20 Things You Can Use Twice Before Tossing

Here’s a previously published list of ideas that has collected lots of tips from readers over time and moved here for better organization. Are there any we missed? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!

  1. Dry Cleaning Plastic: Great for covering suits, dresses and fine clothing when traveling, this will help protect them from wrinkles when packing. When storing them away, make sure to keep them safely out of reach of children, they really are that dangerous.
  2. Butter Wrappers: Once you’ve removed a block of butter from its wrapping, place the wrapping in a container and refrigerate. Keep this on hand to grease baking pans.
  3. Business Cards: Good, stiff paper that is usually blank on the other side…perfect for labeling storage boxes and tubs. Tape to the outside of the lid or side so you can see at a glance what the container is holding.
  4. Envelopes: Cut a corner off envelopes and voila! Tidy bookmark corner sleeves–just slide one over the page you are at and you’ll find your place easily the next time you pick up the book. No more folded corners and nice way to utilize the envelopes! You can also write To Do lists, store garden seeds in them, and they make handy bookmarks and labels.
  5. Cardboard Egg Cartons: Make homemade firestarters with them or mini-candles. My husband also likes them for stashing his golf balls (he buys buckets of used ones for driving practice).
  6. Tissue Boxes: Once they’re empty they work super as a plastic bag dispenser, just fill with grocery bags and you’ll be able to neatly pull out one at a time.
  7. Plastic Grocery Bags: They come in handy as garbage pail liners, paint tray covers, storage material. Also check with local food banks, churches and other non-profits. They may want them for handing out food hampers.
  8. Bread Clips: Save a few of the square plastic clips that keep bread bags closed, they’re brilliant as tiny scrapers. They are quite helpful to remove labels, price tags, and even do a good job scratching lottery tickets.
  9. Newspaper: Line kitty litter boxes for easy cleanup (top with kitty litter), protect work surfaces from crafts & interior paint jobs, giftwrap, packing material when moving or shipping.
  10. Strawberry Baskets: Transform them into a nifty bubble blowing machine, hold small packets in the pantry.
  11. Cleaner Spray Bottles: Wash thoroughly then fill with your homemade cleaners or use to spray plants…very important to clean thoroughly first.
  12. Mesh Packaging From Veggies: If you buy veggies that are contained in nylon mesh, that mesh is functional for various cleaning jobs around the house and yard. Just wad up the mesh and you now have an efficient scrubber. They can also hold suet for bird feeders.
  13. Styrofoam Food Trays: Clean thoroughly, wrap in foil then use as trays for giving gifts of baking.
  14. Pantyhose: Super sturdy ties for garden staking, make shower spa treats.
  15. Paper Towel Cardboard Rolls: Clever way to wrap extension cords, Christmas lights (keep untangled).
  16. Citrus Peels: Make your own homemade citrus cleaners, candy peels for baking or freeze the peels to use for zest in recipes as needed. Save your peels from citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. You can toss them in the fire place when you have a fire going to give the room a nice, fresh smell.
  17. Foam Peanuts: Save them and reuse when packing breakables, storing Christmas decorations or sending gifts in the mail
  18. Brown Paper Bags: When worn out and no longer an option to carry items, twist into small rolls for fire starters.
  19. Laundry Bottle Caps & Scoops: Wash thoroughly and now they’re fun sandbox, pool, bathtub toys or pet food scoopers (for dried food).
  20. Cereal Box Liners: Clean and use for stacking meat patties before freezing, store bread crusts, cover food in the microwave.

Related Posts

Keep Crochet Hooks Tidy & Sorted With These Free Patterns The Ultimate Cookware Maintenance & Care Guide

Comments

    • Steyr
    Reply

    Not a tip but a request:
    Any ideas as to how to reuse the spindles that bulk CD’s/DVD’s come on?
    Apart from a bowl or a bagel sandwitch holder ?

      • Faith
      Reply

      Possible uses for the spindle from bulk CD,s
      1. ring toss game
      2. hold a roll of toilet paper or paper towel
      3. hold bracelets or other jewelry
      4. hold large sets of keys (like on coiled key rings
      5 wind extension cords or strings of lights
      6. use to hold yarn or rubber bands
      7. for ponytail olders

        • ckpadma
        Reply

        You can also nail it to the wall of your closet and use it to hang bracelets, ties, hair bands, necklaces and chains etc

          • Kit
          Reply

          ohh good one!

      • flibberlips
      Reply

      I use that whole container for storing tea bags and splenda.Works great.

    • Pauline
    Reply

    The little plastic squares on loaves of bread make a great holder for on the end of tapes such as duct, painters, shipping, masking, etc. No more folding the tape over so you can find the end.

    Small pill bottles or the film cannisters are a good container for sharp objects that need to be discarded such as needles, craft blades, razor blades, etc.

    Sewing needles can be reused once they have gotten dull; a couple of rubs across an emery board and they work fine. Works for both hand and machine needles.

    I keep two small pill bottles in my sewing area. One for needles that need resharpening and one for those that can’t be used anymore.

    The mesh bags that fruits and veggies come in can be used again at the store when you pick up loose fruit and vegetables. And they can be washed if something happens to get squished. Use them at the local Farmer’s Market.

    Plastic grocery sacks can be given to local charities, especially food banks or such. They would love to have them.

    I keep a small bright fabric tote by my back door that contains all the things I will need when I go shopping. Fabric grocery bags, mesh bags for veggies, coupon holder, etc. The bright color makes sure I’ll see it as I go out the door.

      • Pauline
      Reply

      Since I posted this I’ve come across a new item for reuse. The tomatoes at my store now come in a rectangular plastic container with a lid. I cut the lid off one and use it as a small tools catchall beside my sewing machine. I use the bottom as my catchall for pens, nail clipper, etc in one of the drawers of my coffee table. A second one was combined with a toilet paper roll and resides in my bead storage container. I wrapped all my wires around the roll, placed it in the plastic box and now I can find all my wires easily and don’t have to worry about them getting tangled with other items.

      Found this tip elsewhere. Fold a outdated or sample credit card lengthwise at about 3/8″ from the top, drill three or four holes in the larger part of the card. Make a cut with a utility scissors into the drilled holes. Attach with small screws to the back of your computer desk or table. You can slip electric cords or cables into those holes to help keep the back of your desk neater. Or your TV area for that matter.

    • Nancy
    Reply

    Cereal liner bags: I used to wrap my Lunch sandwiches in them when I worked. just open them at the seam wrap your sandwich, unwrap at work and you also have a ready “place mat” for your chips pickle and the mayo/mustard/ketchup on the sandwich won’t leak thru to your table or lunch bag. Cereal boxes can be cut to become magazine holders also. Leave them like that and magic marker the magazine name on an end or make em pretty w/ paint, construction paper, etc. but that’s so much more work.

    Toilet paper tubes work great for storing the messy cords on your counter, fold excess up, twist tie tog and insert in holder.

    Tissue boxs kept by sewing machine will hold thread clippings, material throw aways, broken needles (anchored in a bit of thrown away material) andlint. When box is full, toss in garbage or recycle bin (w/o the needle)

    Fabric softener sheets: makes foundations for strip quilting. I cut them in half for first use. Seems to work.

      • Kat
      Reply

      And also use the very large cereal boxes for trash cans. We had a very small
      bathroom and thats what I did, covered it in pretty contact paper, worked well.

    • Mary
    Reply

    It is important to remember that this is about being smart with the environment. When someone has too much of something…(such as the grandma)there are plenty of others that could use it…such as shelters (the residents can use the stuff) schools, etc.

    • Karen
    Reply

    Please, please be careful when using newspapers to line cat litter boxes or animal cages. The ink from the papers can transfer to the animal’s feet (particularly if it gets wet) and can cause them to become ill. This happened to my cats. I never tried it again.

    • Background Check
    Reply

    I think I’ll pass on the butter wrappers. Sounds like more of a mess than something useful.

    • TV Spy
    Reply

    great overall tips,

    • John
    Reply

    I have two ideas to add.

    Paper Towel Rolls
    It takes some getting used to, but I use these (and especially those from toilet paper rolls) as cat toys. They play for about a week, then I recycle, then when the next one is ready, they’ve forgotten they were bored with it.

    Dryer Lint
    We use dryer lint along with paper towel rolls as firestarters. If you poke some holes in the paper towel roll, then stuff the inside with dryer lint, it burns nice and hot for a few minutes.

      • Jennifer
      Reply

      need longer than a minute, add in regular (fried) potato chips to the lint, it is how we get a campfire going. wont that turn your stomach?

      • Sheryl
      Reply

      Glad you mentioned this. Also, cats love the toilet paper rolls if you throw some dried food in there, crimp up the ends a bit, then “hide” it somewhere. Cats naturally want to hunt for their dinner (prey).

      • Sylvia
      Reply

      Thank you for that idea. We have a large family therefore lots of tp rolls and lots of lint. I learned last year that lint works *sometimes* as fire starters in our woodstove but most of the time not. The used dryer sheets work better if you have a bundle of them. As for the guy who says fireplaces should be banned, well, for the last 3 years that woodstove is the only heat we have had in our house.

        • Brenda
        Reply

        Also if you add pieces of wax from mostly used up candles to the lint it will burn longer as well.

          • Dixie
          Reply

          oh my goodness, do not burn dryer sheets! they are so toxic, nobody should use them PERIOD! Google it.

    • Connie
    Reply

    The containers that liquid coffee creamer come in are excellent for sugar storage. The lids snap closed which keeps the ants out.

    I used a mesh/net vegetable bag for my bath soap. You can put small pieces of soap in it, or even motel soap. Tie the end and use it to scrub your feet.

    Torn up paper egg cartons go in the compost. Newspaper can also be composted. Avoid using the slick advertising sections. Colored ink is OK.

    • Marc
    Reply

    Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning just about anything with tiny crevices. They’re also great for scrubbing out tiny stains from clothes.

    • Barthy
    Reply

    I take silly blog-posts and re-use them as joke fodder.

      • Kat
      Reply

      Lots of good tips to be found here ๐Ÿ™‚

    • PJ in SF
    Reply

    Jeez… For a “recycling” post there sure are a lot of ideas for starting fires. Fireplaces should be banned worldwide for all of the particulate matter that they introduce into the air we breathe.

      • Alicia
      Reply

      PJ, when fires are burnt correctly, and with the right amount of oxygen, they burn cleanly. The carbon that they release is no more than the carbon that would have been released anyway when the firewood would have rotted. Some areas have no choice but to have a fireplace for warmth, and in our case for heating water. Even with our triple glazing and insulation ๐Ÿ™‚

      • RH
      Reply

      Our electric goes out every winter from snow/ice storms. If we didn’t have a wood stove we would freeze. For firewood, we cut trees that have been felled by the previous winters’ heavy snows.

      • Kat
      Reply

      A lot of people have to depend on having a fireplace and wood stoves for heat. We cant ban fireplaces, it simply hurts others that do not have the money to pay a high gas bill every month. You must be independantly wealthy , PJ.

    • Christense Andersen
    Reply

    I never thought of reusing cereal liners, and I love it, but please, don’t put them in the microwave! It’s bad for your health to microwave anything covered in plastics like cereal liners or plastic wrap. Any plastics are unhealthy to put in the microwave, but I would especially recommend avoiding using something like cereal liners that is not made specifically to use in the microwave.

    • Spuds
    Reply

    cool site. Some useful tips.

    Always re-use the plastic supermarket bags you get. They make good rubbish bags.

      • Newdaawn
      Reply

      Better still – carry your canvass shopping bags to the store – no plastic needed.

        • charmend
        Reply

        When I get too many plastic grocery bags I take them to my corner thrift store, where they are reused another time.

          • Tessa
          Reply

          When I get too many, I cut them and make ‘plarn’ to crochet a re-useable grocery bag ( I get some strange looks from people when they see my plastic bag bags), light-weight knitting bag, sturdy fruit basket (if I double them up or crochet around more bags to give more ‘body’), any kind of container that can be crocheted.

          I also use them for packing things that are seasonal like Christmas decorations. packing up the ‘kids’ memorabilia and send it off to them once they are grown. Yes, I use canvas bags at the grocery store, but there are those times that I forget and end up with plastic bags.

          I use the net bags that oranges and onions come in and crochet around the top and put a draw string in it to re-use at the grocery store to get more produce. There are lots of things that you would normally throw away that can be re-used by a thrifty person!

        • Terry
        Reply

        Make sure to wash & sanitize your canvas bags regularly, especially ehrn you carry meats and produce jn them.

    • Rod
    Reply

    I’d really like to see a list of things I can use before AND after tossing. Like, kleenex is definitely a good example of this. Also old towels.

    • Shelina
    Reply

    I make coaster and placemats out of old newspapers and magazines. Just fold neatly into strips and weave them.

    • Paul
    Reply

    Another use for used dryer sheets:

    They pick up hair and lint from the floor pretty well, e.g. in the bathroom. Put it under your foot, and sweep around. Store a bunch in an empty facial tissue box.

    Think about it: in the dryer, they /repel/ hair and lint so they can go to the lint catcher; once “spent”, they do the opposite – pick up hair and lint.

    • Stace
    Reply

    A lot of small business people who operate on Ebay are constantly looking for fresh supplies of packing material – we have a coworker whose wife does this so whenever I find I have too many to store, I just bring them in for her. Try your local ebay “storefront” as well.

    • Manda
    Reply

    Oh, God. How number 6 brings back the nightmarish memories. My grandmother was a hoarder. After she passed we cleaned out her house, and would you believe that she had a whole half a room, floor to ceiling, of tissue paper boxes stuffed with plastic bags? Of course, it wasn’t exactly in all one room, but I promise you, it was that much. The joy of finally working through another bedroom (or the hallway) only to find another wall, or another shelf, or another bathroom full of saved plastic bags in tissue boxes. *shudder*

    • Skippy
    Reply

    Use the Sunday paper (especially the comics and sports or section of interest) as packing material for care packages. Also use newspaper (comic section works best) as wrapping paper instead of buying it for Christmas and Birthdays.

    • Lizard
    Reply

    Tombuch’s post made me wonder: It’s great to conserve plastic bags and stuff, but what about conserving water? It takes energy and equipment to purify that water and pump it to your house. How much water is it worth using to save one plastic bag?

      • Liisa
      Reply

      How long does a plastic bag take to decompose? My 10 year old told me that plastic wrap never decomposes. He has asked me to start using tupperware again and will take the teasing from unintelligent kids at lunch. If you freeze bread products, homemade waffles and muffins, then you don’t need to wash the ziplock. Just fold up and store in the freezer between use. After a couple months I toss out, or use once for frozen meat then toss.

    • Geek in Texas
    Reply

    Paper. We print tons of it at work, almost all one-sided. I use the back for scratch paper, and take stacks of it home for my printer. Unless it’s a formal letter or something, I rarely use “fresh” paper. The last time I bought a ream was about 2 years ago.

    • Dee
    Reply

    I used to pay a lot for the pine shavings/bedding for the kids guinea pigs but I don’t need them now. I take the shredded paper home from work and use it in the guinea pig cages. Just line the bottom with newspaper and cover it with the shredded paper. The piggies love it.

    • Frugal Dad
    Reply

    Just stumbled here from BeingFrugal.net and so glad I found you. I love the site! You might be interested to hear about my Earth Day project to find uses for used plastic milk jugs. It was a popular one. I look forward to catching up on your archives.

    • Tor
    Reply

    Used lemon slices (i.e. the leftover part you get after having squeezed out juice) can be tossed in your refridgerator, and will absorb foul smells from foods etc.

    • Ryan
    Reply

    Recycled paper egg cartons make great holders for your seed starts.

    ALL plastic bags can be washed and reused. I’m not sure about other places, but in Portland, OR, the stores offer a small refund to you if you bring your own plastic bags(5c)

    Yogurt containers/plastic containers with lids are comparable to Tupperware, and *most* of them are microwave safe.

    Shampoo bottles/detergent bottles can be reused/refilled at your local bulk/co op store.

    • Yo
    Reply

    Wow, reuse packing peanuts to pack things and protect them when sending them or storing them? Clever.

      • Rebecca
      Reply

      It might be a no-brainer for you, but you would be surprised at how many people just throw them away when they receive their package. We’ve become such a disposable society that many people can’t be bothered to save and reuse packing peanuts for their original purpose, let alone figuring out a way to re-purpose them.

      Another tip for used packing peanuts, if that wasn’t clever enough for you – I am making a beanbag chair for my son with the packing peanuts we have saved from moving and packages.

        • marlene rall
        Reply

        I use packing peanuts in the bottom of large planters. I put newspaper on top of them to keep the potting soil from going through, double recycling and it makes the planter lighter!!!

      • Newdaawn
      Reply

      Most packing peanuts are now made from some kind of sugar mixture that breaks down quickly in the landfills. So I have been told.

      • Michelle A
      Reply

      Packing peanuts can also be used as christmas decorations. Kids can pain them (with home made paints) and when dry, string them together. They could also be used in counting and math games and as beads for kid to make jewellery.

    • bob
    Reply

    The plastic bread clips are really good for labeling individual cables under your desk. Which one is the VCR? put a clip on it, and write on it with a Sharpie. Down with cable madness!

    • Dick
    Reply

    These are all good ideas, but i’m not going to do any of them. I just cant be bothered. Yesterday, I threw away 23 pennies b/c I hated how much they jingled. I wonder how many other people are like me. I’d like to help, but I’m just impatient and lazy. Sorry.

      • Holly Campbell
      Reply

      Couldn’t you have just tossed those pennies into the container at convenience stores? Or toss into the tip can when you get your expensive latte? Or just give them to the first kid you see on the street? You could probably have just put them in your mailbox with a note to the carrier about finding a use for them. Or give them to the first beggar you see on the street. Or even just leave them on the table in the break room for pete’s sake!

        • K S
        Reply

        Pennies thrown carelessly away,
        Become obsolete on a needed day.
        Whew…

        • Caring Sheri
        Reply

        First of all, destroying (discarding) US Currency is a punishable offense. Sure, no one will ever really catch you, but, it costs the country a whole lot more than your few pennies to mint coins, use copper and metals. We are certainly a land of plenty and a land of waste. If you ever have the opportunity to speak to an older person who may have worked for 25 cents a day………… cutting brush off a new road bed ………. back in the depression, you may a little more appreciation for the legal currency of our country. My father was that kid who ran home every afternoon after working all day on saturday back in the 30s and was beaming proud to hand his mother his quarter. Put a jar on your counter and put all that “aggravating, jingling change” in it every day and at least donate it to a local food bank, soup kitchen or abused women’s center. I assure you, it won’t aggravate them!

      • Kit
      Reply

      Seriously? That’s not lazy, that’s just irresponsible! Sorry, but it is.

      • kate
      Reply

      you spent more time typing your message than it would have taken putting those pennies to good use.

      • Audrey Henry
      Reply

      I always pick them up, they have God’s name on them!!!

    • ken
    Reply

    We use plastic grocery bags as dog-poop bags.

    I buy a bottle of water every two weeks and take it to work to refill from the water fountain. More than a couple weeks and it gets a little greenish.

    I load up my home printer with one-sided printouts from the office, printing on their backsides. I also tear a lot of those printouts in quarters for scrap paper.

      • Darci
      Reply

      We use the paper bags for the same reason! Plastic bags act as liners in my bathroom trash can as well as the “garbage bowl” – Rachel Ray. When I put my kitchen scraps in the plastic bag, it helps with leakage in the regular garbage and the smell. I don’t have enough room to compost as I live in a small townhouse. I got my mother-in-law into reusing plastic bags, it does help with clean ups.

    • Shawn
    Reply

    If the recycling program isn’t up to par in your workplace, you should think about putting something in place. With a careful approach, you’ll show your boss that you’ve got the wherewithall to put something together. If you have a tough time getting him/her to sign off on it, tell them that any proceeds can go to a communal party fund, or to an office supplies fund ( to pay for all the paper everyone’s wasting). With the way things are going it wont be long before everyone has no choice but to do this anyway, it’ll show you’re a forward-thinking individual if you’re ahead of the game.

    • Tombuch
    Reply

    I reuse many of my ziplock bags. For example, I cook bacon by the pound and then heat it in the microwave when needed. So there is a plastic ziplock marked โ€œbaconโ€ that gets washed (inside out) and reused. I keep open hotdog packages in a ziplock, and that bag is also marked and reused. Iโ€™ve also got freezer bags that are reused as long as they donโ€™t get too contaminated. Some are marked for specific foods, and some are not. If these bags are washed between uses they can last a year, and there is no longer a need to keep buying them for single uses.

    Another reusable is a plastic bread bag that goes back to the grocery store and gets refilled with bagels, hardrolls, or fruits/vegetables. They also make great lunch bags.

      • Vickie
      Reply

      Good idea about the Ziploc type bags. I also use them for freezing left over soup, chili, stew, etc. Since there is just the two of us now I can make soup once, and freeze at least three or four meals for later.

      A word of caution though about the bread bags. The “paint” used on the outside of the bags very often contain lead. Since it’s on the outside it’s never supposed to come in contact w/ the contents. Just be careful when you re-pack the bag that none of the color rubs off on the food you’re refilling with.

    • Laura Melone
    Reply

    I shred most of my bills because of the identity theft threat and I save the shredded paper to use when shipping items, instead of plastic filler or peanuts.

    Also – regarding plastic peanuts..when I receive something packed in them, I bag them up and bring them to our local UPS store…they accept them to re-use.

    • Alan
    Reply

    Sometimes you just get too much of the same reuseable or even unused items like Envelopes.

    I work in an office that everybody waste A4 paper as if they’re toilet paper. Example here, something printed wrong, oh gosh, whole document goes to trash without even thinking. I was like WTF. Sorry to say that but he’s my boss. Another coworker he trashed those disposable paper cups every time he drinks water. So pretty much one cup per sip.

    There isn’t recycling going on in this area. I mean hey it’s a business district here. What’s going on with the recycling campaign. I want to help reuse/recycling and even reduce. Just sometimes system isn’t ready for folks who are eager to do anything good for our environment.

    I urge anyone who’s like me seeing this happen just do the best you can to reuse items. Use less is another way too please don’t forget! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Kit
      Reply

      Talk to your boss, (if he’s approchable) and ask if you can take some of the ‘error’ paper home with you. When he asks why either tell him you want to give it to your kids to scribble, or reuse it yourself, or flat out tell him it bothers you how much paper waste there is.
      As far as the wasted cups talk to a few good friends in the office, see if they’ll bring in mugs and or cups to use during the day. You may not be able to stop all the watse, but having three or four people use regular cups helps. Who knows may inspire more little things.
      Good luck.

        • Jeanine
        Reply

        My sister works in an office and is constantly bringing home discarded printer paper. My other sister, parents and I us it in our printers at home to print stuff for ourselves… print out coupons, recipes, coloring pictures for the kids, craft directions, sewing patterns…the uses are endless!

      • Sylvia
      Reply

      I print out crochet patterns on the backs of sheets of paper that my husband has used and discarded. I use any scrap of paper I can find when I need to make a note to myself.

      • Michelle A
      Reply

      If you feel really enthusiastic, work out how much money could be saved by people saving the waste paper, cutting in half and stapling to use as note paper and bringing their own mugs. Cost cutting will open many a boss’ ear where ‘environmental issues’ won’t.

      • Jen
      Reply

      I feel the same way about wastefulness at the office. I only print stuff that I really need, and if it’s something that doesn’t need to be mailed out to someone, like if it’s just a checklist for me, or a shipping label for a UPS package, I always use the backside of documents that are going to be shredded anyway. I also stopped using so many post-it notes by downloading a free post-it note app on my desktop. It’s just as effective for me and eliminates a lot of paper waste. We don’t have a water cooler, so we have to purchase bottled water, which is a LOT of plastic, as our whole office drinks a lot of water every day. There is no recycling in our area, so I have a recycle bag set up specifically for water bottles. When it gets full, I take them to a recycling center. If I didn’t, they’d get thrown in the trash!

        • Dixie
        Reply

        No recycling program???? The horror!

      • Jennifer
      Reply

      At my workplace there’s a ton of wasted paper, or there used to be! I am in charge of ordering all of the office supplies and instead of ordering more and more post-it’s, I have cut the wasted (barely used) paper into note size pieces and placed them small boxes for use. Take that wasteful co-workers!

    • Jeff
    Reply

    We save butter containers and use them to store small toys for the kids. Little super balls, tiny army men, the little crep that comes home from birthday parties and that restaurant with the arches. They last forever, wash easily and stack up neatly.

    • K
    Reply

    We do a lot of these already. I use junk mail for scrap paper all the time. Also, I use junk mail and old newspaper and other paper goods as kindling, just rip it into pieces first. Also, I reuse paper grocery bags to collect food waste and dump it bag and all into the compost bin.

    • Stephanie
    Reply

    When you’re cooking with fresh lemons/limes, you can use the spent lemon rind halves with a little salt to clean and disinfect your wooden or bamboo cutting boards. I use it on counters, too.

    Plastic produce bags get tucked inside an empty bowl and used to hold the trimmings from the produce – peels, onion ends, etc. It reuses a bag and makes cleanup easy.

    If you have old towels or blankets, animal shelters would gladly take them off your hands to use as bedding.

    I haven’t tried it, but I hear dry cleaners will take back your wire hangers for re-use.

      • Michele
      Reply

      if you have a garbage disposal use the lemon and limes in it for disinfectant.

    • Kirsten
    Reply

    The heavier plastic utensils (forks, spoons, etc.) can be placed in the dishwasher and reused many times. Eventually the start to break down, but they are worth more than the single use that they are marketed for.

    • Josh
    Reply

    This is an oldy-but-goody that many people surprisingly don’t know. Save your peanut butter jars (preferably plastic) as storage for nuts, bolts, screws, or other small items.

    If you have a place to do it, you can attach the lids to a piece of plywood and hang the piece of plywood from say the rafters in your tool shed. That way the lids stay attached, and all you do is unscrew the jar when you need whatever it holds. Saves space, too.

    • Rod
    Reply

    My wife uses the clear egg cartons to package mini cupcakes.

    • leslie
    Reply

    Question about the cereal liner bags…. You mean the plastic bag that the cereal actually comes in? That’s microwaveable?! Wouldn’t it melt?

      • Liisa
      Reply

      I would not use cereal bags for baking/microwave. However, separating frozen food and rolling pie crust is an excellent use. I also use as a placemat for the kids painting projects.

      • flibberlips
      Reply

      The ones i use for this are from inside the cereal boxes.I also use these for leftovers or for smaller portion control and seal them with my seal a meal.

        • flibberlips
        Reply

        Also i use any resealable bag(generic ziplock)to do my kitchen dirty work:to refill my squeeze bottle of mayo;spoon mayo from jar in a bag,push all to one corner,cut tip off corner,squeeze all of mayo into top of squeeze bottle,no mess.I do this to pour funnel cakes,frosting,all manner of messy stuff.

          • Rebecca
          Reply

          Since I was getting ready to refill my squeeze mayo this morning your tip was timely. I was dreading spooning It in the jar and getting half of it down the outside. I had never thought about using a resealable bag for it. Thanks for a great tip.

          A lot of the great tips mentioned I already use but there are some are new and I can’t wait to try them. I love all these suggestions.

    • su
    Reply

    I reuse jelly jars, pasta sauce jars and the like by running them through the dishwasher and using them for drinking glasses.

      • Rachel
      Reply

      I use my old jars to collect cooking grease so it doesn’t go down the sink and clog the pipes. When it’s full I just throw it away.

        • Michele
        Reply

        use your bacon grease to feed the birds… make suet cakes out of them. Line a 9 x 13 pan with wax paper. Mix bacon grease and bird seed. Pour in pan. Freeze. Then cut to squares and enjoy the birds ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Zanette
          Reply

          Michele, will the bacon grease not be bad for the birds?

        • Mary Clements
        Reply

        we do this too!

      • donna
      Reply

      I reuse most any kind of glass jar for my jellies and jams. I use wax for sealing instead of the water bath method. That way I can use the pickle, salsa, and other odd shaped jars that canning flats won’t work on. My regular and wide mouth canning jars are then used for those fruits and veggies etc. that HAVE TO BE sealed with the flat and ring. AND if you choose to gift the jams or jellies, you don’t have to worry about getting your canning jars returned.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Hi Lynette, you can use things up as they become available and if you have too much to use, just pick one or two things to save and keep stock of (the most frequently used items would be worthwhile).

    These are just ideas intended to spark looking at things a little differently instead of just automatically throwing stuff away :).

    Edit: Forgot to add–great ideas guys, thanks for sharing with everyone!

    • LYNETTE GREEN
    Reply

    All these ideas are wonderful, BUT, where, oh where, do you store all the things you keep for another day??

      • Liisa
      Reply

      Many of the items saved, such as rags & drier sheets go in the plastic bags sheets and curtains are sold in. Then I put that more compact bag where I would use the item, like my wash bucket which also stores the cleaners. Always store near where you would use them. The mesh vegetable bags go under the kitchen sink, etc.

    • Jenny
    Reply

    Used dryer sheets are one of the best things to use when removing nail polish. Put a bit of nail polish remover on it and it’ll clean your nails in seconds.

      • LijaWW
      Reply

      THANK YOU! I’ve been wishing there was something else I could use those sheets for. This is great, no more wasting paper towels!

        • Newdaawn
        Reply

        I have stopped buying dryer sheets altogether. The clothes are just as soft without them and none of the overly sweet smell.

      • Jey
      Reply

      I use dryersheets for the filter in the top of the litter box instead of having to buy new filters! Works amazingly.

        • Nancy
        Reply

        I use the used dryer sheets by rubbing them on the lint trap, they collect all the lint.

    • Ann
    Reply

    Use nylon mesh bags from vegetables for your wild birds nest making..just fill with dryer lint, short pieces of yarn, etc. They will use it to integrate with the twigs, etc. Just fill and hang outdoors where they can get to it.
    Use empty plastic strawberry containers when you plant some of your spring bulbs. Just bury it in the hole before filling with soil and bulbs..the gophers and moles will not eat your bulbs.
    Use empty facial tissue boxes to catch all your loose threads that you trim from your sewing. When full just empty and reuse.

      • Kayla
      Reply

      I use the left over strawberry containers to freeze other fruit that i cut up for my smoothies. Also thanks for the tissue box with plastic bags in it idea. I always have millions on bags under my cabinet and it takes up so much space.

      • Allison
      Reply

      My nylon mesh bags from fruit and veggies find their way to art projects. Cut up they create interesting textures for paint, charcoal, pastels etc. I also reuse them to store stones, marbles, and glass beads that I use inside of vases so that flower arrangements can have a more stable surface and create more sculptural designs. They are also fun for little girls for hair wraps and ties – bright festive colors. And if you are inclined to be creative, you can shine them up with a little glitter.

    • Elaine
    Reply

    We use brown paper bags for putting our recyclable paper in before we put it out in the collection bins.

    • Sandy
    Reply

    The square plastic bread clips can be used as “small bobbins” for knitting to hold the long tail at the beginning of the project while you knit. Just wrap the “excess” yarn around it.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Great idea Betty, I never thought of the icing bag trick. Thanks for sharing that :).

    • Betty Russell
    Reply

    Cereal liner/bags.
    I have for years used the bags for icing ! I totally expected to see this use listed but having not I will pass it on! The wax paper is nice & heavy and easy to make a icing bag from. cut a small angle on one corner or open flat and form a cone with an opening the size you want. Scoop icing into it and twist down as needed. No cleanup mess just toss when done! Strong and flexable…. will not fall apart when using.
    Other uses. Freezing Hamburger pattie separater.

      • Lynne
      Reply

      Good idea. I use the bags for freezing homemade bread and buns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *