Live Green and Earn Points


Get Frugal & Reuse These Household Items

By Sebrina Zerkus Smith |
Come on all you die-hard-frugalers of the world, unite! It’s time to reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle to your heart’s content with these 16 tips!

16 everyday ways to reduce, reuse and recycle!

If you’re a frugal person, like me, then you’re probably always looking for new ways to reuse all those household items that stack up after primary use. Reusing items you have on hand not only saves money, but it also reduces environmental waste.

So come on all you die-hard-frugalers, won’t-spend-stingys, and totally-committed-environment-comes-first-deep-greens of the world, unite! It’s time to reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle to your heart’s content. Do good and feel good about it with these 16 tips!

Ketchup Bottle

Reuse an ordinary squeeze ketchup bottle to make no-mess pancakes. Wash thoroughly, pour in batter, then squeeze out precise pancake portions.

Flatware And Utensils

Use old or pitted serving pieces in your potting shed or garden. A fork work just like a mini-tiller for small container projects, and a spoon makes a great small shovel for planting seedlings or uprooting stubborn weeds. Keep an old measuring cup in your potting soil or fertilizer and you’ll never have to worry about getting the right amount again.

Old Shower Cap

A shower cap that’s outlived it’s usefulness in the shower becomes the perfect wrapper for shoes when traveling. The cap prevents dirt from getting on clothes packed in your suitcase.

1Old Frames

You can repurpose an old frame to use as a vanity tray. Complete the project by placing a piece of colored paper or fabric inside the frame.

Another Great Use For Old Plastic Bags

Take the load off your knees when gardening with easy homemade knee pads. Wrap and tie a couple of plastic bags around your knees to keep your work grime-free. Add a few pairs of old socks inside the bags and you’ll have perfectly padded knees for all your garden chores.

Empty Milk Jugs

Can be used to carrying clothespins, or store small cleaning items to carry from room to room. Simply cut a hole in the front of the jug, leaving the handle intact. Then slice across the handle at any place you like and you have a DIY, light-weight carry all. Or, by cutting off the top of an empty milk jug, you can make a handy disposable funnel from the spout. Especially good to use when changing the oil in your car.

A Cast-Iron Pan Makes A Quick Magnetic Board

Any skillet hanging on a kitchen wall makes a great magnetic spot to display recipes, notes and phone numbers. Don’t forget to remove these items before you use your skillet for cooking!

Cardboard Beer Holder

A six-pack holder can become convenient condiment tote for your next picnic.

Carpet Remnants

Deaden sound by lining the bottom of your pots and pans cupboard with unused carpet. It will also prevent scraping and damage to the pans.

Unused Sand Box

The sand box your children have outgrown will make a great raised bed for a vegetable or flower garden.

Old Ironing Board Covers

An old non-stick ironing board cover will make great pot holders, barbecue mitts, or hot pads. Cut out the shape you want and sew together (right sides facing) on your sewing machine. Turn and press. Turn under a small hem on the bottom and sew in hem.

Shower curtains

Soak an old shower curtain in vinegar and water for several hours to clean it, then use it as a tablecloth for the picnic table, as a drop cloth when you are painting, or as a ground sheet under your tent or sleeping bags. It will also make a fast apron for really messy jobs.

1Old Wine Carton

Warehouse your shoes in and use the slots in an empty wine-bottle carton to keep your shoes neat and dust-free. Wrap the carton in decorative paper if desired.

Last Year’s Telephone Book

Use last year's telephone book to make a reference file for the car. Cut out maps and frequently called numbers and put them in a folder for easy reference. You can also use old telephone books to add height to decorative table-scapes. Place books on table in varying heights. Cover with a table cloth. Add knick-knacks to tops of phone books for the decorator-style layered look found in magazines. Works with used books, too.

Bath Mat

Use a worn out bath mat to make a floor mop. Fold the mat (fluffy side out) to fit the floor part of your mop. Secure with pins or self-stick velcro. The mop can be washed in the washing machine after use.


Slice old wine corks into thin disks and glue them onto the inside corners of cabinets. The cork will muffle any slamming cabinet door sound and protect he beauty of your wood cabinets. Or, attach a cork to boat keys, and you won’t ever have to worry about losing them when you’re out on the water. The cork, and your keys, will float.

Do your part each day to reduce, reuse and recycle. Your mother will thank you. Mother Nature, that is.

via Real Simple

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  • Elaine F. 5 years ago
    good ideas.
  • AMY K. 5 years ago
    Great ideas!
  • Sheila A. 5 years ago
    You can also use old wash cloths instead of those swiffer cloths -saves money too. Old socks slipped over your hand makes a good duster- We turned the old outgrown swing set into a hanging plant holder after removing the swings-painted it to match our outdoor furniture.We turn empty milk cartons into bird feeders- wash them out- cut square holes on 2 sides high enough to allow for the seed-we put old tinker toy long "stick" piece thru it for place for birds to land to feed. Glued old lincoln logs into planters too-used empty milk cartons for "liner" just make sure you make some drainage holes in it. If you look around you can find manty use for outgrown toys- or donate them to Women's shelter or Hospital childrens clinic-just call first to see if they accept them-most do as long as stuff is clean & in good condition.{just remember no toys with little parts or anything that can be taken off & swallowed} We have 6 children so we're inventing new uses for outgrown/unwanted kids things all the time.
  • Jaime P. 5 years ago
    Great Ideas!
  • Patricia T. 5 years ago
    Some great ideas here, I will check back to see if anyone has added new ones. I use old sheets to cut into strips to tie up my tomato plants. I use used coffee grounds around plants that slugs like to chew on, they wont cross the grounds.
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