My Top 5 Picks for a Frugal and Sustainable Kitchen

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We were living paycheck to paycheck in a dinky little apartment. My husband was in school and I was the breadwinner, and we had a child to take care of.

Our budget was tight, and I was pulling my hair out trying to find ways to save more money on our everyday expenses. We were already on WIC and receiving groceries from a community food pantry.

What else is there to cut? I thought to myself.

It was during this time that I found some of the most helpful products to make my kitchen as frugal as it could possibly be. Each product on this list is a low-cost initial investment, but saves you so much money in the long term!

Squooshi Reuseable Pouches

These pouches are amazing! If you have young kids, they will save you loads of both money and sanity. We have had ours for just over 3 years and they still have tons of life left in them.

My son loves applesauce pouches, and even the cheapest prepackaged applesauce pouches run $0.25/pouch–most are around $0.50/pouch.

With reuseable pouches, I am able to buy jarred applesauce from the store for much cheaper. After the initial investment for the pouches, it breaks down to only $0.16/pouch.

Which doesn’t seem like much, but my child can devour 5 of these in a single day! Plus, they’re great for smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal!

They are super easy to clean and have held up well.

There are a few cons (listed below), but for me personally the pros about this pouch far outweigh the cons.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean/Dishwasher safe
  • Eco-friendly
  • Cheaper cost-per-pouch
  • Last for years
  • Versatile
  • Can fit more than prepackaged pouches

Cons:

  • Don’t stand on their own
  • Taller than pre-packaged pouches
  • May want to purchase a filling station if you’re filling a lot of pouches at once

Reuseable Paper Towels

Cutting out disposable paper towels was one of the very first things I did to make my kitchen both more frugal and more sustainable.

There are so many options out there when it comes to reusable paper towels.

You can buy adorable handmade rolls from Etsy, or you can go a cheaper (albiet not as cute) route and use washcloths, shop rags, or floursack towels.

I personally am a big fan of the floursack towels. I do have some that I’ve made, but it is annoying to get them back into an “unpaper towel roll” after washing.

Whenever we have a spill, we just grab one quick to wipe it up. We also have a little laundry basket under the sink for our dirties.

This system works very well for us. We have kitchen laundry anyways, between bibs for our one-year-old, cloth rags for wiping hands and faces, and regular kitchen rags. So it’s no big deal to add flour sack towel to the mix!

If you want to keep things simple, you can also keep both the clean and dirties on the counter for quick and easy access! Do whatever works for your family!

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Last for years
  • Very absorbent
  • Saves you money
  • Can be washed with bleach to sanitize

Cons:

  • Can be wrinkly (especially on the edges)
  • Can be uneven
  • Thin

Silicone Muffin Liners

Muffins are one of my favorite items to keep stocked in the freezer for quick snacks and breakfasts. I personally tend to bake 5 dozen or more muffins at a time.

These have not only saved us money, but they’ve also saved our sanity! I know I always have muffin liners on hand, so I never have to run out to buy more.

Plus, they are dishwasher safe and make the actual muffin pan easier to clean.

They are also great for making fun lunches and kids snacks! I can throw a couple in a container for a homemade bento-box style lunch.

Pros:

  • Save money
  • Eco-friendly
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Versatile–can be used for baking or kid’s lunches
  • Sanity saver

Cons:

  • Sometimes need an extra cycle to come clean in the dishwasher

Silicone Baking Mats

These silicone baking mats have been a lifesaver! You may have caught on that I do a lot of baking.

I used to use parchment paper on my baking sheets. I would guesstimate the size I needed. Then, since my cookies wouldn’t sit flat if I let some parchement hang over the edge, I would fold under or trim any extra edges to make sure my parchment sheets fit.

It was a huge hassle!

Now, there is no need to fuss with anything–I just keep my baking pans stored with these silicone baking sheets. When I’m ready to bake, I just pull one out and go!

Pros:

  • Save time and hassle
  • Eco-friendly
  • Save money on parchment paper

Cons:

  • Can be tricky to clean
  • Best to clean right away–they will develop a greasy film if you let food sit on them too long

Reuseable Kitchen Sponges

I have searched long and hard for the best reuseable kitchen sponge. I needed it to hold up to regular washings, be tough enough to handle sticky messes and stuck-on food, and be a good size for ckeaning.

I’ve tried several different sponges. The ones I’ve tried before have been too small, tend to fall apart in the washing mashine, and weren’t tough enough to handle everyday messes.

We decided to try these multi-purpose scrub sponges a couple years ago and they have been great! We rotate 2 sponges for the kitchen, switching them on a monthly basis. So each sponge gets used 6 months out of the year, and goes through the washing machine 6 times a year.

We wash them on hot with our other kitchen towels and they have held up great! The seams are well-made and the fabric has held up well.

You’ll want to make sure you wash them with plenty of detergent and no fabric softener, to get them clean and maintain absorbancy. We’ve had absolutely no issues with the sponge holding an odor.

After a couple years, we move the worn kitchen sponges to the bathroom and get new sponges for the kitchen.

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Save money by not buying disposable sponges
  • Dishwasher-safe and washing machine safe
  • Well-constructed
  • Grey side handles tough messes well

Cons:

  • Start to look grungy after a couple years

Have you tried making your kitchen more frugal and sustainable? Have any questions about anything you’ve read above? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments 1

  1. We have also stopped using kitchen paper products, including napkins, and it does make a huge cost difference! Even with 4 little ones making messes of all sorts, we still have plenty of ways to clean up. Our napkins are simple – 2 layers of flannel served together in a square – but they have lasted a good 3-4 years now! And if we have any super-extra messy messes, we use grungy rags like old shirts or towels!

    I’m gonna look into some of these other suggestions too! Especially the sponges!

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