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Reusing things you use often instead of using them once and then throwing them away will not only benefit the environment, but will save you some cash, too. 

Here are four reusable items that will more than pay for themselves in savings. 

Shopping Bags
A plastic bag has a lifespan of 12 minutes from when it’s initially filled with groceries at the store to when it’s discarded when you get home, according to Reuse This Bag. These bags can take 1,000 years to decompose. 

That’s why many states and countries have banned plastic bags, requiring a fee to purchase a paper or reusable bag in the store. To get around such fees, you can bring your own bag to a store, grocer, restaurant or anywhere else that you need to lug something home from. 

Canvas bags are often giveaways at events or cost a few dollars at the store. Keep a handful in the trunk of your car and get in the habit of carrying a few with you. You’ll never have to pay for a bag again. 

Water Bottles/Thermos
The Container Recycling Institute estimates that more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day. Buying water in plastic bottles is also expensive, so think ahead and fill a reusable water bottle each morning to save you time and money daily. 

The same goes for a thermos to keep your morning drink hot. Even if you’re going to a coffee shop to buy coffee, ask the barista to fill your thermos. You might get a small discount for not using the store’s cup and you’ll be putting fewer coffee cups in the trash. 

Cloth Napkins
Using cloth napkins instead of paper will save you money in the long run and will also help the environment. Washing and drying them requires some expense, but it shouldn’t be much more if you throw them in with a regular load of laundry. 

Silicone Stretch Lid Covers
Another kitchen item that will save you money? Silicone stretch lid covers that fit over bowls, glassware and jars. You won’t have to buy plastic wrap or aluminum foil again, plus, the eco-friendly lids will probably stay on better than wrap or foil. 

The stretch lids can go in the refrigerator, freezer or microwave oven without being damaged and can be tossed in the upper rack of a dishwasher for easy cleaning.

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