How to Go Zero Waste on a Budget: 25 Free Swaps That Save Money

Welcome back to my absolute favorite subject, how to go zero waste on a budget. The idea is to spend zero money and have zero waste. You'll save tons of money by using everything and wasting nothing while living an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Today I'm bringing you 25 free zero-waste swaps.

Taking care of books

1. Take care of your books

The first one is to take care of your books. Don't dog-ear them. 

Put a sticky note in there if you do want to make a note or something. 

2. Reuse old socks

 If you have a long sock with a hole in it, in the heel or at the top, cut it off right at the ankle. Keep the part that goes around your calf. You can use that to hold bandages on your arm. 

3. Save banana peels

Save your banana peels and use them with the pulp side down to dust off your plants. This is an added benefit because you don't have to spray anything on your plants.

4. Use banana peels to dust

Similar to that is to use bananas for dusting in general. Using it for dusting and furniture, use the outside of the peel.

5. Use lemons for cleaning

If you have half of a lemon that you just squeezed, you can microwave it with water, which will disinfect your microwave. 

6. Use orange peels. 

You can make them into candles. All you need is some wax, which you can order online. You need an entire half of an orange filled with hot wax.

Saving the pulp from juicing

7. Save pulp from juicing

If you make juice, save your pulp. This depends on what you're juicing; you can keep it to make muffins. If I make something like orange juice or apple juice, I will save that pulp and make fruity muffins. 

8. Make simple syrup

Something else you can do with orange peels and citrus peels as well as just citrus in general, is make a simple syrup out of them. Use one part sugar to two parts water. Then throw in your citrus peels, and let it all simmer.

9. Make candied citrus peels

To make candied citrus peels, boil them, so they get less bitter. While you're boiling them, you can make simple syrup at the same time.

10. Freeze vegetables

If you have some vegetables about to go bad, stick them in the freezer. Use them when needed.

11. Put your clothes in the freezer

If you have something stinky, you can put your clothing item in the freezer overnight and neutralize the smell.

Turning off the shower while shampooing

12. Turn off the shower

Cut the water while shampooing, applying hair conditioner, washing your body, or shaving. You don't need the water running the whole time. While you're sitting there scrubbing your head, it might be hitting you, but it's just falling. 

13. Catch gray water

I catch every drop of water that I can. I put a bucket under the kitchen sink. I put them in the bathrooms and the showers as well. The key here also is to use biodegradable soap. I catch the gray water and use it on my landscaping.

Going zero waste on a budget

14. Put your phone on airplane mode

Put your phone on airplane mode when you don't need it. Even if you're out hiking and don't have any signal, the device is still searching for a signal, which can drain the battery if there is no signal. 

15. Turn on an optimized battery for your devices

Your phone will charge more slowly, which preserves the battery by not continuing to try to charge when the phone is fully charged already. 

How to live zero waste on a budget

16. Don’t overcharge your phone

Never charge your devices to 100%. It can cause stress on your devices. If you let it sit 100% and keep it on the charger, that's what can put stress on your phone's battery.


17. Don't charge your other devices past 100%

Devices like laptops, iPads, whatever it may be. Once it's done charging, unplug it.

18. Make brown sugar

One of my favorite things I've learned in the last year is to make your brown sugar. Add molasses to regular sugar and mix if you want dark brown sugar. If you wish to make light brown sugar, add less molasses. 

Making homemade granola

19. Make homemade granola

Try making your granola at home, made with pantry staples like oats. You can add whatever nuts you want and whatever dried fruits you want. 

20. Recycle if you have access to it

When you have recycling available, especially if it's a public bin, it's completely free.

Picking up litter

21. Don’t litter

This seems self-explanatory, which is don't litter. It's that simple. Secure your trash as well. Ensure your trash can lid isn't open on a windy day.

22. Pick up litter when you see it

We all share this home, so we all have some responsibility to take care of it. 

23. Write to your government

I know it can seem frustrating but imagine if every single one of us wrote one letter and just flooded our governments. The impact does add up.

24. Sell old technology

This one is free and can make you a lot of money, which is to sell your old technology. Even broken tech can be sold. 

25. Use natural light

I'm a big fan of using natural light when it's sunny. I rarely turn on lights in my house unless it's like a dark room or I'm filming. 

How to go zero waste on a budget

Going zero waste on a budget is beneficial because you're saving money by wasting nothing. With a few minor changes in habits, you can live low and zero waste. Start with a few tips, then work your way up to all 25, so you create a zero-waste lifestyle daily.

What things do you do to try to live a zero-waste lifestyle? Share your tips in the comments below!

Join the conversation
  • Mab Mab on Oct 13, 2022

    I really liked your suggestions - there were a good number of new ones!

  • Elvira Hernandez Elvira Hernandez on Oct 13, 2022

    When rinsing a dish or pots, recycle by having a pail by ur sink n throw rinse water in bucket to water plants or yard.

    • Elvira Hernandez Elvira Hernandez on Nov 06, 2022

      I wash my dishes in a dish pan n pour the water into ornamental bushes, lawn n plants. They luv the soap in the water!