Friday, March 18, 2011

Making do

Just a few quick ideas for making do on the cheap:

Plastic lids, particularly the kind that come with margarine or yogurt, make great spoon rests on the counter and stove, with the bonus that if you get surprise company, you drop the spoons in the sink and the lids in the garbage. Instant clean without feeling guilty.

Ziplock bags can be washed and reused, though I strongly recommend against trying to reuse any bag that held raw meat for safety reasons. And greasy bags are a nuisance to wash, but most others are easy to wash and dry. It's a little savings, but it also only takes a few seconds to wash out a bag that held a sandwich.

Shake out crumbs and save bread bags to hold packages of raw meat that might "leak" in the refrigerator. It helps keep things from getting messy, and the bag gets an extra use before being thrown out. These tend to be more leakproof than the plastic shopping bags too. You can also use a small dishpan or plastic shoebox or one of those large plastic coffee canisters to hold raw meat in the refrigerator, but you have to clean and reuse those rather than throwing them out.

Instead of buying expensive "chip clips," use clothes pins to hold things closed. You can usually buy an entire large package for less than a couple of the chip clips. And keep a few  twist ties from bread bags around to close bags of chocolate chips or rice. Heavy rubber bands are fantastic too, just fold over the top, and put the rubber band around the entire package.

Reuse old file folders by removing the old labels or putting a new one over the old one.

Need a return address and hate to write it out yourself? Cut out your name and address from a piece of junk mail and glue it on the envelope. Instant label.

I took a plastic one pound peanut butter jar, weighted the bottom with pennies to make it hard to tip over, and use it to hold all my pens, pencils and markers. If you want "decor," cover it with a cute cloth bag or decorative paper sleeve.

You can save money on a calendar, and make one really unique to yourself. Use a word processing or publishing program to create a calendar "grid", then fill it in for each month. Then pick out some digital photos to add as "watermarks" (that means something kind of faded in the background). This is pretty easy in Office. Unless you have a color printer, format the photo in grey scale before printing. My calendar has family photos (I can almost hear my oldest daughter groaning, and yes, the graduation photo of you with Beevo is my May page....)


Portia said...

We use clothes pins to secure bags all the time! Living in humid Florida, we have to even clip the inner bag that holds cold cereal.

Always make my calendar on the computer. But, I don't add photos or anything. I am boring.

Dawnfire said...

Not boring at all! But now you have a new way to use all those wonderful pics of the grandbaby...

Ami said...

I have used clothespins forever. Someone gave me two chip clips in a bag of stuff, and they were crap. Broke right away.

I save all my ziploc bags and wash them and use them over and over and over for tie dyed stuff.

The pencil/pen/scissors thing on my kitchen table though, is a gorgeous ceramic mug I got at Goodwill during half price day. It was $1.00, but it's soooo pretty. And big.