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



  • Sassaves
    Sassaves Posts: 16 Forumite
    Great thread!

    My current habits include:

    * using broken mugs minus their handles to store pens, pencils, scissors and elastic bands dropped by postie which sit nicely round the outside (the current cream coloured elastic bands are better than the red ones they used to drop, which snapped when stretched)

    * slightly chipped or cracked glasses become pots for my baby cactus collection (i buy the rejects that are marked down in homebase)

    * peeling veg into a double page of newspaper then wrap it all up and put intto compost bin (via compost caddy in kitchen). Easy clean up and adds a bit of paper to the compost mix)

    * when i have a shredding sesh, i add a bit of it to the compost bin too, digging the rest in to the garden

    * suitable (non-meat) leftover grub is made into fat balls for the birds

    * ive got a manky old bath mat having a second life in teh greenhouse, it's great to sit pots on. I've got plans to put it on top of the compost pile in the compost bin as an insulating layer when it gets too bad for the greenhouse!

    * I've always tried to reuse water - when i lived in hampshire (when it was hot - remember that?) - i used to recyle bathwater, waddling downstairs with basin and much mopping afterwards. Now in Scotland, i chuck dishwater on to the pots nearest the back door. The pots don't need it obviously, but i can't stop doing it!

    * have started to make my own bread and obsessively scrape up all the breadcrumbs produced after cutting it up and freezing it to use in making home-made turkey burgers
  • MeanJean
    MeanJean Posts: 10 Forumite
    edited 16 January 2013 at 5:59PM
    If anyone is thinking of following the tip to lay old duvets in their loft please consider some info given me by a surveyor when I bought my house. Brand new loft insulation had been laid across the timbers forming the floor of the loft. He said it was not effective as the cold air could flow underneath it thus losing the heat rising through the bedroom ceilings. To be effective the insulation had to be laid between the joists. He said it was also important to allow ventilation of loft timbers to avoid rotting ,so people should not block the gap around the edges of the loft where the roof meets the walls. Duvets would need to be cut into strips to fit between the joists. Another point to consider is mice. Someone told me that if mice can get into your garage then they can easily get into your loft. Consider what your duvet is made of and check whether mice would like that as nesting material.
  • 1. I seem to have several friends who buy NEW gift bags to put presents in - I wonder if they've noticed these are all recycled, perhaps I'm doing a good job of returning them to different people !

    2. Hubbie's daily sandwiches for work are wrapped in the bags the bread comes in, or other plastic bags that held eg loose fruit & veg.

    3. My daughter gives me a Xmas present each year of a delicious dried fruit/nuts/seeds selection in the biggest jar she buys anything in that year.

    4. All the charity bags that come through the door are used as kitchen bin liners (I prefer to give things direct to the charity shop - they get more benefit that way).

    5. Sewing skills not up to remodelling clothes, though I do darn socks, but I never need to buy paper for shopping lists, score sheets for games etc because of junk mail.

    6. Obviously everything compostible is composted !

    7. We treated ourselves to new carpets recently (after 29yrs!), and offcuts have provided mats for 3 people so far.

    Thanks for all the lovely suggestions, plenty of ideas here. I was given a couple of those wooden holders of dried fruits for Xmas - any ideas on how to reuse them apart from refilling with dried fruit? They are perfectly clean and nice shapes, but quite shallow.
  • daisiegg
    daisiegg Posts: 5,395 Forumite
    Hmm, not a huge amount here. I re-use margarine tubs to freeze things in - they are perfect and can be used again and again, I just put them through the dishwasher between uses.

    We re-use food bags to an extent but not if they have had anything wet inside them...don't go as far as washing them out, if they need more than a shake out then they won't get re-used!

    I have lots of little plastic mini bowl things that I've had in the past with things like mini Christmas puddings in, that kind of thing...I use them to mix up egg substitute powder or mix up cornflour and water to thicken things, etc. Saves getting a bigger bowl dirty! I also use them to make personal microwave sponges. Again they go through the dishwasher fine.

    I re-use bubble bath bottles to help with cleaning in the bathroom as we don't have a shower over the bath, and they are also good to rinse out the bath after a use.
  • We had an old woolen blanket that became a dust sheet. Now all the decorating is over it is going to go inside to line a curtain.

    My sister is getting married soon, we are saving every glass jar, even if it is no good for jams. They will all get put outside the venue with tea lights in for a very romantic (and cheap) decoration.

    I use cheap wrapping paper sold in the January sales at pattern templates for sewing etc.

    The big plastic boxes that biscuits and crackers come in are perfect for storing things in the larder - one for flour, one for all the sugars, one for spices etc.

    My sons terry nappies have all been kept, made great tea towels, and now they are a bit shabby they are great for cleaning the floors, windows, rags etc.

    Reuse the large cola/drinks bottles as water bottles for days out. Always have one in the car for emergencies. We always take a small camping stove and a Jetboil out on day trips to make our own (decent) tea, we have converted a small tool box into a brew-kit box for emergencies and days out.

    All the off cuts from upholstery and curtains will be made into fun bunting. The offcuts from that are going to make dolls house size bunting and bunting trims for shelves (off-of the olden days :-)) - you can't have too much bunting can you?

    I have used an old small suitcase as a sewing box, store everything in tins and boxes inside it. The ip0d boxes are great for bobbins and small items as they are clear and stay shut. I can take my sewing box anywhere in the house I need it.

    Homemade wine/Sloe Gin/Marmalade 'Marmade' tins are great etc are great.

    We used an old shoe box and covered it with the wrapping paper that our wedding presents come in to use as a lovely storage box.

    Donate old shirts to nursery's, schools, beavers/brownies. Do you remember wearing an old mans shirt at school, back-to-front with elastic cuffs to protect your uniform - I'm looking for some now for our Beaver pack.

    and so the list goes on (by the way I am not an old woman - only 32!)
  • Love the ideas on this forum.
    My contibutions - when my rubber gloces start leaking I cut them up to make rubber bands and ties. The ones nearest the wrist are excellent for large boxes like the one that hold my Christmas decs.
    I also use toilet roll inners for firelighters in my woodburner. Use one for the outer shell and then flatten subsequent ones and push inside.
  • Molly41
    Molly41 Posts: 4,919 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Riq wrote: »
    I often use a towel to wipe my bottom so I can put it in the wash and save on toilet roll.

    You can get 4-5 toilet stops out of a single hand towel. Bath sheet and you can probably manage a week.

    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.
  • TudorRose
    TudorRose Posts: 421 Forumite
    Bake Off Boss!
    I always use the charity bags that come through the door as bin liners.
    I rarely have to use a bag from my roll of (bought) black ones for this. I still donate to the charities that I support but I like to take stuff direct to the CS.
  • Why do shops all sell Christmas decorations each year? Surely they are just put away in the loft ready to be reused next year? Who buys them (apart from new homeowners)?
  • katieowl_2
    katieowl_2 Posts: 1,864 Forumite
    MadMom wrote: »
    Surely it costs more in the long run? Twice a year? Seriously? I've had the same duvet for nearly 8 years now - perfect condition

    I'm not sure it would. I've had a few dog related accidents on our duvets. They don't fit in the washing machine, and the cost of taking them to the laundrette or dry cleaning is greater than replacing it with new value ones.

    I only buy value ones now tbh. As the dogs have claimed the duvets...they get cut into quarters, run through the washing machine and used to make dog beds! I fold the pieces and put them into old pillowcases. They go flat eventually after several washes, and then I chuck them away!

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