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

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  • MeanJean wrote: »
    I wash and keep the clear plastic yogurt pots ready for spring when I puncture holes in the bottom with my old school compass (kept for 50 years!) and plant seeds in them. Have started off hundreds of seedlings this way. I also use them for growing young salad plants taken from supermarket bought punnets of growing mixed salad leaves. These plants later go into my garden and I have fresh lettuces all summer and I save a small fortune on bagged mixed salad. I also use empty mushroom and veg punnets to grow plants. They also make good drawer dividers - just arrange them tightly together inside a drawer to separate eg paperclips from stamps ,sellotape, string, rubber bands etc.

    I use veg punnets too! But then, I have no ground, only the downstairs neighbours' roof that they let me grow plants on :)
  • Austin_Allegro
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    Old socks can be folded in half and worn as...ahem...'gentlemens' intimate warmers'. (basically a fabric version of a cricket box). Any man who has been cycling in this recent cold weather will appreciate that idea!

    Old carpet can be used as a weedproof membrane in the garden, cardboard boxes folded flat also work well. Cut out holes for your plants with a stanley knife then sprinkle about 1-2" of clean topsoil over it.

    Old wine bottles get used for homemade wine. Use the screw top types and you won't need to waste money on corks.
    'Never keep up with Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.' Quentin Crisp
  • Sassaves
    Sassaves Posts: 16 Forumite
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    Many thanks for such an interesting and inspiring thread. I was talking to my elderly Mum about it this morning (she's 80) and she really enjoyed the ideas that people use and she had a great time talking about some of her own reusing habits

    She's got a small rusty old shopping trolley frame in the shed - you know the type of thing that used to have a tartan bag, small wheels and an extendable handle. Apparently after its tartan bag was removed lost or something, she used the wheeled frame with its little metal platform to shift things around the garden eg compost bags and pots. She says that it was used by someone to move an old fridge and washing machine, but i'm not sure about that as it doesn't sound very safe as this little trolley isn't very big! I don't suppose h&s was a big concern back then when you just had to get something done

    I do know that shes used old fridge shelves as plant supports around the garden in fact some are still there. They're kind of mucky greenish white now and still stick out a bit in the winter! but cover up quite well with new growth in spring. funny that monty don hasn't picked up on that one

    One of her best recycling habits for us kids was saving the long white red-top fairy liquid bottles, filling them with water as they made fantastic water pistols and we used to draw on teh dry paths and pavements with water. She used to save empty shoe polish tins for us to use as peevers on the path in games of hopscotch too. Ah joy
  • Crocswearer
    Crocswearer Posts: 211 Forumite
    edited 17 January 2013 at 3:07PM
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    Plastic milk bottles (especially the larger ones) make great containers for any dried goods. I currently use them for rice, lentils, oats, sugar, and cat biscuits. The handle makes them easy to pour from, too!

    I re-use the top part of a 2 litre drinks bottle as a funnel for filling the above.
  • LameWolf
    LameWolf Posts: 11,235 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
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    I have full carrier bag of candle leftovers. I do plan to melt them all down into molds. I just need to get round to making the wicks first.
    Ooh, how do you make your own wick, please?:o

    I have a load of candle-wax waiting for me to be well enough to do some candle-making.;)

    How's this for longevity for a re-used item.... when I do candle-making, I have an old dog-food tin (800 gram size) that I use to melt the wax in, over a saucepan of water. The tin originally contained food eaten by my beloved Penny-Dog; Penny made her journey across the Rainbow Bridge back in 2002, and I'm still using the same tin!:o

    Before I moved to MK, my next door neighbours bred snakes, and they used to use loo roll and kitchen roll inners for the babies to hide in.:o
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
  • areia
    areia Posts: 47 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
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    i do a lot of the suggested ideas already :D
    I save plugs and fuses from electrical items i cant fix and have to throw out,

    going to experiment this yr with the copper inside discarded flex and wrap round my seedling pots this year, will be back to let you know if it was worth the effort :D
  • Bats
    Bats Posts: 15 Forumite
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    Just trying to think of some of the things I do that haven't already been mentioned:

    I use a two-pint milk bottle with the top part cut off at an angle, keeping the handle intact, to scoop dry pet food out of large sacks, and keep one for gardening when I only need a small amount of compost from a big bag, or for watering plants from the rainwater butt.

    I reuse the little plastic boxes that T*ctac mints come in to store seeds, screws and oddments.

    The clear plastic wrap my magazine subscriptions come in (paid for with Tesco Rewards vouchers, of course!) is opened carefully at one end and reused for packing stuff for Ebay and Amazon.

    I reuse expensive yarn by unravelling my old handknitted jumpers and reknitting them into more fashionable designs.
  • Tulipa
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    Brilliant tips on here.

    I am gathering infant formula tins at the rate of 4 a month and am loathe to through them out. Anyone got any ideas?

    I use the small ribbons on clothes to hang the kids homemade Christmas decorations / drawings on their tree - we make extra of these so we can give them away as presents to grannies and aunties. I also use the pretty ribbon from clothing bundles/towel bales to decorate the tree - saves buying tinsel and looks great.

    I roll up old magazines and use them as supports for my boots so they keep their shape and don't fall over in the cupboard.

    Before throwing out any 'well past it' clothes I remove any appliques that I like so I can use them to cover any holes that appear in other garments - cinders from bonfires are mostly to blame.
  • originalkat
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    Tulipa wrote: »
    Brilliant tips on here.

    I am gathering infant formula tins at the rate of 4 a month and am loathe to through them out. Anyone got any ideas?

    I use the small ribbons on clothes to hang the kids homemade Christmas decorations / drawings on their tree - we make extra of these so we can give them away as presents to grannies and aunties. I also use the pretty ribbon from clothing bundles/towel bales to decorate the tree - saves buying tinsel and looks great.

    I roll up old magazines and use them as supports for my boots so they keep their shape and don't fall over in the cupboard.

    Before throwing out any 'well past it' clothes I remove any appliques that I like so I can use them to cover any holes that appear in other garments - cinders from bonfires are mostly to blame.

    With a nice bright coloured lid these are good for storing small toys, puzzle pieces etc and are easy to cover with leftover paper or they can be painted to match a child's room. They can also go in the recycling bin once they get too tattyand dented to use.

    Could I just say though that I have noticed people have mentioned that they recycle so much there is not much left to re-use. It is better to re-use than recycle as recycling in your local council scheme involves transporting the material to a sorting facility, then to a processor and even more energy to turn the recycled materials into a new item. Obviously this is better than landfill but after not buying in the first place, re-using is the next best option.

    Love all the ideas and as to using a towel instead of toilet roll, I laughed so much I nearly fell off my chair. I think that is a step too far even for me!! Although I would love to see my (adult) kids faces if I told them it was my new money saving plan:rotfl:
  • good_advice
    good_advice Posts: 2,653 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post Mortgage-free Glee! Rampant Recycler
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    When the kids were little... we did junk modeling with empty clean containers from mostly food.
    Shampoo bottles were saved for bath play.
    Tops of deodorants and the like were saved for building blocks.
    Carrot tops grown in a saucer of water.
    Runner bean seed in a jar with a piece of kitchen towel.
    The secret to success is making very small, yet constant changes.:)
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