Reuse everyday items in creative ways to save


Charles Wilkins

You could literally be throwing money into the rubbish bin. One of the most commonly overlooked ways that you can actually start saving money is with the help of up-cycling (or recycling) a variety of everyday things. In our society consumerism and the consumption of material goods is very well entrenched. Most people are quite content to buy items at the shop, use them a few times, before throwing them out. What is surprising however is that a fair amount of these items can be brought back to life even if they appear expired. Indeed, even the waste items in packaging can actually be recycled so that you can start saving money as soon as you get your new item home. This guide presents some basic ideas that you can use at home to help you save money regularly and help avoid those online loans.

Reusing baking components

There are many types of baking components that can be reused even after they are considered to be expired for use in baking and other items. Here are some creative ideas that you can use for reusing some baking components and older items you might have in your pantry:

Baking soda

Baking soda is wonderful for making a variety of household cleaners. Even an older box of baking soda that you have in your pantry or from the back of your fridge can have the ability to clean out a sink or even act as a powerful household cleaning agent. Baking soda cleaner recipes that you might find online will deliver plenty of scrubbing power and a chance to disinfect all kinds of areas throughout your home.

reuse, recycle and save the planet

Reusing coffee grinds

Older coffee grinds can be just as effective as any of the fertilizer that you may purchase at the store. Old coffee grinds from your coffee maker set aside and mixed into your soil can have an overwhelming effect for bringing in new nutrients. Rather than spending an extensive amount of time and money on over-the-counter fertilisers you could instead consider the idea of reusing some coffee grinds so that you can bring on improvements in your garden.

Reusing old spices

Older spices in your home can actually work to make beautiful fried rinses. Putting on a small pot of boiling water and adding in some of the older spices that you would no longer use for cooking can lead to a wonderful and comforting smell. You could also consider adding in some of the older spices to some of your homemade cleaning products if you are interested in adding a bit of scent to your favorite baking soda cleaner. Many people that make their own cleaners at home use some of their older spices that have lost some of their flavor instead for their scents.

Revitalising honey

You can restore honey back to its original consistency quite easily. Just boil a pot of water and then let the honey sit inside of it inside the jar for just a few moments. Warming up the honey can bring it back to its original consistency. Never throw out honey again because it has crystallised or changed states.

In the bathroom

The bathroom and the toiletries that you use everyday also represent a great chance to save money with up-cycling. You could be wasting a countless amount of money every year with the toiletries that you have to regularly replace or that you cannot access due to packaging. Here are some of the top items you can reuse within the bathroom.

Six items that no bathroom can be without

  • Loo brush
  • Hand towel
  • Soap
  • Cleaning products
  • Bath matt
  • Spare loo rolls

Old toothpaste tubes

You can reuse an old toothpaste tube by cutting off the end cap with a knife or scissors. Rinse out the toothpaste tube and then keep it as a sheet for knives and scissors to protect yourself. Toothpaste tubes also work very well for dispensing icing when you rinse them out. If you have any older icing or if you've made up icing for decorating a cake, having a few of these toothpaste tubes around can help you save money on baking components.

"Old toothpaste tubes make great knife protectors #recyclingtips"
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Old bars of soap

Some of the older bars of soap that you have can all be reused as well. Pick up all of the soap slivers that you have around the house and consider melting them down in the microwave. As soon as they are all melted you can pour them down into a mold or even a coffee mug in place of a mold to produce a new and larger bar of soap. All of the ends of your soap could lead to a great option for staying clean on the cheap.

Old loo rolls

Toilet paper rolls are perfect for keeping track of cords in your house, for creating wonderful fire starters, for separating documents and even for starting seedlings throughout your home. These are pieces of cardboard that you should never consider throwing out because they can be useful in a variety of organisational tasks throughout your life.

Landfill site

In the kitchen

The kitchen is one of the best places that you can recycling your home. As food costs are one of the most substantial aspects of any household budget there are countless ways to save when it comes to using materials and saving food items within the kitchen. Here are some creative ideas that you can use to start saving more every day, stay on track with your finances and make do without online loans.

Whenever you cook you should consider saving some of the seeds from any fruits or vegetables that have them. You could start growing your own peppers at home or even try growing pumpkins with just a few seeds from an item. Being able to grow your own vegetables if you have the space inside or outside can really help to save on food costs.

Even a small bit of leftovers could potentially be something that you could turn into a soup. Saving items like bones, an old pot of coffee turned to ice coffee in the fridge or even prepping larger meals with the intention of keeping leftovers can help you get more out of your meal budget.

The mesh bags that you get with any vegetable items can be very useful for shopping in the future and keeping organised. They also work particularly well as laundry bags. You can also reuse containers for items like margarine in place of expensive tupperware and measuring bowls. You can even reuse aluminum foil and pie pans for baking depending on the items that were on them before!

Your electronics

Electronics can take on a second life as well if you are willing to get creative.

You can reuse CDs and DVDs that are no longer of use in a number of household items. You can keep them as plate weights to keep paper plates from flying away, they can be used as driveway reflectors, bike reflectors and even candleholders/coasters too!

Turn your old computer monitor into an art project: Take out the glass in your older style large computer monitor in turn into something like a fish tank, they also make great cat houses with all the space inside they can serve as a great storage space too.

Donate your old mobile phone to charity: donating old electronics to charities may result in a tax credit which can help to save you money regularly.

In the office

If you have a home office area or even if you have kids that are still in school, there are many items that you can save money on in the home with relation to office supplies including paper, pens and more:

Rather than throwing out scrap pieces of paper that have hardly been used, you could work at cutting them up to create your own stack of notepads. Rather than buying Post-it notes or other paper products you should consider reusing scrap paper so that you can do your part to save the environment and save money along the way.

You can meltdown older crayons in effort to create new and large crayons that your kids can use instead. A broken crayon or an older crayon that has been worn down to a small size can still have a use.

Newspaper sleeves will work as great bags that you can keep on hand for garden gloves that can be useful for protecting your hands and more. Extra envelopes that you happen to get with bills can also work well as extra envelopes for your home. Keeping some of these envelopes on hand will ensure that even if you just need an envelope to stay organised, you will have it available.

Saving newspaper can help you to make a wide array of products from wrapping paper to spillage blotters. Keeping extra newspaper in house will also ensure that you always have firestarters and more.

We all doodle and indeed always need those scraps of paper to take a note on when we are on the phone. Make sure to always use the back of old notes or envelopes for this purpose. Keep a pile of scrap paper in arms reach on your desk.

When you get a stamp look to see if it has had the postage mark stamped across it. You never know you may be lucky and be able to reuse it. Also keep the paper clips utility companies may use to send you a bill.

Your furniture

Furniture perhaps has one of the greatest second lives in upcycling and recycling. Your furniture can have a wealth of new uses and here are some creative ways that you can recycle worn-out furniture items:

Old Carpets - Rather than giving up on old carpets you could consider doing a deep steam cleaning. A steam cleaning could remove a number of stains that you have previously been unable to, giving it a whole new life. You could also keep carpets on hand or reuse them in other areas of your home!

Repurpose the legs of your old coffee table - If you have a vintage style coffee table you could get a wood slab and consider making a whole new table from the legs!

Trunks and suitcases - Older style trunks and suitcases can also serve as excellent storage through your home that is stylish.

Repurpose that old door - An old front door to even be repurposed into a brand new dining room table for you!


Consider some of these top ideas on how you could creatively recycle and upcycle in the home to save money every year. Remember that these few lifestyle changes could help the environment and save you money regularly! What we are aiming for are small incremental changes rather than huge lifestyle shifts. This is because a behaviour is far more likely to stick if you perceive it to be a small change. Over time these marginal gains can add up to a bigger change and hopefully one that you hardly notice now it has become part of your standard behaviour. The psychology of change is a really interesting topic and one that we may cover in future guides. For now though we would love to hear from you about your up-cycling or recycling wins.

Get in touch on any of our social media pages and let us know. We can then sift through and perhaps share the best ones on our site in the future so everyone can benefit. That way we are all going to benefit from pooled knowledge. For more great tips check out this great council website.

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