10 Sustainable Minimalist Kitchen Swaps to Make. Save Money and the Environment.

Minimalist sustainable kitchen swaps

Living a more minimalist lifestyle has caused me to re-think previous items I used to deem necessary in our house. Minimalism has also encouraged me to reduce our waste where we can. Let’s be clear: I am by no means the biggest environmental advocate or no-waste representative. My hope is to make small, necessary changes in the right direction. If you find yourself in the pursuit to own less and waste less, here are 10 sustainable minimalist kitchen swaps you can make. These will help you save money and do your part to help the environment as well.

*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Blender and Food Processor vs. NutriBullet
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We have gone through so many blenders in our life, it is absolutely ridiculous.

About 3 years ago my mom gifted us a NutriBullet and we couldn’t have imagined that the smallest, simplest, and most inexpensive blenders would achieve literally everything we have ever needed in the kitchen.

The NutriBullet can blend things that no other blender was able to do for us!

NutriBullet benefits

  • Less expensive
  • Easy cleanup
  • Takes up less space
  • Blends smooth
  • Blends tough foods
  • Does the functions of the blender and food processor

Crock Pot vs. Instant Pot

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Now this one I am still on the fence about.

When it comes to cooking time, I hear the Instant Pot is unbeatable. Although I have also heard the temperatures can get dangerously high.

Truthfully, I don’t usually mind allowing food to slowly cook in the crockpot all day. I’m usually in no hurry to speed things along.

Getting an Instant Pot would be a big investment that I just don’t know that I need to make right now.

It does boast that it uses less energy which I love, however, I have heard contradicting arguments that the high temperatures actually end up using a lot of energy. So I guess the jury is still out on that one.

When it comes to this one, I’m in a pickle. This is where you come in. My current mindset is: I have a crockpot, I’m cool with it and it’s gonna stick around until it goes out! 17 Crockpot meals for cold days!

Dishwasher vs. The Sink

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Our family has found a pretty good balance when it comes to the use of the dishwasher. We are a family of 5 and throughout the day 4 of us are usually home. Because of this, we tend to dirty a lot of dishes.

Meal prep is also something we do like crazy. This means we take full advantage of our pots and pans.

Instead of spinning multiple loads throughout the day, we wash our plastics, pots, and pans in the sink by filling one side like a sudsy tub. This stops us from running an extra load and wasting water.

My stepdad originally was the one who introduced me to the idea of a “sink tub” to cut back on water waste. Among his other frugal habits, this is something we have passed on to our kids as well.

To save space on our countertops and keep things looking clean, there are great in-the-sink dish dryers. These can be used on the other side of your sink to neatly store washed dishes and allow them time to dry.

Plastic Bags vs. Reusable

Create a full functioning kitchen that is frugal and more sustainable. These 10 simple changes can create a more frugal kitchen almost overnight.

Plastic bags are my mortal enemy. They are terrible for the environment and they can so quickly take over my kitchen.

Thankfully, many places these days have reusable bag options and often offer discounts for using them.

Check out some of these seriously adorable reusable bags that are capable of fitting absolutely everything you need into them!

Benefits of reusable:

  • Less mess
  • Better for the environment
  • Potential in-store savings
  • Less to carry

Paper Plates vs. Regular Plates

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As a kid, my family used to use reusable plates and now they are something that we have basically forgotten about all together.

Yes, clean up would be easier but it’s a huge waste of environmental resources and can end up causing you to throw away more garbage bags at the end of the week.

I know most people are turned off to the idea of having more dishes to do. But really, what’s a few plates? When it comes to you and your family at dinner time, using paper plates really won’t cut back on dishes time or water wasted. At least not by much!

Paper Towels vs. Reusable Rags

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Again, paper towels are something that are basically obsolete in our house. Something my mother LOVES to comment on whenever she visits.

One major drawback of no paper towels was anytime I needed to wipe my hands off, especially when cooking, I tended to use our nice towels. It’s that or I’m constantly turning the water off and on.

Not wanting to waste water or ruin out things, I looked into using flour sack rags. They are thin, easy to store, and super easy to grab and use as a rag. Whether you like to clean your hands or tidy up the counter tops, these versatile rags do it all.

Also, they are easy to wash and because they are so thin, and take up very little room.

Plastic Water Bottles vs. Glass Water Bottle

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Chances are, you have heard about the downfalls of using plastic. Things like BPA that are bad for you and all the rest that is bad for the environment.

Not only does switching your water bottles to a glass reusable water bottle save both of these, but it also encourages water drinking and cuts back on the number of dishes at the end of the day.

Everyone in our family has their own water bottle to drink from throughout the day. Doing this helps hugely in keeping everyone hydrated and we don’t mix up whose cup is whose.

Benefits of glass water bottles:

  • Cutting the plastic from our diet
  • Cutting back on plastic waste
  • More water drinking
  • Less dishes

Disposable storage vs. High Quality Containers

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Yes, I am one of those people who washes Ziplock bags. We do use them on occasion for freezer storage but have made a huge effort to cut back on disposable plastic.

We have cut back on these in favor of more high-quality storage containers.

The initial investment will of course be bigger, but has the potential to help your food last longer and cut back on waste.

A downfall os this is of course needing to find more room for storage. Personally, I am OK with a one time purchase that I feel is better for the environment and ultimately the better choice in the long run.

Disposable Liners vs. Reusable Liners
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We spend so much time in the kitchen, and these reusable liners have been helpful in more ways than one!

Obviously, the main use is for making cupcakes and muffins without having as much waste at the end. However, another great thing about these liners is that you can use them as containers or separators in the kids’ lunch bin!

These work perfectly for breakfast muffins or make ahead omelets!

One Cup Coffee vs. 4 Cup Coffeeblender, kitchen essentials, minimalist kitchen, kitchen gadgets, save money in the kitchen, frugal kitchen, frugal appliances, kitchen appliances, save money,

For the longest time, I wanted a Keurig coffee maker. They are such fun after all! I love the K cups and the variety of options that come along with them.

Since they are a bit of an investment, the purchase of a Keurig kept getting delayed. It also wasn’t a priority in our house.

I’ll be honest, at the time I wasn’t a big coffee drinker. I just liked the hot chocolate, tea, and a few more sugary coffees. As fate would have it, wouldn’t ya know, I started liking coffee more and more.

I was stopping a few times a week at the gas station to get a cup of coffee before going to work. Even though it was a few times a week, I quickly realized how much money I was spending on coffee.

Instead of wasting money by always being a single cup of coffee, I decided it was time to invest in a small, simple coffee maker.

I had also learned that Kreurigs can be really wasteful when it comes to the amount of K cups that people use. They now offer reusable cups, but I can’t help but think most people don’t use them. Especially when they make buying so many fun varieties so easy!

Coffee filters on the other hand can be easily composted, therefore they add no additional waste.

The perks of the simpler maker:

  • 1/4 or more the cost (mine was $20)
  • Makes more than a single cup
  • No K cup waste
  • Still easy and convenient
  • Take up less space

Anything else?

These are some of the switches that we have made over the years that have wound up sticking. I would love to hear from you guys, what frugal kitchen switches do you swear by?

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Create a full functioning kitchen that is frugal and more sustainable. These 10 simple changes can create a more frugal kitchen almost overnight. #frugal #sustainable #environmentallyfriendly #frugalkitchen #frugalliving #sustainablekitchen

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Author: Renee

Renee is the blogger behind The Fun Sized Life. After downsizing with her family, she also took the time to get serious about he finances. Now she is sharing the wealth with all of her readers.

30 thoughts on “10 Sustainable Minimalist Kitchen Swaps to Make. Save Money and the Environment.”

  1. I love everything about this! We’ve kind of done the same thing in our house over the years. We’re really concerned about the environment and try to make as much of our kitchen use as sustainable as possible.
    I saw you’re on the fence regarding the Instant Pot—go for it! The speed, ease of cleaning, and versatility are what make it worth it. I’ve made everything from a whole chicken (from frozen to ready in an hour!) to amazing soups and curries. It also serves as a rice maker and yogurt maker, if you’re into that.
    Also, I completely agree with you when it comes to Keurigs. I’ve never liked them! They don’t make good coffee, and are so wasteful. I’m a big coffee person, so I opted for a Chemex with a reusable cloth filter. I’m sure they have reusable filters for regular coffee makers as well! You just have to boil them once a week to get the coffee oils out.
    Great job on your frugal makeover!

    1. Thanks so much! I have been meaning to get the reusable filter for our coffee maker as well. Since it’s so small, they don’t carry them in most stores! Amazon to the rescue!

  2. I love that frugal living is also usually very environmentally friendly. My family and I are working towards a more zero waste friendly lifestyle and we have made some of the very same swaps you mentioned in the post! My favorite switch has been from single-use paper towels to reusable ones. We found some bamboo ‘paper’ towels and they are AMAZING. I can’t imagine going back to paper ones.

    I haven’t jumped on board with the Instapot yet, but I LOVE my crockpot!

    1. Wow! Haven’t heard about those! I love my crock pot too…got it going right now! Whoop whoop!

  3. This are such great tips, I have a smallish kitchen and these could be really useful! I haven’t ever used an InstantPot, but my crockpot is a live-saver in this house, I don’t think I could part with it.

  4. Oh wow this is a great read, I personally have to work on using less paper towels there is one piece at every corner in my kitchen and such a waste. thanks for sharing.

  5. In a house, having a big kitchen is basically and MUST HAVE! And now because I need endless appliances and disposable items, but because I like to have a lot of space to cook. I love all of your choices because their necessary and I can’t stand over-cluttered kitchens that have so many appliances that basically do the same things. I love this post so much! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I get ya! I spend all day in my kitchen gotta have it be high functioning! Thanks so much Kasia!

  6. Glad you’ve found these products that work so well for streamlining your kitchen! I do like my crockpot–I like that I can have dinner ready even when I’ll be away from home for hours at a time. I do use paper towels for some things–if I fry bacon or chicken, I prefer to drain the grease out onto a paper towel before serving, but rags are better for actual cleaning!

    1. Exactly. I forget they even exist. I wouldn’t even know how to use paper towels anymore haha

  7. I absolutely love this post! It is filled with such great information. I love the idea of buying a bunch of washable rags versus paper towels, I think I might buy some! Also, I have a keurig and I bought it less than a year ago and I was SO excited! And now I’m starting to realize that a regular coffee machine that can make me multiple cups at the time is way better lol

    1. Agreed. The glamor of a Keurig is exciting at first but really there are more practical ways to get the job done. (In my opinion)

  8. Great post! I am pretty good as far as saving. I haven’t used a dishwasher in years, we use rags instead of paper towels, rarely do we ever use paper plates, 99% of the time we use reusable water bottles, and I try to keep my snack bags to a minimum. My son’s lunch box has the reusable containers, but sometimes I need a little zippy to sneak something extra in there. And for his sandwich or roll up. I tried the reusable skins for snacks and sandwiches, but they are way to hard to clean. As far as the insta or crock I don’t have either. My crock died and no one loves me enough to give me an insta lol Oh, and for my coffee I use reusable Keurig pods because I only drink one cup of coffee a day. 🙂

  9. I recently forced my family to start using cloth napkins instead of paper towels. My kids were easy converts but my husband was against me. Now that we’ve officially switched I feel SO much less guilty!

  10. This is such a fantastic list! I love those reusable muffin tin liners; I use them to mini egg bakes. They work so well. Plastic bags are my mortal enemy, too. I’m excited because our city just went plastic bag free, so now every store provides paper bags instead of plastic. It’s awesome!

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