Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to...

...make useful items out of ordinary household byproducts.

I am all about saving money. I clip coupons; I shop sales; I insist that my family eat leftovers before they spoil; I enjoy garage sales and consignment shops; and I am all about reusing/re-purposing stuff. To me, one of the most important steps to saving money is to make use of what you already have, and to avoid waste whenever possible.

We here on the Purple Brick Road have been looking for new and interesting ways to reuse household byproducts that might normally be thrown out. Now, I'm not talking about going so far as to compost using human waste, or to stuff my sagging couch cushions with crinkly newspaper. But, I think I've got enough to make an interesting series, so this will be the first of several.

Today I'm talking air fresheners.

A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned out my spice cabinet. I ended up with a depressing amount of expired spices. And I don't mean "This expired last month," either. I'm talking about, "Ohmygosh, this container of cloves is older than my firstborn child!"

I absolutely hated the idea of just tossing all of those little plastic spice containers. So, I decided to re-purpose the them. (Confession time: I might have a totally freakish and very serious problem slight obsession with containers.) These are great little containers with different kinds of lids, perfect for bathtub and sandbox play, as well as sprinkling/containing glitter, small stickers, etc.

In order to make the emptying process faster, I got out my trusty trash bowl (read: a re-purposed margarine container) and started dumping. By the end of the project, I had lots of little containers for the boys... and a big bowl of yummy smelling spices that I couldn't cook with.

Coincidentally, I also recently cleaned out the boys' sock drawers, and I had a pile of mismatched and too-small socks.

So, I combined the two items and made sachets. I simply put a couple of large spoonfuls of the spices into each sock, then sewed the top closed just below the cuff. Then just to make them pretty, I tied the top of each with some ribbon remnants that I've been collecting pretty much forever.

I got a good number of sachets, and all it cost me was 45 minutes at my sewing machine.

These sachets were pretty potent, so I put one in each of my plastic shoe boxes, which I store in the garage, and which tend to acquire a certain aroma during summer months. I also dropped about four of them into Hubby's hockey bag, which wreaks so badly that it could probably be weaponized by the military and used as a weapon of mass destruction.

Not a bad use of items I almost threw in the trash. Stay tuned for some other money saving, re-purposing projects!

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome! I never would have thought of that...but I will probably use the idea in the future!


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