When I was leaving for university I knew that I was going to have a lot more expenses than what I was used to. Not only am I responsible for my own rent but for everything that goes along with it like groceries and other small things I don’t normally think about, like toothbrushes. My mom literally has a drawer full of new toothbrushes and toothpaste so when I need a new one I just go grab one from there. Now I have to buy that kind of stuff for myself. I am now always looking for different ways to save a bit of money and having reusable items that I don’t have to buy over and over is definitely a great one. The other great benefit of all these reusables is there is less waste, which is definitely better for the environment.
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1. Safety Razor
My safety razor is one of my favourite switches that I made this year. I absolutely love it. For starters, I get a way better shave with it than with what I was using before. It is also way cheaper. I was spending around $30 for a pack of 4 heads for my old razor but with my safety razor, I can get a pack of 100 blades for a little over $10. The razor itself wasn’t very expensive about $40 and it will last me forever. Also, it’s cute and purple and I love it. If you are traveling with it just make sure you remember to remove the blade before you pack it, and if it is in your carry on just be prepared for security to stop you so they can check that it’s been removed.
2. Reusable containers
So this is probably the most obvious swap and something most people already have. I bought exactly one container with me in my suitcase when I came here because it was collapsible. I knew I was gonna need more so I had to buy some when I arrived. I got I set of small ones that are perfect for portioning out leftovers and meal planning. When I’m cooking I usually try to make a full recipe that has like 4 or 5 servings and then I have lunch or supper for the rest of the week or I can throw some in my freezer. That’s another good thing about getting containers that aren’t too large is my freezer is tiny but these don’t take up too much space.
I picked mine up from the store here but these ones are pretty similar. We have glass containers at home which I love (and are obviously better than plastic) but, I choose to get plastic ones first because they’re cheaper but also because they are lighter for carrying around campus.
I’ll also mention that an even cheaper way to get reusable containers is to repurpose containers you get from other things. You can save plastic take out containers as well as containers from stuff you buy at the store. I have a whole collection of jars that I’ve washed and saved (pasta sauce jars are great for storing soup).
3. Reusable baggies
Instead of buying disposable baggies over and over again, I got a set of reusable ones that I can just wash. I really like these, they don’t leak and you can put them in the freezer. The different sizes are colour coded which makes it nice and easy to just reach into the cupboard and grab the one you need.
4. Diva Cup
This was a switch I had been considering for a while for a variety of reasons. Like all the other switches on this list, it both saves a lot of waste and money. It was also a bit of a spontaneous purchase for me, I was out shopping with Tori and mentioned that I had been thinking about trying out a menstrual cup but wasn’t sure about it. She pretty much grabbed it off the shelf and put it in my hands and told me to go buy it lol. I would recommend doing a little bit more research before you purchase as there are different styles and sizes you can get which I didn’t realize at the time. Luckily the one I got ended up working fine.
If you’ve never heard of a diva cup or menstrual cup it is a small pliable cup made from medical-grade silicone that’s inserted to collect blood. You can wear it for up to 12 hours and then you just take it out, empty and wash it. I find that they are way more comfortable than tampons and much less likely to leak. They definitely take a bit of getting used to and if you do decide to try one out I recommend putting it in and taking it out in the shower for the first little while (I also recommend reading up on and trying out different insertion techniques).
Let me know down in the comments what other swaps you’ve made to save money and make your life easier.