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Despite my husband's concerns that I'm becoming an episode of Hoarders, I like to save the waxed paper bags from cereals and other boxed foods. I use them when I microwave frozen veggies and other small dishes. I just slip the bowl into the waxed bag and fold the excess under the bowl to create a steam bag. I don't need to use any water with the frozen veggies, making them healthier.
And, you can wash them out and use them again. Yes, I said, use them again. Why not? It's only veggie steam that's come in contact with the bag. I just rinse it out with very hot tap water, turn it upside down in the dish-drying rack, and there you go.
I don't like using plastic cling wrap in the microwave, so this is a better alternative. And best of all, it's free and keeps some junk out of the landfills for a while. There are lots of other uses for these bags if you give it some thought.
Really frugal or really cheap? You decide.
By Gloria from Western NY
Since I eat cereal for breakfast, I have the wax paper bags left over when the box is empty. This wax paper is just as good as the paper you buy in the roll. I pull the seams of the empty bag apart, smooth the paper, and fold it. When I need wax paper I cut to size. I usually have more paper than I need for kitchen use so I have not bought wax paper in years.
By lita from Tampa, FL
The contents stay pretty safe, easy to transport, convenient, stackable, and I don't have to touch the yarn/thread until I am ready to replace them. The interior dimensions are about 2.9 inches in diameter, so even a tennis ball will fit (according to their website, they are 2.7 inches in diameter so they should fit).
If you are going to a picnic or BBQ, you can use it for apricots, plums, or yes, even more tomatoes. I found this to be a real boon to my crafts, so I am going to buy some more. I hope you get as much use out of them as I have.
I think I have seen them in several stores, in case you don't have this particular store in your area.
By poor but proud from Coos Bay, OR
By Orquidea from Portugal
Don't throw out the plastic trays from cookie and cracker bags! They work great as holders for beads or paper pieces for your crafts, but you can also use them as mini-green houses and flower pots.
By Angela L. from Sault Ste Marie, ON
A great way to store things without spending a lot of money is to use the tubs that butter or cookie dough comes in. When the butter is all used up, I microwave the container for 30 seconds to melt away all the leftover butter, then wash it, and store it in the cabinet just like Tupperware. They work wonderfully as mixing bowls or for leftover dinner; even for things like sugar and flour. They can be used outside the kitchen for things like kid's small toys, crayons, or office supplies. The possibilities are endless with these containers. Saves us a lot of money and they are dishwasher safe.
By Marcia from Herington, KS
Make your own cheese and crackers for pennies! needing just a bit of shortening, I came upon a great idea. These Crisco tubes, containing baking sticks, are perfect for 12 crackers and a hunk of cheese. You can also use them for veggies, fruit, nuts, and other things you can't eat like meds, change, and so much more.
Use your kitchen empties to make woven baskets from your recyclable cardboard. Open your box down a seam if possible. Cut the sides, flaps or tabs from the two larger main surfaces: front and back.
These are 10 oz. containers with recloseable lids. They are dishwasher safe and can be sanitized. I find they are a perfect size for individual meat and gravy servings. Also, meatballs and sauce.
I tend to eat at Wendy's quite a bit because I really like their Southwestern taco salad. I had saved a couple of the plastic dishes/containers to recycle or whatever (they work very well for paint trays). They're square and about 8 inches wide.
Recycle a soda pop cup into a plastic bag keeper. This is an easy recycled craft project for kids and adults. Here is the picture tutorial link with step-by-step instructions.
My wife buys Dole mandarin oranges for my son. The jars the oranges are packed in are a durable plastic, and the label is the kind that can be easily and completely removed.
You know those sturdy wooden crates that you buy mandarin oranges in? I paint them, decoupage nice pictures on the sides and use them for storing items in the bathroom. I put it on the counter or on the tank of the toilet.
Does your glue gun make a mess on your work surface? I wash up the plastic sheet that comes under a pound of bacon and I place it under my glue gun and the drips will peel right off and your work surface will stay clean!
While shopping for something small to abate my sweet tooth, I stumbled on a Great Value (Walmart brand) frozen snack. They are $.75 in the ice cream treat section. As I was washing the container, I thought of all the cool things I could do with it.
I reuse bread bags for used kitty litter. The plastic grocery bags are easy to tear, but the bread bags are more durable. I reuse the plastic grocery bags (what few I get) in my bathroom for those smelly items before I put it in the trash.
Save all your cardboard cartons; milk, cream, half and half, ice cream, etc, I wash them out in warm water, using a dish mop. I invert them on a paper towel and the next day when dry, I keep the top closed from dust, etc with the wide parcel tape until needed.
The children love to eat those Push Up ice cream treats. They are left with these little nifty round discs with a stick attached to it.
I reuse the long green Velcro straps that are often wrapped around celery when I buy it. I save them to use as ties. I have wrapped Christmas tree light bulbs, extension cords, stacks of Christmas cards, you name it!
I use the piece of plastic found underneath the bacon in each package. It is flimsy enough to cut with regular scissors, yet strong enough to use many times over.
The plastic bags that cold cereals are packaged in can be cut into large squares and sewn between two pieces of cotton fabric. When finished, these are called "crinkle taggies".
Clean out cardboard containers, like the ones that held food. Cover them with contact or wrapping paper and use them to store leftover pantry food and small items.
Wash the Lay's Stax brand plastic chip cans, when finished with the chips. Also save your empty milk gallon and/or half gallon jugs. Fill them with water.
Use waxed boxes for paint palettes. When working with acrylics, you can use a (washed) waxed box such as the ones frozen foods come in, as a palatte.
Bookmarks: Attractive boxes such as candy boxes can be cut into bookmarks. Use the side panels. You can use a hole punch and put a ribbon through if you'd like.
After you have finished off your cool, refreshing Wendy's frosty that comes in a clear plastic cup with a clear plastic dome covering. Wash it and reuse in the bathroom for a toothbrush holder.
I bought some pull-apart bread last week. The tray that is on the bottom is black, but can't be recycled in this state. The center has a ring in the middle, and two other rings larger toward the edges.
I save the bags from empty cereal, they are super to use to take camping to use as bowls, or cereal. When used, fold up to carry home to discard.
Use cookie packs to make handbags, this is great for kids to use, for storing your shopping receipts, etc. I have used the 2 packs back to back and belting material.
I make my own chili seasoning and keep it in a Parmesan cheese container. The container has an easy opening to put your spoon in and it also has a holes for shaking in a little more, if needed.
I sometimes get packaged molasses cookies at the DT. They have the coolest plastic containers that I often reuse.
In the produce section, there are the large apple boxes that come with recycled layers of pocketed cardboard (like eggs) that protect the produce during shipping. They are kind of lavender in color.
Recycle your flour bags by reusing them to store your homemade baked goods (cookies, pastries, etc). I carefully open the bags to begin using the flour and when its finished, I reuse the bag.
Keep all "disposable" containers (juice bottles, margarine tubs, peanut butter jars, etc). They are great for taking to lunch for work, on picnics or to send leftovers home with dinner company.
Empty snack food bags can be reused at least once before they are simply thrown into the trash, thus serving a dual purpose. This is a guide about uses for potato chip bags.
Ever wonder what you can do with those little squeeze bottles shaped like a lemon? Here is one solution; make a recycled plastic lemon vase.
This is a guide about uses for Styrofoam meat trays. Reusing Styrofoam packaging helps keep it out of the landfill. There are a variety of uses for the trays used for packing meat.
One of my mottos is "think before you toss!" Now and then, I buy a deli pie, muffins or cake, or someone brings a similar product to a "bring your own dish to share" gathering.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Here is an inner seal from a large 'can' of coffee. I have been saving these things for quite some time. I save them because they are so tough and durable. I'd like to find a good use for them. With all you members, especially the ladies, coming up with great ideas for crafts and reuse of items, I'm hoping to get a couple ideas about how to put these seals to good use. Any ideas, Y'all?
Hmm... IF you have a garden you could punch a hole in the little tab and hang the disk on your garden fence to deter birds or other critters.
You could also form the disk over a cup of tea/coffee/drink to keep it hot or cold.
You can use them as coasters to prevent spills or stains on furniture when you place a cup down on them.
You can fit them over an open small paint can if you are painting a project.
You could place them under a potted plant (and even shape them to the bottom of the pot) to prevent water from spilling out or staining the table.
How about any of those ideas? :)
Mockingbirds are pecking holes in all my tomatoes. I hung a few of these seals on each plant. It did nothing to deter the birds.
I have some indoor plants in 'designer' shiny black plastic pots. I think the metallic effect of these seals would look nice when they are formed as saucers under these pots. Hadn't thought about that. Thanks for the suggestion!
Does anyone know a craft using the thin, clear plastic cookie dividers that come with Oreo cookies? I have a bunch of them. Some are from my friend who wanted me to save them for her, but now she has moved. So I really don't want to just put them in the recycling container, if there's another use for them first. Any ideas will be appreciated.
By Helene from San Antonio, TX
Off hand the only thing I can recommend is using them for craft supplies. I use the ones I get from the dollar stores for just that and they work great. They are also good for keeping "that drawer" organized. I hope that helps.
I have a big stack of clear plastic dividers used for Oreos. Does anyone know if there is a craft or other use for them? I hated to just stick them in my plastic recycle bin if they can be used again for something.
I would like to know how to get rid paint markings on flour bags?
By Joy from Philippines