I have some great tips for you today that will see you saving, if not making money on some of the things that you usually throw out.
In the day to day running of the home, we come across many things that seem useless. With a little more careful thought and organization, however, you will find uses for a lot of these. Even if it means making something and sharing it with a neighbor. You will find yourself in their good books!
I am sure that after you read my list, you will be able to think of other products that you should not throw out because they can be reused, or recycled, or even reduced. Now that’s being mindful of the environment, and also being frugal.
Don’t throw out buttons
You may find yourself throwing out some old clothes that you don’t have use for anymore. For one, I always advocate for donating it to a charity that will benefit particularly third world countries. You may be surprised to know that something that you consider to be useless, will serve several other recipients and their family members.
Anyway, if you really don’t have any use for the items of clothing, and you think they are beyond repair, you can easily take the buttons off and turn it into a cute button craft project that you can give to a friend. All you really need is a canvas , glue, and acrylic paint.
Here is a post I wrote about how to do the button craft which makes a lovely birthday gift. I hope you agree that your old buttons can be used in this way.
Old clothes don’t have to be thrown out
At school, I teach students about the 6 R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, repair and rethink. We come up with cute ways of reusing fabric and other components from clothes and turning them into other items that are just as useful. Have a look at the cushions my 11-year-old students made. You will be proud of them.
Rain water and clean drain water
I remember back in the days in Jamaica when rain water was a precious commodity. It seemed like almost everything and everyone was vying for every drop! It’s a good idea to have a system set up to collect rain water that runs off the roof and also any clean water from the house. This comes in quite handy as you can use it for watering your lawns and gardens.
Bread crust that no one wants
Curly hair or no curly hair, we are often left with a lot of bread crust and end slices that no one wants. Well, did you know that you could do a number of things with that bread? For one, you could make a bread pudding and share it with friends or family members. You could also make croutons or even bread crumbs. This is some saving, as you would have had to spend money to buy these. I hope you have a really good bread pudding recipe to use. Have you?
Over ripe bananas are just right!
When bananas begin to go a little dark yellow and their skins entertain some little black spots, it signifies that it is very ripe and is also very sweet. I prefer those bananas to the ones that still have a stain streak when peeled.
Not everyone is like me, however. So in many homes, over ripe bananas are banished to the bin! The sin bin, even.
The best thing to do with these bananas is to peel them and bag them into sandwich bags. They can be frozen for several months.
When you are ready, defrost the bananas and use them in your banana bread. A banana chocolate nut bread is my favourite. You can do your own experiments. The last time I tried it with coconut, the resulting cake was a knockout with my work colleagues.
The frozen bananas can be used be used to make the most amazing ice cream (no additional ingredients required) or milkshake (with the additional of your favourite milk).
Tea bags can be used twice!
I know that you know that! But what about being used three times? It all depends on how strong you like your tea.
Whatever herbal tea you use, always consider composting it when you are done with it in the kitchen. The remnants in the tea bag is quite useful for nourishing the soil and eventually your garden plants.
You’re throwing out the flavour if you throw out meat and fish bones! The best thing to do is to boil the carcasses of chicken or any meat bones with a few vegetables to make stock (the base for soups and gravies). The liquid is quite flavorsome and can be cooled down and frozen until you are ready to use it. Make sure to strain the liquid before freezing.
A fish stock can be made in the same way. Be careful when straining this that no tiny bones are allowed to pass through. It is always a good idea to put the date when the stock was made on the container. It does last for a long time though.
Walking on egg shells
Eggshells are rich in nutrients and are particularly beneficial to plants like roses. Whether the egg is boiled, poached, fried, or scrambled, you can use the crushed shells to sprinkle in the garden. Just watch the flowers bloom even bigger and more brilliantly come next season.
My rose bush has much bigger and brighter blooms this year than last year. This is since I learned about the benefits of egg shells to rose bushes.
Don’t forget that egg shells can be used in the compost too.
Comics and magazines
Do you know how to decoupage? It’s the latest craze in the craft world. Well at least in my house it is. It is a really relaxing craft done with glue and paper on almost any medium such as glass, wood, and cardboard.
Recently I did some decoupage and was really pleased with the results. Click here to read my decoupage post and see the results.
So the next time you have a glossy magazine or your kids have some comic strips to get rid of, consider keeping some of the nicer images for a decoupage project.
You can easily dream up ideas of projects to work on, and of friends or family members who deserve a cool gift.
Done with that sauce? Save the jar
Have you ever stopped to think about how many jars of stuff you go through each year? Neither have I, but I know it’s a lot.
Should all these jars end up in a landfill? Of course not! They can be reused to organize and store things in almost every room in the house. Pinterest is your go to for amazing ideas of how to reuse these jars.
For me, I usually paint the outsides with acrylic paint (using the colour scheme in my kitchen) and add a pretty label for the product each jar will hold.
Depending on the size of the label, you can repurpose them as canisters for sugar, flour, powdered seasoning, and dried herbs.
Broken crayons? Don’t let the kids have the last laugh.
So the last time you saw the wax crayons, they were whole, and now you are looking at the scattered bits all over the house and wondering what happened. I swear I’m not laughing at you, honestly.
But don’t let the kids have the last laugh. You can turn those bits into so many things.
You can make a work of art by sticking the broken bits in a row across the top of one of your canvases and use your hair dryer on a medium hot setting to melt the wax which will then drip down the canvas. Voila! You have yourself an amazing art piece. Hang it in their room and hope they don’t get the idea to keep breaking them to have you practise your art (although you will secretly want to). Here’s one to inspire you.
Did you know you could also use the broken pieces of crayons to make a candle in a jar? I found this great idea on Pinterest to share with you.
There you go! Such a saving can be made by being thoughtful and resourceful with the things we have. I am sure you can think of others that didn’t make it to this list. If you do think of others, please share with our readers in the comments below.