Different uses for household items...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mommylisa, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Mommylisa

    Mommylisa Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    While cleaning up and putting away from dinner last night, I was thinking that I use some items in different ways that their original purpose. Such as...

    We use the clip clothes pins to keep everything closed like bread bags, cereal bags, chip bags and anything in the kitchen that needs to be keep fresh. Actually I was wishing that I had some of those large grips to put on the cat food bag!

    Also, we use canning jars for drinking glasses and to store leftovers in the fridge, so we can see what needs used.

    How about you? How do you use things in a different way than their original purpose?
  2. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2002
    Well we also have a set of jelly jar water glasses, we reuse the plastic sacks groceries come in to store certain left overs, the dog kennel door is secured shut by a straight fireplace iron, I use an old ice box flipped on it's back to store the grain in the chicken coop, Everything that can hold bird seed has become a bird feeder or house including an old metal teapot, big butter container, and pvc piping which now looks like a bamboo hut for birds, old 5 quart pans are for dog food and water, empty juice jugs are cut open for spreading chicken feed easier, I'm sure if thought long enough there is more but most of these items have become common here and I don't notice it until someone says "what the heck was/is that??" LOL

  3. amaranth

    amaranth New Member

    Oct 14, 2004
    Longhorn Steakhouse (a national franchise restaurant) uses mason jars for drink glassses.
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    i used to use a big snow blower as a cornstalk grinder.
  5. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Bread ties are the most common thing with us, they can do just about anything. the other day dd's baby doll "needed" a ponytail and thats all I could find. She was quite happy with it. And we use left over diaper pins in a pinch when buttons fall off, and usually forget to replace the buttons...

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    We use kitchen garbage bags as dust covers when storing things in the basement for the next season. I also have flannelbacked plastic tablecloths over my air conditioners that are in storage.

    White washcloths are my favorites for dusting and cleaning.
  7. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

    Sep 1, 2004
    Jeromesville, Ohio (northcentral)
    Just started using my electric coffee grinder to grind wheat flour.
  8. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Chipped canning jars are used for storing leftovers and for making greenhouses over hard and softwood shrub cuttings. Also for storing sewing notions and buttons.

    Saving pie tins for securing on top of fence posts to help slow rotting. used plastic knves are used for plant id (written with grease pencil).

    Zip lock bags with holes are used for drawer organization and for mini greenhouses for starting seed.

    pots with broken handles are used for outside animal food and water bowls,
  9. daffodil

    daffodil flower lover

    Jun 9, 2003
    Northern WI in the country
    use grocery bags for garbage liners and also use for quick covers over leftovers on plates and use them to cut peels into, just bag up and redump in compost and then toss.

    use the clothepins also for clips on chips, etc

    reuse little yoplai trix yogurt cups--the ones for kids with cute designs for small drinking cups

    my husband is constantly using wire hangers for stuff, not sure what, but I find mangled hangers all over the place :haha:

    my mom saves the large coffee tins for her tomato plants, as cloches

    tops of bleach bottles as bird seed scoopers, etc.

    use any large plastic food containers to store dry goods

    save baby food jars--store them with safety pins, nails, tacs, etc.

    save old drawers or wooden boxes under my bed for storage

    save pretty cards for future craft use

    my mom washes out zip lock baggies and air drys them--I toss mine, but I thought that was really frugal

    I confess, sometimes I wash my plastic forks and spoons and use several times til they break!

    I like to keep shoe boxes for storage too

    I keep my bubble wrap for reuse--wrap up Christmas nic nacs and such

    I save my onion set netting for homemade suet

    we use margerine tubs for large cereal bowls

    I braid ole cotton t-shirts for a long-lasting dog chew--found that's cheaper than buying them and he only recks them anyhow
  10. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    I save the little scoops that come in dry laundry soap. Great for little jobs such as:
    scooping dry cat food, bunny pellets, and parrot food into their food bowls;
    scooping potting soil for household plants;
    left in the bag of flour, handy scooping while baking;
    as little seed starter pots (can invert another on top and secure handles to make each a mini "greenhouse" while germinating);
    for filling small-opening type of bird feeders.

    Old soap remnants put in small-celled mesh onion bags..knot it up and use as soap scrubbie to shower with.

    Old candle stubs melted down in pot on stove. Toss saved pine cones in melted wax to coat, cool, and use as a firestarters.

    Leftover odd spice containers (love the plastic ones) or baby food jars and refill with my own dried herbs, soup de jour:) Also for storing dried veggie/flower seeds for storage.

    Clear lids to plastic tubs of food stuffs for indoor plant saucers.

    Margarita buckets! Can get the mix in a plastic bucket (a little more than a gallon..you add your own alcohol, mix and freeze in bucket for frozen margaritas..we call them "buckets-o-fun", an indulgence on our warm southern summer nights!). Great for many uses/storage and just the right size for kitchen counter to toss kitchen scraps in and cover with it's lid. Has a handle, great for hauling to the compost pile, wash and reuse. And what fun while emptying another bucket!
    ;) :dance:

  11. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2002
    Can't forget the milk jugs with the bottom cut out for covering little plants in the spring in case of a late frost. :D
  12. abbysnanna

    abbysnanna Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    odd coffee cups and flower vases for storing pens pencils, paint brushes.
    small curtian rod for ribbon storage and easy access in the craft closet.
    closet in bedroom as a craft room
    old jars for storage of buttons.
    small syrup bottles to store needles.
    old sewing box without lid for craft magazine holder.
    child's chair as a plant stand
    wooden crates for doghouse
    crystal bowls from the thrift store for soap dishes
    coffee cans for nails and screws
    old dish pans on the back porch to hold muddy boots
    and the list goes on
  13. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Old sheets are used as sleds to haul compost or weeds to the compost.

    A linoleum cutter is my favorite weeding tool.

    I put measuring cups in sugar and flour bins, tsp in baking soda and powder.
  14. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b
    clothes pins with wire hangers to hang slacks from their bottoms and skirts from the waistband

    old electric skillet filled with water to set dog's food bowl in on porch so ants don't get food first. dog drinks the water afterward.

    I buy garbage cans on wheels whenever they're on sale. use them for out of season clothes or other storage (replace lid with card board or wooden circle for end table. cover with table cloth, top with glass circle, then a lamp!
    also use them on the back porch for empty soda can collection to turn in for vacation spending money and to keep dog & poultry food in.

    old octagonal wood and wrought iron coffee table for chicken tractor for chicks. wrapped fencing around it and topped it with kiddy pool held on with bungy cords. did not deter the panther, however, he just punched in the fencing from the side.

    plastic forks and spoons are washed recycled to the picnic basket or to the kids lunch boxes.

    onion netting is for soap bar when camping or outdoor shower. tie closed and hang from tree. drips dry and is always there when you need it. actually, we have one in the kids' shower upstairs.

    empty laundry detergent boxes: one to store each type of magazine. can hold a whole year of some.

    BBQ tongs: to reach things on high shelves in kitchen. to pick up stuff in yard without leaving my lawn chair.
  15. jclvpjm

    jclvpjm New Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    My mom uses a coffee grinder to grind up arthritis remedy pills for the horses. She then puts it in their grain.
  16. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    I save bubble wrap and use it for window insulation.

    Empty coffee cans. I take top and bottom off and use a tin snip to cut down the seam. Flatten it out and nail over holes where needed such as on chicken coop. The lids can also be nailed over holes.
  17. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    Metal dust bin, which is like a mini garbage can, to store grain.

    Box lids for homemade soap form

    PVC pipe for soap form

    Mesh onion bags as pot scrubbers

    small vinyl tarp to drag hay bale

    kids sled to haul water in 5 gal wall mud buckets

    square flat knife from my knife set to cut soap into bars