear-a-size paper towel and save that way.
    Straws, they actually have recycled material ones now that are disposable and don’t feel like paper. The reusable straws are easy to get mixed up when you have a big family and back with the towel thing, it’s too easy to spread germs with them.
    Just my opinion!

  39. snezhinka

    with the cup, are you all ok to actually reuse it? I think there is a reason why some things are meant to be disposable.

  40. Evie

    Why is everything left up to the people to foot the bill?
    Packaging is created by corporations. I would gladly take empty bottles to stores for refills, but it seems unavailable.
    I would use green energy. But I cannot easily plug into it as they want me to pay a higher cost.
    An electric car? Way too expensive.
    Humm, looks like the elite expect us to pay for research for a problem they have been working on 50 years or more.

  41. Elizabeth

    As for the bidet, something simple and inexpensive (sometimes $30) like this is all we need:
    We are really happy with this one, and have had it for a few years. Some of the bidets in other countries are messy hand held ones. My husband was skeptical of bidets after living in Spain because of that, but he is totally sold on these kinds after trying it. No need to go too fancy. Doesn’t use too much water at all, adjustable pressure, not hard to set up and seems much more sanitary than toilet paper alone. Just my 2 cents.

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