More received wisdom

I spent some time at my parents house today, the frugal things they do as a way of life immediately caught my eye! It’s been a long time since I lived with them, there are things even I’ve forgotten!

  1. Save old cereal packets (the inner plastic bags) or bread bags (if you are still using either of these). They can be used to clean out pet litter, gather fruit from the garden and lots more! My mum uses them for pet litter and instead of throwing away a half full bag, she pops it outside the back door (where the smell can dissipate) and keeps filling until it is really full, before throwing away.
  2. Save all the envelopes that come through your front door. If you open them carefully with a letter opener, they can often be easily re-sealed or sealed with sticky tape. This method is fine for anything unofficial that doesn’t need to look really smart. Let’s face it, they will unfortunately probably be thrown away without re-use at the other end. In offices I have worked in, they have special envelopes with multiple areas marked out for the destination. Admittedly these have mostly been used for internal posting, but I am sure a sticky label over the old address could be just as effective for external mail.
  3. Alternatively, both my parents and an old workplace saved envelopes for writing lists and notes on. You could even push them onto an old spike (like the kind they have in restaurants for receipts/ orders) for safekeeping.
  4. My mum saves reasonable length pieces of thread either by threading a needle or putting them in the front of her needle case (she has a book style needle case). That way she often has a ready-cut piece, in the right colour for quick mending jobs when only a short piece is required.
  5. Here’s one I learnt from my plumber- keep old sheets, table cloths and curtains to protect your flooring when decorating or doing other messy household tasks. He found people very willing to donate them! My parents also taught me to keep large pieces of plastic or cardboard- say if you have a sofa or mattress delivered. These can be re-purposed the same way.

Look out for more tips coming soon!

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2 thoughts on “More received wisdom

  1. I have a small stack of old envelopes to write on – they are great for making great shopping lists! I don’t keep blankets / sheets because I don’t have the space, but rather than sending them to landfill (and I wouldn’t donate tatty old sheets to the charity shop – they want items they can sell) you can donate to animal refuges… they always need more : )

  2. Great ideas Lindsay! I have started to make my shopping list on my phone, after reading Bea Johnson’s book. The added advantage is that I can never leave it at home by accident because 99.9% of the time, I remember to take it with me!

    I think that both animal shelters and homeless shelters are very grateful of old blankets etc. Worth remembering.

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