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51 Money Saving Uses for Ordinary Kitchen Items

Frugal Uses for Kitchen Items

Living a Better Life® (from the editor's desk)
by Michelle Jones

Here's a great list of ways to stretch that dollar, just by using ordinary items from your very own kitchen! Includes milk bottles, soda bottles, ice cube trays, baby food jars, egg cartons, salt, baking soda and more.

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Recycling not only saves money, but it creates a mindset of making the best with what you have. Kind of like that old saying "If you’ve got lemons, make lemonade." Well, here’s what you can make with...

Plastic Milk Bottles

1. Cut off a portion of the top, leaving the handle in place. Add birdseed and make a bird feeder, hanging it on a clothesline or tree branch.
2. Make a garbage caddy for the sink, especially great if you don’t have a garbage disposal.
3. Make a caddy for tools or painting supplies.
4. Cut off the bottom and use the top as a funnel.
5. Fill the entire jug with beans and use for exercise weights, or just storage for the beans.

Plastic Soda Bottles

1. Make a homemade tornado, place two bottles together, top to top - filling one with water. Tape the tops together and swirl around to make a tornado effect.
2. You can also make a funnel from the tops of soda bottles.
3. Add some sand or rice and use for a homemade bowling game for the kids, just be sure to glue the caps on.

Ice Cube Trays

1. Add a squirt of lemon to your ice cube tray and you'll have lemon flavored ice for your tea.
2. Kool-Aid flavored ice for the kids, mix the flavors up for fun.
3. Use trays as drawer organizers for paperclips or sewing notions.
4. Ice cube trays are the perfect size for freezing small portions of left over baby food, or making your own homemade.
5. Freeze tablespoon sized amounts of broth or special sauces for cooking soups and casseroles.

Jelly Jars/Mason Jars

1. Remove labels and use for gifts, placing a pretty piece of fabric on top and tying with a ribbon.
2. Great for pencil holders.
3. Fill with candy.
4. Use for storing cotton balls or q-tips in the bathroom.
5. Store sewing notions, crafts or hardware.

Baby Food Jars

1. Perfect for lost buttons.
2. Store small nails.
3. Keep beads or small craft items sorted easily.

Egg Cartons

1. Great seed starters, get a head start on Spring.
2. Storing plastic Easter eggs.
3. Make a memory game for children, matching up items from around the house.
4. Storage for collectible rocks.
5. Jewelry box, great for earrings.


1. Mix with a little salt for cleaning copper or brass.
2. Remove odors from hands or cutting boards.
3. Keep a supply on hand for seasoning poultry and seafood.


1. Use the peelings to freshen your garbage disposal.
2. Cover with cloves and use as an air freshener or Christmas ornament.
3. Place open halves inside a turkey or chicken before baking to add a great flavor.


1. Remove grease and stains from pans and dishware.
2. Put out a grease fire.
3. Clean a sticky iron plate by sprinkling salt on a piece of paper and moving the hot iron over it.
4. Ease the pain of bee stings.

Baking Soda

1. Add to a damp cloth and remove crayon and marker from walls and furniture.
2. Pour a little down the drain with some vinegar, let sit 5 minutes and wash down with warm water to clear clogged drains.
3. Mix with facial cleanser to make an exfoliator.
4. Ease the pain of bee stings.
5. Line a litter box to prevent odors.
6. Keep an open box in the fridge to prevent odors, put one in the freezer too.
7. Use ¼ c. on a damp food burned pan, let sit for 5 minutes and scrub clean easily.

Paper Plates

1. Place two plates together, edge to edge, fill with beans or rice, staple the edges together, let children paint and decorate for a fun musical toy.
2. Use as a cover for food to keep warm.
3. Place ½ of a plate on top of a full sized plate, edge to edge, staple edges to create a letter holder. Great for kid's Valentines.

Coffee Cans

1. Use food bag labels and create unique storage containers for flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc.

Mesh Onion Bags

1. Add leftover pieces of soap and make a scrubber.
2. Contain small items while in the dishwasher.
3. Cut bag open and scrunch together to make a dish scrubber.

Muffin Tins

1. Create a memory game for young children, by filling the muffin cups with small items from around the house.

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Copyright © 2001 by Michelle Jones.  All rights reserved.

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