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Alternative uses for an every day item: Coffee filters

By on September 19, 2007

One aspect of frugality is seeking out multi-uses for common household items. Coffee filters are extremely inexpensive. You can often find them priced at $1 for a package of 200. They can be used in more ways than simply brewing coffee, so it’s handy and frugal to have some stashed away.

If you take a look around your house, you may be surprised to find other items that were created for a single use, but can easily be put to use in alternative ways.

Today readers share various ways they’ve used paper coffee filters.

1. They do a great job when used to wash windows. To be budget savvy, just use some vinegar and water instead of a commercial cleaner. No streaks. –jskell911, via forums

2. Clean mirrors and chrome. They don’t leave any lint. Also I use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews. — jinx, Massachusetts

3. They tie up really well as scent sachets for the linen closet or dresser drawers.– GG, via forums

4. You can use them to hold snacks, desserts, and messy foods such as popcorn, chips, sliced cake, tacos, pickles, and pretzels. They’re great to use for kids’ crafts such as paper snowflakes. Also, if your coffee pot ever breaks, just put some coffee into a filter, tie it up and drop it into a cup of hot water. Works great for loose leaf tea too! — thriftybargainmom, via forums

5. When potting plants, place a coffee filter on the inside bottom of your pots, then add soil. The liner makes sure you don’t lose soil when you water. — Darlene, New York

6. I use them as a spoon rest while cooking and to clean up small counter spills. — jlaporte, via forums

7. Great to use to absorb grease. As an example, place bacon or fried foods on a coffee filter. — Kathy, via forums

8. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash. — Melissa, via e-mail

9. Use them to clean eyeglasses , camera lens, or computer monitor. No smudges or lint. — Caroline, via e-mail

10. Prevents splattering when used as a cover in the microwave. — Kelly, via e-mail

11. They’re great to polish wood furniture and buff shoes. — Jean, via e-mail

12. I’ve used them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage. — Christy, via forums

13. I make homemade cleaning wipes with them. I mix 2 cups of water and 1 cup of cleaning solution and store them in a leftover plastic coffee container. — Grace, via forums

14. I’ve used them to remove fingernail polish when I was out of cotton balls. — Brenda, via forums

15. I’ve used them to sprout seeds. I simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout. — Diana, via e-mail

16. I use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. I place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filter in a phone book. — Cindy, via e-mail

As seen in Midland Daily News.

15 Comments

  1. emilyhope

    9/26/2007 at 9:37 am

    There are some very good ideas here. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. frugalnana

    10/4/2007 at 4:51 pm

    I never thought of using them to strain soup and all the time I spent looking around in my kitchen one day to do that. AGH!
    Using them for cleaning my eye glasses I didn’t think of either.
    Thanks for the post.

  3. Daniel Sitter, Idea Seller

    10/9/2007 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Sara! Interesting post here. I use them to cover bowls and small plates to prevent splatters while microwaving. Who knew?

  4. Lesley Arrowsmith

    10/13/2007 at 11:52 am

    I used to use them to make cottage cheese – just dump the milk that’s gone off in the filter and wait for it to go lumpy, while the whey drains off. I used to mix chives in just before serving as well.

  5. Marie78

    10/13/2007 at 12:37 pm

    Great tips! It really made me think of some new uses for coffee filters. I used one at work the other day to clean up a spill. There were no papertowels handy, but the coffee filters were on the counter.

  6. Jeanna

    10/16/2007 at 3:35 pm

    I use coffee filters as stabilizer when I do machine embroidery. It is much cheaper than the commercial stabilizer.

  7. mary

    11/5/2007 at 10:36 pm

    I place coffee filters between dishes when packing or wrap delicate objects when shipping. I have also used them as plotting paper for my face, I have oily skin.

  8. irene

    2/22/2008 at 1:00 pm

    open spray damp tortilla press.. use 2 filters. one on bottom an the other on top of masa dough. can be used many times !!!

  9. irene

    2/22/2008 at 1:03 pm

    fold over part of tortilla press then fold over an apply pressure to flatten tortilla. peel off top filter pick up flatten dough with bottom filter. put onto grill an peel off reuse many times re dampen as needed with spray bottle

  10. Jack

    6/30/2008 at 2:03 pm

    I’ve used them to wrap homemade Christmas decorations if I’m short of paper towels. I’ve also used them to wrap little packets of fresh washed strawberries from the strawberry patch, to give to the kids.

  11. Pingback: Monroe on a Budget » Things you never expected to do with coffee filters

  12. Lucia

    10/2/2009 at 3:52 pm

    I used coffee filters for lining the training potty when my kids where babies. Great for number twos! You just lift the coffee filter and the mess, into the toilet, way easier clean-up.

  13. Levy

    5/9/2010 at 10:39 pm

    I use coffee filters to strain used cooking oil. You need a clean bottle, funnel and coffee filter. You can reuse the oil over and over again.

    • Amybeth

      1/24/2011 at 6:31 pm

      What a great idea! I never thought of that!

  14. Nate

    7/7/2010 at 5:40 am

    I love to use these coffee filters on removing the excess oil on fried foods and as face oil blotting papers. They do the trick so much better.
    .-= Nate ´s last blog ..Best Coffee Alternative =-.

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