Oftentimes we buy food or items that are stored in durable containers that we feel bad about just throwing away, so we hold onto them and use them to store something else. Well, there are many products beyond these containers that can serve multiple purposes. Consider the following items before throwing them away.
Plastic bags are an obvious item to save. Many people have a plastic bag stash under their sink, which comes in handy when you need a bag to carry your homemade dish to that party you were invited to, line your bathroom trashcan or clean up the dog waste in the yard or kitty litter. In addition to the plastic shopping bags, you can also reuse sandwich bags. Just wash them out and turn them inside out to dry. The same applies to aluminum foil. If you just used it to wrap bread or something that can be easily cleaned off, then just wash it with some soap and leave it out to dry. These don’t have to be onetime-use items.
Food scraps, such as coffee grounds and vegetables, can be composted and used in your garden to provide nutrients to your plants. Composting can also help you save money by not having to buy topsoil.
Toothpaste tubes can be cleaned out (very well) and reused as an icing decorator by cutting off the bottom of the tube and filling it with cake icing. Or you can cut off the top and use it as a knife or scissor protector or a holder for your writing utensils by pinning the tube up on a wall or cork board.
There are many awesome ideas out there on how to reuse wine bottles. You can use them as flower vases or hurricane vases to protect candles or as a self-watering planter by putting water in the bottle, drilling a hole in the cork, and sticking the bottle in your garden so that it slowly seeps the water out over time. You can also use them to store cooking oil.
Yogurt cups can be reused as little bowls that can be great for picnics. They can also be used as flowerpots/planter starters since they are the perfect size for trying to get little seeds to germinate. Just drill a couple of small holes in the bottom to help with drainage. They can also be used as containers to store anything from snacks, pens, beads, shells, etc. and can also be used as little scoops for pet food, coffee, sugar or as a sand shovel for your children if they have a sandbox.
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Stephanie Siemek is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.