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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.

Bread Bags

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.

Cereal Boxes

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.

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 own home.

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

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.

Laundry Scoops

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".

Packing Supplies

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.

Panty Hose

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.
Fill them 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.

Paper Towels

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 of them.


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 thread spool.


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.

recipe card


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