Save with Reusable and Refillable Containers

Corporations are always trying hard to prove their eco-credentials to the consumer, and in some cases, they actually do it. Take advantage of their efforts to save the planet and save a bit of cash while you’re at it.

We all have a few cloth bags from the grocery store, but not too many consumers know that they can save money with reusable and refillable containers like cups, cartridges, and bottles. Nowadays, it’s pretty popular. Check out these businesses that reward you for holding on to their bottles.

1. Save that cup

At the beginning of the year, Starbucks introduced a new, reusable plastic cup. If you bring it back in for your next coffee purchase from the coffee chain, you will save 10 cents on your drink order (don’t worry, they rinse the cup with boiling water before pouring in your new coffee order each time). It doesn’t sound like a lot, but the discount does add up over time.

If you order 5 lattes or cappuccinos each week (for shame!), one each morning on your way to work, that’s 50 cents a week. Multiply that by 52 weeks of the year and that’s $26 you can use for gas, groceries, or even MORE coffee. However, the cup does cost $1 to replace if you lose it, accidentally throw it away or sit on it. But don’t forget that if you take this reusable cup with you to fill up on coffee at a gas station convenience store, you will usually get a discount off the coffee there as well for bringing in your own container.

2. Replace old makeup

Cosmetics companies have been selling refillable makeup palettes for years, so if you haven’t already tried this option, why not start now? While refillable eye shadow cartridges are most common, you can also refill lip gloss, powder and blush. M.A.C. Cosmetics offers free or discounted cosmetics if you return a certain number of empty containers. Several major brands, including Aveda, Lush, and The Body Shop, sell empty, refillable compacts and containers, so you only need to buy the refill when you run out of your makeup product.

3. Refill Cleaning Products

Bulk refills are also a great way to cut down on costs and on plastic waste. While stores like Costco and Sam’s Club offer ginormous sized containers of shampoo and dishwasher liquid which last you forever and are actually cheaper to buy in this quantity, there is a slowly growing trend of stores offering refill stations for their products. Common Good is a nationwide chain of 50 stores that specializes in natural cleaning products for the home. But their goodness is not just about reducing the chemical ingredients—it’s also about offering refill stations where customers can take their empty, original bottle and fill it right back up from bulk containers of cleaning products.

4. Old Clothes, New Apparel

Repurposing old materials is also a fast growing trend in the retail world, and vintage and second-hand shops aren’t the only places that will take your old clothes. As part of a new eco initiative, fashion giant H&M (from the U.K.) has stated that it will offer a 15 % discount on one in-store item for each bag of used clothing brought into its U.S. stores. 

Check Pinterest, surf the web, or visit a few stores to see if you can refill, reuse, and save cash on your favorite items. Whether it’s on coffee, makeup, or the latest fashions, ever little bit counts.

This article was written by staff writer Suchi Rudra. Her mission is to help fight your evil debt blob and get your personal finances in tip-top shape.