Loose vegetables and spice jars in a mesh grocery bag on a grey and white marbled surface (with logo overlay)

No Waste Kitchen on a Budget

Setting a budget for your No Waste Kitchen can be done if you are willing to try these few suggestions for saving money while still being eco-friendly.

When you think about cutting the waste in the kitchen, it’s an overwhelming thought when you realize how far you may have to go. It can also be overwhelming on the budget, too. 

Your wallet will thank you if you take things slow and steady rather than a drastic overnight change. Sure, you could throw out everything in the kitchen that you consider wasteful. But that would be going against the idea of creating no waste. 

Instead, there are ways you can keep your budget in mind when you are striving for a kitchen that produces little to no waste. 

Originally Published On: October 8, 2018

Last Updated On: April 17, 2020

Shopping on a Budget

Replace as Needed

Sure, it may be tempting to throw out all of the plastic food containers in your cabinet and buy stainless steel or glass. When you do that, though, you are then wasting a product that still has life left in it. 

If you don’t like the idea of putting your food in plastic after learning how it can leach chemicals, then use them in other places in the house. We have all of the boy’s crayons and markers in plastic leftover containers that I no longer wanted in the kitchen. 

Rather than throwing out all of your paper products such as plates and napkins, use them. Use them as much as you can to get the most out of them. Then, when you would normally buy another roll of paper towels, spend the money on reusable cloth napkins at that time. 

Sustainable options usually don’t cost much more, and you will save a lot more in the end. Even if cloth napkins cost three times as much as paper towels, by the fourth time you would need more, you’ve saved yourself money. 

Loose vegetables in a cotton mesh bag on a white and grey marble surface

Shop Second-Hand

Instead of buying new, try getting things second hand. There are many places to look for used products: buy/sell facebook groups, craigslist, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, etc. 

When you buy second-hand, you are putting a product that would have otherwise gone to the landfill to good use. Anything you purchase new uses a lot of resources to manufacture. A second-hand product has already gone through that process so you aren’t contributing to the manufacturing waste. 

It helps to set yourself a budget for each of the products you want. That way, if you are out, you know what you want to spend if you see something. Before buying anything new, scour your resources to find someone else selling it. You’ll take it off their hands, prevent it from going to the landfill, and get a good price. 

Saving Money

Wait for Deals/Coupons

Of course, second-hand is almost always a better option. But there are some things you just may not be able to find. 

For those bigger ticket items that you may want, wait for deals or coupons. For example, buying yourself a good compost bin can be costly if you want one of the tumbling bins. Instead of spending on it immediately, see if you can use something else in the mean time. 

Around the holidays there are a lot of deals and coupons. Check your local stores for their ads. Know what your budget is for these bigger products and try to find it at or below the price. 

Green plant sprout from a pile of coins

Money Saving Apps

Technology can be a wonderful thing. There are many apps and programs now that give you money back on items you purchase. Some of these are online, and others you have to scan your receipt. 

I use the Walmart Savings Catcher and iBotta for my groceries to get money back. For both of these, you have to scan the receipt. The company collects data on what items you’ve purchased, but they compensate you for that information.

When you are shopping online, there are apps such as eBates which will give you cash back when you make purchases. Honey is an online app that will search for coupon codes when you check out at their retailers.

So, if you plan to order something online or use one of the retailers on iBotta, you can save money. I like to try to get things within the budget, and then anything extra from the apps is like a bonus. Typically, we keep the money in the apps until we have a big purchase we want, then request the funds to use when we really need it. 


When you can’t find something in the store, or buy a second-hand product, it may be time to make it yourself. A lot of times, you can upcycle things you already have at home into something new.

For example, we have a bed sheet that got a tear in it. Rather than throwing it out, we made cloth napkins from the material that wasn’t torn. You can also keep glass jars from products you purchase at the grocery store to clean and reuse later. 

If you have your eye on a more sustainable product for the kitchen, take a look around and see if you already have something you can use. Search online for “homemade ____” and see what others have done. 

Your Turn

Going No Waste can be done on a budget if you take your time and look for deals. Going out and buying everything new will take a hit on your bank account. But, if you only replace things as you need to and search for second-hand or DIY options, you can usually save yourself a lot of money.

More No Waste Kitchen Ideas

27 thoughts on “No Waste Kitchen on a Budget”

  1. Excellent no waste kitchen shopping tips! I love honey, ibotta and ebates, great apps that really help to save lots of money!

  2. I so needed this cause I Have been loving this series but was curious on how I could do it with a budget! I’m excited to try it

  3. I was never comfortable buying second-hand stuff, particularly for my kitchen. Stephanie, now you gave me the okay, I needed for that mixer I saw on the marketplace of FB.

  4. I have to say, Stephanie, you’ve had me musing a lot more every time I throw something into our kitchen trash can (especially now that our county no longer lets us recycle as much!). I wish I could get us back to cloth napkins (single gal habit that doesn’t work for my VERY messy family!). YES YES YES on the containers, though!!! My hubby gets annoyed at the stash of grocery store plastic containers that I keep (neatly) stacked at the bottom of the basement stairs, but whenever we have a family at church with a new baby on the way, I can always find the perfect size containers for their family size/diet to make ahead some meals and freeze, since I’m on the team that does this! 🙂

  5. I definitely keep the plastic containers for putting things in! They have worked wonders for leftovers or craft supplies. Whichever!

  6. We rarely buy anything at full-price these days. It’s always worth it to wait for a good deal! And coupons – especially when online shopping – are plentiful. I love using Honey.

  7. One of the stores I shop at has a section of slightly bruised products that you can get for discounted prices. They always have some really good finds there so I pick up a thing or two when I visit that store.

  8. These are all such great tips for a no waste kitchen on a budget! I hate wasting food, but do like to buy in bulk for savings, so I buy frozen fruits to save money because they keep well for a long time.

  9. You’ve hit a point that has really been bugging me. To replace all the plastic with zero waste IS creating waste so I like your point about replacing as needed.

  10. These are all great tips. I’m especially interested in ditching my paper towels. I was already thinking about what a huge expense they are and their impact on the environment.

  11. These are some really helpful points. We should think wisely, there are many ways that can reduce kitchen waste and that too very easily. Just we need to more conscious.

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