How to Save Money With a No-Waste Kitchen

In our home, I try to cut down on waste as much as possible. Honestly, I love the idea of having a no-waste kitchen and in 2015, we not only started making as much as we could at home, but we also made the move toward a no-waste kitchen. Not only is it extremely budget friendly, but it’s also great for the environment, much healthier for you and your family and can be used as a fantastic lesson for teaching your kids to make the most out of what they have. Sometimes it’s as easy as putting leftovers in the fridge or freezer, but sometimes it can be a bit more complicated than that. Sometimes, you actually have to get creative if you want to have a no-waste kitchen.

How to have a no-waste kitchen - In 2015, we started making the journey to making our kitchen no-waste. Money saved? Too much to count! Let me show you how to have a no-waste kitchen and why it will save you BIG!

If your goal is to eventually have a no-waste kitchen, you’ll first need to understand exactly what that means. Basically? You will use as much as possible to cause as little waste as possible. The idea is that if you’re using as much as you can, if you’re getting as much value out of something as possible, you’ll save money since you won’t constantly be buying those things you can do yourself. This absolutely will mean changes for you and your family and I would be lying to you if I said it was going to be easy.

How to Save Money with a No-Waste Kitchen

There are two ways that you’ll want to go about making your kitchen no waste. First, you’ll want to slowly replace things that you’re buying for the kitchen and second, you’ll need to use things as much as possible to get as much value out of them as possible. Combining the two creates a huge savings over what you’re currently spending. This means that if you’re currently stuck on how to lower your family budget? A no-waste kitchen may be the answer you’re looking for.

Because it is such a huge change, we started slowly. First we started replacing the items that we were buying. We stopped buying and started making them homemade. That was something we actually did across our entire home but now, a year and half later, we’re up to 60 different items that we make homemade. After we had gotten that part set in stone, we worked on replacing things we couldn’t necessarily make and on reusing things to get as much value as possible.

Replace as much as possible for a no-waste kitchen

If you’re currently using paper towels, Ziploc baggies or anything else that is considered disposable, you’ll save a significant amount simply by replacing those items with non-disposable ones. Use unpaper towels or learn how to make your own DIY Cleaning wipes instead of paper towels. Use reusable food storage bowls instead of baggies. Buy a dinnerware set and flatware instead of using paper plates or plastic silverware.

Make your own floor cleaner to cut down on the cost of mopping. Use a homemade all-purpose cleaner instead of expensive store bought ones. Make your own dish soap instead of buying it.

It may not seem like it, but those items do add up pretty quickly. How quickly?

  • Paper towels – $1.50 per week
  • Dish Soap – $0.99 per week
  • Paper Plates – $1.50 per week
  • Plastic Silverware – $1.00 per week
  • Ziploc bags – $1.00 per week
  • Cleaning supplies – $4.00 per week (for all cleaning supplies needed except for dish soap)
    Total: $9.99 per week, $39.96 per month, $479.52 per year

Over 10 years? That’s just shy of $5,000 ($4795.20) wasted that you could have saved.

Get more value out of everything that comes into your kitchen 

The biggest aspect to having a no-waste kitchen is getting the most out of what you’re using. This means really stopping to think about something before you throw it away or send it to recycling. Sometimes you might have to get creative and others, you’ll find it easy.

Have leftover lemon or orange peels? Make a homemade orange oil cleaner with them.

Have leftover apple peels? Why not make apple scrap jelly or homemade apple cider vinegar?

Empty pasta jar? Can you use it in a craft or to help organize somewhere in your home?

Upcycle empty milk jugs into something useful instead of sending them to the trash.

Don’t toss those chicken, beef or turkey bones. Use them to make a delicious stock.

The same goes for vegetable and fruit scraps. Some foods can be re-grown from scraps and others are fantastic for adding flavor to your homemade stocks!

Egg shells, coffee grounds, banana peels and more can all be added to a compost pile to make your own compost. Mix your compost with a homemade organic fertilizer recipe and you’ll have a lush and beautiful garden.

Fruit peels are also fantastic for making a homemade potpourri that will have your home smelling amazing in no time!

Leftovers from dinner? Package them in airtight containers and hold a leftover buffet at the end of the week! Everyone can choose what they want to eat and you won’t waste a single bite!

Bacon fat (grease) is great for more than just the trash! Add it to biscuits, green beans and more to really help kick up the flavor!

Orange peels can be made into DIY firestarters that you can use for your next family camping trip or your emergency preparations. You can also make great orange peel candles too!


These ideas aren’t all there is either! There is an entire boatload of ways to re-use everyday items in your kitchen and every single one of them will save you money somewhere. Start slow so that your family has time to adjust, always be on the lookout for new ideas and above all? Don’t give up.


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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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