My favourite tried and true products that save you money and are kind to the planet

This post is all about products that can help you save money. With an initial one-off purchase, you will save money by just using these instead of their single-use and more expensive counterparts.

I swear by all of these: I have purchased and used all of the products in this list, and as a nice bonus, they also happen to be kind to the environment in the way that they prevent waste and the use of non-recyclable materials.

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.

1. Drain Snake and Luigi plunger

These two items  recently saved me a £400 plumbing fee. My kitchen sink got clogged a few weeks ago, and there was no amount of Mr Muscle that would fix it. Before throwing in the towel and calling a (very expensive) plumber to save the day, I resorted to Youtube to look for DIY solutions I could attempt.

Well, the combination of these two magical instruments was the solution to this much upsetting clog. The Luigi plunger is a particularly powerful plunger that uses suction to move the water and air in the sink, pushing the clog away. The drain snake is a very long metal rope that you unwind down the pipe, and then swirl around whenever it hits an obstruction.

I have never been happier than when I heard the gurgling sound of water freely flowing down the drain.

I recommend:

Here is the video I watched to teach myself some DIY plumbing:

2. Yoghurt Maker

Now, this one I don’t personally use because my husband and I are not big yoghurt consumers. However, I did get this as a gift to a friend and she is crazy about it. All you need is some milk and some starter culture, you set it up before you go to sleep and you’ll have yoghurt ready for you to eat for breakfast. 

I recommend:

3. Bread Machine

I was lucky enough to receive this as a wedding gift from my best friends: I love it and I use it regularly. Not only does it make your favourite kind of bread in as little as four hours (including proofing and baking time!) but the model I have allows you to do a bunch of other stuff, such as home made jams, and brioche dough. 

With this thing, your house will smell like freshly baked bread any time you want. Highly recommend!

4. Bar soap and bar shampoo

When I tell people that we have switched to bar soap and shampoo, we get told that they are much more expensive than their bottled counterparts. To that I say that they might be more expensive, but they last double the time, and therefore they do save you cash in the long run. Not only bottled products fill up our landfills, but they also last you just a handful of weeks, especially if you squeeze out more product than what you actually need to wash yourself and your hair.

I purchased my first shampoo bar in December, and now in May I still have a solid chunk left to go through. It is lasting FOREVER. It is a purchase that I make just a couple times per year, and it comes in a recyclable cardboard box. Winner.

I recommend:

5. Electric fabric shaver

I will thank my mum for this one: this nifty little thing will shave off the little balls of wool that sweaters tend to form after a few washes. Using this tool to eliminate them will make your clothing last way longer.

I recommend:

6. Mooncup / cloth pads / period underwear

I can’t say how glad I am to have purchased my mooncup ten years ago. It’s still in perfect condition and has saved me thousands of pounds that I would have otherwise spent on nasty plasticky sanitary pads, or dangerous tampons (look up ‘toxic shock syndrome’ if you don’t know what I’m talking about). If you are not crazy about the idea of using a mooncup, there are other money-saving and sustainable options for you, such as reusable pads, and period underwear. I have been using a combination of all of the above for a decade and have never looked back.

I recommend:

7. Reusable store bags

If you like to buy in bulk, these reusable bags are perfect for storing produce in the fridge and slowing down their process of turning into mush. They are also great to store fresh snacks you can then throw in your bag before heading out.

I recommend:

8. Refurbished technology

A few months ago I swore off buying new high tech. Instead, I now save up to buy it second hand from stores who sell refurbished items. So far, I have used Backmarket, but there are plenty of stores that offer the same kind of products. I have bought my Apple Watch and my husband’s iPhone from Backmarket: if you don’t care about having the latest model of anything you purchase, and you just want the thing to work, this is where you should buy your technology from, at potentially half the market price.

9. Pizza baking stone

Since discovering the pizza baking stone, I have not felt the need to go to a pizzeria to get proper pizza. If you follow the right recipe (I recommend this one by the great Davide Civitiello) it will help you bake the PERFECT pizza. It will be so good, it will ruin restaurant pizza for you.

Granted: pizza dough takes time to prepare and proof, but it’s a great Sunday project, and each pizza will cost you £2 instead of £12. You’re welcome!

I recommend:

PS: check out this home-baked stunner!

products that save money

10. Beeswax food wraps

I purchased these at a small farmers market 8 years ago as I thought it was such a wonderful idea to avoid cellophane while saving the planet. It will keep your vegs and leftovers well protected in the fridge, and thos ones I have still do the job very well after all these years.

I recommend:

11. Silicone tray sheet

I love baking, and up until recently I would go through boxes and boxes of oven paper. If you also enjoy using your oven often, I recommend getting you these. You won’t be able to use them for temperatures over 200 C, but they are perfect for biscuits, pies, and heating things up.

I recommend:

12. Reusable coffee pods

If you have a coffee machine, you might want to look up if any manufacturer out there is making reusable coffee pods that are compatible with your model. Standard coffee pods are usually made of plastic and non-recyclable materials, and you constantly need to re-order them. This is a solution to both those things.

I recommend:

13. Coffee machine

Speaking of coffee, why not get you an affordable coffee machine? Not only does it make the coffee taste much better, but making my own coffee every morning has saved me thousands of pounds over the years. This is the one I have: only 40 quid, and with a bulk order of Kenco Americano pods, I can have delicious coffee for just £0.25 a cup!

I recommend:

14. Reusable water bottle and water filter

This was easy, and chances are you already own at least one of these. If not, do get them now: less single-use plastic, more cash in your wallet!

I recommend:

15. IPL hair removal device

This is for those of you who like to shave/wax excess hair. It is quite a big investment compared to all the other products I shared in this post. However, it is incredibly convenient: your hair will grow at a much slower rate, and IPL requires very little maintenance. In fact, after the first 12 weeks you only need to do the treatment whenever necessary, in my case every 2 months.

I recommend:

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About the author : Susie Italiano

products for saving money
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