In the current economic climate, everyone is looking for a deal. We’ve been trying to think less about what we can get for cheap and more about what we have already that we can use instead.
Think about this: Most food comes prepackaged – even if you’re only buying direct from local vendors, chances are you’re probably not taking that loaf of bread home in just your bicycle basket; it probably has some kind of wrapper. The bread wrappings I see most often are either the paper sleeve with the clear panel in the front or the plastic bags that Wonder bread and hamburger buns come in. Okay, so when you finish eating that loaf of bread, where does the bag go? Do you throw it away like most people do? Try this: At a barbecue, use empty hamburger bun bags for sending leftovers home with your guests. Use the paper bread sleeve as a lunch bag since you’ll be saving more money by taking your lunch to work.
And the reuse of food packaging isn’t limited to bread bags, what about butter tubs, jelly jars, ketchup bottles, and cracker boxes used as office supply sorters, soup storage, flower vases, and gift boxes.
What about clothes? If they’re unfit for donation to one of the many charitable organizations asking for assistance, cut them up and turn them into cleaning rags that can be thrown in with your regular laundry (saving you money on paper towels) or cut them up and use them as patches for your slightly less beat up clothing.
You can reuse gift wrap (for re-gifting or book covers), junk mail (for printer paper – just turn it over the use the blank side), broken strings from guitars and basses or excess fishing line (for making picture wires or suspending things from your ceiling), bulk food bags (for storage or packing material), and anything else you could imagine. So before you head to the trash can, think about what you’re chucking. You never know what you might find.