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



  • RenTheRoosta
    RenTheRoosta Posts: 159 Forumite
    edited 2 April 2013 at 8:18PM
    I agree - great tips on this thread!

    Today I customised a pair of old car licence plates to modify my hall stair (baby) gate - using white duct tape, East of India paper tape (with the word 'love' and hearts on it) and sellotape - first layer white duct tape, second layer paper tape (which is black so left a white gap between each to make it stand out more), then final layer sellotape (paper tape is low tack so peels off easily). My toy poodle is a slim thing and can fit down the side gaps near the walls of the stair gate I have at the top of the stairs. He's been sneaking through and eating my post lol so I wanted a way to block the sides off. The licence plates are the perfect size. I attached them to the gate with the white duct tape then customised with the paper tape and sealed with the sellotape. I have photos if anyone's interested :) My back was a bit hurty from bending and at times lying on the floor lol (the last two layers had to be done in situ as the plates were attached to the gate) but it looks fab and has thwarted him from getting through :)

    I save all ribbons from boxes of chocolates and presents to re-use on gifts I'm giving. I personalise pump-action hand creams with ribbon tied around the neck. When your pump action hand cream starts getting low and not dispensing properly; add some massage oil and shake the pot to combine the two; it loosens the remaining hand cream so it dispenses properly. I save all gift bags for re-using and any faux flowers or decorations that can be glued/tied onto gift wrapping. I use leftover rolls of wallpaper as wrapping paper.

    I save all shells, beads etc to personalise stuff; painted a bare wooden storage box with drawers white and glued seashells along the tops of each drawer. Charms from broken necklaces can be threaded onto house/car key rings for an alternative use not requiring the purchase of a new chain.

    I use gift baskets I have received for storage; they work particularly well in wardrobes to keep things separate. Gift boxes from toiletries gifts can work really well too; Boots seem do some sturdy ones that are great for storage. I have organised my kitchen drawers (which before were nightmarish; used to just chuck things in) by putting stuff into these types of boxes. The small Ferrero Rocher plastic boxes are good for storing picture tacks, rubber bands (the ones the postman leaves on the ground lol) etc. Rubber bands are great for binding up open food packets and are much sturdier than those resealable packet seals which I find lose their stickiness after a while.

    I always take all the little bottles of shower gels etc from any hotel room stays I make (they're built into the price of your room) and siphon them into a bigger bottle for everyday use as the little bottles are fiddly. Similarly with bottles of shower gels that are half/part used and taking up space; siphon them all into one bottle and use it up.

    When you get to the end of a lip balm scrape the bit you cant reach into a little pot (the Body Shop do nice little sample ones for free) and you will be able to use the entire lip balm without having to throw any away. For those of you handy enough to make your own lip balms the empty tube can be washed out and refilled with your own concoction :)

    Old towels I use to dry off my dogs (I use tennis balls in the washing machine to collect the dog fur off clothes and fabrics).

    I used my old hall carpet to have a vertical cat scratching wall made next to my front door for my over-zealous cat; had a handyman make a big wooden frame for it with the carpet inside and mount it on the wall. Cat loves it :) Have seen similar ones for sale online but they are expensive. You could make it yourself if you were handier than me lol.

    I line my cat's litter tray with a whole newspaper (the free ones from the bus) then use old bills that have been through the cross cut shredder as cat litter. This could also work with shredded catalogues and junk mail.

    I pull the spray heads off old perfume bottles and leave them in clothing drawers so the last of the scent can evaporate into the clothes. I also put scented postcards/perfume sample cards into drawers. I use any unwanted fragrances (that wouldnt sell on eBay) as bathroom air freshener. Old shower puffs are great for cleaning tiles in the bathroom/cleaning the bath.

    I agree with previous posts about recycling packaging for eBay sales and pretty jars for makeup brush / toothbrush holders. Glass jars (the small Nutella one is a good size) make a good scoop for a big bag of rice (I buy mine in bulk). Come to think of it the Nutella one is good enough quality to use as a drinking glass too.

    I used an old cardboard box as a whelping box when my dog had puppies; and used pieces of another box and duct tape to create a doorway that was high enough to stop the pups falling out onto the kitchen floor but low enough for my dog to climb in and out of. Whelping boxes are expensive to buy (especially for an item you will need to throw away afterwards) so this is a great alternative. I feed my dogs on the raw diet so save veggie scraps (the outer leaves of brussels sprouts we discard are their favourite) to feed with their raw meat.

    The plastic wrap/cellophane bunches of flowers come in can be re-used to wrap up gift baskets. I sometimes beg cellophane off the florist for Christmas hampers and the stuff flowers are wrapped in is the same thing; tie up with a ribbon saved from a chocolate box.

    I used the footed glass bowls that had floating candles in them at my wedding reception as Christmas gifts; put a large pillar candle in the middle and surround with holly picked from trees, tie up in cellophane saved from bunches of flowers and tie at the top with ribbon. Makes a very nice looking gift.
  • karren
    karren Posts: 1,260 Forumite
    i used an old towel as flannels for the babies as wipes were so expensive, we were truly skint, and it seemed better value as they just got thrown in wash, the washing machine always seemed to be on x
    :A :j
  • blossomhill_2
    I use the clothes ribbons for tying up roses
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • CookieMonsta
    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?

    They would be great for storing little toys and craft items. I would use them to keep my Christmas decorations and balls in! They'd be fab for that because they'd protect them :) Also great for keeping matches and candles together and dry.

    Or you could put dry foods like rice or beans in them. Or biscuits!

    Washing powder/gloop storage?

    There's a recipe in The Tightwad Gazette for making breads (that can be sliced into round slices) in large coffee cans which must be the same size as formula cans. It also mentions taking the bottom off coffee cans with a can opener so you're left with a tube. Then dunk it in a bucket of bubble mix to make huge bubbles!

    And in the spirit of MSE, you could use one as your sealed pot for the sealed pot challenge :)
    Decluttering 2015: 2162/2015
  • Yellow_One
    I use plastic lids as mixing palettes for paint.

    Egg boxes for mixing paints as well, and old baked bean tins for washing out paint brushes.

    I cut the spare buttons, sequins and threads from new clothes and store them for future projects.

    I recently covered an old pair of ballet pumps in some spare fabric to create a new pair of shoes that otherwise would have been thrown away.

    Me and my friends swap books and magazines to save buying new ones.

    I use old towels to help clear the de-icer and wet from my car windscreen.
    Old flannels are used for cleaning the dashboard in my car with a suitable dashboard cleaner.

    I keep all odd socks and if I am wearing knee high boots where the socks will not be seen at all, I wear the odds together then. Also save them for when the tumble dryer gobbles up another sock so I always have a pair. Also great for wearing in bed as well.

    I keep all old clothes in a big bag for any future projects. I would like to make a memory board and have fabric for this.
    I also plan to use some of this fabric to cover decent sturdy boxes from online retailer deliveries and I will then have lovely storage boxes.

    I do what I did at school and cover any old tatty notebooks or any ones with old wrapping paper, lovely and personal and a fraction of the price of a fancy one from the likes of Paperchase.
    Since 1st January 2013:-
    £430 from the sale of old jewellery
    £50 from sale of old mobile phone
    I will do that much over due carboot sale!
    Back on mega weight loss regime. Lost 9 stone in two years all by myself. Now I am BACK ON IT!!!
  • Film_Fan
    I use a washing up scourer pad to clean my black trousers for work instead of buying sticky lint rolls.
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,978 Forumite
    Homepage Hero First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    After making jam I use recycled jars and decorate them with material from old duvet covers and old curtains. I reuse the elastic bands that the postman throws away to hold the material round the rim of the jar, then I decorate the rim with ribbon from old clothes or ribbon from new purchases such as pyjamas. Have to say it makes the jars look lovely.

    I collect sunflower and other flower seeds to replant the following year as seeds are so expensive to buy.

    I make Elderflower cordial for a fresh summer drinks as when made in a big batch it can be frozen in little recycled water bottles. Elder flowers can be found in most woodlands!! If you freeze it in portions none is ever wasted as you can get a bottle out of the freezer when you have used one up. That way it stays fresh. You can also make cordial from wild blackberries. If you make it yourselve at least you know what goes in it, again you can make it in big batches and freeze and use when required. Alot cheaper than supermarket cordial.

    I make hair scrunchies from odd bits of material by using old elastic bands as the elasticated bit in the centre. These are quick and easy to make. If I turn a skirt or dress up that is too long for me, I keep the material I have cut off and make hair scrunchies out of the cut off piece, that way you will have hair schruncies that match with the skirt or the dress you are wearing.

    Strips of old lace can look nice as little curtain tie backs in a bedroom. I have a strip of white lace as a shower curtain tie back in my bathroom. That looks really nice.

    I think the rope on the bath scruncies that you use to hang the bath scrunchie to dry after having a bath or shower do not look very decorative. I removed the rope on mine and sewed on some matching ribbon, they look much nicer hanging up.

    If you grow your own peppers, you will noticed that they are often all ready to pick within a week of each other. This year I had over 30 peppers and did not want to waste them. So I lightly roasted some of them sliced and let them cool, then portioned them up and put them in the freezer ready to use for quiches over the winter when peppers are really expensive.

    Happy recycling. I really have enjoyed this thread.

    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread.
  • Tightwad222_2
    Maybe not reusing, but we only put in half a tablet in our dishwasher. They break easily and dishes are still as clean as using a whole tablet.
  • Missy1984
    mel48rose wrote: »
    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.[/QUOTE

    Would it not be more hygienic to wash your bottom instead? I do this and I feel cleaner. Just a suggestion.
    Sealed Pot Challenge Member # 2010
    Stars from Sue:
    Target: £1500.
    Weight loss goal: 2 stones by April 2013 ;)
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 17,413 Forumite
    First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    The Ostermilk tins are great for storing things like drill bits and larger screws.I have a couple left over from my youngest grandson who will be 9 this year and they are really good as I know exactly where to find the things I late OH had a habit of storing odd screws and nails in screw topped jam jars and I still have several in the cupboard under the stairs on a shelf.Yesterday my builder who is renovating my bathroom asked me if I had any drill bits as he had forgotten his, out came the Ostermilk tin and no worries I sorted him out straight away,saved him going home to get his ones

    years ago my late Mum had a National Dried milk tin that she used for keeping biscuits in and it was great as they never ever went soft
    I try to reuse and recycle as much as possible,I hate the thought of stuff going into landfill.Some great ideas on here well done everyone we are all make do and menders on here :):):)
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