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.
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!
- 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
Now this one I am still on the fence about.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 Coffee
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
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?