Consumer Reports: 3 easy ways to reduce waste and save money

Consumer Reports says there are three easy swaps you can make in your home that can help you reduce your waste and save you some money!

Our daily habits can sometimes be a burden on our budget and the environment. But Consumer Reports experts say there are three easy swaps you can make in your home that can help you reduce your waste and save you some money!

LED lightbulbs

LED Lightbulbs (Consumer Reports)

Consumer Reports Home Editor Dan Wroclawski says to replace your old incandescent bulbs with new LED lightbulbs.

“These can make a big dent in your electric bill,” he said. “Another way to take those savings further is to actually replace them with smart bulbs.”

Wroclawski says you can program smart bulbs to automatically turn on and off at specific times of the day. Having all those lights just turn off automatically will help you eke out those extra savings.

Smart bulbs can be pricey; the Wyze Bulb Color offers automation at a lower cost compared with many of the other bulbs Consumer Reports checked out.

Paper towel alternatives

Paper Towel Alternatives (Consumer Reports)

This next swap might be tougher: Paper towel alternatives. Consumer Reports Home Editor Paul Hope recently tried several of them.

“My family and I were going through close to two dozen rolls of paper towels a month. Reusable paper towels offer a paper free alternative that’s better for the earth and that saves money,” Hope said.

MioEco Reusable Paper Towels for about $20 are biodegradable, absorbent, and offer a textured surface that Hope says is great for scrubbing tougher messes.

But Hope actually prefers 12x12-inch regular washcloths. The Utopia pack of 60 is $40. Hope says they’re versatile, absorbent, and budget friendly. And when they get too stained, instead of tossing, you can repurpose the washcloths for outside use.

Soda maker

Soda maker (Consumer Reports)

If you need that daily dose of soda or seltzer, you can save money with a soda maker.

Let’s say you drink a liter of seltzer a day, and it costs about 90 cents. If you swap that for the $80 SodaStream Terra, in four months, Consumer Reports says it will pay for itself.

Investing in a soda maker can also help reduce plastic waste. To see if buying a soda maker is worth it for your family, you can check out Consumer Report’ soda maker calculator.