We've addressed repurposing things that can't be fixed in order to save money, but going along with that is just reusing things. Now, obviously you can't reuse something that's broken, but what about things that are just going to end up in the recycling can? Why not reuse them instead of buying new things. Most of these items just need a quick wash and they are ready to be used again. Let me give you some examples:
- Wash out your empty Parmesan cheese shaker and use it to hold baking soda. This way you can easily sprinkle it on whatever you want cleaned or freshened. I use mine for scrubbing the tub, and toilet, and for freshening up our carpets.
- Wash out your empty margarine/butter/Cool Whip tubs and use them to hold leftovers. This is especially nice around the holidays when you want to send food home with family members, and now you won't have to worry about getting your favorite Pyrex containers back.
- Collect your junk mail envelopes and use them for your grocery lists. You can write the list on the back and stick the coupons inside. You can also use them for scratch paper when you need to make a note, or give them to your toddler to play with. Howard loves envelopes.
- Wash out empty ketchup or salad dressing bottles and refill them with homemade. Salad dressing can come together rather easily, and this gives you a way to easily pour them. You can also use them to hold paint, and even maple syrup. This is especially handy if you buy the big containers of syrup - those things are heavy and can easily spill.
- Use any kind of old clean food jar (glass or plastic) to store hardware or craft supplies. They are usually clear so you can see what's inside, and they come in a variety of sizes. Think peanut butter and mayo jars, spaghetti sauce jars, and baby food jars. We use ours for nuts, nails, screws, and buttons.
- Keep your empty astringent, detangler, and hand soap bottles and just refill them. I make simple homemade detangler with just hot water and little squeeze of conditioner, and it works great. My homemade astringent is just as easy and only takes three ingredients. And we all know it's cheaper to buy the big refills of hand soap and have a reusable pump to refill.
So before you toss things into the recycling can, see if you can reuse them to save money. You might be surprised at what can be used again with just a little soap and imagination.
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