Things you'd throw away but can be reused

(29 Posts)
Buddy80 Sat 18-May-13 13:22:04

I was thinking about this and thought i'd start a thread.

I'll start smile

Eggshells: crushed eggshells scattered makes excellent pest control. Or, seedling starters & drain cleaner.

bacon rinds for the birds

cereal bags make great freezer bags

newspaper deoderise food containers

dotnet Wed 28-Aug-13 08:10:06

Rubber bands dropped by the postman! It's amazing how often I seem to need rubber bands. Old towels cut up for floorcloths etc. I cut the top off an empty giant washing powder box, painted the outside and I keep it in my kitchen for putting all my paper recycling stuff in before it finds its way out to the bin. It's a good size and shape - not too big, not too obtrusive.
Once, when dd was little, I cut a Minnie Mouse from the front of one of her nighties. She'd outgrown it and was getting hysterical at the idea of it being thrown away. So I sewed(appliqued) the Minnie Mouse on to a pillow case for her. Peace was restored.

Ragwort Mon 26-Aug-13 19:10:05

My father is 82 and retired over 20 years ago but still wears his old business suits cut down into shorts grin.

That generation is soooooooooo good at being frugal but my DPs also think nothing of spending £60 on dinner out for 2 grin midweek if they 'can't be bothered to cook'. But if I try and throw out a crust of bread in their house that is a week old I get told off !!!

buildingmycorestrength Mon 26-Aug-13 19:03:00

I'm just jumping on as I'm interested in this. The key for me is not keeping more than I'll realistically use, and keeping it organised.

Some wonderful ideas/reminders here, thank you all! thanks

confusedofengland Wed 21-Aug-13 08:22:33

My DSes (4 & 2) would rather have an empty baby shampoo/bubble bath bottle than any bath toy in the world grin

Similarly, DS claimed an old box the other day to paint & turn into a treasure chest.

Charity bags that come through the letter box make good binbags, then I take a carrier bag full to the charity shop if I am over that way.

If there is just one serving spoon or so left from a meal, I pop it in a tub for the freezer before my Ddad can snaffle it as 'afters'. It makes a nice meal for one of the DSes (which means sometimes they are eating different things on the same night, but they don't mind blush)

Any bread that has started to go mouldy gets put in the freezer, ready for our next visit to the ducks (they love it!)

Wilting plants seem to like caffeine, so either put a teabag on top of their soil or empty your coffee dregs into them

DH makes fun patches (spiders, lions, monsters etc) to put on the knees of jeans that the DSes have worn through.

Silverfoxballs Tue 20-Aug-13 21:58:38

Chottie I make Fridge soup but I call it Sunday soup as always made funnily enough on a Sunday.

I roast spud peelings in the oven with a tiny bit of oil and salt and pepper if oven is on already.

When DS was little I used to keep all shiny sweet wrappers, we made Christmas thank you cards using the wrappers from quality street as sort of fake stained glass windows.

Chottie Tue 20-Aug-13 07:15:14

Allalonenow i use biscuit tins to store Christmas decorations in.

Allalonenow Belgium Tue 20-Aug-13 05:55:43

I use the little Nutella jars as glasses and on the table for things like Marie Rose or hoi-sin sauce.
Jars are used to store rice cous-cous etc, or if a good shape, as flower containers or for home made items like chilli oil. Biscuit tins are very useful for all sorts of storage, from home cooked treats to tubes of paint.
Like others, I always make chicken or game stock, use stale bread for croutons.

Chottie Tue 20-Aug-13 04:40:16

DH reuses old T shirts as polishing rags for the car
Old sheets are saved and used for furniture / floor covers when decorating
Old towels are passed on to friends with dogs or to the local vets
Clothes are recycled except one winter and one summer set of old 'working' clothes for jobs around the house and garden
Even really old clothes can be put in bags marked 'rags' and taken to charity shops where they are shredded and used for mattress stuffing

Put all little face / body cream samples into one pot and use it as an intensive overnight foot cream
Cut open plastic tubes of face cream, tooth paste, shampoo etc. It's amazing how much is left inside when you think it is empty

Grate up and freeze crusts of bread for ready made bread crumbs
Peel, slice up and freeze windfall apples for cakes, apple sauce etc
Slice lemons up and freeze in ice cubes so the lemon doesn't go off in the fridge.

In the winter at the end of the week, before food shopping I make 'fridge soup' using up all the odds and ends of vegetables, it is so quick and easy. Fry an onion and a clove of garlic in water until soft. Add whatever bits and pieces of vegetables you have left i.e. carrots, potatoes, leeks, cauliflower odds and ends. Add to pan with a vegetable stock cube dissolved in hot water (about half a pint) and then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and some seasoning. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the vegetables are soft. I use a stick blender to swish it up and produce a lovely warm and nutritious soup. This is a good way to get veggies into children who say they don't like them too.

I always, always make chicken stock
Don't use your oven to cook just one thing, fill up the space with a cake or biscuits.

Only buy what you need to eat, don't get suckered into BOGOFFs, or else divide with a friend

I save and reuse jiffy bags and present ribbons too. I reuse the rubber bands from the postman too.

Yep, you guessed right both DH and I have parents who went through the war smile

princesscupcakemummyb Sun 18-Aug-13 21:05:40

also this sounds quite mean but for example reuse certain birthday decorations if possible we bought a deluxe party pack for our dds recent 4th birthday and the banner still looks new so ive it away to pass on to a friend whos requested it still looks new also we still had packaged plates and cups left over in the theme so we are giving them to the friend this time but usually we use them for picnics which are great use grin

princesscupcakemummyb Sun 18-Aug-13 21:02:42

re use jiffy bags by cutting the top cheaper then replacing to send a item

old vest/cami tops of yours that dont fit you anymore are great to put on the little ones for messy play tie the straps up so they dont fall off
wash old jars up use them for things like kids pencils or crafts ice cream or butter tubs are great to wash up and put food in for picnics
brighton up old kids clothes if your a dab hand at diy
cut up wash cloths their so big you can get 2 out of one at least
if you have left over meat from roasts etc use it for another meal

Even clothing that isn't any use for making new clothing can be re-used... either as cleaning cloths, or to make a rag rug, or even just bag it up and take into your charity shop and TELL them it's rags for the rag man. They get about a £5 for a bin liner of rags, IIRC.

duchesse Mon 17-Jun-13 17:24:42

Buddy, my advice is to just to wing it with a few garments. Feel free to ask me questions, but everything I know I've learned by trial and error. The brilliant thing about using old clothes to make new ones is that you don't feel as though it's a waste if it goes wrong. It's like cooking really: you can follow a recipe, or see what ingredients you have and just wing it. As long as you have an idea what you want to achieve, it's pretty straightforward.

My only starting advice it to cut a fair bit bigger than you think you need to. It's easier to take cloth off, much harder to put back!

Raaraathenoisybaby Mon 17-Jun-13 16:52:49

Mintyy - df house will be the same. Nothing is thrown away but stored in florA tubs from here to eternity in the basement.
I am desperate for a sewing machine! Dm can make and adjust clothes she will teach me when I have time if that ever happens! I think if be happy if I could make a cushion cover grin

Buddy80 Mon 17-Jun-13 16:45:06

Old tights can be cut up to tie veg that are growing upwards (ie peas)

Buddy80 Mon 17-Jun-13 16:42:05

Duchesse I may ask you for some tips. I have enrolled myself on a sewing course and got myself a sewing machine with this aim.

duchesse Mon 17-Jun-13 15:43:40

Adult's clothing- can be cut down into smaller garments for children- look out for nice jumpers or dress with nice fabric in large sizes in charity shops or from family and you can re-use the fabric. And definitely always cut the buttons off clothes (especially nice mother of pearl ones) before throwing away unrecyclable things.

countydurhamlass Mon 17-Jun-13 15:40:58

i remember my grandmother, and sometimes my mother, would use the left over wallpaper to line drawers and cupboards or give it to us children to draw on the back of, saved buying paper lol

Buddy80 Mon 17-Jun-13 09:40:36

All these are great. On a frugal drive at the moment and I want to include reusing stuff the best way.

Mintyy Sun 16-Jun-13 20:19:55

Heh heh! forgot, dh's father (born 1941) keeps all zips and buttons from any item of clothing thrown out. He has a special chest of drawers in one of his four sheds. Have told dh and mil that they are on their own with decluttering pil's sheds if he dies before the rest of us grin.

Mintyy Sun 16-Jun-13 20:17:12

Ahhhh, my spiritual home. I absolutely HATE the idea of things just being carelessly thrown away, perhaps because I am old enough to have had a grandmother and mother who lived through the war. My grandma used to wash plastic bags (hanging them on the line to dry), lengths of string, wrapping paper.

I always refuse carrier bags in shops (even clothes shops), I rip the windows off my envelopes so that I can put the non-window part in the recycling, I bring recyclable items home from work and put them in my recycling bin, I used disposable nappies but put the poo down the loo, etc. Every item of clothing that is no longer wearable (including tights and undies) goes to the recycling banks in the supermarket car park.

As a family of 4 we throw out about half a wheelie bin per fortnight and I still feel this is too much.

Raaraathenoisybaby Sun 16-Jun-13 20:15:28

Bestseller you are describing my mum! Except the chicken mines a vegetarian. It's funny how we are having to re learn these skills. I'd forgotten the zips cut off old clothes.

Bestseller Sun 16-Jun-13 20:02:07

My mum has been brilliant at this since the 70s, well ahead of her time environmentally.

-Anything silver foil washed and reused.
-There were always plastic food bags, inside out hanging over the kitchen tap to dry after being washed out.
-Yogurt pots can be used for anything
-Newspapers and any green waste at all are composted to save having to buy compost for the garden
-margarine tubs make freezer containers
-she cuts the buttons off and removes zips from clothes before discarding them to be used on homemade clothes/repairs
-she can always be relied upon for anything the DCs might need for a school project
-Butter papers kept in the fridge until needed to grease a cake tin
-Icecream tubs used as cake tins/sandwich boxes

Personally I save

-envelopes including stamps, if they haven't been franked blush
-those annoying ribbons that keep your clothes on the hanger in the shop
-chicken carcases always used for soup. I really don't understand why you wouldn't get a free extra meal out of a chicken, but I know practically no-one IRL who does it.

Raaraathenoisybaby Sun 16-Jun-13 19:51:25

All plastic packaging trays with no holes are stacked in the craft cupboard for putting paint in - saves on washing up grin
Bottle tops and bits of clean foil etc go in a collage box for craft. Actually they go in a reused washing tab box grin
Generally I recycle jars but I collect the nice ones. Nutella jars the little ones with plastic lids I keep for storing anything - I really love them!
Big jars I use for buttons and ribbons or whatever.
I have saved loads of Starbucks bottles I plan to put spices in when I've bought some nice labels grin
I keep all reusable post envelopes ESP the padded ones.
I keep cereal boxes for craft too but not all of them they get a bit much!
I keep nice plastic containers - the soap and glory and body shop screw lid tubs are nice and last forever.
I keep ribbons - they come off packaging and flowers and all sorts - I keep them for dd1 who thinks they are amazing grin
Trying to think what else.....

somanymiles Sun 16-Jun-13 02:57:56

Black ( over ripe) bananas - chuck in the freezer and make banana bread when you have collected enough

countydurhamlass Sun 16-Jun-13 02:41:31

glass jars - reuse to hold other foods, ie pasta or rice or put pens and pencils in them
margarine and ice cream tubs - again holds any food in the cupboards or for freezing foods
tin cans - for growing herbs in or the small one (like tuna cans) can be decorated and hold tea light candles for the garden etc
newspaper - to clean the windows

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