The Great 'Are you a re-user - what items do you reuse for max value?' Hunt

Former_MSE_Debs Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 15 January 2013 at 5:10PM in Old style MoneySaving
Great 'Are you a re-user - what items do you reuse for max value?' Hunt

Whether it's using old wine corks to cover knife points in the drawer, or simply getting another brew out of a used tea bag, we want to tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge on everyday household items which are good for a second use.

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  • VT82
    VT82 Posts: 1,078
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 15 January 2013 at 11:45PM
    I know someone who took home three of the used extra large 'Smooth' Nescafe jars from the work kitchen, washed them and took the labels off. Then they used them as storage jars in their own kitchen. All the jars had red lids, so it went well in their red themed kitchen.

    There's blue (Rich) and green (Decaff) versions as well.
  • Very little. Actually nothing.

    It's a kitchen, not Steptoe's yard. And the last thing anyone who grew up in a house controlled by a hoarder needs is the sight of extraneous crap being used in a 'decorative' or 'economical' manner.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
    colinw wrote: »
    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll :D
  • Quite a bit, especially things that can't be recycled or composted easily. My house doesn't look anything like Steptoe's yard though!

    I buy spices in big bags from the Asian market, so little spice rack jars were no good to me. Started saving up Bonne Maman jam jars - run through the dishwasher I have a set of good looking, stackable spice jars in my press. Other decent sized jars with pop lids get saved for homemade jam making. Those fancy swing top lemonade bottles are kept for home brewing and cordial making.

    Egg boxes get saved up and go back to the egg lady - helps her keep her prices down.

    Plastic takeaway tubs get washed and used for all sorts until they give up the ghost. Leftovers, craft supplies, sandwiches for lunch. I don't use cling wrap or foil at all. Biscuit and sweet tins are kept for a friend who collects model soldiers, or are filled with homemade goodies and given as gifts :)
    Attempting to stay on track in the Grocery Challenge!

    Occasionally blogging at CookingTheBooks!
  • this will sound mad, but I wash out the waxy paper linings in boxes of cereal and use to wrap left-overs in the fridge - cheaper than foil and film and just as effective.

    I've even been known to put one in my handbag as an emergency doggy-bag when I'm eating out !

    I buy those individual filter coffee pot things that you sit on the top of a mug. I tip the used grounds onto the soil and re-use the pot for starting off garden seeds. Makes me feel a bit better about being extravagant with "posh" coffee.

    Miss H
  • katholicos
    katholicos Posts: 2,658 Forumite
    I compost everything i can, all cardboard, paper, egg shells, peelings, used matchsticks and teabags etc.

    The postman leaves elastic bands from mail, all over our front garden, i pick them up with my grabber tool, wash them off and reuse them.

    The waxed bags from cereal boxes are used to wrap my homemade bread, cakes, biscuits or things like cheese and other stuff in the fridge.

    Our christmas tree is outside at present and when able, i will cut off the branches and use the pine needles around things in the garden like my blueberry bushes... the branches once de-needled will then be chopped up and used on the woodbark pathways around the garden, or just chopped up in small pieces and then composted.

    Tonight we made vegetarian shepherds pie, i used the water i boiled the potatoes in (for the topping), to start off a home made lentil and bean casserole in the slow cooker.

    I don't keep bits of this or that 'in case i need it someday', but if i have a practical use for something, i make sure i keep it and use it.

    Another use i have is for empty marge tubs. I have lots of lock and locks storage containers but i find that marge tubs stack on top of each other perfectly in the freezer so i put extra batches of soups, curries etc in the marge cartons and freeze them...just pop a label on if i remember or can find them.

    Marge tubs can also be cut down to make plant labels. I did that last year when i ran out of 'proper' ones.

    This might sound a bit yuck, but i have started using up the water i boil pasta in. I used to chuck it, but i have found that if i add it to a homemade fruit bread in the breadmaker, it makes the bread nice and chewy...i happen to like it like that :p

    I'm sure i do loads more things but that is all i can think off the top of my head.
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
  • Molly41
    Molly41 Posts: 4,919
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    I reuse packaging such as padded envelopes and boxes from Amaz0n and L@kel@nd boxes.
    Only yesterday I made £40 on Amaz0n selling unwanted books and maximised profit by reusing old packaging :T:T:T
    The L@kel@nd boxes are great as they open out make a high sided, sturdy home for stray or poorly hedgehogs that I seem to collect for our local Hogwatch rescue.

    I reuse teabags on our garden - i sprinkle with Olbas Oil to discourage the cats and my dogs from scratching up my plants.

    Obviously I reuse cardboard from cereal boxes for craft projects such as Christmas decorations - it is just right as not too thin or too thick.

    I reuse plastic carrier bags for disposal of rubbish - controversial but I am very adverse to paying for black rubbish sacks.

    I reuse old towels for my dogs and they currently have old baby fleeces in their beds to keep them warm

    I have a button box and take off all buttons from worn out garments.

    I cut up suitable worn garments for dusters. I like dusting with my DD's old PJ bottoms from when she was a baby. I wash all my dusters at a very high temperature.

    I will add to my list......
    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over and through me. When it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    When the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
  • Plastic bread bags
    They make good storage bags for fridge, freezer or store cupboard.

    Plastic Shopping bags
    Mini 'bin' that I hang off the lower cupboard door handle near my sink, they degrade now over time so not going to cause long term problems in landfill.
    Get enough of these and re-use/recycle as much household waste as you can and you won't really need bin bags.

    Good quality glass jars
    Some are good for jam making (others not so), odds and ends holders and even can be gifted to friends if filled with some nice homemade sweeties and tied with a bit of ribbon ribbon.

    Cereal Boxes
    I 'harvest' these for the cardboard, many many uses including making my own "Do Not Disturb" sign for the bedroom door ;), a shopping list is easier to find when it's written bit of cardboard in a pocket full of receipts, tissues and so on. And the inner bag in the box is good for storing pasta, lentils, rice and other dry goods and doesn't take up as much room as big jars or containers.

    Soap Hand-pump bottles
    Can be reused many times to store washing-up liquid (help reduce the amount used a great deal) and for you're own home mixed hand soap experiments.

    Branded cleaning fluid bottles
    I use an old febree*e spray bottle to clean up my side boards (hot water and bleach, or white vinegar mix) as the fine spray it produces is wonderful.

    Take away containers
    When the OH manages to sneak some take-away past the guards I re-used the plastic boxes to 'shape' food in the freezer,then turn it out and store it in a bread bag to save space. Some can even be microwaved.
    Spare I stick in the gaps in my fridge to save electricity.

    newspaper/packing paper
    Crunched into a ball to fill out any gaps in the freezer (saves electricity), best to replace them now and then if they get soggy and/or smelly.

    That's all I can think of for now. It's important to know when to say when though or you'll end up with hundreds of jars and boxes littering the place.
    ~"I don't cook so much since we moved out of reality...."~
  • Buttons! I cut them off anything that isn't getting passed on to a charity shop. I got the idea of using them to create designer looks on cheap clothes when I bought a designer cardigan (massively reduced in a sale!) with an assorted button decoration on it. Just a bit of imagination turns up all sorts of ideas! I actually bought a scruffy kids cardi for a pittance in a cs just for the buttons! Cute ladybird ones which look really sweet "walking" along the front of one of DGD's jumpers!
    "If you dream alone it will remain just a dream. But if we all dream together it will become reality"
  • My late mum had some nice green curtains - they became a maternity skirt for her, worn for two pregnancies
    Then she made it into two little girls' dresses
    They were made into skirts when we outgrew the dresses
    Then we made them into dolls' house curtains and dolls' dresses and skirts
    Full circle!
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • Behemoth
    Behemoth Posts: 27 Forumite
    Not sure whether this counts but twice a year I replace the duvets in the house with the cheapo ones from Asda and then use the old ones to insulate the loft.

    They are much easier to handle than fibreglass and you can drape them over stuff. After a few years you can cover the whole loft several deep and it's very effective.

    Also saves laundering your duvets!
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