You Could Save Money by Ditching These 5 Disposables and Buying Reusables

a hand holding out a plastic straw
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
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Saving the planet doesn’t always come cheap.

Many of the disposable products we often use are easy to find at low prices, making them seem preferable to their reusable counterparts.

But the convenience of disposable products often comes at a steep cost to the environment. Plastic bags and straws pollute the ocean and are often ingested by sea animals. Disposable diapers take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.

Buying reusable products may cost more up front, but you may be surprised to find out how soon they end up paying for themselves since you can reuse them instead of buying more of the disposable versions.

5 Reusable Products That Can Ultimately Save You Money

We took five household products and compared the costs of the reusable versions to the disposable versions. The prices were sourced from Amazon on May 8, 2019.

Paper Towels

At $1.33, one cloth kitchen towel costs only slightly more than one roll of paper towels, which costs $1.13 per roll.


A reusable stainless steel straw costs $.99 ($7.99 for a pack of eight, plus two brushes!), which is equal to the cost of about 50 disposable straws at 2 cents each. After 50 uses, the cost of the reusable straw will break even with the cost of the disposable straws.

Water bottles

One reusable water bottle costing $12.98 is equal to the cost of about 24 single-use water bottles at 53 cents each. After 24 uses, the reusable water bottle will have paid for itself.


One cloth diaper costing $4.67 is equal to the cost of about 27 disposable diapers at 17 cents each. The cloth diaper will have paid for itself after 27 diaper changes.

Sandwich Bags

One reusable sandwich bag at $4.99 is equal to the cost of about 124 plastic sandwich bags at 4 cents each. After 124 uses, the reusable sandwich bag has essentially paid for itself.

Nicole Dow is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.