When we think about how to save money, our focus is usually on the actual dollar amount we spend every month. Have you ever thought that you can also save money by reusing old items that you would normally throw away? In former days, people knew how to get the most use out of everything they owned and we can do the same. Here are just a few ideas for saving money by finding new uses for old items.
1) Make pie crusts from leftover cookies. Leftover cookies make excellent pie crusts for cream pies. When you have a few cookies leftover, put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Put them in the freezer for future use. Get really creative and mix different types of cookies together for an interesting piecrust. Replace the graham crackers with cookies in homemade piecrust recipes.
2) Make a soap loofah. Our grandparents never threw their soap chips away… they used themin many different ways. One way that we can reuse these small chips is to take a large washcloth, sew the edges all the way around leaving just enough room to insert the soap chips. Sew up the small opening and you have and instant loofah. (What is a loofah?)
3) Use old carpet or rugs to keep your feet warm. Need to keep your feet warmer this winter? Use old carpet or rug remnants inside your shoes for extra warmth and padding. Trace the outline of your feet, not the shoe, onto the carpet or rug remnant and cut them out. Place them inside your boots to keep your feet toasty warm. This is a money saver if your boots are fine on the outside, but torn or worn on the inside.
4) Make your own replacement for damaged shades. If you have a wooden roller shade that is ripped remove the shade (measure length and width before tossing) and save the roller and slat. Purchase an inexpensive shower curtain or table cloth measure and cut to the size of the original shade. Staple to the roller and you now have a cute replacement shade for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
5) Save plastic mesh bags that come from oranges and potatoes. They can be used when washing items like stuffed animals in the washing machine or you can reuse them to store other fruits and vegetables that you buy in bulk.
6) Have you thought about reusing pickle juice? Add slices of cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers and onions to the juice and let it sit for a few days in the fridge before eating. You can use the same jar the pickles came in.
7) Homemade stuffing. Bread crumbs and pieces of all types can be cubed or ground in the food processor as soon as possible before the expiration date. Store them in plastic bags and freeze. Use the cubes for homemade stuffing or croutons and the ground pieces for meatloaf and meatballs.
These are just a few ideas for finding new uses for old items. If you apply some creativity, you think of many ways that can save you money over time. As the old saying goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned” and that is especially true when it comes to budgeting your money every month. What new uses for old items can you come up with?