Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Things I DON'T throw away!

This will be an ongoing list but I'll start with this for now. I'll update as I'm reminded of other things I don't throw away and as I develop new habits.

Some may wonder why a person would go to all the trouble of saving re-usable items. I see it as a way to make money at home. If I save an item that cost me nothing or re-use an item I have already paid for then it's as if I am putting money in our pockets.  It will save me from having to purchase that item in the future. It's a small little paycheck.. so to speak. :-)  Small amounts of this and that saved over a period of time will add up.

I'm currently reading, "We had everything but money". The book is full of real life stories of people who lived during the depression and how they survived. I hope to write a book review on it when I finish. I'm finding it very helpful in this area of using it up, doing without and making do.

-  Used tinfoil. (I wash/dry it unless it had been used for meat.)
-  Vegetable plastic bags from produce section. Also the plastic wrap for the newspaper.
-  Buttons off of clothing that is too worn to pass on.
-  Worn out towels get made into rags. I MAYBE buy one roll of paper towels a year but instead use rags. Also used for the batting in potholders.
-  My grandmother saved old blankets to use as a lining in her quilts.
- Nylons that have a hole on only one leg. Cut off that leg below the dark panty line and do the same with another pair = 1 pair nylons.
- Glass jars. I use them to discard grease safely without clogging drains.
-  Rubber bands brought home from produce (ex. broccoli).
- Bread wrappers (muffins, tortilla)
- Butter wrappers. (I put these in a 'used' plastic bag and keep them near the shortening to use instead of Pam).
- Small amounts of my leftover herb tea. I have a glass pitcher in the fridge that becomes the final destination for the last bits of lukewarm tea. Just add water and I have a lovely iced herb tea. Yum! My favorite. 
- Worn out jeans are used for quilts.
- Bread heels go in the freezer to use for bread crumbs. I dry them out in the oven, then season with garlic powder and parsley and give them a whirl in the food processor.
- Cereal: I save the plastic bag to reuse. Most box mixes of any kind (cake, Rice-a-Roni, etc. can be re-used).
- Worn out T-shirts get cut down into small squares and used for 'cloth toilet paper'.
- The cardboard roll of a paper towel. I wrap my used plastic bags around the cardboard roll and then secure with a rubber band. They fit nicely in the drawer. I also use the cardboard roll to store extension cords.
- Leftover fruit. Just pop the entire banana.. peel included.. into a bag and freeze. When you get three bananas you can make banana bread or banana cake. Pieces of soft fruit such as peaches and apricots can be simmered until mushy with a little honey or sugar added and eaten as stewed fruit.  Pieces of  peaches, apricots and berries and bananas can be frozen for smoothies.
- The last bit of almond milk (it could be milk instead) in my cereal bowl. I put it in a marked container to use the next morning.
-  Leftover meat bones get frozen for future broth.
-  Leftover small bits of veggies (you could also save rice and noodles) get put in a container marked 'soup' in the freezer to use in batches of soup.
-  Sunday comics are used for children's wrapping paper.
-  Slivers of bar soap are put in a jar under the sink filled half way with water to use for hand soap later. Or can be saved to use in homemade laundry soap.
-  I save the tissue paper, bows and wrapping paper my gifts come in.
-  String from pet food, oatmeal bags, flour bags.
- The last bit of lipstick in a tube. I use a lipstick brush to use it up.
-  Meat drippings leftover from hamburger or any other meat to be used in homemade broth.  Just pop it in the freezer in a marked container for soup.  I also use a small amount (1 tsp.) on my dogs dry food to help her coat look shiny.
-  Plastic containers I purchase items in get re-used for leftovers. I mark them with masking tape each time I use them.

Do you ladies have anything you'd like to add to this list?