Apr 12, 2006

One Mom's Junk Is Another Mom's Treasure

Please tell me I am not the only person who saves things like this. When my mom comes to visit she will ask... "Do you want to keep this stuff?" Of course, my answer is "YES!". I need those things! If you're wondering why... let me elaborate on what I save and why. (If you're trying to maintain a frugal kitchen like I am you HAVE to save stuff, LOL!)

Empty margarine and yogurt containers - these are great to have around for a variety of reasons. Water cups for the kids when they use water colors... snack cups for the kids... a place to save leftovers... extra containers for hubby's lunch bag... containers to freeze things in... something to hold spice mixtures... the list goes on but you get the idea.

Empty "honey bears" - these are great for dessert time. If you make a plain cheesecake or other dessert you can put chocolate syrup in one, strawberry puree in one and caramel sauce in one and let everyone top thier own dessert. Also, my one year old loves to drink from these. They do leak but at the table she does just fine with them and has fun at the same time. You can store homemade salad dressing in them and have a ready made squeeze bottle when it's time to serve. You can scoop mayonnaise from a large jar into these to make it easier for the kids to use.

"Plates" from frozen meals - great to use to serve the kids snacks or even lunch. Wonderful to hold a late night snack. Perfect for kids craft projects. Ideal for holding small amounts of ingredients for a recipe when you are cooking. Use when decorating Christmas cookies for various cookie decorations.

Empty glass jars - My husband loves to drink from these, he will grab one before he will grab a regular drinking glass. Nice to place flowers in. Use with a lid to shake things like corn starch and water for a gravy.

Other things you will find in my kitchen drawers and cabinets include sauce packets, straws and napkins from fast food restaurants... empty tin cans (you can use the large ones to bake in the crock pot and smaller ones as biscuit cutters).

The possibilities of what you can save and find a new use for are endless. I feel that if we paid for it I will find a way to use it if I can rather than throwing it out. "A penny saved is a penny earned" is one of my favorite sayings. I suppose you could say "a margarine tub saved is a snack cup earned." :)


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I LOVE doing things like this! DH tends to roll his eyes at me though.

I love yougurt cups because they are almost a measured cup, so I use them as scoops in my flour and sugar jars.

Another great thing is those plastic shake containers that some brands of parmeasan cheese come in. I have my salt in one, cornstarch in another (bought from a bulk food store) They are also great travel containers for cheerios in the diaper bag.

I admit that I have actually been tempted to buy items because of the container that they come in. So far I have been able to resist :)

Michele said...

Jenn, that's so true about the yogurt cups doubling as a measuring cup, I do that too! I have actually bought jelly that is in a jar that looks like a mug just because I love to use those jars as cocoa mugs :)

Deetsa said...

This is as natural to me as breathing. I was brought up by my mother to recycle all that I could. Ben was not brought up this way so he thinks I'm insane for "wasting cupboard space with garbage". This is a double blasphemy for me because of my upbringing and the great supply one has, as a teacher, for art and science.

StaceyBelle said...

ha! Yes! All my empty glass jars (once containing jam) are now drinking glasses too! The ones with tough mouths to clean are for candles (I painted the outside for color)! And all my old yogurt containers hold frozen soups I take to work! Sometimes if I see someone throw one away, I comment, "you're just throwing that away?!" and I often get a "are you crazy" stare in return... (they also make good starters for plant seedlings)

Michele said...

Stacey, I love the idea of painting the outside of the glass jars! I've used the yogurt containers for seedlings too, they work great!

Michele said...

Nerissa, that is so true! All the science projects we've done so far with homeschooling have been with saved items from the kitchen.

BNA said...

I always save margerine tubs! And I save a big glass jar, like from pasta sauce, to pour grease into and let it solidify before throwing out.

Michele said...

bna, we always had a "grease jar" when I was growing up. It was always under the kitchen sink but I stopped doing that when my daughter found it and broke it - yuck! LOL!