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Being fiscally conservative is generally a good idea – you never know, after all, when you could unexpectedly go from two incomes to one in an economic downturn. An easy step you can take to prepare for rainy days involves committing to reuse household items. This is guaranteed to leave you with more money at the end of the month, without much in the way of sacrifice.
- Plastic Bags
A very economical change would be to stop regularly buying plastic storage bags that don’t seal closed; re-sealable ones typically last much longer and can be washed just like dishes for a few uses before discarding. Use these bags to store mayonnaise, butter, greens and more. To stay organized, use a labeler or marker so that you can put the date and contents on bags used to store food.
- Furniture – Dressers, in Particular
Large pieces of furniture that you no longer need can simply be re-purposed into something useful. For example, take an and turn it into a TV entertainment center, or video game console table. You can remove the top drawers to provide room for DVDs and equipment. If you like paint it a new color to give it a fresh, updated look.
- Using Books as Bookshelves
This next one’s a clever idea for large old books that you never open anymore – take those big red Merriam-Webster dictionaries for example. After all, these days your Smartphone or tablet can get you any definition far faster than a heavy, traditional dictionary can. And because of the books’ available surface area, you can turn them into bookshelves by affixing them to the wall using metal supports. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for this economical DIY project.
- Broken Plant Pots
If you’ve been blessed with a green thumb and enjoy gardening, chances are you’ve broken a couple of plant pots along the way. But next time one of your terracotta pots shatter, don’t throw the pieces in the trash! One of the ways to reuse broken pot shards is as DIY plant labels. Use a marker or a little paint to create labels for your burgeoning garden.
- Cardboard Rolls
Lastly, you can use the rolls from your paper towels and toilet paper to bind extension cords – minimizing the tangle that otherwise inevitably builds up. Decorate and label them for easy identification and organization. Check out this tutorial for more ideas on how to reuse cardboard tubes throughout your home.
Looking to learn more about upcycling around your home to save money? Read up on how to repair your own clothes.