Discover 37 clever ways to reuse items and save money! From old sheets to empty milk jugs, this post provides a list of everyday items that can be repurposed and reused in creative ways. Learn how to turn junk into treasure and reduce your impact on the environment while saving money.
In today’s world, recycling and finding things to reuse has become increasingly important. With the growing concern for the environment, it is crucial to reduce waste and find as many thingsd to reuse whenever possible. However, recycling isn’t just about helping the planet. It can also help you save money in the long run by finding creative ways to reuse items that would otherwise be thrown away.
In my home, I reuse a lot. If I can find a way to reuse something, I will. This is how I keep myself from buying something new a lot of the time. Reused products are just as good as a new product most often and they have the added benefit of being basically free.
What Types of Materials Can Be Reused?
If you’ve ever looked at your trash can or recycling bin and wondered what upcycling ideas may lie within it, the answer is probably quite a few. In fact, most of us have things to reuse that are filling our trash cans.
It’s because we are so used to tossing stuff that reusing something doesn’t immediately come to mind.
Most household materials such as plastic, glass or paper can be reused in at least one way or another. Of course there are some exceptions such as cleaning bottles that may have contained ingredients that don’t work well,other single-use plastics or paper napkins and towels for reusing, but for the most part, those exceptions will be glaringly obvious to you.
Is It Better to Reduce or Reuse?
If your goal is to learn how to save money by reusing things around your home, the answer is both. Reducing your consumption is always a great way to save money. Reusing things to save money works hand in hand with that though.
When you reuse, you reduce the amount you need to buy. Combining the two should have you saving quite a bit without really needing to put in a lot of effort. It’s also helpful to combine the two if you’re working toward the goal of a zero-waste home.
What Things to Reuse Do You Have at Home?
Repurpose old sheets as drop cloths for painting or use them to create reusable cleaning cloths. They can also be cut into DIY dryer sheets or used as cloth napkins. In fact, there are a lot of ways to use old sheets that you probably have not ever considered!
Newspapers can easily be reused as wrapping paper, gift wrap or as a liner for pet cages. You can even use it to make gift bags if you’re crafty enough. If you need more ideas, head over HERE to check out my post on ways to use old newspaper.
Empty glass containers and bottles are one of my favorite things to reuse. Clean them out and use them for homemade salad dressings or store homemade cleaning solutions.I have more ideas for how to reuse empty bottles HERE.
Empty milk jugs
Milk jugs are also great for reusing. Turn them into a funnel, a scoop or cut off the tops and use them as planters for seedlings. You can even make upcycled bird feeders from milk jugs. Pop over HERE for more ideas.
Old coffee mugs
It might surprise you how many ways to use coffee mugs there are that do not involve coffee. Turn them into pencil holders or use them to store small craft supplies. If you’re crafty you could even make a mosiac.
Towels are another favorite of mine. Just because they’re holey and old doesn’t mean there aren’t uses for old towels. Like sheets, you can cut them up and use them as rags for cleaning. You can also make rugs and more from them!
Use them as seed starters for your garde, to hold kids finger-paint, to make emergency candles or firestarters and more.
Wine corks are great to reuse for crafts. You can use them to make a DIY bulletin board or as a filler for decorative jars. You can even use them to make wine cork DIY keychains!
Empty shoeboxes can be used to store small items like jewelry or office supplies, for crafts or as a budget way to organize your home.
We all use grocery bags as trash bags, but they have so many other uses! You can even make plastic yarn, known as plarn, with them!
Empty boxes can be turned into storage bins, used to line something, for crafts or used for moving. The options are really endless when you think about it.
Don’t throw away that plate the next time you break one. Use broken dishes to create mosaic artwork or other decor.
Empty Cereal Boxes
Empty cereal boxes can be used for anything from making DIY magnetic paper holders to used as drawer dividers or as a makeshift bookshelves.
Plastic Food Containers
We all joke about Grandma’s butter bowls, but there’s a reason she saved them. Use empty plastic food containers to store leftovers or smaller items such as buttons.
Rinse and turn empty wine bottles into decorative vases or use them to make homemade candles. I love using them to make THESE wine bottle centerpieces.
Mason jars have so many uses aside from preserving food. Use them to start an indoor garden, to sprout seeds, to store dry pantry goods and more.
Turn old tees into rags for cleaning or as a no-sew tote bag. You can also use them to make homemade fabric softener sheets or even an upcycled t-shirt scarf!
Need more ideas? Check THIS post.
Toilet Paper Rolls
Use them as seed starters or as a cable organizer. They can also be rolled in honey and bird seed for a quick DIY bird feeder.
Just because they say single use, doesn’t mean they are. Wash plastic silverware and reuse it for future events or as a crafting material. As long as they are in good shape, no one will know they have been washed.
Peanut Butter Jars
Wash empty pb jars well and reuse them for storing dry goods or small items like screws and buttons. You could even paint or decorate the outside for cute storage!
Old Blue Jeans
You may not realize it, but your old jeans still have life in them once they can no longer be worn. Turn them into an apron, coasters or a purse. There are a some great ideas for upcycling denim in THIS post and THIS post!
Plastic lids are great for reusing as well. Use them as coasters or to create DIY drawer organizers or if they are thin enough, create your own paint stencils with them.
Use them as a picture frame or to store small items like buttons or beads. They’re also great for kids crafts.
Use fabric scraps to create a quilt or as a patch for clothing. You can also turn them into curtains, baby bibs and more.
Use coffee filters as a liner for planters or as a makeshift strainer. I have a post HERE listing even more ideas!
Wrapping Paper Scraps
There are a lot of ways to use paper scraps, especially gift wrap. Use them as origami paper, to create homemade cards or any one of THESE ideas.
Empty Baby Food Jars
Use them as storage for small items like nails or screws, for crafts, to make candles or make homemade baby food and refill them!
Use them for collage artwork or as a liner for drawers. They’re also great for creating a vision board.
Plastic Soda Bottles
Cut off the top and use them as a funnel or as a bird feeder. If you’re the prepping sort, you can use them to store foods like rice or for storing emergency water.
Use old calendars like you would magazines or use them for scrapbooking or as a makeshift notebook.
Rubber bands are great for organizing cords or to create a DIY stress ball.
Use it as a scratch pad or to create homemade envelopes. If you use the cash envelope budget system, junk mail basically provides free cash envelopes!
Paper Towel Rolls
Reuse these just like you would toilet paper tolls. They’re great for to organizing cords or as a toy for small pets.
Yes! You can reuse coffee grounds! Add them to your garden or make a DIY coffee scrub for your face!
Fabric Softener Sheets
Getting your laundry soft and static free isn’t the only way to use a fabric softener sheet. In fact, there are a low to ways to use them! Use them to freshen up shoes or to clean baseboards or head HERE for even more ideas!
Wash and reuse plastic wrap as a makeshift food cover or as a protective layer for clothing while you’re crafting.
Wash and remove labels to use as pencil holders, to hold screws or nails or as part of a home decor craft. You can also use them to make decorative candle holders and even home decor!
Recycling is not only beneficial for the environment but can also save you money in the long run. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can turn everyday items into useful household items, decorations, and more. By reusing items that would otherwise be thrown away, you can reduce your waste, save money, and even discover new hobbies and interests.
So, the next time you’re thinking of throwing something away, consider how you can recycle it instead and you’ll save some money in the process!