Here are some exciting 5 simple budget-friendly & eco-friendly swaps in the kitchen. If you would like to try a few alternatives to traditional, single-use plastics or products then I have got you covered. Plus many of these swaps are budget-friendly as well.
Why focus on budget-friendly & eco-friendly swaps?
I was tired of spending my weekly budget on throw-away, single-use items that I would have to buy again. Instead, I wanted to focus on quality over quantity. I wanted to buy less often and more purposefully; 7 Free Ways to Reduce Impulse Buying.
Plus, doing these swaps meant I had less garbage to throw away each week. I am all about simple, easy ways to make my life a bit easier. Needing to take the trash out less often was a plus.
Are eco-friendly swaps more expensive?
Yes and no. It all depends on how often you use single-use plastics or throw away items. But generally, eco-friendly is more expensive at the beginning. Do what works for you and your budget.
What does eco-friendly mean?
Something that is not harmful to the environment. However, at some point or another anything can be harmful to the environment. It’s all about lessening our impact.
5 simple budget-friendly & eco-friendly swaps in the kitchen
Eco-friendly Swap #1: Cast-iron pans/skillets
I recently made the switch from non-stick pans to primarily cast-iron pans. After three years, the non-stick coating started to flake of the pans, again. Even though I made sure to use soft, silicon utensils and was super careful with the pans.
For the past decade, I have had to replace the non-stick pans three times! I was tired of throwing money away. Constantly having to toss out those pans and getting new ones was wasteful too.
So here is the price breakdown of how much my husband and I spend on pans over the last ten years. It’s worth noting that we bought not one, but three sets of nonstick pans ($59.88 after ten years) and keep the same cast iron pan for over 10 years.
Cast-iron pans might seem daunting and overwhelming. I was scared of them for several years. But eventually got over my fear. For help with cast-iron maintain, go HERE.
All I had to pay for a pan was $17.90 for a pan that will last another three or more decades
How to transition out of non-stick to cast-iron for this eco-friendly kitchen swap?
However, the nice thing with cast iron pans is they are super easy to take care of. Here are my quick and simple tips:
- Make sure to cook with enough oil (especially when your pan is new).
- Avoid using soap. You run the risk of stripping the seasoning off the pan.
- Use a steel brush or scrapper when removing stubborn stuck-on food.
- Make sure to totally dry the pan to remove water (it will make the pan rust).
- Re-season with the oil of your choice.
See super easy to use. If I can use a cast-iron pan trust me you can too. They are virtually indestructible.
Eco-friendly Swap #2: Silicon Food Safe Baking Mat
Another kitchen swap that I adore. Use silicone baking mats instead of parchment paper, or aluminum foil, or non-stick baking sheets.
Ever since I changed over to baking mats my chocolate chip cookie never tasted better! It was a one-time purchase that will last for years to come.
Unless you accidentally use a knife on one and destroy it. Yes, I did that once and destroyed my baking mats. So learn from my mistake, don’t ever use anything sharp on your baking mats.
But aside from that, these baking mats are wonderful, easy to use. A win in my book!
But what about the bacon?!
The best way, in my humble opinion, is to cook bacon in the oven. In the past, I used a foil-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup. However, I still would end up with inevitable leaks.
My solution is to use a stainless steel baking sheet or a cast-iron pan in the oven for cooking bacon. The clean-up takes a bit of time, but worth it to me to have limited aluminum foil use.
Eco-friendly Swap #3: Beeswax Food Wraps
Try using beeswax wraps instead of plastic food wrap. A beeswax wrap food wrap is a material (like cotton fabric) coated in food-grade wax or oil (like beeswax, coconut oil, rosin, and jojoba oil).
This is one of the swaps that took me some time to get used to. Beeswax wraps are reusable, eco-friendly, and budget-friendly as well.
Of course, you can purchase wraps. But you can also easily make your own. I made a few at home and had so much fun customizing the shape, size, and color. Check out the directions to make your own from HERE.
Super easy to make and I was able to make a bunch for our kitchen.
Eco-friendly Swap #4: Reusable Stasher sandwich bags
This eco-friendly switch was super easy for our family to make. Every time I threw a single-waste plastic I felt so guilty. I knew there had to be an alternative.
I went searching for the best reusable sandwich bags and have fallen in love with these Stasher bags. I bought all of ours when they were on sale and made sure to only buy the quantity and size I knew I would use.
You can pick from a wide variety of sizes and colors. Plus they are super sturdy, easy to clean (either by hand or in the dishwasher), and will last for years to come.
Eco-friendly Swap #5: Glass Storage containers
Ten years ago, we made the switch from plastic food storage containers to glass storage containers. The ones that we currently have are ten years old and still looking good.
We use these containers every single day, multiple times a day. They paid for themselves after a few months.
Another benefit of glass storage containers is they are stain and smell-resistant. Plus, you can pick up so many different colors and stylish patterns.
Budget-friendly & Eco-friendly Swaps in the Kitchen Conclusion:
I hope this post gave you some inspiration and ideas about different eco-friendly swaps. Whether the idea of using cast-iron pans instead of non-stick pans makes you feel good or switching out single-use plastics for reusable sandwich bags fills you with excitement, give it a try. You might amaze yourself with how easy it was to do one or all of these kitchen swaps
Let me know, what are some of your favorite eco-friendly swaps in the kitchen?
Discover what other are reading:
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Great post. I can so relate to this as I’ve implemented most of your recommendations. I’m definitely into doing whatever can make a change and help our environment. Thanks for all your lovely tips.
So glad you enjoyed this post 🙂
Great ideas! I love beeswax wraps and have so many glass containers. I just got my first silicone baking mat and I love that too. I also like using stretchy covers for small bowls and containers. Every little bit helps!
Oh, I like the idea of the stretchy cover. Sounds super cool.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my cast iron pans! Next thing on my list to get is silicone mats and beeswax wraps. Thanks for the awesome tips!
Cast iron pans are the best.
These are such great swaps! I’ve had stasher bags and beeswax wraps on my to-get list for a while now.
The stasher bags are so awesome! I highly recommend them.
Great post! I need to make these beeswax food wraps. I started using more eco-friendly products at home, and it works great!. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas!
That is so great! THe beeswax food wraps were such a fun thing to make.
This is a great post! We have made all of these swaps successfully and are so glad we did. Now working on removing more plastic utensils and baking tools and such.
That’s so awesome!
This post is great! I’m so used to the convenience of the disposable kitchen items, but really should be looking into more eco-friendly alternatives. I’m ready to start switching now!
Thanks so great!
This is such a great list! I would know – because I own all those items and love ’em 🤣