20 Things I Never Throw Away
The Survival Mom
by Lisa Bedford: 23
Ultimate Survival Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything
has a purpose sometimes two or three of them! For most seasoned
Survival Moms, some of these “reuse” ideas are already habit. But
for those of us fairly new to frugal motherhood or the Survival
Mom lifestyle, here are 20 things I never throw away:
bottles, gallon vinegar jugs, etc. Use to store water
(room temperature or frozen). Be sure to date and rotate every six
containers I refill with whatever needs to be moved into
rotation: brown sugar, instant oats, flour, powdered milk. These
fit into my everyday pantry a lot easier than 5-gallon buckets.
I can also fit about a dozen Ramen Noodle packages into one to make
them less accessible for my tiny, four-legged nemeses.
peanut butter jars The large ones can nicely fit a couple
of bags of split peas, chick peas, or other bean varieties I don’t
usually buy in bulk. Or, if I’m moving longer-term food into rotation,
these are perfect (and I can see what’s in them). Also great for
storing treats like dehydrated corn (which the kids eat like candy!),
venison jerky, chunks of rock candy, or opened pretzels. I hate
when that half-eaten bag goes stale!
food tubs Perfect for leftovers especially ones
I’m sending home with guests. I also use the tiny sour cream tubs
to store homemade lotions and my fledgling attempts at homemade
yogurt. They’re also nice for dividing up paint and paste for craft
project because tossing them is cleanup.
jars Refill with your own dried spices at the end of
the growing season.
vinegar, or other glass bottles I make my own fruit-flavored
vodkas with the cheapest, bottom-shelf stuff. Then I pour it into
pretty red wine vinegar bottles, attach a recipe for a fancy drink,
and give as hostess gifts. Fun meets frugal.
boxes Okay, I’m probably not a genius, but I sure
felt like one when I discovered this. I almost feel like I should
whisper it to you. If you slice the plastic down the very middle
and just slide the new jars out the slit, you can restock the box
with filled jars, label the side of the box with masking tape, and
stack as high as you dare. The boxes are pretty stable, especially
with the added support of the stretched-tight plastic. And it’s
a lot cheaper than buying those plastic
boxes Yes, you can store linens and off-season clothes.
BUT you can also store valuables at the bottom, label the box “winter
sweaters” or whatever, and stack that box at the very back and bottom
of the closet until you can afford that 36-gun safe. I’ll bet no
burglar is going to rummage through your sweater box.
jars We don’t have babies anymore, but the jars are still
in faithful service. My husband screwed the lids into a scrap of
2×4, which he then mounted to the wall of the garage. The top
is a storage shelf. He can unscrew the jars from the lids to access
the screws, nuts, bolts, nails, and other “boy things” stored in
the jars, which he can see without rummaging through drawers. He
could actually be a genius. (Tip: Use two screws instead
of one; our prototype featured jars that spun in a circle every
time we tried to unscrew them.)
the rest of the article
© 2013 The
Best of Lisa Bedford