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Don't just throw them away...

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
144 replies 35.8K views


  • Both plastic and greaseproof bread wrappers make useful sandwich bags. Charity shops are always greatful for plastic carrier bags. Thanks for the tip about putting shredded paper on the compost heap, my council won't allow it in the recycling bin.
  • Linda32Linda32 Forumite
    4.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Excellent thread this, and some brilliant idea's, thanks.

    We shread all personal papers for the compost bin and recycle everything else. Its collected at the doorstep.

    I keep alot of food trays and punnets for seed sowing.

    Save stamps at home for a friend who collects for Kennels.

    We do save carrier bags and use them for our kitchen compost bin, where we save compost material to eventually go to the bin on the allotment.
  • tee_pee_2tee_pee_2 Forumite
    1.7K posts
    banana peel is good for your roses, My mum told me that and she has been doing it for years and garden is fab.
  • Lemon_TreeLemon_Tree Forumite
    10.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    I have also found another use for shredded paper, my sister and i use it as bedding for our rabbits and guinea pigs, it's better for them than straw as it doesn't scratch their eyes. If you're like me i get loads of paper at work, more than i can ever make into scrap pads so i bring it home to be shredded. It even saves the company money as they don't have to pay an outside company to shred it.
  • twinktwink Forumite
    3.8K posts
    cut plastic milk bottles into strips and shape into labels for your plants use a marking pen or whatever theyre called, to write on them
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • HermiaHermia Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Charity shops are always greatful for plastic carrier bags.

    Make sure you phone the charity shop beforehand if you are thinking of taking a large bag of bags along. I find some charity shops only want to use their own branded bags now.

    Gosh, you lot are so good! The only things I do is:-

    Use carrier bags for the bin. Reuse envelopes and jiffy bags for when I am posting stuff. I have signed up for the Mailing Preference Service so I get very little junk mail now.

    To be honest I just recycle everything. I live in a bedsit with no garden so I don't want to save lots of stuff to reuse because I just haven't got anywhere to put it.
  • stumpjumperstumpjumper Forumite
    457 posts
    I use shredder paper from work as bedding for the gerbils, they'll also happily shred all our personal documents too. I use ice cream tubs to keep pens and other loose items together in draws. Newspapers are used as doormats and to keep things clean and dry while camping

    skip finds from work:

    2 coolboxes (there were more but I shared them with colleagues)
    4 working computer monitors
    assorted good quality wood
    outdoor cableing
    several rolls of brown tape
    lever arch files
    1 computer that I broke for parts
    various PC cables
    10m rope
    unlimited supply of aggregate/ fill material
    2009 wins: Signed Saxon CD, Solar Torch, Drumsticks, Priest Feast Tix, Watch, Hammerfest tix :beer:
  • exlibrisexlibris Forumite
    696 posts
    I used to work in an FE College and we had loads of "waste" printer paper - students printing double, the printers taking up 2 sheets etc

    IT asked us not to put the blank paper back into the printers so I sorted the waste into:-

    sensative and non-sensitive sheets i.e. sheets with no name on

    blank paper

    sensitive and heavily printed

    The latter went into the bin and the rest to the creche for the children to draw on.

    If you have a local creche/nursery this may be an idea BUT check with them first to wee if they want it.
  • pollyspollys Forumite
    1.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    I buy sunflower spread and reuse the cartons for storing things in the fridge eg half an onion, small portion of leftovers, cheese. It saves on using clingfilm or tinfoil. The cartons also come in useful for the childrens art activities, paint, glue or collage stuff, at the end of play pop the lid on and it's ready for the next session.
    MFW 1/5/08 £45,789 Cleared mortgage 1/02/13
    Weight loss challenge. At target weight.
  • poppycrackerpoppycracker Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Wow what a lot of good ideas! We have a paper collection now (which is a novelty since we didn't have on Lewis) but apart from junk mail, no paper goes out of the house without being printed or written on both sides anyway! I'm also trying to get a bin for plastic bottles. We use carrier bags as bin bags and also as 'poop scoopers' (also a novelty since you dont' have to scoop in the wilds where we lived before!) and I also use margarine tubs for storing teabags and putting leftovers as 'meals for one' in the freezer.

    OH was saving teabags for compost for a while, but I've caught him throwing them out recently, will have to get him going again...One thing I refuse to do is wee on the compost heap! Too many windows overlooking where I think ours is! (another reason to move back to the wilds!)

    Back to carrier bags.... I think it depends on where you are. The charity shops in Stornoway were always grateful for a couple of bags full, but the Aberdeen ones don't seem to be interested.

    By the way, what do you do with spare hangers? We found tons of plastic hangers in our wardrobes when we moved and the charity shops didn't want them, so I'm afraid they went in the bin (hangs head in shame)
    DFW Nerd no 239.....Last Personal Debt paid off Nov 2012!
    Donated 50 pints so far.... gold badge got 17/11/13! Blood Group O+
    mummy to 3 cats, 2 budgies and a cockatiel
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