Monday, June 9, 2014

A Round-Up of Random Reuses

My grandfather grew up during the Great Depression. As you can imagine, during that time he learned some pretty thrifty habits, ones that stayed with him for the rest of his life. One of those habits was reusing things before he threw them out. He definitely took the mantra "waste not, want not" to heart.

My family and I always joke that my grandpa was green without even knowing it. He was ahead of his time! We kids would drink out of washed-out plastic yogurt cups instead of glasses when we needed water.When we wanted to draw, he would pull out a big tin of broken crayons (probably from when my mom and uncles were kids), which we would use to draw on the back of paper that had already been printed on. He had a bar of soap at the sink in the bathroom made exclusively out of saved-up soap slivers (you know, that little slip of soap that remains when you're almost finished with it) -- I just thought it was rainbow soap and he bought it that way. He had a specific drawer in his kitchen where he stored plastic grocery bags and bread bags and every doorknob in his house had rubber-bands around them. The guy didn't throw anything out unless it had been very thoroughly used.

When I first started blogging as the Parsimonious Princess years ago, some of the very first posts were about reusing things that others would throw out. I call these "random reuses" (what can I say? I'm a sucker for alliteration.). Maybe it's in the genes, but I love finding a second life in things; it's a sort of challenge. Today, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite reuses, the ones that I either use the most, the ones that I have benefited most from, or the ones that simply would have made my Grandpa proud.

Find out how I've reused household items like empty gallon jugs, old t-shirts, mesh onion bags, bread tabs, plastic lids, and tomato cans in my monthly post over at The Green Phone Booth!

(This post is linked up to Simple Lives Thursday and Little House Friday DIY Linky..)


Normal Girl said...

Goodness, my grandparents went through the "Great Leap Forward" in China and they are the same way. My grandfather forbid us from flushing the toilet and instead had us "flush" by pouring a ladle full of water he drew from the community hose. My mom gave my grammy a gift of gold earrings one time and my grandpa refused to let her wear them (something about thieves) and hid them so well, he accidentally threw them out!

Heather said...

@Normal Girl - Those are a couple great stories! And I thought the "rainbow soap" my grandpa had was funny. Thanks for sharing. :)

judith said...

My parents were Depression Era babies. Dad could make almost anything out of scrap wire. Mom would save and wash foil, over and over until there were so many tiny pin holes in it that it was more like a screen than foil. Now day's I make a point to buy things in jars so I can reuse them. I ban paper plates because we have perfectly good plates in the cabinet. Why waste money on plates to go into the trash.

Heather said...

@Judith -- As I read your comment, one of the things I thought was, "I'm so going to wash aluminum foil from now on..." :)

And I'm with you 100% about paper plates (and so many other paper products). Why throw money away, right?

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