Frugal Living, Thrift, and Saving Money
Frugal Recycling Tips
No matter how old a blanket or quilt may be,
remember you can always wash it and use it as filler to keep you warm. Quilters
often use blankets between the top and bottom layer of their quilts. For the
non-quilter, blankets can be put in duvet type covers. Simply put the old
blanket (after washing it) between sheets, fabric, fleece, or whatever you have,
and sew it shut.
There are many ways to reuse bread bags when
the bread is gone. However, if you can't find any other use for them, at least
cut them in half lengthwise to flatten them out, and use as plastic wrap.
Be sure and re-use your cereal bags. The
inside liner can be used as wax paper. The outside can be saved to wrap gifts
and give them structure.
Think twice before discarding an old cooler.
There are several ways to use them. Here are just a few:
Hold extra ice for parties and special occasions.
You can keep them in your car to keep groceries cold on the way home from the
Store Christmas decorations and other seasonal items.
Emergency situation to cook food. You heat the food,
the then put it in the cooler. Line the cooler with wool blanks and it will
retain heat to cook the food.
When you go to garage sales, look for items made
of real wood. They can almost always be restored and used. Don't overlook big
items like solid doors either. They can be refinished and used as coffee tables,
headboards, and desks. Or you can just restore them and use them to upgrade your
Flannel Backed Table Cloths
If you see large vinyl
flannel backed tablecloths on sale, buy a few of them. You can use these flannel
backed tablecloths for everything from wrapping large presents to laying them on
top of your mattresses to protect them from soiling. Quilters staple them on the
wall to use as a design board. You can place pieces of fabric on the flannel,
and they stick.
Be sure and have system for saving all
the nails, screws, bolts, hinges and other pieces of hardware that come into
your hands. Old sewing machine needles can be used as nails.
Small screws from items like the frames of glasses can be hard to find. If
you keep all these items organized and easy to find, they will help you with
repairs and save you money.
Ironing Board Covers
Here is a great recycling tips for
old ironing board covers. Make potholders out of them. You can also supersize
them, and put them on your table to hold hot dishes.
Junk mail is a nuisance. When possible,
however, recycle it and save a little money. Many items come enclosed in either
large manila envelopes, or smaller ones. Sometimes they are even padded. Most of
these envelopes can be reused by simply ripping off the address labels or
covering them with a piece of paper. Some people even manage to turn envelopes
inside out and use them again. Put a basket on your desk with paper that can be
used for notes and lists, and cut out anything that is pretty enough to be used
as part of an art project.
Save the scoops that come in buckets of
laundry soap. These can be used in so many ways. Rinse and dry them, and then
put them in your food canisters. Put them in your camping gear, and use them to
scoop pancake batter on the griddle. If you want, you can dispose of them after
breakfast. One less things to clean. Use them with crafts, to hold paint. Even
your kids can find creative uses for these "plastic toys".
Here is a great recycling idea. When
you buy light bulbs, save the cardboard that surrounds them. It is padded and
the safety that it provides to the light bulbs works well for protecting items
sent in the mail. Use these to cushion plain envelopes. It is much cheaper than
buying the padded envelopes.
If you wear pantyhose, there are many ways to recycle them
when you are done with them. Here are a few:
Tie up tomatoes in the garden. They are soft and flexible,
and won't hurt your plants.
Use them to store root crops, such as onions. Just put them in a leg,
knot both ends, and hang from the ceiling.
with sand and place against doors and windows to stop drafts.
You can also use them to stuff small craft projects, such as fabric
Christmas ornaments or small dolls.
Recycle the elastic in the waistband.
Cut circular strips for hair bands and pony tails.
Finally, in a pinch you can use them as a sieve, or to cover a filter.
When you purchase new retail items, they
often come with a lot of packaging, especially if you purchase them by mail. Be
sure and save what you can from the packaging for other uses.
Bags of air are easily reused when you mail you own items.
Large pieces of styrofoam can also be used to cushion mailed items.
Boxes can be broken down and stored for your own use.
Silica gel inserts can be used to hold down rust in tool boxes.
It is a lot cheaper to use wash rags (or
other linens) and clean them than to use paper towels. However, many people feel
that it is more sanitary to use paper towels. One things you can do to cut the
cost. Install a toilet paper roll holder on the door underneath your sink.
Toilet paper is cheaper than paper towels. Use it when possible instead of the
large, more expensive paper towels.
Here is another sewing saver. Got a worn out sheet? Take
a close look at it. Parts of it will be worn out, but other sections, such as
the sides, may look almost new. Think about recycling those "good areas" into
pillow cases. Another possibility- buy a used sheet and make it into
pillowcases. Think you are above using a used sheet? Ever slept in a hotel?
Soda Pop Plastic
The plastic with holes that holds together soda pop
cans makes can be used in your closet to hand scarves. Just put a hanger
through one of the top holes, hand it up, and put your scarves through the rest
Keep your empty spools from your thread. Peel
off the paper, and clean then. Then use them to press a shape in your rolled
cookies. You can even use them to make a slice and dice cookies look homemade.
After the cookie is on the cookie sheet, just press into it with the side of the
Ever been in a thrift store or at a garage sale and seen the
remnant of a used roll of wallpaper for sale? If you like the design, pick it
up. There are several things you can do with it.
Use to wrap gifts
Use as shelf paper
If you love the design, you can frame it as artwork. This is really effective
when you use three frames and line them up in a row.
You can also use the wallpaper as the mat for other pictures. Just cut the
wallpaper the size of the frame, and lay the pictures on top.
Cut out pieces from the design of the paper, and use them to decorate
presents, boxes, or make greeting cards.