In short, yes, going zero waste saves you money. This year, I saved €730,50 when reducing my waste or €230,50 when you don’t include the diapers. I have broken it down into sections so you can see exactly how much money I saved on each item.
There are several reusable alternatives available for when you have your period. I personally use a menstrual cup (read here why they are awesome). This saves me €67,- per year.
This can be broken down into:
Investment for the cup: €20,- and lasts about 4 years on average. So it costs about €5,- per year.
Costs disposable organic tampons: I need 4 - 6 tampons a day for 5 days. This is about 25 tampons or 1,5 pack per period. The ones I used costs €4,- per pack. These cost me €6,- per month and €72,- per year.
Using a washable sandwich bag saves me about €28,- per year.
The price of disposable sandwich bags vary greatly but I have found that the cheaper ones have difficulty containing 6 sandwiches in one bag. Therefore I used a more expensive brand which costs about €0,10 per bag. I used one every day resulting in €35,- per year.
A reusable sandwich bag will cost you around €7,-.
Transitioning to a shampoo bar not only saves you a lot of plastic. It also saves a lot of money. Using a shampoo bar has saved me about €30,- this year.
A shampoo bar lasts me about 6 months (I wash my hair twice per week). They are €9,- a piece which results in €18,- euro per year.
A shampoo bottle lasted me about 2 months and set me back about €8,- a bottle. Per year this is €48,-.
Transitioning to a conditioner bar also saves you plastic and money. Using a conditioner bar has saved me about €40,- this year.
A conditioner bar lasts me about 6 months (I wash my hair twice per week). They are €10,- a piece which results in €20,- per year.
A conditioner bottle lasted me about 2 months and set me back about €10,- a bottle. Per year this is €60,-.
I never used a lot of paper towels so in this part I don’t save a lot of money but I know there are lots of people out there who use about a roll a week who could save a lot if they transitioned to cloth. Using unpaper towels it saved me about €7,- per year.
I had a few pieces of scrap fabric and muslin cloth which I had sewn together and now use as towels. This costs me about €5,- and will probably last me for about 5 years costing only €1,- per year. You can find really fancy ones here. Those will set you back about €50,- and will look great in your kitchen.
When I was using disposable towels, I used a roll about every 2-3 weeks. The ones I used are around €0,40 a piece and I used about 20 per year. Costing about €8,- per year.
Read more about zero waste hair removal here. Using a safety razor saves me €22,- per year.
When I was using disposable towels, I used a roll about every 2-3 weeks. The ones I used are around €0,40 apiece and I used about 20 per year. Costing about lasts 10 years so the costs are €3,- per year. Razors cost about €0,10 apiece and last about 1-2 months (often you can use both sides of the blade). So the costs for razors is €1,- per year. In total, a safety razor costs €4,- per year.
A disposable razor costs €1,50 a piece on average and last about 2-3 weeks. This costs €26,- per year.
Using a reusable water bottle has saved me about €36,50 per year (about €270,- if you buy a water bottle every day).
I have a klean kanteen that has cost me €25,- and will last me ages. For this example, we will say it lasts 10 years costing €2,50 per year.
I used to buy one bottle and re-used that during the week but some people buy a bottle every day. I paid €0,75 per bottle of water so for a year this would be €39,-.
Cloth diapers save me around €1250,- during the 2,5 years, a takes a kid to become potty trained. So yearly, this is around €500,- per year. Details on these calculations you can read here.
I hope my calculations help you make more sustainable decisions as some might look like large investments in the beginning but in the long run, most of these are definitely worth it.