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



  • We boil a kettle of water on the wood burner and fill a flask with it to re-use to make tea in the morning and coffee as it cools.
    All tea leaves/bags, veg parings, fruit peel, egg shells go in compost. Any scraps of wood go in wood burner, wool is made up into blankets, scarves, doll clothes, pom poms according to the amount.
    Humous etc containers make good small jelly moulds. Old towels, duvets etc can be put inside tubes of sewn up old duvet covers to make colourful draught excluders.
    The grandchildren love old boxes for making dolls houses.
    I use an old tin to stack cutlery on my draining board while it drains. Chuck and replace as it rusts. Marge tubs for storing individual portions of chilli, stew, soup, home-made pasta sauce in freezer. It's cheaper to make a batch and freeze and there's always a quick meal there when I'm in a hurry.
  • LameWolf
    LameWolf Posts: 11,234 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 16 January 2013 at 3:36PM
    Glass jars. We make a lot of HM jam, and if we give it to friends, we don't often get the jars back, so I always save any jars I get.

    Wine bottles - similar to above.

    A4 size "flyers" that are blank on the back; if they're in good condition, I use them to print "file copies" of letters etc sent on behalf of an organisation I do voluntary paperwork for; otherwise I tear them into 4 quarters for use as shopping lists.

    Envelopes that come with credit card bills. I pay online, so have perfectly good envelopes left over (I can't opt for online billing for this at present, it's not available:mad:) so I stick a white label over the pre-printed address and use as normal envelopes.

    DH's old shirts - cut up and use for dusters. A couple of old shirt sleeves have been hemmed up to make straining bags for juices/jellies.

    Spray bottles - only yesterday, I finished up a spray of anti-bacterial stuff for the kitchen, and have refilled it with white vinegar (and labelled it!) for cleaning the windows and the acrylic shower screen, as it's a particularly good bottle.

    Pickled onion vinegar - keeps the limescale in the loo at bay, and as my DH goes through at least a jar of onions a week, I get quite a bit of this!

    I have a small bottle that a free sample of mouthwash came in that I keep filled with Oramorph (morphine sulphate solution) in my bedside cabinet. If I need a dose at night, it's easier for my DH to pour from this than to battle with the childproof (actually, adult-proof) bottle the Oramorph comes in.

    I'm sure there's loads of other things, but that'll do to be going on with.;)
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
  • meg72
    meg72 Posts: 5,164 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    I reuse the plastic nets that oranges come in as a pot scourer or to hang up scraps for the birds, also at a push can be used as a scrunchie in the bath.
    Slimming World at target
  • Uniscots97
    Uniscots97 Posts: 6,685 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Use the ribbon loops in clothing for decorating hand made cards

    Re-use the elastic bands the postman drops for various things, the best at the moment is its holding the shower head up after the clip broke!

    I cut up old pillows to restuff cushions

    I take leftover candle wax and mould it into a new candle

    Turned old jeans into a draught excluder

    Cut the legs off my old leggings (I'd ripped them and they weren't fixable) and sewn a piece of elastic along the length of both pieces so it gathered (and if you stretched he elastic the fabric would be flat) and then joined the ends making a loop, and I had a new fashionable scarf.
    CC2 = £8687.86 ([STRIKE]£10000[/STRIKE] )CC1 = £0 ([STRIKE]£9983[/STRIKE] ); Reusing shopping bags savings =£5.80 vs spent £1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
  • VT82 wrote: »
    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.
    Helping to organise a fund raising fair and have an empty one of these I am going to fill with sweets and use as a 'guess how many sweets in the jar' game. Any other ideas on re-using things to raise money would be great other than the tombola/bric a brac ones which I am already doing.
  • kevanf1
    kevanf1 Posts: 299 Forumite
    effiemum wrote: »
    Inners of toilet rolls are good for bringing on seedlings. Plant straight into the ground when ready, and containers decompose

    I do this but also use old newspapers for the same. Just roll the individual sheets around a suitable sized piece of tube, fold the bottom in on itself then take it off the tube. I pop a single staple in at the top to hold it together it will rust away very quickly.
    Kevan - a disabled old so and so who, despite being in pain 24/7 still manages to smile as much as possible :)
  • mp11h
    mp11h Posts: 5 Forumite
    edited 16 January 2013 at 5:31PM
    Loving this thread!
    I save all the bits of ribbon, bows or fancy trims on things I buy/receive and re-use them for my own gift wrapping.
    Especially good are the thin ribbons attached to most new clothes - they are perfect for threading through home-made gift tags!
    (does anyone use them for hanging clothes??)
    Also, if you need to send anything by post in a sturdy box, try washing tablet boxes, they can wrapped in brown paper or poly mail bag and parcel-taped up, or you can even open them up, turn them inside out, tape up the joints and no outer covering needed.
  • I use the square boxes that hold 160 teabags, for hamster beds. I line it with old clean socks or other pieces of cloth, towels etc. and cut a small hole in one side of the box for her to get in and out of.

    I used my sewing machine, an old polyester quilt and an old pair of corduroy curtains to make my dog a nest. Also found a plastic dog bed in a neighbours skip which had hardly been used. My sis was about to throw out a tatty sheepskin rug; i washed then brushed it, and it sits on an old armchair on the landing - another dog bed!

    Sleep tight, animals!
  • jackel
    jackel Posts: 201 Forumite
    Thanks all for tips - some I already use - some I shall in future. Liked the one about using old pillows under the bath(thankyou Mrs Simpkin) off to find some.
    I save the elastic ties thatchickens are trused with- taken off before it cooking thrown straight into the washer drum for the next load and then used to tie my hair back - can also untie and knot together for other uses.
  • GreyQueen
    GreyQueen Posts: 13,008 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    edited 16 January 2013 at 6:06PM
    :) Having been corrupted by far too much Blue Peter at an impressionable age, here are a few of mine.

    Newspaper for cleaning windows; polish off after having used soapy water to get the dirt off.

    TP tubes, starting peas in the cold frame as mice eat them in sown in open ground. I know the paraffin trick, btw, just don't fancy tainting my food and soil with it.

    Envelopes and blank-sided paper into scratch pads for lists for home and workplace.

    Old towels, quartered and hemmed for housework jobs. Esp useful for defrosting freezer.

    Old sheets, once worn in the middle are turned, and when worn very soft, hemmed into hankies.

    Old clothes will be given thought for a remodel and possible dye job with c.s bought dyes. Change of buttons, collars off, sleeves shortened, makes all the difference.

    Skinny ribbons from clothes' loops saved and used to attach gift tags made from pretty cards.

    Veggie waste If it'll rot, it'll be composted.

    Any bubblewrap I can get, ditto Jiffy bags etc, saved for relative who sells online.

    Jam jars for storing spices and herbs.

    Pickling vinegar from the h.m, pickled onions reused as a hair rinse.

    Egg cartons saved to chit spuds in.

    Can't think of anything else off the top of my head but there's probably more, this lifestyle is just second nature to me.

    :p I do put a lot in the recycling bins as well, honest.:p

    ETA; I've read that link about the lady who uses re-usable cloth instead of t.p. She makes it clear that she washes these on long hot washes alongside cloth nappies. For those of us who don't have nappies to wash, running a very hot wash to launder "family cloths" would probably negate any financial advantge over using t.p. But each to their own.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)
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