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



  • aeb_2
    aeb_2 Posts: 556 Forumite
    I too like these threads

    I send books / maps / etc wrapped in bubble wrap between cereal packet card. This squashes it nicely so it goes at the large letter postage rate. A jiffy bag is sometimes too fat.

    I cover recycled boxes I'm posting with inside out plastic bags (or bin liner if very big) This doesn't weigh much but ensures a strong parcel and the address can be clearly seen in amongst other patterns/printing. Looks more professional too.

    I made two small bed duvets from my mums king-sized one when she downsized just as my children went from cots to beds

    I write in pencil in my address book so I can change details (especially good for student nieces/nephews who change so often

    I keep a box under the stairs to pop charity item in. When full it goes to the shop in one trip

    Fruit trays from supermarket are used to stack toys. One each for cars / Duplo / Lego / etc. Bits can be easily spotted so they tend not to tip the whole lot out on they floor to find the thing they want from the bottom of a tub

    Flannels are used when they get out of the bath to dry off before a cuddle in the big towel. that way I don't have 6 very wet towels to dry, especially in winter

    aims for 2014 - grow more fruit and veg, declutter
  • I know too many people who choose a new colour theme for their xmas tree every year!! Some great tips on here thanks everyone.

    Must say I have never bought decs, this year tree was accessorised with bits of ribbon taken off crackers from office party and stuff i already had in house, our tree certainly was unique with a plastic goldfish and penguin on it from the freezer: i think they were supposed to be those cooler things you put in summer drinks. Christmas cards always become xmas tags and i gave my dad a log making machine for old paper to put on fire. He also dries old citrus peel and uses that.

    Thanks to someone on here I use cinnamon sprinkeled on old satsuma peel and oil in a pot near the radiator as a room freshener.

    Old water is saved in ex cleaning spray bottle for indoor plants.

    scratched cds i hang out with the veg as bird scarers, or make into under-candle or under mug coasters: all you need is a bit of creative mind and an indelible pen.

    old clothes can be reused at this time of year round pipes in cellar or outdoors to stop freezing.

    elastic bands from postman are all saved for tying round stuff in freezer

    shoelaces. dip in wax or burn the ends once they're frayed and they'll be good for back ups or tying up plants.

    j cloths. I cut mine up smaller then when they are past their best stick them in an old marge tub marked floor cloths or shove in the rag bag ready for the next draught excluder.

    Long socks become hand/wrist warmers when they are undarnable

    I eat a lot of 150g bags of crisps and get a lot of parcels delivered in medium size bags. we have a small kitchen bin and these get saved as bin bags. that way we dont pay and we dont ruin environment as much by getting free placcy ones from supermarket. I find i create less waste if i have a smaller bin and am more aware of what im throwing out.

    Have tried making tea light holder out of old bean tins a la super scrimpers but nearly took my finger off! I need a vice...

    I wear odd earrings as am fed up not having a use for them, or remember one mse r saying she uses them as pins for a corkboard!

    That's it for now :)
  • aeb_2
    aeb_2 Posts: 556 Forumite
    Just thought - I cut Brillo pads in half so they last twice as long

    aims for 2014 - grow more fruit and veg, declutter
  • 1. I reuse tiewraps and elastic bands until they break
    2. I reuse plastic containers with lids to freeze meals and things.
    3. Plastic containers without lids are used to collect tea bags/veg peels etc until they get gubby. I try washing them out but some warp in hot water and I have to get it hot to kill bacteria! If they warp they go in the recycling bin.
    4. Shoeboxes, chocolate and biscuit tins and similar are useful all around the house for sewing kits, crafty bits, cotton wool balls etc. I even have a shoe box in my chest of drawers to keep my belts tidy.
    5. Carrier bags get reused for shopping if they are strong or bin liners if they aree thin.
    6. Cards are cut up for gift tags or bookmarks.
    7. Bows on presents are kept to stick on other present with a bit of double sided tape.
    8. I keep ribbons and buttons from anything and everything, including spares, crafts and decorations for hampers.
    9. Empty bottles are reused for water for the dogs (and me!) when i take them on long walks in the summer.
    10. Plastic clothing bags often sent with online orders are usued to protect nice eveningwear clothes that i don't often wear.
    11. All bubblewrap, cardboard boxes, jiffy envelopes, polystrene etc is kept for packaging ebay stuff.
    12. Recipes are cut out of magazines and stuck into my own recipe book. (once tried and tested)
    13. Old towels are kept for defrosting the freezer or drying the dog.
    14. Old cuddly toys are kept as dog toys.
    15. Old sheets kept for decorating.
    16. Scrap paper is kept for notes.
    17. Gift bags are reused until they break.
    18. Any nice baskets or boxes recieved as gifts are kept for storage or gifts for others e.g. xmas hampers.
    19. If any of my earrings break I keep the earring backs as spares.
    20. Old blankets and pillows are used for dog beds.
    21. Old newspapers are kept for under the litter tray (It collects litter and protects the floor on the occasion the cats miss the tray!)
    21. Carpet off cuts make good door mats.
    22. Old rucksacks make good underbed storage
    23. Old chest of drawers and cupboards can make good storage for garages and sheds.
    24. Old (cold) tea bags are great (as an alternative to cucumber) for reducing bags under the eyes, just leave them on your eyes for 5 mins.
    25. My mum's old garter belt is currently serving as a tie-back for the small net curtain in our little cloakroom!
    26. If I have to throw a sock away i often keep it's partner for when the next one goes. (I have all black socks)
    27. Old CDs or vinyls can be made into stylish clocks by simply adding a clock mechanism (easy to find on ebay)

    I didn't think i recycled much until it came to listing it!
  • Nosmig
    Nosmig Posts: 22 Forumite
    I drink just one mug of coffee a day - using a pod machine (a present from my daughter). It's good coffee but the pods work out at about 25p a go - but that's a darn sight cheaper than non-tax paying high street parlours!

    So, I buy the strongest, richest varieties - and get 2 mugs per pod.

    Not as cheap as instant - but ten times better.
  • eleanor73
    eleanor73 Posts: 1,615 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    -I took all the charity bags I had accumulated over the year to a festival and we used them to sit on so not to wreck our clothes.
    -Any shampoo or conditioner that I get from a hotel that I wouldn't use on my hair still get used - conditioner to lubricate legs before shaving and shampoo to wash hot feet in the summer!
    -Often at festivals or in easy to win competitions we get free t shirts and if we have clothes with holes we use all these as rags or I use them instead of cotton wool to cleanse my face and wash.
    -I pull the bows of boxes of chocs or presents and I re-use them.
    -I use elastic bands to keep open rice and pasta bags closed (or sometimes clothes pegs).
    -I use take away cartons to freeze batch cooking in portions.
    Since starting again after beanie: June 2016: Child development DVDs, Massive Attack tickets. July: Aberystwyth trip, hotmilk nightie. Aug: £10 Hipp Organic vouchers, powerpack. September: Sunglasses. October: £30 poundland vouchers.
  • Oh my.... I reuse so much!

    All jam jars, coffee jars, tins, and useful tubs get reused, either at home for domestic storage, in my workshop for equipment storage, or at work to keep project components seperate...

    All corrugated card and cereal box material gets taken into work for the kids to do modelling with

    All unusable clothing gets cut up to reuse as patchworking fabric, or, if it's not appropriate for that, I rag rug with it. If it's not usable for either of those it's cleaning cloths.

    Toilet roll middles are put together in a honeycomb arrangement to store longer items in my workshop

    Shampoo and Conditioner bottles get the tops cut off them and become storage for other workshop equipment

    And then anything else (unwanted CDs, old books, newspapers, magazines, bottle tops, carrier bags, and whatever else I can lay my hands on) get collected up until there's enough of whatever, and we use them to run craft activities with the scouts - made some awesome memo holders last year with CD's for bases, bottle lids full of plaster of paris glued onto the base, with a piece of cut up wire coat hanger in the plaster, and an old peg on the end of the wire!

    I hate throwing useful things away lol
    *2016 - the year of the savings account!*

    GC: Jan (£300/£179.76) 8 NSD
    Diet: 60lbs this year - so far: 0.5
  • Petlamb
    Petlamb Posts: 922 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Toilet roll inners don't get a chance to be re-used here with both a house bunny and a hamster, they're too well loved as toys/nibbles! On the bright side I don't buy them toys very often at all as the prefer the tubes!
    On the up :D
    Our wedding day! 13/06/15
  • clarryd
    clarryd Posts: 636 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I recycle/re-use all the Christmas bags and fancy gift boxes that my family give me my presents in and I also tell my family to do the same as this is a big waste of money if they went straight in the big after one use.: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.

    Douwe egberts jars! i keep mine for all sorts they looks quite decorative and the lables are easy to get off, use them in the kitchen full of dried things like rice, pasta, dried beans etc. i used to work in a cafe where we used that brand and i used to save them. they are air tight so things keep fresh :) i also know a girl who makes her own candles in them :) this style of jar
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