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Reuse and Recycle Household Goods

How to put those old CD cases and dryer sheets to a new use


Part of the fun of being a real cheapskate (aside from saving money of course!) is getting creative with stuff you have around the house. Loads of everyday items in your home can be transformed to serve new purposes without spending a dime.

Old CD jewel cases make great splatter-proof recipe-card holders or coasters to hold drinks and protect furniture. Glue felt to the bottom to absorb moisture and prevent scratches. You can even decorate them by painting the inside of the cover or inserting a photo.

Fabric softener sheets still have plenty of life in them after your clothes have dried. Put a few sheets in between book pages to keep books from getting musty. Or drop a fabric softener sheet into the vacuum cleaner to make your house smell fresh while you are vacuuming. And since the same ingredient that fights soap scum is also found in fabric softener sheets, they’re even excellent for removing soap scum from your tub and tiles.

Pantyhose are repurposing all-stars. Stuff a pair of old hose with soap slivers and voilà: soap on a rope! Store potatoes, onions and garlic in old hose (clean, of course) and hang them in your pantry to promote good air circulation and keep them fresher longer. You can also use pantyhose to store and protect rolls of gift wrap. Just hang them in your closet with one roll in each leg.

Why spend more on luxurious comfort grips for your gardening tools when you can give yours a free upgrade? Wrap the handles of rakes, hoes and other garden tools with old bicycle inner tubes secured with duct tape for a more comfortable and slip-resistant grip. Ask you local bike shop to give you old inner tubes from repair jobs. They’re also great at securing trash bags in large trash cans. The elastic waistband of old men’s underwear works just as well on smaller kitchen and bathroom bins.

You can also use the “bladder” from box wine as a travel pillow. When emptied, just rinse out and inflate with air.