Reuse is one way to go.

by Olivia
(Pennsylvania)

Here are some of our favorite money/resource savers.


An elderly friend suggested something her mom used to do. Make jelly from left over canned fruit liquids. Our favorite is peach. Just follow the recipe on the pectin box.

Boil bones for broth and freeze. We make leftover soup from odds and ends. Just save vegetable/meat bits in a freezer container and when it's full add homemade broth to make your soup. A "free" meal.

We seek out inexpensive recipes. Tonight we're having strata from slightly dried out bread.

I throw handfuls of homemade bread crumbs into homemde granola before baking. It takes on sweetener and oil flavors just like the oatmeal does adds a light crispy bit to it.

Watermelon rind pickle and candied orange peel are favorites. Apple peel jelly is a good one to make when baking several pies. Make the apple juice base from boiled cores and peels. Follow the proportions for apple jelly. If you squeeze the pulp the jelly will be cloudy. If you use red apples the jelly turns a lovely pink color.

We compost vegetable scraps and peels for our raised beds. We also shred sensitve documents and compost them.

Here are fun ideas. Our kids treeless "treehouse" was built almost entirely from salvaged materials. A friend with a pick up truck and I went around town during "large trash days" and found all kinds of construction materials. Shingles, tar paper, 2x4's, nails, hinges, plywood, boards, palletes... When I explained the project to people putting things out many gave us their odds and ends. We got more wood and paint through freecycle. Another fun project, sewing kids costumes from items in Goodwill's discount bins, and helmets from plastic gallon milk jugs.

These may not work for everyone as they involve packging. But in trying a Depression Era mindset, we use many things twice or more. The plastic liners in cereal boxes can be slit open to become washable spatter guards for the microwave.

Unless it's really gunky or used for meats, aluminum foil can be wiped down, dried, and folded up for reuse.

Plastic frozen vegetable bags, and bread bags can store bulk purchased meats into recipe sized amounts for freezing.

Zip lock bags are washed out and reused until they fall apart.

Use jars of all sorts for canning. Once the lids are boiled and the filled jars are processed they almost always maintain a good seal.

We dissect junk mail, envelopes to do up grocery lists and keep coupons in, cutting off clean portions for phone note taking, if a whole sheet has a clean back we use it in the printer for home use.

Open up corrogated boxes along their seams, turn them inside out and reglue them. You have a nice clean surface on the outside for writing mailing addresses. This makes the post office happy.

And there are quilts and comforters from scrap fabrics.

The end result is savings. Every bit counts.

Comments for Reuse is one way to go.

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great tips
by: Anonymous

I enjoyed the tips you are providing on your frugal living can make life easier by providing long term living for doing something one time.Thanks for the the information……

Candles
by: Sage

When candles have gotten to the point that they can't be used any more I put them in a paper towel and lay them under my seat in the car. It is so nice to have a pleasant smell inside the car.

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