If you get creative, there are so many cheap storage solutions right in front of you. Consider re-purposing items when you have a storage need. This page contains cheap storage solutions.
I scarfed these cake containers from my grandson's recent party.
For this one, I now keep all my articles and magazines to read during quiet time, commercials, or any time I have some time to read. Your coffee table may not be like mine, but you can also use these for:
Keeping yarn separated on a shelf.
An "emergency kit" in the trunk.
Keeping spuds and onions in the cupboard.
Keeping salad things together in the fridge.
Storing copy paper beside the printer.
Keep by the door for junk mail or recycled magazines.
This is tricky, but can be done: set it empty in the flatest surface you can inside the freezer, then fill with water. Don't try and fill it then lift it, it's too flimsy. When frozen, set a sheet ice cream cake on it for a party. Then use the melted water for plants or pets.
There are tons of uses for these wonderful clear cake tops. Any one of your "ITF" (Ingenius Thrifty Funers") care to add to the list?
By Poor But Proud from Salem, OR
What does scarfed mean? Can't find it in the dictionary.
These would also be good for keeping cookie cutters together, cake decorating supplies together, birthday cake candles and cake toppers together, and chocolate or candy molds together. In the craft area, you could use them to keep supplies together for different types of crafts. I'd love to have some of these in square or rectangle shape, though, as the round ones I've saved aren't quite as useful. I've used round ones as small tubs for soaking small laundry items and for soaking jars to remove the labels, but that's about all.
Like most homemakers, I was always buying Tupperware or some store type of food storage containers. And like most people, I was always losing the lids. So there I was with containers and no way to seal them. One day, the sun shone on my brain and I realized I had lots of containers that I had bought at the store and then thrown away.
Jars, lots and lots of jars and plastic containers with lids are available when the filling is used up. I will not buy another container because I find it easier to use a clear jar with a lid to put leftovers in the refrigerator. They store dried beans, rice, macaroni, and all kinds of things. If one breaks, no big deal as it is easily replaced with another jar and another jar and on and on. If my husband needs a container, he can go to the pantry and pick one from the shelf. He doesn't have to worry about ever putting it back either. I love jars and jugs!
By Elaine from OK
Be sure and label them so everyone knows what's inside. I live alone and tend not to label because I usually know what's inside. Last Spring my adult son was visiting and helped himself to a big glass of hummingbird food "koolaid".
His comment "Geez Mom, you dropped the sugar bag in that batch, didn't you?"
I do this and I seldom ever trash a jar.
Being a Grandma gives me the excuse to have a lot of crayons and markers around. To keep everything in storage, I use clear leftover strawberry containers. They even lock on the ends. You can also very easily stack them.
Great idea "Grandma," I think I'll start using them for my craft supplies so I can find them easier. I like that these are see-through and that they're FREE. I've always put them in the recycling, but I'd rather find a use for things.
I've just been recycling these containers but now will think of ways to re-use. We get them in various sizes. The campari tomatoes we buy at Sam's Club come in this sort of container and it's larger so would be good for storage and yes, it's nice that it's free!
To make frugal storage, take a jumbo cereal box and glue a smaller cereal box inside that one. Decorate with nice fabric. and you have storage for papers and things.
I keep all of the large size plastic jars that cheese balls come in. I like to keep little things in them. Here is a picture of one I put an old calendar picture in.
I live in the "backwoods" of Montana. In June of 2011, we had very heavy rainfall that resulted in my kitchen ceiling leaking. I was trying to figure out how to keep my pantry dry and thought about the old fashioned 1 gallon glass jars. I took a trip in to my local grocery store to see if I could get some at the deli.
I ended up with 1 Gallon plastic salad dressing containers. They work awesome for storing sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking mix, macaroni, cereal, rolled oats, dried milk, crackers, trail mix; you name it. They have a base of about 8 inches square, they have a pretty blue screw on lid and a very convenient handle on the side. I tore off the label and made my own for the outside. If there is a recipe that is on the outside of the bag (cornbread or biscuits, etc.), I simply cut it off of the bag, stick it in a baggie, and tuck it in with the baking mix or cornmeal.
Another added benefit of these containers is that I can see at a glance what I am almost out of when I make out my grocery list. I then bring home my groceries, open the packages, and dump them into the proper container.
The only mistake I made was telling everyone in the Deli what I use them for and now the ladies are taking them home themselves. These awesome containers are being thrown away on a daily basis by any restaurant or deli that uses salad dressing. I didn't spend a dime :)
By Linny from Roundup, MT
I did this too when I worked 4 a deli years ago. Also had big spice jars that they put in trash weekly - great idea!
*That is a great tip. Even the frosted kind like you can get pickles and mayo/mustard out of are good. You can simply write on what is inside with a felt marker.
Another idea is to keep the ones that other foods come in, which I like better because they are squared.
Coffee containers, esp' the kind with an actual handle, are perfect. I also use pickle, mayo, relish and other jars for food, vitamins, and even the cake topper for yarn.
My philosophy is "reuse it or refuse it".
I store lots of things on the patio and throughout the house. We have a hundred year old house with no closets, so we have to get creative.
You can cover many smooth containers with decorative Con-Tact or wrapping paper and fill them with homemade cookies or candy for gifts.
If you're not agile enough for a cabin bed, but you really could use the extra storage - consider sleeping in the bottom bunk of bunk beds, and storing your boxes up top. You can even dress the bunks up as a four poster, thus niftily disguising all the bits and pieces stashed overhead.
I save the packages from blankets and sheet sets (the nice ones with zippers) and use them to store all kinds of things that need to be kept clean and dry.
We have too many mugs! So, I use some of them on tops of bookcases, file cabinets, dressers, etc. to store small items. One contains a pair of scissors, buttons, and single earrings for sewing and crafts.
My son purchased a pantry for the apartment. It is the kind that comes in a box to be assembled at home. Last weekend, he put a lot of his collection of books inside the cabinet.
If you are storing long-term, do not use cardboard boxes. Anything can happen to them, be it roof leakage or bugs or mice.
In our area, Clementines come in nice little wooden crates. I have a bunch, which I have turned upside down on the computer monitor and the TV.