Thursday 7 September 2017

10 Items Frugal People Reuse

Being frugal or thrifty is NOT  about counting your money and being stingy.  More than anything it's about being mindful of what you use and reusing it until it cannot be reused any more.  The bonus is in the money saving and lowering our environmental impact.

*  Egg cartons can be reused for growing seedlings,  collecting eggs if you have chickens,  hold beads when the kids make necklaces and a myriad of craft ideas.

*  Empty bottles,  jars and tins.  Jars are great for jam and sauce making or to use as a vase. Bottles can be reused for homemade cordial,  sauce and to refrigerate water.  Tins can be used for baking cakes and as a rustic vase

*  Empty envelopes make great shopping lists,  to do lists or to jot down a note.

*  Birthday / Christmas cards can be made into lovely gift tags.  If the image is to your taste,  frame it in a cheap frame or cut it out to make a handmade greeting card.

*  Gift bags can generally be reused over and over again.  Generally when I receive a gift bag,  it's in perfect condition and too good to throw out. 

*  Icecream containers have so many uses I could write a blog post about them.  Here are a few uses - storage containers for baking,  to save water,  vomit buckets,  craft containers,    Barbie shoe storage and freezer storage.  

*  Shoe boxes.  I find it hard to throw out a good sturdy shoe box.  I use them for storing craft items,  for school projects   storing seed packets,  storing soup / meal packets,  Barbie clothes ( back in the day ) and wrapping paper / greeting cards.

*  Toothbrushes.  I never throw out a toothbrush once it's past it's best before date for teeth brushing.  I reuse them around the home for cleaning around taps,  down plug holes,  dishwasher seals,  to clean the stove top,  in the laundry for stain removal and to use at my cleaning jobs.

*  Old bathroom towels.  We use them as drop sheets,  rags,  to kneel on when weeding,  to mop up spills,  to wrap around items for protection when travelling / moving or storing and to protect bedding ( illness ), 

*  Newspapers.  Although most people now read their news online or watch it on tv,  the occasional local newspaper can make it's way to your letterbox.  Newspapers make great seedling pots.  These can then be directly planted into the ground.  Newspapers can be used in compost bins,  to line bird cages and chicken coops,  to clean windows and as a layer to prevent weeds growing.    

gift tags made from magazines and cards.

Recycled jars for jam making

Recycled bottles for homemade cordial

Pasta sauce jar makes a great vase

When looking at this list,  how frugal are you?


  1. I keep jars to store saved seeds in. I do recycle envelopes for use as scrap paper and for shopping lists. I reuse ice-cream containers, shoe-boxes, and toothbrushes in the ways you have listed. I use newspaper in the garden. Old towels are recycled here too.

  2. I place all my old egg cartons into the compost bin. I pull them apart first. Newspapers are torn into strips. Some goes into the worm bins and the rest goes into the compost. My flour and sugar bags also go in the compost. I use old towels as the batting is my kitchen quilting projects. Towels are brilliant in pot holders and as heat pads. Old plastic vinegar bottles are used to hold my homemade laundry liquid. I save a lot and reuse a lot but there still seems to be too much going off in the wheely bins to the tip each week.

  3. Happy to say a big 8/10 for me. The two I missed out on were the iccream containers and shoebox. We actually don't have ice cream containers because I don't buy it. I have used a few shoeboxes however most have gone into recycling. You're right they are sturdy boxes.

  4. Hi Wendy,
    I hope you are feeling better.
    We use large coffee jars for citronella candles. They look nice with a little sand in the bottom to stabilise the candle. We put the lid on to blow It out. These might make a nice present with a decorative hessian ribbon. I'd like to try them as vases too.
    Ice cream containers have so many uses, I like use them to soak small delicate items. Old towels are used to dry the dog after his bath or they are cut up for rags etc.
    Consumption is a big concern. I like to try to find multiple uses for items like jars, papers and containers not only saves money but help the environment too :) Thanks again for your tips and advice.
    Rachel ;)

  5. I guess I'm frugal, because I do most of those! lol

  6. i try to be as frugal as i can, old bath towels usually become bath mats (just cut them in half & trim around the edge)
    egg cartoons get used for my eggs, i collect jars & any vintage or good sealing tin i can get my hands on.
    butcher paper gets put out in compost or laid out on bottom of new gardens; matchboxes for seed saving; honey buckets for all my bits of wool & buttons & any other craft items; etc
    great post
    thanx for sharing

  7. Ice cream containers are just large enough for cut-up watermelon/honey rock melons.

  8. Especially the large ice cream containers which sell her for Michigan for $6.00 USD

  9. Love this post, I see so much waste in the world.
    Reduce, reuse, recycle, great for the environment and our wallets. Thanks Wendy. Lisa xx

  10. That's a great list, Wendy. I do most of those things. We make our own ice-cream here so no plastic containers to recycle. I shred the local paper and put that into my compost along with the veg scraps. I make gift tags and little cards from the dust jackets of the picture books I bought when I was a full-time teacher. The images are often really beautiful. Meg:)

  11. You are a blessing Wendy, always inspiring and generous with sharing.

    I like to recycle as much as possible, and I do most of these things. Ice-cream containers are used a lot in my household. Mostly for putting under pot plants to hold water. Those deeper meat trays are great to go under pots also. I reuse those little plastic containers that the strawberries come in to keep other things in the fridge, like baby spinach from my garden, or tiny tomatoes. Another use is for seed raising, with its own little hot house :)

    Wishing you a lovely week,



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