Home > What do you reuse?

What do you reuse?

March 8th, 2020 at 08:04 pm

I really like the show "Home Town" on HGTV. I guess one reason is the hosts seem like nice people. But another reason is they work with a variety of budgets. And both Erin and Ben seem to be the kind to not only use new stuff, but reuse and repurpose other things. I like watching that kind of thing and it seems I am spending a lot of time looking for ways to do just that.

As many of you know, I belong to a knitting group at my church where we loom knit hats and scarves and give to schools and other non profits in our area. We gave to 4 schools last year as well as the hospital for the preemies, and then a bunch of baby hats for one of the clinics here in town as well as a social services group and a woman's shelter. One of the things I do with the smaller bits of yarn is crochet dish cloths and I made and donated 125 of them to a local food pantry.

Besides that, I've been making those market bags and giving those away to my friends as a way to use up bigger pieces of yarn that there isn't enough for a scarf or hat. It keeps me busy (and off the streets LOL). Seriously, I just like making sure I can use up the things we have.

I saw on Pinterest how to fold newspapers and make bags so I've made a few of those too. Our comics section is printed on heavier paper and I'm thinking these would make great "gift" bags for thinner things.

I recycle what I can, but I also reuse as much stuff as I can. I seem to have a fetish for glass jars; I have all different shapes and sizes. I like them for storage as well as for leftovers. Plus we won't even mention my love affair with canning jars.

I make my own laundry detergent and have been using the same plastic jug to store it in. I figure I'm saving money as well as not contributing to using more plastic bottles. I also have smaller glass jars with some of the extra laundry detergent in it.

We eat a lot of chicken around here and one thing I do is pound the chicken breasts to tenderize them and then flour them. I hate using a new bag each time, and read a suggestion about using a bread bag. What a great idea. Granted, it is still using plastic, but I figure using them for something else helps.

I'm collecting those mesh bags that fruit and vegetables come in to make a scrubby. I don't have enough yet to make a decent one.

I reuse envelopes that mail comes in. Some I make lists on, and some I just use to store things in. We collect cancelled postage stamps for a mission at my church so I keep an envelope with those in it. We also collect coupons from the paper inserts to send to some military folks and I use one of those reply envelopes for those.

For years I've used cloth napkins and I go through a ton of kitchen towels. I do use paper towels for stuff like raw meat, but I have cut down on the paper towel use a lot. Most of my friends as well as my hubby know if they want to give me something for Christmas or birthday, a kitchen towel is appreciated.

I continue to search for ways to reuse things. We shop at thrift stores a lot for things. Most of my kitchen dishes and plates were bought preowned. I figure I'm saving money not only by doing that, but also by not using one use items like paper plates. I have a couple of cast iron skillets that I use frequently. I have one of those splatter ware lidded pans that is oblong that I use for a lot of baking and cooking. It was my grandmother's.

So, what do you you reuse or repurpose to help save money as well as our environment?

8 Responses to “What do you reuse?”

  1. crazyliblady Says:

    Do you make liquid laundry detergent? If so, could you share your recipe? I have been wanting to make one, but I was not sure where to start.

  2. Lucky Robin Says:

    My favorite is the large pasta sauce jars from Classico. Not only are they great jars, but they have twist on lids that will fit on any narrow mouthed canning jar or on things like mayo that come with a plastic lid (if it gets cracked because someone drops it).

    I learned how to make plastic bag yarn that you can crochet into a tote. It is slow going though because the only place allowed to give out plastic bags in my city are restaurants and some of them use paper bags or boxes. And sometimes they get sticky and can't be used for it so they end up being liners for small trash cans. We use reusable bags at the grocery store, but we did even before they passed the ordinance.

    I reuse soap pumps by taking them to the food co-op and refilling from bulk. Same with peanut butter containers for freshly ground peanut butter (after buying the first one). I reuse my spice jars by taking them into the spice shop and having them put the spices directly into the jars instead of in mylar bags. I also bring my own jars in for loose tea at the spice shop.

    I have turned flannel pajama bottoms and soft old cotton t-shirts into handkerchiefs for home use for when our noses are too tender to use Puffs or Kleenex tissues.

    Over half of my plates were bought used since my Corelle pattern is discontinued and 8 glasses as well. We shop at Good Will for some household items and jeans for DS before we go elsewhere if they don't have it.

    I try my best to buy food items that are in glass jars and not plastic so I can reuse them. I don't like reusing plastic. I do have a glass water bottle and DH has a metal one that we use to avoid buying bottled water (although we do have some for emergency storage).

    I reuse seed packets as long as the remaining seeds have fertility and will often save my own seeds on the easier plants to do that from.

    I'm sure there is a lot of other stuff, too, but I can't think of them.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Crazyliblady, here's the recipe for my laundry detergent:

    My laundry detergent is very easy. I heat up a gallon of water in a big pot. Doesn’t have to boil, just pretty warm. I add 1/4 cup Borax, 1/3 cup Washing Soda, 2 T Dawn liquid. You can add those scented things like Purex and some other company has, but you don’t have to. I stir it together until it is all dissolved, let it cool, and put it in my gallon vinegar jug. You use around 2-3 T and it can be used in hot, warm, or cold water. I keep a small bottle of it in an old Dawn bottle and use it to pretreat stuff and it works pretty well. It doesn’t get really sudsy so if you have an HE machine it is compatible. I’ve been making it for years.

    Wow, Lucky do an amazing job. I'm going to "borrow" some of your ideas!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I reuse bread bags a lot. I keep them in the freezer, otherwise they get funky. And I reuse glass pasta jars; that's where I store leftover coffee among other things.

    I have a big collection of plastic containers and I use those mostly for fridge and freezer storage.

    I am adamant about recycling, although they have tightened up the rules around here, so I am recycling less than I used to.

    Most of my clothes and housewares are from Goodwill, so that's reusing in a sense! Reusing what others have discarded.

  5. crazyliblady Says:

    Thank you, rob62521! If I can talk my husband into it, I will do this the next time I need more laundry detergent. We have been using Seventh Generation or Ecos, depending on what it is available for years. Most others have stuff in them that makes me itch. Others have endocrine disrupters, which can cause other problems.

    I also reuse glass jars from food products I buy to store my dried and frozen herbs and seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds. I reuse planting pots from year to year as long as they are in good shape. I am currently sprouting my own seeds indoors using a shop light with a grow light bulb. To do this, I am putting my seed pots into old plastic containers on top of an old wire rack. I have had the containers and wire rack for years, and probably picked them out of the trash or at a thrift store. For the most part, I buy my clothes at a thrift store that supports our local humane society. That's all I can think of right now.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    CB, good ways too reuse. I agree. getting and using things from thrift shops is an excellent way of reusing stuff.

    crazyliblady, good idea on reusing the pots. I like the way you start new seeds.

  7. My English Castle Says:

    Wow, I know--but am reminded--that you folks are my people! I thought maybe I was the only one who liked the Classico pasta sauce jars, but now hear that Robin does too. I use a lot of jars for a lot of things. Dried beans and Leans are in instant coffee jars. My DH uses instant decaf and I like those Taster's Choice jars for many things including homemade granola gifts. I reuse or recycle every bag. I keep takeout containers and those type of plastic containers to hold soup--one of my favorite gifts to send to friends.

    Thanks for being so inspiring!

  8. Fern Says:

    I also save a lot of glass jars for storing dry beans, pasta, nuts and seeds. I've taken old flannel shirts my dad asked me to toss and cut them up into large squares which I use, and reuse as rags for cleaning. They're a nice soft flannel. I have a pair of pajama bottoms with a widening hold at the waist that will soon experience a similar fate. Smile
    I've been composting all kitchen scraps for the past few years as part of a town program. Now that our town/state has banned plastic grocery bags, I assiduously save whatever plastic bags I come across, like larger ones used in food packaging, and I use them to collect household trash. I buy recycled paper pellets for cat litter, and reuse the bags they come in for the soiled litter.

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