Friday, February 8, 2008

Frugal Friday


One of the biggest ways to save money is to reuse or recycle as many items as possible. I checked my three Tightwad Gazettes for ideas on this and there are pages and pages of ideas. If you look at this from an accounting perspective, you could compare it to turning purchases into assets instead of expenses!

These are a few of the ways we reuse items every day:

1. We save all the good boxes, bubble wrap, air pillows, plastic bags and padded envelopes that we get at work to reuse for shipping for my on-line business. This saves me lots of money and I pass this savings on to my customers. The only item I have had to buy for shipping purposes is packing tape. Oh, and of course the actual postage. My only hint for saving on the postage is limit how much the package weighs as much as possible! Here's a picture of my "shipping department" located in the garage.

2. We reuse ziplock bags as much as possible. Better yet, I don't use them at all if I can help it. I always use sealable plastic containers in lunches. The zip lock bags are easy to wash out. I just put them up upside down over a bottle of some kind to dry.

3. My frugal husband (FH) scavenges the twine that my son's goat hay comes tied up with to use for many purposes. Two uses for this are to tie up climbing plants and to tie tags on his customer's items.

4. Use cloth napkins and cleaning cloths instead of paper. They can be used over and over. I made my daughter a set of cloth napkins thinking she would just use them for decoration. Lo and behold! She has almost completely stopped buying paper products.

5. We recycle plastic grocery bags for trash can liners and many other uses. I have also wrapped items to be shipped (see no. 1 above) in them. A much better option would be to use cloth shopping bags.

6. I noticed my son-in-law emptying his vacuum cleaner bag into a trash bag (outside of course) and then reusing it. I would think this could be done several times or until the bag tears.

7. I save all my family's old blue jeans and some other clothing items to use in my sewing projects. I have made some quilts with the jean material that turned out really well. Here and here are a couple. My daughter recently made a rag rug from her old clothing and you can see it here. She also made a bath mat using an old towel that is so cute here.

This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is: Before buying ANYTHING, think of how you could manage without it. Could you reuse or re-purpose something you already have instead? Turn those expenses into assets!

For more Frugal Friday tips, go to Biblical Womanhood.


Pen Pen said...

Great tips! When I was younger and poorer, I never bought paper towels or napkins and did quite well without them. Now, however, with the pups in the house and their very frequent messes, I really go through paper towels!

BLUE SKY said...

Well said. It is not only frugal, but great for the environment.

Amanda said...

Very good ideas. We do many of the same things--we just gave up paper towels and paper napkins about six months ago, and I am amazed how much money we save. We never miss them either!

Mom2fur said...

You have some wonderful ideas! We still use paper napkins, but lately I've been trying to sew up some cloth ones. It's a slow change-over, but the cloth ones are just soooo much nicer! I bought some linen-like dish towels on clearance at Target. Each towel makes 4 nice napkins--all I had to do was finish the edges.
I only have about 12 of them made. I'll keep adding to my 'stash.' Hopefully, when they are readily available, the family will get on board with it, too.

thenestegg said...

Great ideas! I am going to try your suggestion on re-using the vacuum cleaner bags.

Alexandra said...

We do the same thing with boxes for sales. I still sell on Amazon, and I wrap the books and other media in those box flats from our Save-A-Lot grocery store. You probably already use this, but Family Dollar and Dollar General has really good clear packing tape for a $1.00.

When I was ebaying I had a huge collection of bubble wrap that I picked up from stores for free(with permission) - when they restock. Home Depot and Lowes usually has a lot of left over bubble wrap and boxes when they are restocking items. I even pluck used padded envelopes from the trash(discretely as possible) at the post office if I see it on the top. :O LOL.

Great ideas for saving money! It all adds up.

*carrie* said...


Great ideas on creative ways to reuse and repurpose!

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