My Top 3 under $20 items for Plastic-Free July

Hello, everyone! So, my video from yesterday is not loading but it’s available on Instagram. There should be a link to my IG on the right hand side of this post if you want to check it out.

Since I can’t load the video here, I will post the information as text so you don’t miss out.

Today, my video was My Top 3 items for under $20 for the Plastic Free July Challenge. I know that we are currently in a pandemic and everyone is watching their wallets a little more closely, or a lot more closely, so I wanted to provide swaps that can be used multiple ways, will help you reduce plastic waste but won’t give your bank account a heart attack.

My top 3 items are:

A reusable water bottle- Water bottles are one of the easiest swaps you can do. This Contigo Byron water bottle is $9.89. It was just on sale for $8.90, I swear, so keep an eye on it over the holiday weekend! Plastic water bottles are a HUGE environmental problem. The caps are one of the most common items that wash up on beaches, they have been shown to have a higher percentage of microplastics in them compared to tap water (93% of bottled water has microplastics v. 83% of tap water. This means you are drinking plastic 93% of the time!) and they also leach chemicals into the water they are carrying. This is my #1 plea and challenge for you for Plastic Free July- Go 1 month without using single-use plastic bottles.

Going back to this contigo mug- it’s stainless steel so it will keep your water cold but it can also do double duty as a coffee mug. It will keep your coffee hot or cold, depending on your preference. Keep this baby by your side in July and you can store any beverage you want in it. I mean, if I’m being 100% honest, I’ve actually taken this to the movie theaters and put that lime diet coke in here and it is just so freakin’ good ice cold. Bring this thing everywhere!

Imagine from

Flour Sack Towels– 4 for $4. I keep one of these in my purse and use it as a reusable napkin. They are fairly large so you can also put something in the middle, knot it and use it as a bag in a pinch. It’s technically not plastic but it’s a good all-purpose cloth to have around. They come in handy and I use mine all the time.

Reusable Produce Bags- When you go to the grocery store, those thin plastic produce bags are going to hold your produce for what? 30 minutes? Then you’re going to throw it away and it will sit in a landfill for ever. That’s not an exaggeration- plastic never goes away. You can make these bags for free with old t-shirts and ribbon/strips from the tshirt. If you don’t have a sewing machine though, you can purchase this Heat n Bond for $3.99. I understand that some states still have bans on reusable bags. Since these are produce bags, I’ve never had anyone say anything about them and I still bring a reusable grocery bag- I just bag my groceries myself.

It has been scientifically proven though that reusables do not contribute to the spread of COVID-19. I would highly, highly recommend contacting your Governor and/or local representative (depending on whether the ban is statewide or citywide) and passing along the above article. Your representative is elected and are meant to represent you. Letting them know about issues you care about and areas they can approve is your responsibility. Get in touch. Tell them to lift the ban.

So, $8.90 for a reusable water bottle that can double as a coffee mug + $4 for 4 flour sack towels + $3.99 for Heat ‘n Bond (if you need it) = $16.89! I love coming in under budget.

Cold brew steeping in a Mason Jar

And as a bonus item, if you have some extra cash because you didn’t need the Heat ‘n Bond, I would recommend Mason Jars. I use mason jars for everything. I make cold brew in a 64-oz Mason Jar (in budget if you don’t need the Heat n’ Bond!), I store bulk items in 16-oz to 32-oz jars (I would recommend Wide Mouth where every possible) and I also use those to carry my lunch, keep leftovers, store homemade body scrubs, etc. You can literally use them for EVERYTHING. Maybe start with a pack of 16 oz jars and go from there.

Also, please note that all my links are for Target because I was trying to make this accessible for everyone. If you follow my blog, you know I’m a strong supporter of the Shop Small movement. If you can find any of these items at your small grocery store/ craft store/ hardware store/ etc, be sure to give them your love. You could also order direct from the supplier at Contigo and Mary’s Kitchen: Flour Sack Towels (I have not tried them but they look adorable). I wasn’t able to get direct links for the Heat n Bond or, surprisingly, the mason jars.

Are you going to participate in Plastic-Free July? What do you think will really be easy to eliminate and what do you think will be hard to swap out?

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