Thursday, August 11, 2016

Use This for That..................

I know we all love to save money, or we wouldn't be here right now!
I do believe we all want to help preserve the resources of the earth as well.

There are so many things that we can use for purposes other than their "original" purpose.
We can re-use many items that we already  have, and that my friends reduces our load on the planet and recycles as much as possible - which saves us money as well.

So let's save a little money.
  • HAIR CONDITIONER - it makes a great shaving lotion for your legs and under arms - I am sure men could use it as well.  I have several bottles that I got cheaply, and then decided I didn't like it for my hair - so I use it for shaving.  Makes the skin soft.                                   Conditioner can also be used for fabric softener in a pinch.  Mix it in a 1:4 ratio (1 part conditioner 4 parts water) and soak and ring out a wash cloth to use in your drier.  A little squirt in the rinse cycle will work as well.
  • LEFTOVER CHIPS OR COOKIES - the crumbs at the bottom of the bag of chips (any type or flavor) can be used as a coating for meat or veggies, and will add a great amount of flavor.  I also use them to mix in with meatloaf or salmon (when making patties).   Chips, cheese cracker, cheese puffs, etc. can all be used.                   COOKIE crumbs are great for topping pudding or yogurt, or to top a nice bowl of oatmeal or even added to cold cereal or ice cream.   There is just no limit to the uses. 
  • USED TEA BAGS - I re-use tea bags when making hot tea more than once.  I also like to keep several used bags in a baggie in the freezer.  I get a couple out from time to time and allow them to cool (don't use frozen), and I place them over my eyes when I feel stressed.  It helps reduce puffiness in the eyes.  Used tea bags can also be placed over an insect bite or sting and helps relieve the itch and swelling.
  • TURKEY BASTER - I don't baste a turkey any more, due to using those cooking bags that makes everything tender and moist.  I use my baster to remove the grease from a skillet.  I tip the skillet ever so slightly, and suck the grease right out and place in a can for the trash.  It works great, and you don't spill any meat out of your pan trying to drain.  I've been doing this for years.
  • VICK'S MEDICATED RUB - not only is this stuff good for a cold and stuffiness, it helps keep insects from biting.  Rub some on your ankles and  your arms when out, and you will not get nearly the bites.  Bugs don't like the smell either! 
  • Keep some gravy mixes on hand - small packages or the larger containers that can be bought at places like Sam's.  I don't like gravy made from mixes (except the country gravy), but I love using the mix to add thickness to soups and stews and it sure adds a great amount of flavor.
  • CLEAR OR LIGHT COLORED NAIL POLISH - this is great for coating the backs of cheaper jewelry or even expensive jewelry that you may be allergic to.  I have worn a cheaper watch for years, and the backing has all worn off - which would "green" my arm, but I paint the back with polish.  It works like a charm.  I re-do it every few months, and so far after about 4 years NO GREEN!
  • SHOE BAGS - aren't just for shoes any more.  These are great for holding small items in a bathroom or bedroom.  Attach to the back of a door and you can stuff all kinds of goodies in those pockets.  This is also a good idea for a kids room.  Having one on the back of your pantry door is great for small items, like seasoning packets, mixes, baggies, etc.  I think this would be a wonderful idea for the craft room as well.  There is no limit to a shoe bags' uses.
  • A TWIN FITTED SHEET - is the perfect size to use as a table cover for those long folding  tables at events and also for many picnic tables.  It won't blow away, as the elastic keeps it in place under the table.
  • PEELINGS AND SCRAPS from food can be kept and used to make stock.  I keep the scrapings from carrots (and tops), the peels from potatoes (or anything I peel), the tough part of asparagus, onion skins and butts, just about any veggie scrap.  I keep it all in an old gallon ice cream container in the freezer, and I use it to make veggie stock once the container gets full.  Scraps can also be added to meat bones when making stock for them.  It just adds extra flavor and nutrition to your stock.  After making the stock - THEN they go into the compost bin.
  • TOMATO SKINS - don't forget to save your skins when canning any tomato products.  The skins can be dehydrated in the oven or dehydrator and then pulsed into a powder.  This powder adds a great deal of flavor and nutrition to soups, casseroles and meats.  REMEMBER - you can dehydrate about any veggie and then turn it into a powder.  This is handy for making healthy smoothies, and also for adding veggies to meals without others knowing it's in their food (picky eaters)!
  • WAX BAGS from cereal boxes and such are great to keep.  I open them up and wash them down, then keep them and use instead of buying wax paper.    It works great between pieces of meat when freezing.
  • SEEDLESS GRAPES - freeze them (off the stem).  Freezing really does boost the flavor and they are a great cooling snack.  I love to have frozen grapes on hand, whenever I plan to serve wine.  Throw a few grapes in the glasses of wine to keep it cold without watering it down, and then eat them at the end!
  • JUICE FROM CANNED FRUIT - is great for freezing in ice cube trays or popsicle molds.  It makes a great snack or addition to a smoothie or a glass of tea.
  • PICKLE JUICE is a wonderful meat marinade.  The vinegar in it helps to tenderize even the toughest meats.  Sweet pickle juices can be blended into a salad dressing.  Try a glass of tomato juice (or V-8) with a good dash of dill juice in it - it's YUMMY.  That is the only way we drink now. Makes a dandy Bloody Mary!
That's all I can think of off the top of my head - I know I have more.  These should give you a few options to think about.  What are your favorite unconventional uses of things? 
LET US KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I think one of my favorite tips was the "juice from canned fruit". I've been doing that for years. I LOVE pineapple. So when I make a recipe using pineapple, I put the leftover juice in a glass and fill the rest of the glass up with cold water. An instant refreshing drink. I'll have to try putting other fruit juices in my tea. That sounds good. My husband just looks at me and shakes his head. I think he thinks I'm crazy!! Love the other tips. Thank you.

    1. Kris, I think many husbands shake their heads! Mine is real understanding of my ways, and he has some of his own - but at times he does the head shake too!!
      The pineapple juice sounds refreshing. Can't see any reason to be wasteful.
      Have a great weekend.

  2. What terrific ideas you have. I've read about thrifty and frugal living for years, and some of your ideas are new to me.

    I have been afraid to make veggie stock with peelings etc, because I usually just peel off the bad spots.

    I found you through Vickie's Kitchen. Here's a link to a post I wrote called 40 Ways to Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without. It's one of my most popular posts.

    Be blessed Cheryl!

    1. Hello Laura. Glad to hear that some of the ideas are useful and new to you.

      I can understand that with veggies. Also need to make sure that they aren't chemical laden!

      WOW thanks for letting me know where you heard of my little blog.
      I will definitely check out your post!

      thanks for stopping by and come again.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl for all the tips. I learned something new today from you. I had never heard about the trick with the Vick's Rub before and will have to remember that one for our next camping trip. I got bit by huge mosquitoes.

  4. I learned a few new things, too! I'm going to enjoy reading your blog!