How to go Zero Waste on a Budget

So you want to go zero-waste but don’t have lots to invest? Then you’ve come to the right place! When I started my journey to zero-waste living almost 3 years ago, I was broke and had no idea where to start!

Having been on this journey for almost 3 years, I learned the best ways to reduce waste without having a lot of money to spend. So I’ve rounded them up for you and I hope to encourage you that you don’t need a lot of money to reduce waste, just a little inventive thinking!

how to go zero waste on a budget

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How to go Zero Waste on a Budget:

1. Use what you have

If you’re an avid reader of or follow me on any of my social platforms, you’re probably sick of hearing me say this. But it is the number one tip I will tell everybody. Whether you’re on a budget or have millions in the bank, using what you have is the most sustainable option.

Think about it: everything you own already exists. You don’t need to spend any money to get a more “eco-friendly” version and none of those resources need to be spent in order to make that item.

Because whether something is made sustainably or not, resources still need to be used to make it.

If you have a plastic reusable water bottle, use it. Don’t go out and buy a stainless steel one or a glass one. Use what you already have. Even if it is plastic, you’re still reducing your waste by using it until it can no longer be used.

The same goes for the plastic wrap or Ziploc bags you might have laying around. No, they’re not sustainable, but the least you can do is use them up before replacing them with something reusable. Your other alternative is wasting your money and throwing out a box of Ziploc bags where they’ll sit in a landfill anyway.

2. Go slowly 

Nobody is expecting you to go zero-waste overnight, and you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either. You could spend hundreds of dollars on reusable and “eco-friendly” items but then this wouldn’t be a budget-friendly post.

Use up those Ziploc bags and then replace them with stasher silicone bags. Finish up with your plastic toothbrush before getting a bamboo one. Use your plastic reusable water bottle until it breaks before buying a hydroflask, and so on and so on.

Making these changes one by one, slowly over time will not only save you money but is more sustainable too.

3. Free swaps 

Did you know that there are a lot of free things you can do (or not do) to reduce your waste? Like taking shorter showers, preventing food waste, skipping the plastic straw at the drive thru and so on.

I have a full video on free zero waste swaps! Check it out here:

4. Thrift

Thrifting is a HUGE and inexpensive way to be more sustainable. Just as with using what you already have, the things at the thrift store already exist. Think of it as recycling in a way. By buying second-hand you’re preventing things from ening up in a landfill and you’re saving a ton of money at the same time.

You can find jars or even mason jars second hand a lot of the time instead of spending lots of money to buy them brand new. You can find other reusable like tote bags, water bottles, travel mugs and so much more! THe thrift store is definitely the first place you want to shop when trying to be zero waste on a budget.

Read: 10 things you should never buy brand new

5. DIY it

A lot of things are expensive or come with excess packaging. Unfourtunatly, it’s the way of the world. You could save money and the extra packaging by trying your hand at making some products yourself!

Try making produce bags from old pillowcases, reusable cotton rounds from an old t-shirt or towel, reusable rags/napkins from scrap fabric, etc.

You don’t have to be an expert seemstress either!

Also, try making your own cleaning supplies from bulk ingredients! You can clean your whole house with just a few ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and citrus peels.

Read: The ultimate list of DIY cleaning recipes 

These are some of my tried and true tips on how to go zero waste on a budget! It doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact it could be virtually  free spending how you go about it! I just doon’t want you to look at the world of zero waste and become discouraged thinking you could never afford to do it, because you can! 

Thank you for reading this article, please dont’ forget to share it and follow me on Instagram for daily low waste living tips!

how to go zero waste on a budget



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