Reuse detergent containers to keep water at the ready
photo by roadsidepictures
Many times, I read a frugal tip and smile because I’m not alone. It’s comforting to know that many people are being less wasteful. I’m happy to pass these tips onto you. My favorite frugal tip this week is a practical way to reuse a laundry-detergent container. I’ll be using that tip this summer.
WATER ON TAP: We have a great big empty laundry-detergent container with a spout that we use when we take the kids on day trips to wash our hands. We fill it with water, and press the spout and voila! Running water! — Mari, Delaware
WATER PLAN: If we are expecting a storm and may lose electricity, I fill up the washing machine with water so we will have it to use for flushing the toilet, washing hands and water for the animals. If the power stays on, I use the water to do a load of laundry and it doesn’t get wasted. — Dana, e-mail
CONSERVE PAPER: I sort Valpak coupons and go through and keep any with blank backs for my grocery-shopping lists. — Katie, e-mail
MINI ICE PACK: When my kids were in day care, they used empty prescription bottles with the labels removed as ice packs. They filled them with water and froze them, and when the little ones got boo-boos, I gave them their own little ice pack. It was easy for them to hold until they felt better. — startingover, e-mail
COFFEE CUBES: Freeze your leftover coffee in an ice-cube tray to reuse for cold coffee drinks. — Kris, e-mail
BAG STORAGE: We use a cookie jar. It is a nice big one (looks like a John Deere lunch box) and holds quite a few plastic grocery bags. It looks nice on my counter and offers easy access. — Adeena K., via e-mail
I found the best storage/use system for plastic bags to be a tennis-ball can. Open both ends, punch a small hole from the inside out near the rim, and use a plastic tie-wrap or twist-tie to secure it to an inside cabinet towel rack. Stuff new ones in the top and take from the bottom. — Alan Hurlbut, Kansas
COMPARE PRICES: I was surprised to find my local Big Lots sells the same bread as my local grocery store, but for more than $2 less per loaf. The bread is delivered fresh five days a week, but because it’s so cheap, they sell out fast. Check all stores for price comparisons. Sometimes even local convenience stores have lower prices. — Staceyy, Pennsylvania
ADDED HUMIDITY: If you need more humidity in your house, run an indoor tabletop water fountain. — Elisbeth, Missouri
REUSE MYLAR BALLOONS: I stick a straw in the hole, flatten them and put them by wrapping paper. I bring them to the balloon store on the next birthday, or whatever, and refill for 20 cents. We give some away to friends or save them for our next birthdays. — lextysmommy, Wisconsin
REUSE DRINK CONTAINERS: I fill them with various soup mixes and put them in gift baskets. I make labels for them on my computer. I also keep some on hand in case of emergencies. I can hand out bottles of soup mix to those in need. I’ve used them for gift wrapping, too. I cut a slit in the side of the bottle (remove the label). Put in a small gift, add shredded paper, etc. Close slit and put a computer-made label over the slit. — Denise, Illinois
Editor’s note: Some plastic containers shouldn’t be reused for food storage. As a substitution, I suggest glass bottles such as the frappuccino bottles or glass jars for food gifts.
SHREDDED PAPER: I put a lot of paper through my shredder and reuse it for kitty litter. — PAVallygrl, Pennsylvania