Are you someone who uses things once then throws them in the garbage?
Or, do you use stuff over and over again until it is completely worn out and no longer good?
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If you’re curious (or in a hurry):
I’m always surprised by the number of people that struggle with money yet don’t make any changes in their life to handle their money better. One of the easiest ways to save money – it seems insignificant, but it’s very effective – is simply reusing items. Here you will find 12 common items to reuse to save money.
Here’s the thing:
I never really thought twice about reusing items, until I started staying home and my husband and I became a single income family…
…it was at that point when I was looking over our budget wondering how on earth we were going to make living on one income possible, that I realized we needed to make some big changes in the way we were living.
Prior to starting our journey of living as a single income family, my husband and I didn’t even think about how wasteful we were being with stuff.
It wasn’t until we had to really start pinching our pennies that we realized we could be saving a LOT of money every month by reusing a handful of items that we had always just used once, then thrown away.
Reusing items to save money is one of the most simple lifestyle changes you can make, and I know it seems insignificant (I was skeptical when we started reusing that it would even save us $.25 a month), but the more items you start using every day, the more money you’re going to be able to start saving.
This really works.
Reusing items is one of the ways my husband and I started living frugally, along with this list of other frugal living tips we started doing.
If you’re in a rut and need to save some money, finding some items to reuse to save money might be the perfect answer for you.
The good news is:
You don’t have to go far to find items to reuse to save money, because I’ve compiled a list of 12 things that you can start reusing today, right here.
12 ITEMS TO REUSE TO SAVE MONEY
MY RECOMMENDED REUSABLE PRODUCTS
- Sandwich bags.
- Small glass containers to store used teabags in.
- Parchment paper.
- Gift bags and tissue. Start collecting and saving any gift bags and tissue that gets given to you.
- Reusable grocery bags.
- Wool dryer balls.
I put this one at number one for a good reason – this is the one thing that I see so many people throw out after one use, and it just blows me away!
Did you know that you can use your sandwich bags over, and over, and over again?
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t exactly enjoy hand-washing sandwich bags, but when I realize how much money we are saving by using them time and time again, it makes washing them not so bad. (These are the ones I use and they last us MANY, many uses before we have to throw them out.)
With your average Ziploc bags ranging from $0.05 – $0.15 cents a piece in price, that can add up to a lot of money being wasted if you simply use your baggie once, then throw it out.
Start washing your sandwich bags and using them over and over again until they have holes or no longer close, to ensure you’re getting as many uses out of it as possible.
2. TEA BAGS
Rather than using your tea bags once then throwing them out, if you’re a regular tea-drinker, consider using your tea bags twice. After you have made your cup of tea, store the used tea bag in a small glass or container covered with a little bit of water to keep it moist and keep mold away, then store it in your refrigerator.
If your used tea bag has been sitting for several days, be sure to test if it has spoiled by smelling it. If it doesn’t smell normal, your safest bet is to chuck it.
3. GLASS JARS AND CONTAINERS
Glass jars and containers can be used for a wide variety of things from organizing your desk to storing different food products in them. The glass jars can also be saved and used later for canning your favorite foods.
Get creative with your stuff. If you think you need to go out and buy more storage containers, consider the containers and jars you may have in your house already that can be used for organization. You can even paint the jars and containers to spruce them up a bit.
4. PLASTIC CONTAINERS
Plastic containers can also be saved and reused for creative projects like organizing and storage. If you have a cheap, old soap dispenser you can save money by buying your hand soap in bulk, then putting it into your smaller soap dispenser and mixing it with water to make it go further.
If you are someone who does a lot of cooking and baking with parchment paper, you should most definitely be reusing it. As I’m sure you know, parchment paper isn’t the cheapest baking essential around.
Rather than using a piece of parchment paper once, then throwing it out, you may be surprised to learn how many times you really can reuse it.
I have been reusing the same piece of parchment paper for a long time. The only time I throw out parchment paper is when I have used a piece so many times that it is finally falling apart and wrecked, or when I cook meat on it.
If I am just using the parchment paper to bake cookies, buns, and other baked goods on I can save money by using the same piece many, many times.
6. OLD, RATTY CLOTHES AND TOWELS
If you have old ratty clothes and/or towels hanging around your house, DON’T THROW THEM OUT. Instead, cut them up and use them as rags. I’m sure you could always use a couple extra rags, right? Most of the rags in our household (except for my Norwex window and mirror cloths that I LOVE) are simply old clothes that were too far gone to wear or fix, so they got cut up into rags.
If you’re a gardener, keep all your seeds for next year’s garden. You can do this by simply saving any seeds that you bought this year but didn’t get around to using, or by collecting your own, free, seeds from your garden.
To collect seeds from your own garden, let a couple of your garden plants flower and go to seed, then collect those seeds and save them for next year’s garden. Don’t forget to label the bags that you keep your seeds in so you remember seeds are which.
8. GIFT BAGS AND TISSUE
Gift bags and tissue are two things that I always try to keep and reuse. Many times gift tissue gets ripped and full of holes, so if that’s the case I will often throw it in the trash, but if the tissue is ever in decent condition, I fold it up and keep it in a special place with all the gift bags I have collected over the years, to pass on to other people.
This way, if I have a bridal shower, birthday, or any other special event coming up, I only need to buy the gift, and I simply reuse an old gift bag that I have saved at home. With the costs of gift bags often ranging upwards of $5, there is no way I want to pay that much extra every time I give someone a gift, nevermind the cost of the gift tissue on top of that.
9. PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS
I have my trusty pile of reusable grocery bags that I always try to bring with me when I go shopping, but there is the odd time when I forget to bring my bags with me and end up having to pay for those cheap plastic bags.
Since I end up having to pay for the plastic bags, I might as well get my money’s worth out of them.
Any of the bags that make it home without getting giant holes in them, I save and use around our house. I use them to line the small garbage cans in our house and they are great for keeping certain items together when going out and about.
You can either reuse envelopes to send mail by whiting-out the addresses on the envelope or sticking a label over the old address, or you can use them as scrap paper for jotting down notes around the house.
11. DRYER SHEETS
If you still buy dryer sheets, don’t use them for one load of laundry then throw them out. They can be used several different times and still work great. If you’re really looking to save money, consider using these reusable dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
12. COFFEE GRINDS AND USED TEA BAGS
Reuse used coffee grinds and tea bags in your garden to fertilize and help your garden stay healthy and grow strong. Just sprinkle the coffee grounds/tea leaves onto your garden soil.
It may seem like small potatoes to reuse items to save money, but the reality is, you have to start somewhere. And this is the perfect place to start. Reusing items is an easy frugal lifestyle change to make, and it is an extremely easy way to save money every month.
Do you enjoy reusing items time and time again to save money, or are you just now learning about all the different things that can be reused? I’d love to hear what your favorite things to reuse are. What did you think about the list of items to reuse to save money? Where there some items on the list that were too strange for you?
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