07 February 2013

Re-use Household Items

You can save money by thinking of ways to re-use your household items. Try these ideas to get you started:

Plastic Grocery Bags

  • Never throw away a plastic bag from the store before re-using it at least one more time.
  • Use them in small rubbish bins rather than buying new rubbish bags.
    • Re-use them - if the rubbish is just clean waste paper, empty the rubbish into the recycle bin, keeping the liner in the wastepaper basket.

  • Place items in the plastic bags before storing to keep the items free
     of dust and dirt.
    • Use them to store Christmas decorations, extra bedding, clothes waiting to be passed down etc. Label the bags with a permanent marker so you know what is in them.

  • When you're done with them, re-cycle them at the supermarket.

Packing Materials, such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts and cardboard inserts

  • Use them as packing whenever you ship something.

  • Use them when storing breakables to cushion and protect them.
    • Great for storing decorations and fragile seasonal ornaments.
    • Use them to protect your good china and crystal when it's in storage.

  • Use them to protect many items when you're moving from one home to another.

Worn Towels, Wash Rags, Sheets, Blankets, Curtains, and Clothes:

  • Cut them up to use as cleaning rags. Use them to wash windows, wipe appliances, clean vinyl and tile floors or wash your car.
  • Put them in the garage or garden shed to use for cleaning hands, wiping up spills, cleaning tools and so on.
  • Cut them into squares and use the good portions of them to make quilts.
  • Cut them into strips to use for making colourful, braided rugs.

Old Carpet

  • Cut it in pieces and place them in doorways, the garage or laundry room for people to wipe their shoes on before coming indoors.

  • Cut it into strips and use it as weed mat.

Washable Dust Mops

  • You can buy dust mops with a removable dusting end that you can throw in the washer. No more buying disposable sweeping cloths!


  • Buy rechargeable batteries and use them over and over again instead of continually having to replace them with new batteries.

Silk Flower Arrangements

  • When you're finished with a silk flower arrangement, save on redecorating by taking it apart and using the flowers in fresh, new decorations, like wall baskets with some flowers, birds, and butterflies or small posies for table centres.

Save Money by Re-using Other People's Stuff

  • Frequent garage sales, op shops and consignment shops for great savings on gently used items you want to buy anyway. Buy it used instead of new and save a bundle.


  1. Hi thanks for the tips, a few oldies but goodies here!

    Could someone clarify the tip about using old carpet as weed mats?

    Excuse my ignorance but I don't really understand how this works or how to do it, BUT I do have weeds and I do happen to have a lot of old carpet, so I'd like to find out!!

  2. best carpet for weed mat is wool rather than synthetics. Water soil and then place carpet on top. Wet again and cover with mulch. This method works best.

  3. Hi, I discovered that the white 'peanut' packing material is cellulose or starch and if you can't re-use it you can mix it with water and it will dissolve which is great as I get a lot of un-recyclable packing when I order supplies for my school, eg one item shipped in a large non-recyclable plastic bag and then shipped in a large cardboard box that I have to sometimes recycle after a single use. Cheryl Ross

    1. I'll have to try this next time someone gets a parcel, and research what the liquid can be used for. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I used a length of old wool carpet, which was discarded by our local pub during renovations, to lay under a new raised garden bed to keep out tree roots.


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