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Category:  Odds and Ends

Re-Using Everyday Household Items

By Cyndi Roberts

Finding a second use for household items is a true mark of a frugal person.

Reusing items saves us money, reduces waste and is a way to do something positive for the environment. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started reusing household items

Clothespins can be used in many ways other than hanging garments on the clothesline.  I use them to hang my skirts on wire hangers instead of buying expensive special skirt hangers.

I use clothespins to hold potato chip bags closed.  To keep cereal fresh, fold the inner bag down and hold closed with a clothespin.

Glue a magnet to one side of a clothespin and you have a notepad holder for your fridge.  Use one to hold your grocery list.

Use the cardboard toilet paper tubes for storing extra extension cords.  Tubes from paper towels can be used for storing things like knitting needles.  Just cover one end with masking tape.

Empty milk jugs can be used for many things.  I use one for carrying clothespins.  Cut a hole in the front, leaving the handle intact.  Then just slice across the handle near the bottom and you can hang it on the clothesline.

Use an empty milk jug or other plastic jug to store your birdseed.  It makes it easier to pour than trying to pour out of the plastic bag it comes in!

By cutting off the top of an empty milk jug, you can make a handy disposable funnel.  These are good to use when changing the oil in your car. 

Make a pet poop scoop with a 1/2 gallon milk jug. Cut the top out, leaving the handle and a smooth edge for scooping. Place a used plastic newspaper bag or plastic produce bag inside for easy removal of waste.

Empty Kleenex boxes (the boutique kind) can be used to store those handy plastic shopping bags.  Just stuff them in the hole in the top and when you need one, just pull one out.

Reuse the styrofoam trays meat sometimes comes on when you give homemade goodies.  Be sure to wash the tray thoroughly. Then cover with foil; place candy or cookies on top and cover with plastic wrap.

I also use the meat trays as a palette when I paint.

Reuse an empty detergent squeeze bottle for watering plants, to fill a steam iron, or spot clean the floor.

Store a water-filled squeeze bottle in the car and use it to clean the windshield when the wiper fluid is used up or to clean hands after changing a flat.

"Happiness is making the most of what you have." ---Rosamunde Pilcher

Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly e-newsletter "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another", bringing you practical, money-saving tips, recipes and ideas.  Visit her online at to subscribe and receive the Free e-course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".  


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Category:  Odds and Ends

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