recycling http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/543/all en-US 7 Ways to Reuse Clothes That No Longer Fit http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-reuse-clothes-that-no-longer-fit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-reuse-clothes-that-no-longer-fit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_30762826_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="repurposing clothes that no longer fit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A recent Marie Kondo-inspired purge of my closet revealed the awful truth that I hadn't wanted to admit to myself: I own a lot of clothes that do not fit me.</p> <p>These ill-fitting clothes found their way into my closet and dresser through a variety of paths. There are the wishful thinking clothes that I'm sure I'll be able to fit back into once I get down to my pre-pregnancy weight (even though the &quot;babies&quot; are currently five and two years old). There are the gifts I received that never quite fit, but I felt guilty disposing of. And then there are the &quot;insurance&quot; clothes that are too big but I hold onto just in case.</p> <p>It's time to get rid of these clothes that are doing nothing more than making my closet look like it's about to pop. Rather than trash or donate my old duds, though, I'm going to reuse them. Here are seven clever ways you can reuse old clothes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-clothes?ref=seealso">The High Cost of Cheap Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>1. The T-Shirt Quilt</h2> <p>If you have a vast collection of concert, vacation, or superhero T-shirts, making a T-shirt quilt can be a great way to keep the shirts you no longer wear but can't bear to part with.</p> <p>Creating the quilt top is simple. Determine the size you want each T-shirt square to be, and cut out a cardboard template in the correct size. Once you have a pile of T-shirt squares, lay them out to figure out what order you want them in, and start sewing them together. If you have access to a sewing machine and can sew a straight line, you will have no trouble putting together the quilt top. You can finish the edges as is (turn under the edges of the quilt and sew them to prevent fraying), or you can add batting and backing to make it a true &quot;quilt.&quot;</p> <p>If all of this sounds like too much DIY sewing to you, there are several inexpensive <a href="http://www.projectrepat.com">T-shirt quilt companies</a> that will take your ill-fitting shirts and make you a beautiful quilt for a reasonable price.</p> <h2>2. No-Sew Braided Rag Rug</h2> <p>Braided rugs used to be an old-fashioned way of adding decoration to a home without spending any money. They are still a fun way to repurpose old clothes into something new and beautiful.</p> <p>For this craft, you will need a variety of jersey cotton shirts or tanks and scissors. You'll cut the clothes into 1.5 inch-long strips along the width of the shirt, making sure to cut one end so you have a pile of strips rather than loops of fabric.</p> <p>Start with three strips, tie a knot, and begin braiding the strips together. Once you have braided about four inches, start coiling the braid into a circle, and loop the closest strand through the already-braided section. This is what will keep your braided rug together.</p> <p>You continue braiding (adding new strands using the no-sew method outlined <a href="http://www.thewonderforest.com/2015/01/how-to-make-no-sew-round-braided-rug.html?m=1">here</a>) until the rug is as big as you'd like it. You can finish your rug with iron-on fusible interfacing, polycrylic spray, or spray-on starch.</p> <h2>3. Make a T-Shirt Pillowcase or Pillow</h2> <p>Using a T-shirt as a pillowcase is an old trick I learned back when I was in college with a long-distance boyfriend, but it's still a great way to reuse an old T-shirt. You could do what I did as a lovesick young freshman and just throw your pillow in the tee as is &mdash; or you could actually cut off the sleeves and sew them and the collar closed in order to make a more traditional looking pillow case.</p> <p>You can also take the T-shirt pillow idea one step further and make a pillow from the old shirt. Cut off the sleeves, fill the tee with pillow stuffing and sew up the bottom, collar, and sleeves for an instant pillow.</p> <h2>4. Turn a Tank Top Into a Shopping Bag</h2> <p>Tank tops are already shopping-bag shaped &mdash; they just need to have the bottom sewn shut. It's a reusable shopping tote that looks far more stylish than any shopping bag you can buy.</p> <h2>5. Use Old Jeans to Patch Up Your Favorite Pairs</h2> <p>It is a truth universally acknowledged that your favorite pair of jeans will eventually wear out and holes will form. That's when you whip out the jeans that don't fit and cannibalize some denim as a patch for your favorite pair.</p> <p>Patching denim might be beyond the skill set of the average DIY crafter &mdash; as denim is thick and tough to work with. However, hiring a tailor to patch your favorites should not be expensive, and it will keep your jeans looking great.</p> <h2>6. Make Mittens Out of an Old Sweater</h2> <p>Old wool sweaters are the perfect material for creating a new pair of mittens. The simple method for making repurposed mittens is to widely trace your hands on the bottom of the sweater so that your wrists hang off the bottom edge of the original shirt. When you cut out the traced shapes, you will have four mitten shaped pieces which you'll sew together to make a pair.</p> <p>If you'd like your repurposed mittens to be a little heartier (with a little more range of thumb movement), <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5714457/turn-your-ugly-christmas-sweaters-into-warm-winter-mittens">this tutorial</a> will show you how to make fleece-lined, cuffed, and perfectly shaped mittens out of some old sweaters.</p> <h2>7. Cover a Corkboard With an Old Blouse</h2> <p>Fabric-covered corkboards are all the rage, but you don't need to buy one pre-made. With some cork squares, an old item of clothing with a fun pattern, and a hot-glue gun, you can <a href="http://sewmuchsunshine.blogspot.com/2011/10/ikea-hack-fabric-covered-cork-board.html">create one of your own</a> on the cheap.</p> <p>All you need to do is trace the cork square on your fabric, leaving about an inch of room all the way around. Once you've cut your fabric, you'll spread a strip of hot glue all along the edge of the cork and start pulling up the fabric and pushing it into the glue until it sets. Attach your beautiful new corkboard to your wall, and enjoy the envy of all your office mates.</p> <p><em>How do you salvage clothes that no longer fit? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-reuse-clothes-that-no-longer-fit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Style closet clothes clothes that don't fit clutter de-clutter DIY organization recycling reuse reuse clothes upcycle Fri, 29 Jul 2016 10:00:17 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1761378 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/empty_glass_bottles_000056169688.jpg" alt="Finding smart ways t reuse empty glass bottles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was in a secondhand store recently and saw a beautiful corked bottle on the shelf for sale. It wasn't until I had it in my hand, reading the $3 price tag, that I recognized it as identical to the empty tequila bottle I'd tossed into the recycling earlier.</p> <p>Maybe you're embarrassed (like me) by the loud jingling sound when you push your bins to the curb, or you'd rather spend your money on a fine vintage than on home decor (like me); either way, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash" target="_blank">turning empty bottles into art</a>, light fixtures, and useful household objects is a smart move. Here are some ideas.</p> <h2>Without a Glass Cutter</h2> <p>If you don't own a glass cutter or any other fancy tools, you can still get artsy with intact empties. For all these ideas, start by soaking the bottle in warm soapy water to get the label off. If there is any residue left after the soak, a solvent such as lighter fluid can get it off.</p> <h3>1. Bird Feeder</h3> <p>All you need to make an inverted <a href="https://thechickenstreet.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/wine-bottle-bird-feeder/">wine bottle into a bird feeder</a> is one plank of wood and some basic woodworking tools.</p> <h3>2. Candy Jar</h3> <p>Fill a clean, dry bottle with candy as an alternative to a treat bowl on your desk &mdash; or use mini bottles for candy-filled adult party favors. To dress it up, add a <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Chalkboard-Painted-Wine-Bottle/step3/Actually-Painting-the-Bottle/">stripe of chalkboard paint</a>, where you can write the name of the gift recipient or party guest, or the type of candy.</p> <h3>3. Yard Torch</h3> <p>Anyone can stick a candle in an empty wine bottle, but with a few dollars' worth of supplies from the hardware store, you can <a href="http://helloglow.co/diy-wine-bottle-citronella-candles/">turn your empties into torches</a> that could stylishly illuminate your whole backyard. Just fill the bottle with marbles and fuel, stick a tiki wick through a metal coupler, and light it up.</p> <h3>4. Table Card Holder</h3> <p>At a rustic-style wedding, a wine bottle with a cork in the top could handily <a href="http://www.weddingchicks.com/2013/09/24/natural-chic-wedding/">hold a table number</a>. Slice the cork halfway down from the top, and place the card in the resulting slot.</p> <h3>5. Vase</h3> <p>While an unadorned empty bottle can hold flowers as is, you can also dress it up by painting the surface, swirling paint inside for a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/03/craft-of-the-day-paint-swirl-vase_n_1466328.html">Venetian glass effect</a>, or spraying it with adhesive and wrapping with a pretty ribbon.</p> <h3>6. Candelabra</h3> <p>Line up half a dozen identical empties (hello, six-pack discount) and put candles in the tops to make a casual candelabra. For more polish, spray the bottles with metallic paint. Or spring for one of these <a href="http://www.beveragefactory.com/wine/wine-gifts/fleur_wine_bottle_candelabra_42-232.html?CAWELAID=1372128416&amp;CAGPSPN=pla&amp;CAAGID=28020747258&amp;CATCI=pla-93389998458&amp;catargetid=320012430000341573&amp;cadevice=c&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjw6sC5BRCogcaY_dKZ2nESJABsZihxgCrTjzNzhxPcnCAvSK_Iox2dRDGStb08-ayllmuLmBoCqunw_wcB">candelabra bottle toppers</a> to hold all your candles in a single bottle. You could <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2015/03/diy-wine-bottle-wall-sconce.html">attach your bottle candelabras to a sconce</a> to make them into permanent wall decor.</p> <h3>7. Rolling Pin</h3> <p>Keep a clean empty in the kitchen for this purpose.</p> <h3>8. Boot Holder</h3> <p>Have tall leather or vinyl boots that flop over on the closet floor and get unsightly creases? Put some pebbles in the bottom of empty bottles, and stand them up inside the boots to make them stand at attention.</p> <h3>9. Vessel for a Gift</h3> <p>A pretty, very clean bottle can be repurposed to hold so many homemade goodies: infused oils, homemade infused vodka, bubble bath &mdash; the options are endless. If the gift will take a long time to use, securely attach a fancy drawer pull to the cork to make the bottle easy to unstop.</p> <h3>10. Garden Edger</h3> <p>Bury your bottles upside down to demarcate the borders of your garden. This idea is probably best used in a yard not frequented by children who could break a bottle and get hurt.</p> <h3>11. Slow-Drip Irrigator</h3> <p>Drill a small hole through the cork, fill the bottle with water, replace cork, and place upside down in the planter.</p> <h3>12. Leveling Tool</h3> <p>When hanging framed pictures on the wall, use a bottle to make sure it's exactly straight. Fill the bottle with water even with the top of the label and hold it so that it's bottom is perfectly aligned with the frame's top. Adjust until the water in the bottle is level.</p> <h3>13. Bottle Tree</h3> <p>Popular in the <a href="http://ritamonette.blogspot.com/2010/12/legend-of-bottle-tree.html">American South</a> and linked to folk beliefs about trapping bad spirits in the glass, trees festooned with colored bottles can be a beautiful landscaping feature, especially in winter. There are many <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/2309jrw/bottle-trees/">spectacular ways to arrange bottles</a> on real trees or frames specially built for the purpose. Blue is the most popular color for these, so bring on the Bombay Sapphire gin, Skyy vodka, and Blue Nun wine.</p> <h2>With a Glass Cutter</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2210p40">Glass cutting tools</a> run from about $5 to $30 (not as fancy as I thought!). They can come in the form of a simple hand tool, or in the form of a drill bit. What they do is score the glass so that you can break it off along the score line. To break it, you need to alternately heat and cool the glass a few times. Or, you can knock the portion of the bottle below the score line off using a hammer. Then you need to sand the sharp edge. Using this technique, you can remove the bottom or top from a bottle, opening up more ways to reuse it.</p> <h3>14. Hanging Planter</h3> <p>Remove the bottom, then <a href="http://diyready.com/wine-bottle-crafts-how-to-make-wine-bottle-planters/">fill with plants</a> wrapped in moss for a cool upside-down, sun-catching planter.</p> <h3>15. Drinking Glasses</h3> <p>You'll see a lot of online tutorials on turning empty wine bottles into drinking glasses. While this is possible, keep in mind that the freshly cut edge of a bottle will be extremely sharp, and <a href="http://thespacebetweenblog.net/cut-bottle-string-trick-really-work/">may not cut cleanly</a>, depending on your method and skill. You'll need to do a lot of <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Drinking-Glasses-from-Wine-Bottles/">grinding and sanding</a> to get the edge smooth enough to raise to your lips.</p> <h3>16. Bottle Chandelier</h3> <p>There are many, many possible designs for chandeliers made of wine bottles online. What most designs have in common is that you cut your bottle open, <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/decorating/how-to-make-a-chandelier-from-old-wine-bottles">string a light inside it</a>, and attach it to a wood or metal holder to suspend from the ceiling. What with the glass cutting, the wood or metal working, and some minor electrical work, it's a bit of a project. But the results can be stunning, and would be great decor for a rec room, man cave, or deck.</p> <h2>With a Drill</h2> <p>Using a tile and glass bit, you can <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/drills/how-to-drill-a-hole-in-glass/view-all#step2">drill a hole in a glass bottle</a> with a little practice and care.</p> <h3>17. Lantern</h3> <p>Drill a hole into the back of a wine bottle and thread through a string of small LED lights to make a beautiful lantern. This technique could also be used when making a chandelier.</p> <h3>18. Party Lights</h3> <p>Drill a hole in the bottom or side of a bottle, then <a href="http://witandwhistle.com/2009/11/03/diy-wine-bottle-light/">shove in a string of holiday lights</a>. You could also push the lights in the top of the bottle, but it wouldn't look as elegant.</p> <p><em>Any clever re-uses for glass bottles we've missed? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">5 Pretty Projects for Pine Cones</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts decorating eco friendly empty bottles glass bottles lighting projects recycling Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1721636 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Glass Water Bottles http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-glass-water-bottles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-glass-water-bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_water_bottle_000071930843.jpg" alt="Woman drinking water out of glass water bottle" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A reusable glass water bottle offers an environmentally friendly option. Rather than wasting money on disposable plastic water bottles, you can purchase a durable glass bottle that is better for your health and the earth.</p> <h2>What Is a Glass Water Bottle?</h2> <p>A glass water bottle is simply a reusable water bottle made of glass. Glass water bottles will not leach any harmful chemicals into your beverage, or leave behind any odd odors or flavors, like some other types of reusable water bottles can. It will leave your water with a fresh, crisp, clean flavor; just as water should be. By bottling your own beverages, you can help eliminate waste and save money in the process.</p> <h2>Top 5 Glass Water Bottles</h2> <h3>Lifefactory Glass Bottle With Flip Cap and Silicone Sleeve</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9DJWTM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00B9DJWTM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BP5UO77IKC3ZPT4Z"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/lifefactory.jpg" width="85" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9DJWTM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00B9DJWTM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BP5UO77IKC3ZPT4Z">Lifefactory 22-oz Glass Bottle</a> comes with a convenient protective silicone sleeve, flip cap, and pivoting handle. The non-sleeve silicone grip will help protect the durable glass against breakage. The bottle and cap are BPA/BPS-free with no phthalates, PVC, or polycarbonates. It also has no chemical leaching, so you are left with only the purest-tasting drinking water. The reusable glass water bottle has a wider mouth, so you can easily drink from it and add ice cubes. The flip cap is convenient, but not leak-proof, so it is best to keep this bottle upright. It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.</p> <p>This sturdy bottle is available in various sizes and colors to best meet your needs and preferences. It is recommended by The Wirecutter and has exceptional reviews online, including more than 1,200 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9DJWTM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00B9DJWTM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BP5UO77IKC3ZPT4Z"><em>Currently $18.59 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Aquasana Glass Water Bottle</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XPISEO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003XPISEO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WF5BPC4B65CLYTIE"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/aquasana.jpg" width="200" height="178" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XPISEO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003XPISEO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WF5BPC4B65CLYTIE">Aquasana 18-oz Glass Water Bottles</a> feature BPA-free plastic lids and will not leach harmful chemicals into your water. With a convenient six-pack of reusable glass bottles, you can store different beverages in each one, or you can fill them all with filtered water so that you always have drinking water ready to go when you are. The thick, high quality, lab-tested glass offers protection from accidental breakage. It also features a wide mouth opening. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.</p> <p>The popular bottles are recommended by Apartment Therapy and The Wirecutter, and have exceptional reviews online, including more than 900 five-star reviews on Amazon. Consider adding the six-pack <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJN8KUE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJN8KUE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VZDTJPY5DWHGOMRY">Aquasana Silicone Sleeves and Caps</a> to protect your hands from any condensation or harsh temperatures. You can also just purchase the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BH1WUP8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B01BH1WUP8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IROE234VCQDWPANN">Aquasana Premium Borosilicate Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve</a>, where you can get everything together.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XPISEO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003XPISEO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WF5BPC4B65CLYTIE"><em>Currently $31.79 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Takeya Classic Glass Water Bottle With Silicone Sleeve</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DTLNUG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003DTLNUG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3HDVRZ5STTJKZN2N"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/takeya.jpg" width="90" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DTLNUG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003DTLNUG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3HDVRZ5STTJKZN2N">Takeya Classic Glass Water Bottle</a> has a sturdy no-slip silicone sleeve and classic airtight twist-off cap with a convenient carry hook. The reusable, eco-friendly 22-oz lead-free glass bottle can be used for any beverage. It will not leach harmful chemicals into your water, so you can feel confident about placing your beverages in this bottle. It is sturdy enough for everyday use and has the perfect weight-balance to feel comfortable in your hand. It also has a wide-mouthed opening for easy guzzling. The innovative design features a unique see-thru window, which will allow you to see how much of your beverage is left. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.</p> <p>The spill proof bottle is available in various sizes and colors to best meet your needs and preferences. It is recommended by Apartment Therapy and has exceptional reviews online, including more than 700 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DTLNUG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003DTLNUG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3HDVRZ5STTJKZN2N"><em>Currently $13.91 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Glasstic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottle</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDS3P0C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00EDS3P0C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=B7X2L2UYDOVHYT6U"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/glasstic.jpg" width="102" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDS3P0C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00EDS3P0C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=B7X2L2UYDOVHYT6U">Glasstic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottle</a> features thick shatterproof glass that can withstand nearly any drop and is third party tested to ensure safety. It is also free of lead, cadmium, and toxins. The 16-oz double walled bottle features a layer of thick glass on the inside and a layer of plastic on the outside, so you won&rsquo;t need to worry about being careful with it. It features a BPA/BPS-free protective outer shell, which helps prevent condensation and provides insulation. It also has a lockable, leak-proof flip lid with an easy carry handle and lock. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.</p> <p>Glasstic claims that this innovative bottle offers the &ldquo;purity of glass with the portability of plastic.&rdquo; The glass inserts and caps are backed by a 30-day warranty and if they break, you can request one free replacement within the first year. It is recommended by Apartment Therapy and has outstanding reviews online.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDS3P0C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00EDS3P0C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=B7X2L2UYDOVHYT6U"><em>Currently $19.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>The Original Little bkr Water Bottle</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MYCTOK4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MYCTOK4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LXUGTR2KMPSRBB3"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bkr.jpg" width="103" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MYCTOK4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MYCTOK4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LXUGTR2KMPSRBB3">Original Little bkr Water Bottle</a> is definitely the priciest option on our list, but it&rsquo;s hard to ignore all of the positive reviews and recommendations. The 500-mL glass bottle is a cult classic for a reason. It is the preferred choice among A-list celebrities around the world and is just as often recommended as a beauty and fashion must have.</p> <p>The modern design features a no leak cap and soft grip. The sheer soft silicone sleeve allows you to see how much of the beverage is left and feels comfortable in the hand. The thick glass is BPA and phthalate-free, with no chemical leaching or canteen taste. It is the perfect size for most cup holders and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.</p> <p>This wildly popular bottle has been featured in Vogue, ELLE, Forbes, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, InStyle, W, Marie Claire, Glamour, Allure, People, Harper&rsquo;s Bazaar, Self, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Refinery29, Shape, Health Magazine, and Real Simple. Many reviewers claim to be obsessed with it. It is available in various sizes and endless colors and designs to best match your style. They also have Trend Collections released every fall and spring, which features new silicone sleeve colors inspired by seasonal runway trends. bkr also supports early detection cancer research, clean water initiatives, and other charitable organizations, so you can feel good about your purchase.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MYCTOK4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MYCTOK4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LXUGTR2KMPSRBB3"><em>Currently $35.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best glass water bottles. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-glass-water-bottles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-popsicle-molds">The 5 Best Popsicle Molds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles">The 5 Best Aluminum and Stainless Steel Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-scales">The 5 Best Smart Scales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping drink water glass bottles glass water bottle hydration product reviews recycling shopping water bottle Fri, 27 May 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1714590 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things You Can Do With a Credit Card Besides Buy Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-can-do-with-a-credit-card-besides-buy-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-you-can-do-with-a-credit-card-besides-buy-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000085763913_Large.jpg" alt="clever ways to use a credit card besides spending" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Almost everyone has a credit or debit card. They're just small pieces of plastic that help us pay for things. Or are they? Aside from their obvious use &mdash; paying for stuff &mdash; credit cards can be incredibly handy in other ways, too. Here are 15 different uses for plastic that may have never even crossed your mind.</p> <h2>1. Open a Door</h2> <p>Okay, we've all seen it in movies and TV shows, but does it work? If you lock yourself out of the house, can you actually open the door with a credit card? Well, yes and no. If the door is on a deadbolt, you're out of luck. But if it's a simple spring latch, you simply push the card between the door and the doorjamb, and wiggle a little. It's a good hack if you ever lock yourself out and only have your wallet on you.</p> <h2>2. Make a Tongue Scraper</h2> <p>They say that bad breath is often caused by the bacteria on your tongue. You can do your best to get rid of it with a toothbrush, or buy an expensive tongue cleaning tool. But why not just grab an old credit card? Wash it thoroughly, then cut it into a shape that will fit nicely on the tongue, making sure not to leave any sharp edges. The flexible plastic is perfect for removing bacteria.</p> <h2>3. Apply Wall Filler and Putty</h2> <p>A good putty knife can set you back $10&ndash;$15. You can buy cheap plastic ones for a few bucks, or you can take out an old credit card and use that. It's a good size to handle, the plastic is flexible, and you don't even need to bother cleaning it when you're done.</p> <h2>4. Make Strong Collar Stays</h2> <p>Collar stays go missing quickly. They often fall out in the wash or at the dry cleaners. Or, you remove them yourself before washing, only to misplace them. Well, credit cards are the perfect thickness and size to make several collar stays, and they'll be stronger than the originals. Simply use an existing collar stay as a template to cut around, or buy yourself a <a href="http://amzn.to/1NTEiEB">collar stay punch</a>.</p> <h2>5. Scrape Your Icy Windshield</h2> <p>If you live in the kind of climate that is constantly changing (Colorado, for example&hellip;sunny one day, snowing the next), you may not always have an ice scraper close at hand. But, you'll almost certainly have a credit card. Grab one, and use it to scrape the ice from your windshield, windows, and even mirrors. It's small and flexible, and won't scratch the paint.</p> <h2>6. A Simple Bookmark</h2> <p>Don't dog-ear the pages of your book. Instead, take out an old credit card and use that. The straight edge is also handy for helping you keep your place. Of course, don't use anything other than an expired card, especially if it's a library book and you return it with your card tucked between the pages. You can also cut a V-shape in the card, and it will slip over a page and protrude from the book.</p> <h2>7. Create Luggage Tags</h2> <p>If you travel a lot, you know the importance of a sturdy luggage tag. But they can be expensive, and often go missing. Instead of forking out for replacements, create your own. You'll need an expired credit card, and a couple of business cards. Firmly glue the business cards to the front and back of the credit card, trim the excess, then wrap in some clear packing tape. Now, punch a hole in the top, and attach it to your case. It will last years.</p> <h2>8. Create a Smartphone Stand</h2> <p>In need of a quick phone stand? Take out a pair of scissors and an old credit card, and <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Credit-Card-iPhone-Stand-1/">with a few sly cuts</a>, you can get the job done. Needless to say, they're quick and easy to make, and cost nothing more than an old credit card.</p> <h2>9. Grate Hard Cheese</h2> <p>Yeah, right. Actually, that was my reaction, until a friend of mine did it. It won't work on soft or even medium density cheeses, but the hard Italian cheeses like Parmesan and Romano are perfect for this life hack. Using the side of the credit card with the raised numbers and letters, rub quickly against the cheese. It will come away in small pieces, just as if you were using a cheese grater.</p> <h2>10. Make Guitar Picks</h2> <p>If you play guitar, you will go through guitar picks like a new parent goes through baby wipes. They always seem to get lost, no matter how many you buy. Well, use old credit cards to make your own. You can use a guitar pick to trace the shape, or if you want, splash out on a <a href="http://amzn.to/1XWaT2n">pick punch</a>. They're cheap, and make life very easy.</p> <h2>11. Label Your Stuff</h2> <p>Your credit cards all have one thing in common &mdash; your name. So, instead of throwing out old cards, first cut out the section containing your name. Now, you can affix that to whatever you want, be it a tool, a pen, a phone, or anything else, using some double-sided tape. It will stay put until you peel it off. You could also use glue if you want a more permanent solution.</p> <h2>12. Apply a Screen Protector</h2> <p>If you've ever bought one of those clear plastic screen protectors (and please do if you haven't, they can save you a fortune), you'll notice that they often come with a small plastic applicator. In fact, it's very small, and often inconveniently fiddly. Don't bother using it. Instead, grab your credit card. The strong, flexible plastic removes all the bubbles way more quickly and easily than the standard applicator that comes with the kit.</p> <h2>13. Keep Your Earbuds Organized</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/a_R2VLkkAoM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>How often does it happen to you? It's time to workout and you go to grab the ear buds from the drawer. You spend the next 10 minutes trying to detangle them. Well, a credit card can make this little problem disappear. All it requires is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_R2VLkkAoM">little skillful cutting</a> and about seven minutes of your time.</p> <h2>14. Open Boxes</h2> <p>No need for a box cutter or sharp knife. Take an expired credit card and sharpen one edge slightly using sandpaper or a nail file. You can keep it handy in a wallet or purse and will always have a slim, handy box opener available. It slices easily through box tape, and isn't as dangerous as a knife.</p> <h2>15. Make a Battery Cover for a Remote</h2> <p>Anyone with kids will be familiar with missing remote control battery covers. Somehow, they pick at it, it falls off, and gets lost. Now, your batteries are held in by rubber bands or pieces of tape, and it does not look pretty. Instead, <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Credit-Card-Battery-Cover/">use an old credit card</a> and fashion a perfect fit.</p> <p><em>What clever uses have you devised for your credit cards?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-can-do-with-a-credit-card-besides-buy-stuff">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mountain-dew-christmas-tree">Mountain Dew Christmas Tree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-reuse-clothes-that-no-longer-fit">7 Ways to Reuse Clothes That No Longer Fit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-computers-ram-in-seconds-very-easy">Boost your computer&#039;s RAM in seconds. Very easy.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks crafty DIY plastic recycling repurposing smart uses Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Paul Michael 1699144 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_easter_000037037264.jpg" alt="Finding smart things to do with leftover Easter goodies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Easter holiday means a house filled with pastel&hellip; everything... cluttering the house. Don't toss all those goodies right away after. Instead, here are some ingenious ways to repurpose your leftovers for immediate use or year-round enjoyment.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Plastic Eggs (Practical)</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://redeemyourground.com/easter-egg-birdseed-ornaments/">birdseed ornaments</a> will liven up your backyard for pennies. Mix together flour, birdseed, water, and corn syrup. Scoop mixture into your plastic eggs, firmly packing to fit. Then close them up to set into your egg shape. Gently open the eggs (it helps to place them in a muffin tin) and let air dry for a few hours. To hang, tie some string or yarn around them. This tutorial makes about 18 small feeders.</p> <h2>2. Plastic Eggs (Pretty)</h2> <p>This sophisticated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.taylormadecreates.com/2011/05/tealight-flight.html">tealight flight</a> is incredibly easy to make. Take your leftover plastic eggs, crack them in half (using the bottoms only), spray on a few coats of spray paint, and attach them to a piece of scrap wood with strong glue. Let everything dry before you place tealights inside to create a beautiful glow.</p> <h2>3. Plastic Eggs (Educational)</h2> <p>I've seen quite a number of ways to repurpose plastic eggs for learning. For my four-year-old daughter, I plan to work on reading skills with these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/word-family-eggs/">word family eggs</a>. Just collect your eggs, and use a permanent marker to write several letters on one half and the rest of the word on the second half of the egg. (For example, b-, c-, m-, s- and -at to make bat, cat, mat, and sat.) Your child can turn the sides of the eggs to create the different words and see how they relate.</p> <h2>4. Egg Dye</h2> <p>You've finished coloring your eggs &mdash; now what? Use leftover dye to get crafty. Try&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gsheller.com/2011/04/fun-with-easter-egg-dyes-and-yarn.html">dying bare yarn</a> in a rainbow of colors for whatever projects you have on your calendar. First, soak the yarn in vinegar and water. Get your dyes ready in different containers and use plastic pipettes for coloring. Apply the dye to the yarn, microwave to set, rinse, squeeze, and hang to dry.</p> <h2>5. Jelly Beans</h2> <p>Teach your kids some&nbsp;<a href="http://lemonlimeadventures.com/engineering-for-kids-building-with-jelly-beans/">engineering basics</a> using colorful jelly beans as your guide. To set up the experiment, you'll just need toothpicks, jelly beans, and some creative minds. Make cubes to start and then move on to more complicated shapes to see how they stabilize and shift. The author of this project said that these simple supplies gave her kids over a month of educational enjoyment.</p> <h2>6. Fake Grass</h2> <p>We typically fill our Easter baskets with fake grass of the paper variety. I then use whatever we have left for wrapping gifts (usually in gift bags) throughout the year. I've also used it as cheap packing material and given handfuls of it to my daughter to add dimension to art projects. Alternatively, you can carefully collect your leftovers and reuse them next year.</p> <h2>7. Hard-Boiled Eggs</h2> <p>Before eating your hard-boiled eggs, make sure they haven't been sitting out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours, haven't been in contact with pesticides or animal waste in an outdoor hunt, and aren't more than a week old. Once you've considered these&nbsp;<a href="http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/are-eggs-dyed-easter-safe-eat">food safety points</a>, you can eat them plain, make deviled eggs, or whip up a delicious egg salad.</p> <h2>8. Candy</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thekitchenmagpie.com/leftover-easter-candy-cookies/">leftover Easter candy cookies</a> will help clear out your pantry shelves for fresh spring produce in no time. You simply mix together the dough base with flour, baking soda, sugars, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Then chop up two cups of whatever candy you have left (assorted chocolates probably work better than jelly beans), fold it into the dough, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.</p> <h2>9. Baskets</h2> <p>Whether they're crazy colored or more neutral, you can always find great uses for baskets around your home. I store my daughter's markers, crayons, and other art supplies in small baskets that I keep in my craft room. When we're ready to do some coloring or art, I grab a basket and it helps keep everything tidy. Use yours to wrangle small toys (cars, blocks, etc.), books, or store it away to use again next year. Don't like your basket's looks? Spray paint it another color to suit your mood or decor.</p> <h2>10. Egg Crates</h2> <p>There are seriously a million ways you can reuse an egg carton in your home. My current favorite? I'm&nbsp;<a href="http://planetforward.ca/blog/my-organic-gardening-part-three-cartons-are-not-just-for-eggs-anymore-sustainable-practice/">organizing my seedlings</a> for the upcoming planting season. Just cut the lid off, poke a small hole in the bottom of each cup, fill each three-quarters full with soil, place your seeds inside, and put it on a plastic tray. Then label so you know what is what. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates?ref=seealso">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a>)</p> <p><em>How are you re-using your Easter stuff? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter">10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Easter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living baskets candy Easter eggs Holidays leftovers recycling repurposing Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1678890 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/diy_halloween_decorations_000050085508.jpg" alt="Making Halloween frights you can make from trash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Halloween will be here before we know it, so here's a bunch of awesome ideas for decor that will cost you only pennies. Better yet, a lot of the supplies you'll need for these projects can be found in your trash and recycling bins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash?ref=seealso">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a>)</p> <h2>1. Milk Jug Ghosts</h2> <p>Talk about easy! These <a href="http://www.isavea2z.com/easy-halloween-craft-ideas-milk-jug-ghosts/">milk jug ghosts</a> take only minutes to make. Clean out your jugs, draw on a spook-tacular face with Sharpie marker, place several mini LED lights in each one, and line them up outside your home. Don't forget to weigh each one down with a few pebbles.</p> <h2>2. Milk Jug Skeleton</h2> <p>Apparently milk jugs are made for Halloween crafting. Check out these <a href="http://www.thepartyanimal-blog.org/milk-jug-skeleton-fun-recycled-craft-decoration-halloween/">DIY skeletons</a> made using seven old milk jugs, string, and patience. The tutorial walks you through the specific bones to cut from each jug. After you have them all ready, just punch holes in each so you can connect with your string. You can even coat your skeleton with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GLG7HS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000GLG7HS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IC3LRAEQHZXV6QNE">glow-in-the-dark spray paint</a> for extra fun.</p> <h2>3. Acid Bath</h2> <p>Are you lucky enough to have access to an old oil drum? Creep out your neighbors with this <a href="http://www.fulcrumsites.com/haunt/html/new_props_9.html">acid bath</a> decoration. Slip yourself (or a dummy) into the drum with a scary mask on. Then use spray foam to create that skin-bubbling look.</p> <h2>4. Monster Yard Lights</h2> <p>Clean out a few plastic jugs and make these <a href="http://craftsbyamanda.com/halloween-monster-yard-lights/">monster yard lights</a>. You'll decorate them however you want before placing a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R7PM36/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R7PM36&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AWPOITLNTF4LSXQB">tap light</a> inside to illuminate. To finish, insert a broom handle or another sturdy stick into the spout. Then place them wherever you need a little fright outdoors.</p> <h2>5. Poison Bottles</h2> <p>Use recycled jars, bottles, and boxes to make freaky apothecary <a href="http://magiamia.blogspot.com/2013/08/it-glue-gun-plastic-time-again.html">poison bottles</a>. You'll create your designs and words on the recycled bottle of choice and then paint over it with several layers of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DCTH2G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001DCTH2G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GOP6VWKMNZ5WJZ6E">chalk paint</a>. You can leave them plain or coat with another color to cultivate a more distressed look.</p> <h2>6. Paper Jack O'Lanterns</h2> <p>If carving standard pumpkins isn't enough for you, try using your discarded newspaper in this giant <a href="http://www.spookyblue.com/halloween/giant-jackolantern/index2.htm">papier mache jack o'lantern</a> project. The author uses a vintage plastic pumpkin as a form, but you can build one from chicken wire or another object. Rip paper into 10 inch lengths, slather in a glue mixture, apply to your form, and let dry. Then get creative with cutting or painting your faces.</p> <h2>7. Specimen Jars</h2> <p>Okay. These <a href="http://laura.moncur.org/archives/2012/10/08/specimen-jars-for-halloween-decorations/">specimen jars</a> are beyond disturbing. Disassemble an old baby doll and distribute its body parts into recycled pickle jars. (I warned you, right?) Fill with water and a drop of red and green food coloring.</p> <h2>8. Bottle Lanterns</h2> <p>Or give your wine-loving friends a boozy spook with these <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Wine-bottle-jack-o-lanterns/">wine bottle jack o' lanterns</a>. Drink a bunch of cheap wine, then clean out the empty bottles. Spray paint the widest section (under the neck) orange. Draw their faces on with a Sharpie marker.</p> <h2>9. Bulb Spiders</h2> <p>Recycle all those burned out Christmas lights by making these <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20150209234231/http://www.flickr.com/photos/34241256@N07/4221641924/">bulb spiders</a>. You'll wrap metal wire around the bulbs to create the legs. The author of this project left them colorful. I'll give them a coating of matte black spray paint.</p> <h2>10. Spooky Eyes</h2> <p>Use a couple used toilet paper rolls to make these <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMPwGMts-ho">spooky eyes</a>. You'll draw eyes onto each roll and then cut them out using a hobby knife. To finish, place an LED light into each roll and position them in a dark area.</p> <h2>11. Living Dead Dolls</h2> <p>I don't know about you, but my daughter has tons of half broken Barbie dolls laying around the playroom. I might collect them up, spray paint them white, and make these <a href="http://www.madebygirl.com/blog/images/savers6.jpg">Dolls of the Living Dead</a>. After they've dried, accentuate their eyes using a fine tip Sharpie marker. I've seen similar projects using vintage dolls that are even more frightening.</p> <h2>12. Trash Corpse</h2> <p>While you're taking out the trash, snag an extra black bag to make this <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/39/99/47/399947e85bff575332e601bbfa2aaf72.jpg">trash bag corpse</a>. Fill the bag with crumpled newspapers and tie off different areas with rope to form the shape of a body. Bonus points for adding caution tape to section off your creepy crime scene.</p> <h2>13. Trash Ghosts</h2> <p>Only have white or clear bags? No problem. Try assembling these incredibly convincing <a href="http://www.monstertutorials.com/2015/03/27/ghost-1-how-to-make-a-packing-tape-and-trash-bag-ghost-tutorial/">trash bag ghosts</a>. You'll use a dress form or friend volunteer to frame out the body using packing tape. Then carefully remove your form by slicing it down the back. Do the same with the head before attaching the pieces with more tape. Distress and decorate however you like and hang with fishing wire.</p> <p><em>What are you decorating your home with for Halloween?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living arts crafts decorations Halloween recycling trash to treasure Wed, 21 Oct 2015 15:15:37 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1591933 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_diy_toy_000041049236.jpg" alt="Little girl learning ways to upcycle old shoeboxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I wear shoes. You wear shoes. And you know what all these shoes come in? That's right, say it with me: shoeboxes. As it turns out, they can a do lot more than just house footwear. Check out of a few of these smart ideas, and feel free to share your own genius upcycling projects in the comments! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>1. Charging Station</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.tashachawner.com/diy-tuesday-recharge-station-for-all-of-your-devices/">DIY recharge station</a> will blow your mind. First, cut sections out of an old shoebox to thread your USB and other charging cables through. You'll connect these guys to a power board you'll place inside. Then spiff it up with paint and bookplates for a more finished look.</p> <h2>2. Wall Shelving</h2> <p>To add instant storage place to any room, try creating these <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2012/05/diy-wall-shelves-from-shoebox.html">shoebox wall shelves</a>. Just take the bottom of the shoebox, coat it in spray paint, and use patterned paper or other accents to decorate. Of course, you can't put heavy stuff in these shelves, but they'd work great for office supplies, small personal care items, and trinkets.</p> <h2>3. Play Guitar</h2> <p>Kids will love this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/entertainment/crafts-hobbies/make-a-shoe-box-guitar">shoebox guitar</a>. You'll need your box, a paper towel tube, some rubber bands, some funky paper, and basic crafting tools. After you cut a space to thread in the tube fingerboard, carve out a sound hole, you'll add the rubber band strings, and personalize it. The <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/kids-parenting/toys-you-can-make/shoe-box-guitar">finished product</a> is adorable.</p> <h2>4. Ultra Organizer</h2> <p>Or try making this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu2pJLID0Ec">shoebox organizer</a> to keep on your desk. To get started, cut the lid off the box and save it for later. Draw a triangle on each side of the box and then cut it out. Fold everything over and use tape to secure the sides. From there, you'll make a few more cuts and attachments before covering the whole thing with pretty fabric and filling with whatever you need to organize.</p> <h2>5. Projector</h2> <p>When I first saw this project, I blurted out: &quot;No <em>way</em>!&quot; You can make a <a href="http://content.photojojo.com/diy/turn-your-phone-into-a-photo-projector-for-1/">DIY projector</a> out of a shoebox (and your smartphone) for just one dollar. All you need to do is cut a hole in the box that's big enough to accommodate a magnifying glass. Make a quick stand for your phone using a paperclip. To display your images, rotate your phone's screen, fool with focusing, and turn your brightness option all the way up.</p> <h2>6. Blackboard Art</h2> <p>Here's a project that's all about those lids. You can easily make portable <a href="http://stowandtellu.com/chalkboard-painted-box-lids-fall-decor/">blackboard art</a> using just a couple tools to help. First, paint your shoebox lids with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006BAEI6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0006BAEI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YQPWWNM424YDLUF7">chalkboard paint</a>. After it dries, draw lists, signs, art, poems, quotes, or whatever else comes to mind. I've used chalkboard paint many times, and I love how it comes in all sorts of different colors now.</p> <h2>7. Mini Foosball</h2> <p>Keep this <a href="http://www.handimania.com/diy/mini-foosball-table-kids.html">mini foosball table</a> in your office or give it to your kids. This project is super easy. Clip wooden laundry pins to small dowels. Use a hole punch to make holes all along the side of your shoebox. Give everything a coat of paint or cover it with cool paper. Then play until your wrists get tired.</p> <h2>8. Cord Organizer</h2> <p>Here's another take on a <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/TP-Roll-Organizer-Box-instructable/">shoebox organizer</a>. This project is going to help you wrangle all those rogue cords strewn about your house. Gather up a bunch of toilet paper rolls, tape them together, and place them in the box. Place once cord in each roll. Make it pretty or keep it purely utilitarian. I might just have to try this one &mdash; my phone charger recently fell prey to my cats.</p> <h2>9. Shoebox</h2> <p>Stay with me here. This project to make a <a href="http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/06/i-love-my-shoe-boxes.html">windowed shoebox</a> is written for an IKEA box. But you can easily apply the same idea to your leftover shoeboxes. Cut a rectangle in the side of the box using an X-Acto knife. Then use double-sided tape to fill that space with a sheet of PET plastic. Decorate the box however you like. Use it to store shoes, craft supplies, toys, and other small items.</p> <h2>10. Play Oven</h2> <p>I have a preschooler at home who would play with this <a href="http://madebyjoel.com/2014/01/diy-shoebox-pizza-oven-toy.html">shoebox oven</a> for hours. You'll cut some slots in your box to accommodate a door for the pan to fit inside. Then use excess cardboard to make a pizza peel. And if you don't have a play pizza, create one out of felt with an assortment of toppings.</p> <h2>11. Jute Bin</h2> <p>Skip the storage aisle at the store and make this cute <a href="https://southernflaircrafts.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/upcycled-kleenex-box/">storage bin</a> out of a box and jute. The project is written for a tissue box, but the idea is the same. Take the base of your shoebox and use glue to adhere the jute around it. Then use some canvas fabric to finish it off with a clean look. You can use it to store towels or anything else in plain sight. The cost of this project might only be a couple dollars versus the $10 or more you'd spend for something similar at the store.</p> <h2>12. School House</h2> <p>We'll end here with yet another crazy shoebox toy. Check out this <a href="http://mollymoocrafts.com/back-school-crafts-shoebox-school/">school house</a>! Cut windows out of your box using an X-Acto knife, finish off raw edges with duct tape, and take some time to make a few accessories (blackboard, posters, etc.). By the way, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=lego%20people&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=NVIAAEGJXAXAUNS5">Lego people</a> make perfect pupils.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your old shoeboxes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living art projects cardboard crafts recycling shoe boxes toys upcycling Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1567511 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000038268512.jpg" alt="Woman finding cool ways to make treasure out of trash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you drag your garbage and recycling to the curb, read this article! There's so much you can do with an old jar, can, or cardboard box. All you need to do is clean it up and get creative. Here are 12 crafty projects that will literally turn your trash into treasures. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-Shirts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Glass Jars</h2> <p>Martha Stewart shares that your <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/268444/bottle-beauty?czone=home%2Fsmart-savings-cnt%2Fsave-money">discarded glass jars</a> can be a beautiful feature in your decor. Simply rinse them out, let them dry, and then pour some dishwasher-safe enamel paint inside. Hang each bottle upside-down for at least 48 hours before using.</p> <h2>2. Wipes Containers</h2> <p>Do you have tons of wipes containers destined for recycling? I do. Try using them to make <a href="http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/wipes-container-reuse-and-a-giveaway/">plastic bag dispensers</a>! Clean out the wipe container, decorate it however you like, and then assemble your plastic grocery and shopping bags. Stash the dispenser in your car, in your kitchen, or wherever else you might need bags.</p> <h2>3. Coffee Cans</h2> <p>Transform all those kicked coffee cans into useful <a href="http://kelliskitchen.org/2013/07/cheap-organization/">storage containers</a> in your kitchen. Of course, you can use them whenever they end up empty. But spiff them up a bit with spray paint and chalkboard labels. First wash them in your dishwasher. Then fill with newspaper while you paint to keep the inside safe for your ingredients. Let them cure for five days before using.</p> <h2>4. Milk Jugs</h2> <p>Save one of your milk jugs to make this simple <a href="http://ajourneytoadream.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/helpful-yet-simple-diy-for-spring.html">watering can</a>. Your plants will thank you. All you do is wash out the jug, heat a needle to poke holes into the cap, and fill with water. Make a big one for outdoors, a small one for indoor plants, and a tiny one for your kid to play with in the bath.</p> <h2>5. Cardboard Boxes</h2> <p>Get a load of this <a href="http://smallfryandco.blogspot.com/2011/08/cardboard-storage-repurpose.html">cardboard storage system</a>! This project would work well with frozen food boxes or even pizza boxes. Make sure your boxes are clean, then cover them with colorful wrapping paper. Label them for easy organization, and you're done. I'd love to store some of my favorite record albums this way.</p> <h2>6. Bottle Caps</h2> <p>I love this project to transform plastic bottle caps into <a href="http://www.kiwimagonline.com/2010/07/the-abcs-of-recycling/">alphabet magnets</a> for your refrigerator. Collect at least 26 caps, then glue letters into them using cutouts from dated magazines. Stick some self-adhesive magnetic tape on the back and let your child go wild.</p> <h2>7. Toilet Paper Rolls</h2> <p>Save your toilet paper rolls and turn them into these adorable <a href="http://www.sweetcharli.com/2012/09/save-your-toilet-paper-rolls.html">gift boxes</a>. Pick off any remaining paper, flatten the roll with your hand, cut the ends into half circles with scissors, and fold the sides to close. Then decorate however suits your mood using ribbon, paint, stickers, and bows.</p> <h2>8. Liquor Bottles</h2> <p>Take an empty liquor bottle and turn it into something useful. For example, this <a href="http://thediyplaybook.com/2015/04/patron-art-life-changing-hack.html">Patron soap dispenser</a> looks great and helps you keep your hands clean. Drill a hole into the cork top of your bottle. Then take the top off one of your old soap dispensers and thread it through the hole. Fill with soap. For bottles that don't have cork tops, try just screwing the pump into place.</p> <h2>9. Rice Bags</h2> <p>We eat lots of rice in our house. A couple years ago, I turned one of the burlap rice bags into a nifty <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2012/04/diy-burlap-pillow-from-rice-bag.html">throw pillow</a> to decorate our family room. Just cut off the handles of the bag, stuff it with cotton filler, and close the zipper. If your bag doesn't have a zipper, simply sew it shut with a straight stitch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cereal Boxes</h2> <p>My daughter wants a piñata for her birthday this year. I saw this <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2011/10/mini-pinatas-diy/">mini piñata</a> project a while back where the base is made from cereal boxes. Just use scissors and an X-acto knife to make your shape. Cover the whole thing with crepe paper, and fasten with glue and tape. Don't forget to make a trap door so you can fill it with goodies!</p> <h2>11. Wine Corks</h2> <p>I've seen a million and one different wine cork projects over the years. This <a href="http://www.craftynest.com/2010/03/wine-cork-bath-mat/">bath mat</a> may just be the most practical of the bunch. Now, you'll need some patience (or lots of vino-loving friends) to collect all 175 corks to complete this project. Cut each cork lengthwise, arrange them in a rectangle, and cut a piece of shelf liner to size. You'll then hot glue all the corks into place on the liner.</p> <h2>12. Juice Cartons</h2> <p>Corral all your change into one of these cool <a href="http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/milk-carton-coin-purse">juice carton purses</a>. Pull open the top of the carton and clean it out. Cut off the bottom of the container and measure for a few more precise cuts. Fold the sides in like an accordion. Then keep folding and fastening until you're done. Keep it in your car so you're never out of quarters for the meter again.</p> <p><em>What new uses have you found for your old trash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts garbage recycling repurposing reusing trash upcycling Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:00:24 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1556350 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycled_egg_crates_000019998240.jpg" alt="How to creatively reuse egg crates" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I eat a ton of eggs. We have leftover crates upon leftover crates, and beyond <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">reusing and recycling</a>, I've started repurposing them in fun ways around my house.</p> <h2>1. Seeding Storage</h2> <p>I actually <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5875765/use-an-egg-carton-to-jumpstart-your-garden-this-spring">started all our seeds</a> in egg cartons this year. They're the perfect size for germination. When the seedlings are ready for planting, just cut out the individual cups and plant directly into the ground. Of course, if you plan to try this one, use the paper cups versus the styrofoam ones.</p> <h2>2. Recycled Decor</h2> <p>Beautify your place on the cheap with this <a href="http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2011/04/make-it-egg-carton-wreath.html">egg carton wreath</a>. You'll cut flower shapes from the cups and fashion leaves from the cover. Then paint with bright colors and glue to assemble. Just don't hang this wreath outdoors &mdash; the moisture will ruin it.</p> <h2>3. Jewelry Organization</h2> <p>Here's a cool <a href="http://shopwalkinlove.com/blogs/walk-in-love/11350757-egg-carton-organizers">jewelry organization project</a> that might also make a great gift. Cut an egg carton in half and paint it with spray paint. Then fill with jewelry and other knick-knacks. This tutorial instructs you to cut the top off the carton, but I think it would be nice to keep it on.</p> <h2>4. Veggie Storage</h2> <p>Or store your vegetables in <a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/Egg-Crates-for-Veggie-Storage.html">stacked egg cartons</a>. This method will keep spoiled foods from leaking anything onto fresh ones. Bonus: If you have anything &mdash; like tomatoes &mdash; that need ripening in paper bags, they should mature perfectly in the cartons.</p> <h2>5. Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>Send your kids on a <a href="http://www.iammommahearmeroar.net/2011/03/spring-scavenger-hunt.html">fun scavenger hunt</a> in the backyard. Print out what you want your child to find, stick it on the egg carton, and then hand it off. They can stick found items inside. The author of this activity provides a printout, but your yard might not contain the same stuff (depending on where you live).</p> <h2>6. Sewing Kit</h2> <p>Stow needles, thread, buttons, and more in this <a href="http://www.madebymarzipan.com/?tutorial=egg-carton-sewing-kit">egg carton sewing kit</a>. My favorite part is the personalized design. You can decorate it to suit your unique tastes. Or keep it basic. Whatever you do, don't forget the egg-shaped pin cushion.</p> <h2>7. Paint Palette</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-organizing-new-uses-for-old-things/egg-carton-as-paint-palette">egg crate paint palette</a> is pretty easy to put together. Open the crate, squeeze paint inside, and get creative. You can leave some cups open for mixing of colors. Otherwise, when you're done, just let everything dry and use again the next time you want to make art.</p> <h2>8. Gift Wrap</h2> <p>Skip the pricey gift bags and use an <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kirstyneale/3560879400/in/gallery-paneamoreecreativita-72157623683672416/">egg carton to wrap</a> instead. You can paint and decorate in whatever colors or prints that match your theme. Works wonderfully for small items like soaps, underwear, jewelry, chocolates, and more.</p> <h2>9. Mosquito Smoker</h2> <p>Don't let mosquitoes ruin your next backyard bash. You can <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-lubin/an-easy-free-way-to-keep-_b_5648824.html">smoke them out</a> for free using an egg carton. Simply light one edge on fire and set somewhere safe to burn (like your grill top). Alternatively, you can try this same thing with one of those coffee to-go containers.</p> <h2>10. Bird Feeder</h2> <p>This quick and easy <a href="http://thecreativecubby.blogspot.com/2013/06/egg-carton-bird-feeder.html">egg carton bird feeder</a> project will please nature enthusiasts. Remove the lid from your egg carton. Then poke holes in each of the four corners. Thread a string through each hold, then gather together and knot. Fill with bird seed and enjoy.</p> <h2>11. Flower Vase</h2> <p>Create a quick centerpiece for your dinner table with this gorgeous <a href="http://cfabbridesigns.com/holidays/easter/egg-carton-vase/">egg crate vase</a>. Line the cups with plastic eggs and add a little water. Smaller blooms work best, and I love how the author of this project used broccoli to add texture to her arrangement.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your old egg cartons?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts eco-friendly egg cartons egg crates recycling repurposing Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:00:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1485981 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Weird Things to Sell on eBay for Extra Cash http://www.wisebread.com/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_playing_000044876558.jpg" alt="Child playing with common household item that you can sell on eBay " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems that nothing is too head-scratchingly weird to be placed up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-to-scoring-the-best-price-when-buying-on-ebay">for sale on eBay</a>. But what if I told you that you could earn some extra cash on eBay by selling common household items that most of us toss without a second thought?</p> <p>This is definitely an example of one person's trash being another's treasure. Selling what is typically considered garbage can net you a few hundred dollars a year from eBay and have you rethinking what you throw away. Did you know that you could make money selling:</p> <h2>1. Paper Towel and Toilet Tissue Cardboard Tubes</h2> <p>I know, right? Who would have thought that people would pay money for the cardboard tubes of spent tissue? The people who are selling them on eBay and making money, that's who! It seems that these recyclable goodies are popular for arts and crafts projects.</p> <p>To cash in you'll need to stock up before you sell, saving at least 35 empty tubes. So grab a bag, toss in those tubes, and let them add up. Depending on the size of your family and how quickly you go through rolls will determine how often you can sell on eBay. It's not uncommon for<a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_sacat=0&amp;_nkw=paper+towel+cardboard&amp;LH_Complete=1&amp;LH_Sold=1&amp;rt=nc"> empty cardboard tubes</a> to sell for $10, $20 or $30. That's pretty good for something that is literally tossed in the recycling bin.</p> <h2>2. Empty Egg Cartons</h2> <p>To think I felt good about myself because I made a point of placing my empty egg cartons in the correct recycling bin for trash pickup. Who knew I could give them new life and bring people joy (and earn some extra cash) by selling them on eBay?</p> <p>Like the cardboard tubes above, egg cartons seem to be wanted by the arts and crafts crowd. It's not uncommon for a stack of<a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_sacat=0&amp;_nkw=egg+carton&amp;LH_Complete=1&amp;LH_Sold=1&amp;rt=nc"> empty egg cartons</a> to sell for $10 to $20, and it doesn't seem to matter if they are cardboard or foam. They are easily stackable and won't take up much space while you collect enough to sell. By saving my cartons (and taking my parents' empties), I should be able to sell a few stacks a year.</p> <h2>3. Coupons</h2> <p>How would you like to make $5 to $10 for selling one coupon? Sounds crazy, right? But there's a market for these recyclable bits. Some coupons seem to sell at a premium. For instance, a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_sacat=0&amp;_nkw=pottery+barn+coupon&amp;LH_Complete=1&amp;LH_Sold=1&amp;rt=nc">15% coupon from Pottery Barn</a>, or other high end stores, regularly sells for $9.99, and a $25 coupon sells for $14.99. Coupons for many other retailers like Macy's, Target, Home Depot, and more sell well too. The beauty of this is all you have to do is wait for them to show up in the mail and sell what you're not using. Doing this once a month could probably net you an additional $50&ndash;$75 a year.</p> <h2>4. Magazines</h2> <p>After being convinced that I needed to part with some of my beloved magazines, I jokingly implored my husband to check on eBay to see if anyone would buy them. I was surprised to find out that I could make money selling my old issues, and I started cleaning house!</p> <p>Which magazines sell? The specific magazines and the prices they will sell for vary. For instance, one back issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray sold for $5, while a group of 11 magazines from 2008 to 2011 sold for $19.99. We're not talking rare or vintage stuff here, just regular issues that people are selling after reading them. Spend a few minutes on eBay looking up your magazines and you could be ready to sell and make some money too!</p> <h2>5. Old Computer Software</h2> <p>If you have software for computers you replaced years ago, you may be able to sell them for extra cash on eBay. That's exactly what I did when I discovered a bunch of old software in my junk storage drawer. Think no one is interested in your <a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_sacat=0&amp;_nkw=microsoft+office+2003&amp;LH_Complete=1&amp;LH_Sold=1&amp;rt=nc">2003 Microsoft Word software</a>? Think again. That'll sell for $15 to $30 on eBay. And that's just one example. The amount of software out there is vast, so it's impossible to provide a lot of specifics for what will sell. However, it doesn't take long to check. Seriously, it's a potential gold mine. Pull out those old disks and check away.</p> <h2>6. Empty Makeup Containers</h2> <p>Specifically, the empty makeup containers of a specific high end brand, M.A.C., are in high demand. They are popular because of the retailer's &quot;Back to M.A.C.&quot; rewards program where customers can exchange six empty M.A.C. makeup containers for a free lipstick. At $16 a pop, people are looking for ways to get their pricey lipstick for less. <a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40%7CR40%7CR40%7CR40%7CR40%7CR40%7CR40%7CR40&amp;_sacat=0&amp;_nkw=MAC+makeup+container&amp;LH_Complete=1&amp;LH_Sold=1&amp;rt=nc">Empty M.A.C. containers</a> sell anywhere from $5 to $40 depending on the number for sale and the cost of shipping. If you use this brand, it's an opportunity to score some extra cash. If you're looking for a way to get your M.A.C. for less, well, here it is.</p> <p>So there you have it, six examples of common household trash items that can be sold on eBay for a few hundred dollars per year. I'll be looking for others because I'm sure there are more. That's my type of recycling.</p> <p><em>What crazy items do YOU sell on eBay?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-totally-free-things-you-can-sell-on-ebay">8 Totally Free Things You Can Sell on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-making-activities-you-can-do-today">5 Money Making Activities You Can Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-always-buy-and-sell-on-ebay">10 Things You Should Always Buy and Sell on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income eBay junk recycling selling trash Wed, 13 May 2015 17:00:12 +0000 Kim Owens 1416919 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How to Earn $170 a Year With Your Junk Mail http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-earn-170-a-year-with-your-junk-mail <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-to-earn-170-a-year-with-your-junk-mail" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_paperwork_000005210453.jpg" alt="Woman earning extra cash with junk mail" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Junk mail. It's the bane of my postal delivery existence. Chances are you hate it too, what with the insurance offers, vacation brochures, and more. It's a waste of paper, annoying, and you wish your mailbox had a chute that sent it directly to the recycle bin. That will all change, however, thanks to a company named&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sbkcenter.com/consumer.html">Small Business Knowledge Center (SBKC)</a>.</p> <p>Why? Because, SBKC will <em>pay you</em> for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail">your junk mail</a>. You read that correctly. This company will pay you to send them your junk mail.</p> <p>Why would a company pay you to send them your most reviled pieces of mail? Because they conduct market research that focuses on direct marketing (junk mail) in an effort to spot trends and provide &quot;competitive intelligence&quot; to their clients. In other words, they need your mail to do their research and reconnaissance. That's great for people like you and me because it means that we can literally turn our junk mail into cash.</p> <p>Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>What Kind of Junk Mail Does SBKC Want?</h2> <p>SBKC is looking for specific categories of junk mail. Lucky for most of us, what they want is very common and stuff we all probably receive multiple times per week.</p> <ul> <li>Insurance: Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Auto/Property Insurance, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Investments/Annuities: IRA/Rollovers, Mutual Funds, 401(k), Pensions, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mortgage and Loans: Auto, Home Equity, Mortgage, Personal Loan, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Banking: Checking, Savings, Money Market, Certificates of Deposit, Rewards or Loyalty Programs, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Credit Cards: General Use Credit Cards and Charge Cards, Retail/Department Store Cards, Affinity/Rewards Cards such as Airline, Hotel, Alumni, Club/Association Cards, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Telecommunications: Wireless (network providers such as Verizon, AT&amp;T or manufacturers such as Samsung or Motorola), Wire-Line (Landline/Home Phone), TV/Cable, Satellite, Internet, IP/Internet Phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Travel and Leisure: Hotels, Cruise Lines, Airlines, Car Rental Services.</li> </ul> <h2>How Does Someone Earn Money From Their Junk Mail?</h2> <p>SBKC members, called panelists, accrue points which are redeemed for rewards. Points are earned several different ways.</p> <ul> <li>Direct mail: Once accepted into their program, panelists will receive postage paid envelopes. Simply place the junk mail in an envelope and mail once a week.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>E-mail: Forward any qualifying e-mail to SBKC.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bonus opportunities: From time to time, SBKC will offer additional opportunities such as surveys and secret shopping.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Referrals: Current members can earn additional points by referring others.</li> </ul> <h2>How Much Can You Earn From Junk Mail?</h2> <p>When panelists accrue 2,000 points, they can redeem those points for a $20 Visa prepaid gift card. SBKC sends out a monthly newsletter which includes point status and any bonus opportunities available. Each person's point accrual rate is different and depends on many factors, but according to SBKC's website, on average, panelists who participate frequently can expect to earn $20 worth of points every six to 10 weeks or so. That comes to about $100-$170 a year for junk mail.</p> <h2>How to Join SBKC</h2> <p>SBKC requires the completion of a short application. Applicants will first choose whether they want to apply as a consumer panelist or a business owner panelist (business owners have different opportunities to earn). The application, which is called a &quot;panelist profile,&quot; is simple and straight-forward. It asks for your name, address, date of birth, and income range.</p> <p>Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail thanking them for submitting their panelist profile and a notice that SBKC will contact them once their application is processed, usually within one to two weeks (two to three weeks for Canadian residents). Once approved, new panelists will receive a welcome kit with program details and information to get them started.</p> <h2>What Else?</h2> <ul> <li>There is no limit to the number of qualified pieces that can be forwarded to SBKC to earn points.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Not everyone is accepted into their program, so take the simple application process seriously. If they run out of space for applicants in certain geographic locations or they are at capacity for a specific demographic, you may be placed on a wait list.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>SBKC takes steps to protect the privacy of their panelists by scrubbing any identification from pieces that are forwarded, shredding documents when done, and promising no solicitation.</li> </ul> <p>This won't make you rich, but every dollar helps, especially when the money comes with such little effort. It looks like junk mail just became valuable.</p> <p><em>Are you a member of SBKC? What's your experience been like?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-earn-170-a-year-with-your-junk-mail">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash">6 Weird Things to Sell on eBay for Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling">Cash for Trash: Making Money Recycling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">From Dumpster Diving to Garage Sales, Turning Trash Into Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income junk mail postal recycling rewards program Fri, 08 May 2015 09:00:52 +0000 Kim Owens 1410185 at http://www.wisebread.com New Isn't Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_000019797365.jpg" alt="Woman reading a book" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although I admit that new can sometimes be very nice, old or used can be just as good! Here are some examples of used goodies that are even better than new:</p> <h2>1. Books and Magazines</h2> <p>Go to your neighborhood library, and take out a book or flip through the magazines. You can also buy used books that look practically brand-new from websites such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, or trade them on the web at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.swap.com/" target="_blank">Swap.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Cars</h2> <p>The value of a new car drops dramatically right after you drive it off the dealership, so consider getting a used car to get more bang for your buck. Remember to do your research first, watch out for these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Car-Salesmen-Tricks-28307430">car salesman tricks</a>, and ask the seller the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Car-Seller-31000145">right questions</a>.</p> <h2>3. Clothing</h2> <p>You can get great hand-me-downs from friends and family members instead of splurging for a new outfit at a boutique. You can score good buys at thrift store, too, if you use a little <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Consignment-Store-Shopping-Tips-13456315">know-how</a>.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809#photo-3508809" target="_blank">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></p> <h2>4. Wedding Gowns</h2> <p>There's no better steal than buying a dress that has only been used once &mdash; and paying less for a dress that you are only going to wear once as well. Check out <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Wedding-Dress-Seller-15718982">these questions</a> to ask the used wedding gown seller before you buy a dress from her.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Tools</h2> <p>Get big discounts on used tools, but do your research before you end up buying a dud. Buy the tools from a legitimate seller or from people you know and trust.&nbsp;</p> <h2>6. Animals</h2> <p>There are plenty of cute pets waiting to be loved at your local shelter. Remember that adopting <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Reasons-Adopt-Adult-Pet-11442625" target="_self">older dogs has its benefits</a> too. For example, you won't need to bother with potty training, and most dogs calm down after they pass the rapscallion puppy stage.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341" target="_blank">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></p> <h2>7. Designer Bags</h2> <p>Vintage bags give the classic brand names a one-of-a-kind twist (after all, you don't see these golden oldies in stores anymore!). Find one from a thrift store or online at places like <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Poshmark-Tips-34541949">Poshmark</a>. You can also consider renting a handbag from Avelle's <a href="http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/" target="_blank">Bag Borrow or Steal</a>.</p> <h2>8. Furniture</h2> <p>There are plenty of great deals on Craigslist, and if your friends or neighbors are giving away their old furniture, that's even better. Don't be afraid to check out thrift stores, as well; you can find some unique pieces with great price tags. But keep in mind that staying away from used furniture with fabric will lower the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home.</p> <h2>9. Things for Baby</h2> <p>Baby clothes, toys, and other baby-related gear doesn't get much use once baby is all grown up. Just stay away from items like car seats and cribs, because the safety standards are updated all the time, so the used items may not meet the current safety requirements.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909" target="_blank">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></p> <h2>10. Jewelry</h2> <p>Those pretty trinkets you keep admiring also depreciate quickly once they are in a buyer's hands. Check out estate sales, eBay, and pawnshops to see what old goodies you can score. But be sure to do your homework to avoid getting scammed.&nbsp;</p> <h2>11. Residences</h2> <p>Ah, the great rent vs. buy debate! It depends on whether buying a house is within your means and what state your finances are in. Renting is not always a bad thing; sometimes it's a more sensible choice for people who are living more transient lifestyles. Remember the seven-year rule: seriously consider renting if you're going to be in a place for less than seven years.&nbsp;</p> <h2>12. Information</h2> <p>Historical knowledge will never grow old. Reading current news is great, but learning more about history can sometimes be even better. You'll be able to make more solid arguments and form opinions that are well-rounded and supported by past examples. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of human nature.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519" target="_blank">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Buying used usually costs less and that&#039;s always a plus. Even better -- some goods really do get better with age. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gaming-mice">The 5 Best Gaming Mice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-glass-water-bottles">The 5 Best Glass Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-ways-to-save-on-audio-books">8 Smart Ways to Save on Audio Books</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Shopping buying used recycling shopping thrifting used Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1372907 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-recycling-plastics-81266232-small.jpg" alt="recycling" title="recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all heard a lot of bad stuff about plastics over the years. Anything from plastic bottles leaching BPA or <a href="http://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-plastics-are-safe.html">other hormone disrupting chemicals</a> into food and drink to the harm plastic bags have on the environment as they pile up in landfills and oceans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling?ref=seealso">Cash for Trash: Making Money Recycling</a>)</p> <p>If you've ever considered heading down a less plastic-y path &mdash; no matter the reason &mdash; start here with some sound tips for consuming less. It could even save you money.</p> <h2>1. Give Up Bottled Water</h2> <p>Not only is bottled water remarkably more expensive than the H2O you get from the tap, it comes in plastic bottles, creating a ton of waste you need to deal with after you sip. Instead, pick up a glass or metal water bottle that you can reuse again and again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you?ref=seealso">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice Might Surprise You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eat Whole Foods</h2> <p>Another way plastic makes a sneaky appearance into our homes is through the packaged foods we buy at the grocery store. Most whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat) come with little or no packaging, so stock your cart with them. Otherwise, make condiments, breads, and other pantry goods from scratch whenever possible to save on both waste and money. Once you get the hang, it's not as difficult as it sounds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make At Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Bring Your Bag</h2> <p>While you're at it, always bring reusable bags to the grocery store or skip them entirely. I shop at Aldi, so if I forget my canvas bags, I get charged for new ones. Talk about incentive. So, I go around the aisles and pick up a few cardboard boxes to carry my food. If you do have quite a stash of plastic bags, recycle them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse?ref=seealso">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</a>)</p> <h2>4. Try Cloth</h2> <p>Whether it's for diapers or sandwich bags, there are options that can help steer you away from plastic. Try some of the many cloth alternatives to everyday plastic products we consume. Though buying these items in cloth is a bigger investment initially, you can use them for years to come and eventually break even (or save money). In the case of cloth diapers, you may even be able to resell ones in good condition and get back the bulk of your dollars.</p> <h2>5. Use Glass</h2> <p>In the kitchen, my favorite plastic alternative is glass. I have Ball jars of various shapes and sizes that I use in place of plastic baggies for freezing foods. Some tips:</p> <ul> <li>Let foods cool completely before freezing;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave 2-3 inches of headroom for soups and applesauce that might expand when frozen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And handle carefully to avoid breaking.</li> </ul> <p>Additionally, we have a shelving system for all our bulk foods that are stored in &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; Ball jars. Oh, and I also put my leftovers in them versus covering with plastic wrap.</p> <h2>6. Concoct Your Own Cleaning Products</h2> <p>If you make eco-friendly cleaners from scratch, you'll keep a load of plastic out of your home on bottles alone. My favorite all-purpose spray is just half a bottle of vinegar with half water and 10-20 drops of my favorite essential oils. You can even make your own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar with water and castile soap &mdash; here are five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">simple detergent recipes</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house?ref=seealso">8 Green Cleaners You Already Have in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Eat In</h2> <p>A ton of waste is created when we get foods to-go. Between plastic containers, utensils, and bags, it piles up, and fast. So, if you want to enjoy food out, take the time to have a sit-down meal. Better yet, save your cash and cook your meal at home or pack your lunch for work. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids">some packable lunch recipes</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">10 Tricks to Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <h2>8. Examine Personal Care</h2> <p>Yes &mdash; most of those products and potions you use to clean and care for yourself are clad in plastic. They also contain some ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. You can try the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-shampoo-the-baking-soda-experiment">no-shampoo method</a> of washing your hair using baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse. I recently made my own <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY lotion cubes</a> custom for my sensitive skin using shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil. And <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/5-minute-homemade-deodorant-review.html">homemade deodorant</a> really works &mdash; trust me! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make At Home</a>)</p> <h2>9. Buy Less and Repair</h2> <p>Rather than immediately toss a broken plastic item and buy new, try to repair it. Or just buy fewer plastic things in general. Much of what we purchase isn't terribly essential anyway. If you do need to buy something, consider second-hand versus new. Check Craigslist, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and more. You can save additional plastics from ending up in landfills this way (and keep some cash in your pocket).</p> <h2>10. Start Small</h2> <p>If you're committed to living with fewer plastics, you can become overwhelmed when you see how much of our lives is literally wrapped up in the stuff. So, pick a room or purpose and start from there. You may want to give the <a href="http://www.nationofchange.org/numbers-plastic-bottles-what-do-plastic-recycling-symbols-mean-1360168347">worst offenders</a> the boot first. Generally speaking, numbers 2, 4, and 5 are safest. Avoid the rest. Remember: Any move away is in the right direction for your health, your wallet, and your planet.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to use less plastic? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unique-garden-containers-and-techniques">10 Unique Garden Containers and Techniques</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living declutter extra income plastics recycling Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1233077 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/environmental-superhero-470863339-small.jpg" alt="environmental superhero" title="environmental superhero" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="194" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over seven years ago, I joined <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-years-resolution.html">The Compact</a>&nbsp;out of <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/march-madness-compact-free-stuff-edition/">green guilt</a> (and because everything I do in my life has to be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">dare</a>).</p> <p>In brief, The Compact is an environmental movement that challenges members to step away from the consumer grid and take as few <em>new</em> resources out of the planet as possible for one calendar year. Compactors pledge to buy only used goods for twelve months, with obvious exceptions for things like food and health care products.</p> <p>I've stayed with The Compact for longer than one year because, in addition to allowing me to live closer to my environmental values, it's also a super fun challenge.</p> <p>As it turns out, The Compact is also a massive money saver.</p> <p>This week's horrible personal project is purging the filing cabinet. I have gone through all sorts of boring paperwork, fiddling with old receipts. Along the way, I've also been doing a little math (always a dangerous thing for me) and discovered that my effort to save the planet has saved me at least $30,000. $30,000! That savings is spread over 7.5 years, but still. $30,000! And that's a conservative estimate.</p> <p>Here are 22 ways I saved at least $30,000 while also saving the planet.</p> <h2>1. I Make Every Effort to Buy Only Used Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/yard-sale-83590593-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Since I happen to like vintage clothes, old houses, and classic cars, only buying used goods is hardly deprivation &mdash; it's my aesthetic. That said, about once a year, I'll get dinged financially for buying used. For example, I could have bought a new, cheap pair of boots for less than the price I paid to resole my old ones. However, for most purchases, buying used is far cheaper than buying new.</p> <h2>2. I Spend Consciously</h2> <p>I can no longer shop without intention. When I buy something, I don't just think about how I will use that item, but how I will eventually dispose of it. This extra environmental awareness saves me a lot of money, because I can't unlearn my good shopping habits and go back to the days of mindless spending. The extra bit of inconvenience sourcing used versions of everything I want also gives me time to consider how badly I need something. Is it something I really need or can I get by with something I already own?</p> <h2>3. I Shrank My Living Space</h2> <p>One of the fastest ways I shrank my carbon footprint was to share my house with other people. When I lived alone in my 1000 square foot house, I took up all 1000 square feet. I also paid for the entire mortgage. While living alone was something I considered an adult achievement, having roommates, renting my house out as a B&amp;B, and ultimately moving in with my husband have all saved me money and helped lighten the load on the planet.</p> <h2>4. I Cut My Car Use to Under 5000 Miles a Year</h2> <p>To a lot of city folk I know, this doesn't sound impressive. But in Los Angeles, a gigantic metropolis, with iffy public transit, this is a huge challenge. My rule? If the destination is less than three miles from my house on surface streets, I have to walk or bike instead of getting in the car. In addition to cutting my gas costs by more than half, I also saved money on tire replacement, car servicing, and insurance. Also, because I now walk anywhere from three to 10 miles daily, I was able to cut my $40 a month gym membership.</p> <h2>5. I Bought a Used Car</h2> <p>As much as I'd love a gas-sipping Prius, the resource cost of creating a new car is much greater than the resources I will use to drive and keep up the 1989 Volvo station wagon my husband and I just bought from a friend for $3500. It's hard to see on the surface, but an old gas-guzzler, driven less often, can be lighter on the planet than the creation of a brand new car. Also, to quote my mechanic, &quot;You cannot buy a new car of this quality for $3500.&quot;</p> <p>I should note, too, that my parent's first generation Prius just died after 200,000 miles, and there is no way repair the hybrid engine. 200,000 miles on a Volvo 240 is nothing. Our other car is a Volvo 240 sedan that is still rolling strong after almost 400,000 miles of driving.</p> <h2>6. I Realized That Car Preservation Was Smarter Than Car Repair</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/car-polish-78751334-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My husband's Polish relatives drive &quot;The Machine,&quot; the name they gave to their Iron Curtain-era compact automobile because it is so lacking in amenities. The Machine is in its 4th decade but still running smoothly because the family treats the car like it's the only car they will ever own. (And it is.) They do everything from driving the speed limit to regularly washing The Machine (to maintain its original 1970's paint job) to ensure that they put as little wear and tear on the car as possible. It's preventative medicine for automobiles.</p> <p>I used to drive, everywhere, like the cops where chasing me. Now I drive like an old lady. It's annoying to my speed-demon friends, but it saves wear and tear on my car and gives me superior gas mileage.</p> <h2>7. I Pay Attention to My Tire Pressure</h2> <p>The average driver who drives 12,000 miles a year on under-inflated tires uses an extra 144 gallons of gas and adds an additional 2880 pounds of green house gases to the environment annually!</p> <p>Properly inflating my tires saves me about $240 a year in gasoline costs, but it also extends the life of my tires. Under-inflation causes more rolling resistance, which adds substantially more wear and tear to the tires. This is also a safety hazard. A badly timed blow-out can kill.</p> <h2>8. I Became a Black Belt Composter</h2> <p>Dirty cardboard food containers cannot be recycled. However, the greasy pizza box, the butter wrappers, the take-out containers, and the wax paper from the cheese can all be put into the compost as the &quot;brown&quot; ingredient. In addition to dramatically cutting down on food related trash, the resulting light and fluffy compost is the perfect amendment for my clay garden soil, adding both nutrients and friability. Better soil equals a more productive garden. Beyond the food savings of a victory garden, using my homemade compost has saved me several hundred dollars in fertilizer and soil amendment costs.</p> <h2>9. I Mulched The Yard</h2> <p>California is in the middle of a severe drought. As a result, our water bill is sky high. To suppress weeds and keep our garden soil moist, I first laid down a layer of &quot;liquor store mulch,&quot; aka flattened cardboard boxes procured for free from my corner liquor store. For the delivery cost of $30, the stables at my local racetrack were more than happy to supply me with an entire truckload of wood chips and horse poop as a garden topcoat. Not only did this organic buffer cut the amount of water used in the garden by 50%, three years later we are still enjoying the results. The cardboard and topcoat have composted down to rich topsoil, and we have 90% fewer weeds.</p> <h2>10. I Got Hardcore About Wastewater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bucket-water-187371073-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Because fresh water is becoming scarcer and more expensive with each passing year, I am constantly on the hunt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-water">more ways to save water</a>. One major component of this is recycling my waste water. Sadly, my home and yard is poorly configured to use the gray water from my washing machine. That said, I've gotten into the habit of cleaning my floors and my car with buckets of leftover bathwater, and watering my ornamental plants with leftover dishwater.</p> <h2>11. I Started Using Homemade Cleansers</h2> <p>Reusing my gray water got me thinking about how I clean my house. If a cleanser was too poisonous to pour into my garden, isn't it also too poisonous to pour down the drain leading to the ocean? Cleaning with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda">baking soda</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">white vinegar</a>, or removing the soap scum out of my bathtub with table salt and a grapefruit rind, is not only less toxic than any of the commercial cleansers, it is also far cheaper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>12. I Bought a Small (Used) Refrigerator</h2> <p>Every new home now seems to feature double wide, French door refrigerators. Unless you have a gigantic family, it is impossible to eat through 20+ cubic feet of food before it goes bad. This leads to poor shopping and eating habits.</p> <p>When <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">shopping for a refrigerator</a>, read the fine print on the energy usage. There are many smaller refrigerators that don't get an Energy Star rating but use less energy than the bigger refrigerators that do.</p> <p>Also, refrigerators and freezers run more efficiently when they are full rather than empty. Why pay extra to cool unused space? Consider ignoring the signage inside the fridge and arrange your food in the most space-saving way (like using the crisper drawer for canned drinks instead of vegetables), using every nook and cranny. My small refrigerator enforces smart shopping habits and saves me money on my energy bill all year long. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Make Your Fridge Last Forever</a>)</p> <h2>13. I Exorcised the Phantom Load and the Vampire Draw From My Home</h2> <p>Here's a terrible secret: Many modern appliances <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise">leak energy</a> even when they are turned off. The Dust Buster, the phone charger, the video game console&hellip;I love them, but they were sucking up $20 a month in electricity while I slept. Those little monsters. To combat phantom load, I plugged my entertainment system into a power strip and then I put the power strip on a timer. From 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., the TV, the DVD player, and the game consoles get switched off automatically at the plug. All other small electronics are unplugged manually and religiously when they are not in use.</p> <h2>14. I Became a Beekeeper</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beekeeper-178850019-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Beekeeping, unlike gardening, takes up very little space. I know over a hundred yard-less, urban beekeepers who keep bees on their tiny balconies, on the rooftops of their office buildings, or at community gardens. Honeybees increase the yield of gardens by 30% to 60%. This dramatic increase in productivity is an obvious money saver for the home gardener. More produce for less work!</p> <p>Since bees are in decline all over the world, giving a safe home to pollinators is good for the planet. My new skill set also gave me two more revenue streams: selling honey and doing live bee removal from public buildings and peoples' private homes. Keeping bees is a fascinating hobby job, and I learn something new about beekeeping every day. That said, the youngest member of my local bee club is five years old and the oldest is 96. It's an activity that people of all ages can learn and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. I Learned How to Preserve Food</h2> <p>Canning is the new knitting. And, as with knitting, canning is a fake frugal activity if you are paying retail for your supplies. Canning really only saves money if you are preserving <em>surplus</em> produce. Even though I have my own garden, I have yet to grow enough food that I can't eat it all myself.</p> <p>When I learned to can, instead of buying fruit for jam at the store, I put a want ad on my local <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> group for surplus fruit. I got an insane response from my neighbors. The first year, I collected over 2000 pounds of free fruit. In exchange for gleaning privileges, I give my fruit-donating neighbors a jar of every new batch of preserves. My neighbors love being members of my Jam of the Month Club, and I've met so many new friends this way.</p> <p>Because I have access to so much free produce, I've started canning the surplus to sell and barter. I trade my jam with my neighbor for eggs and fresh poultry. I also make several hundred dollars a year selling my preserves at local craft fairs.</p> <p>Beyond my own grocery savings, making homemade preserves has saved me hundreds of dollars on gift purchases. People make birthday jam requests now!</p> <p>After the ingredients, the next most expensive aspect of canning is the jars. New jelly jars cost $1 each. I accidentally fell into a free source of canning jars last year when my friends got married. Apparently, the new trend in frugal summer weddings is to use eight-ounce jelly jars instead of buying or renting glassware for the wedding. After the wedding party, my friends offered to give me the dirty jars for free. For the cost of elbow grease I got 340 jars with new, unused lids, my friends had one less thing to deal with after the wedding, and the reusable jars stayed out of the waste stream for that much longer.</p> <p>It's old-fashioned etiquette to return jars to the cook when you finish eating the jam. My customers actually love this green aspect of my business, and I get about a 30% return rate of jars every year.</p> <h2>16. I Decided to Take Bottle and Can Recycling Seriously</h2> <p>Los Angeles has the largest recycling program in the country. I used to just throw my bottles and cans into the recycling bin without another thought. It's so easy. But then I realized that my laziness was costing me about $300 a year in easy money!</p> <p>While recycling for money versus letting the city recycle for money had a net impact of zero on the environment, the time spent dropping off bottles and cans at the recycling center myself pays for one entire month of water and power. For me, this is a huge deal.</p> <h2>17. I Became a Hard Core Trash Picker</h2> <p>Last week I made $120 at a garage sale. Most of the merchandise I'd found on the curb while walking through the neighborhood on trash day. I kept fifty items out of the waste stream for a little longer by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">literally selling garbage</a> back to my neighbors.</p> <h2>18. I Moved The Cats Indoors</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/kitten-482462371.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Our two cats used to be indoor/outdoor cats. Although the cats loved the freedom, the injuries that they sustained from running around outside were costing upwards of $800 a pop at the vet.</p> <p>The most obvious way to save on medical costs and medical waste is to stay in good health. Veterinary waste might be smaller than human medical waste, but just like at the people version of ER, very few medical supplies at an animal hospital can be recycled or reused legally. All the tubes, syringes, and medications are single use items, and even washable equipment uses a lot of resources to keep clean.</p> <p>Although the cats still lurk by the door, hoping they can sneak outside without me noticing, I am resolute in my decision to keep them indoors. The <a href="http://www.cat-world.com.au/indoor-vs-outdoor-cats">average lifespan</a> of an indoor cat is 12 years, while outside cats often live less than five.</p> <h2>19. I Split the Cost of Tools With My Friends</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I share a weed whacker with my friend Laura. I share luggage with my sister. I share a Cuisinart with my neighbor Alexandra. Why do I need to buy and store an entire set of tools that aren't in constant, daily use when I can split the cost and the storage space with other people?</p> <h2>20. I Stopped Eating Meat During the Week</h2> <p>Eating a vegetarian diet is an easy way to live light on the planet and light on my body. My husband and I eat meat twice a week, usually when we are dining out with friends. Eating meat is now an event for us, which is how it was for humankind for most of history. Monday through Friday we eat vegetarian meals. Cutting out meat during the week has allowed us to spend more money on organic produce and dry goods. As part-time vegetarians, we actually eat better quality food, and still have money left over to eat dinner at a restaurant twice a week.</p> <h2>21. I Reuse Paper Before I Recycle</h2> <p>American businesses throw away 175 pounds of paper per worker per year. Even though I run my business from my home, it would take me over a decade to use that amount of paper as I make an effort to use both sides of every sheet of paper that crosses my desk.</p> <p>In addition to making double-sided printing the default setting on my printer, I save myself a lot of hassle and misprinted documents by carefully labeling my printer, so I know exactly how to insert paper, envelopes, and labels for perfect print outs every time.</p> <p>I never use virgin paper as scratch paper.</p> <p>I can get two extra uses out of used envelopes! First, I like to write grocery lists on the back of used envelopes. That way I can store my coupons inside for easy access while I'm shopping. Once both sides of an envelope are used, I carefully pull apart the envelope and refold it inside out for reuse a third, or even fourth time! A little glue stick is all that's needed to glue everything back together.</p> <h2>22. I Use Second Hand Packing Material</h2> <p>I sell a lot of vintage goods on Etsy and a lot of books on <a href="http://www.half.ebay.com/">half.com</a>. I get all of my padded envelopes for shipping books and records from my local college radio station. College radio stations, with their eclectic music programming, receive hundreds of CDs and records from musicians and record labels for play on air every month. If you don't have this type of radio station in your area, think of what local businesses might receive a lot of packing material they aren't reusing. It never hurts to ask.</p> <p>My go-to source for small, heavy-duty boxes is my local hardware store. Hardware stores have a huge variety of boxes of all shapes and sizes because their merchandise selection is so broad. Every day, the owner of my local mom-and-pop hardware store puts all the unwanted cardboard boxes next to the dumpster in their back parking lot. The hardware store pays less for trash pickup, and my neighbors and I get the pick of free storage and shipping containers.</p> <p>Has anyone else had this sticker shock, but in a good way?</p> <p><em>What do-gooder things for the environment did you do that ended up saving you a lot of money? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-recycler-utah-man-saves-70-000-beer-cans">The ultimate recycler - Utah man saves 70,000 beer cans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle buying used recycling reuse saving upcycling Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:43:34 +0000 Max Wong 1141613 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too! http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-recycling-86514941-small_0.jpg" alt="recycling" title="recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a child, my family saved hundreds of dollars a year by cancelling our residential trash service and hauling our own junk to the dump instead. Once a month my sister and I would load the household garbage into the pickup truck and escort our father to the town dump. We liked going to the dump. The spectacle of sanitation workers racing around the garbage pit on their bulldozers had an entertaining &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0790731932/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0790731932&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LP65J22N7YSGYOXA">Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome</a>&quot; quality. Also, as a reward for our services, our dad would take us for breakfast at Denny's on the way home. We saved the Sanitation Department work, my parents got a break on a monthly bill, and my sister and I got Pigs in a Blanket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash?ref=seealso">Turning Trash Into Cash</a>)</p> <h2>Opt Out of High Trash Bills?</h2> <p>Flash forward to adulthood in Los Angeles and an outrageously high trash bill. Since it took me more than a month as a single lady to fill the gigantic black trash can provided by the city, I decided to call the Department of Sanitation and cancel my trash collection. Why pay so much money for something I was barely using? I could easily dump my minimal trash output at work. The office dumpster was never full and got picked up weekly. And, even if my bosses forbade my trashy freeloading, was it really so inconvenient to bring my trash to the dump on my own every few weeks?</p> <p>As it turns out, one cannot cancel residential trash collection in LA. I get charged a sanitation fee regardless of whether my can is full or empty.</p> <p>This is infuriating and unsportsmanlike, but unfortunately not uncommon.</p> <h2>The Financial and Environmental Costs of Trash Hauling</h2> <p>While there are some civilized communities where good garbage behavior is rewarded financially, most people pay dearly for the privilege of throwing things away. Even the most thrifty do-gooders can get gouged by their garbage bills, as there are still many municipalities that don't offer recycling services or provide a way to dispose of yard waste that doesn't involve a landfill.</p> <p>However, this doesn't mean that everyone should just start throwing things away with abandon. Americans generate, on average, 4.4 pounds of garbage per person per day. This level of waste is obviously a terrible burden on the environment, and a not-so-obvious burden on everyone's bank account.</p> <p>Most people, myself included, don't immediately connect their garbage as the product of their lives. And, that product has a cost &mdash; everything that I throw in the trash is something I've paid for, with cash, with time, or with labor. Although I can't cut what I pay the city for garbage pick-up, I can cut down on the time, money, and labor I spend on my garbage product.</p> <p>Here are 11 ways I cut down on both trash and expenses.</p> <h2>1. Do a Trash Audit</h2> <p>Periodically, I will audit the contents of my garbage can. For one week I will throw all of my household waste into one garbage can. At the end of the week I dump the can out onto a tarp and take a count of what's there.</p> <p>Although this sounds crazy, doing a trash audit is really instructive in terms of figuring out where I am over-consuming (also known as &quot;wasting money&quot;).</p> <ul> <li> <p>Is there a lot of food waste? I need to alter my shopping schedule or make more time for food preservation tasks.</p> </li> <li> <p>Are there a lot of plastic toy parts? I need to buy better/fewer toys and teach the kids in my life to take better care of them.</p> </li> <li> <p>Is there a lot of food packaging? I need to source products with less packaging and be more diligent about recycling.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Just like people bust their budgets by frittering away a lot of money with tiny impulse purchases, many people generate literally a ton of trash with tiny actions.</p> <p>For example, until I really looked at my trash, I didn't realize that I was putting 5200 foil tea bag wrappers into the landfill every year. (I have since switched to loose tea in a metal tea ball). While switching tea-steeping methods doesn't save me money at the store, if more people were nit picky about their waste stream, we'd all save more money on garbage collection fees in the long run. Every year the price of trash &quot;storage&quot; goes up because dumps are filling up and the costs of opening a new landfill is high. The longer we can make due with our current dumping grounds, the better.</p> <h2>2. Use Less</h2> <p>This is where the Trash Audit really helps. What are you throwing away the most? Is it your hard earned cash? Because that's what you're dumping when you waste your purchases through lack of attention.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Buying food in bulk doesn't save any money if it goes bad before you can eat it.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you are using more than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">two tablespoons</a> of laundry or dish-washing detergent, you are probably using too much.</p> </li> <li> <p>How many times can you wash and reuse zip-lock bags before they go kaput?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you really need a trashcan liner or can you just hose out the bin periodically?</p> </li> </ul> <h2>3. Pay Yourself Every Time You Use a Reusable Shopping Bag</h2> <p>Last year Los Angeles became the largest city in America to ban single-use plastic grocery bags. People love to whine about the unfair 10 cent bag fee, as if getting charged for shopping bags is new at all. Grocery stores have been charging customers all along for their bags. How do I know this? In exchange for shopping with reusable bags, I've been getting a five-cent rebate per bag, at the grocery store, since moving to LA in 1988. Big grocery stores have always penalized customers for using plastic bags, they've just been less transparent about it.</p> <p>But the cost of plastic bags doesn't end when you leave the store. Californians spend 25 million dollars a year to <a href="http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/Nov07Resources/Why_replace_plastic_bags.pdf">collect and landfill plastic bags</a>. Some cities pay up to 17 cents per bag for disposal. And by cities, that means you, the taxpayer.</p> <h2>4. Choose Reusable Over Disposable</h2> <p>Just like plastic bags, consumers can save their tax dollars and mind their pennies by purchasing durable goods to replace disposable ones. For example, the average American uses six paper napkins a day. If everyone used just one less paper napkin per day, we'd keep a <a href="http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/news/14/48/Use-One-Less-Paper-Napkin/#.U3qs3lhdV7k">billion pounds</a> of napkins out of the landfill every year.</p> <p>Convenience comes with a heavy price. Disposables actually cost more per use.</p> <p>I bought 20 Italian linen napkins from Pottery Barn in 2002. Each cloth napkin was a pricey $4.00. Compared to what I would have paid for 20 napkins at a thrift store, $80.00 seems like a crazy amount to spend on table linens. However, 12 years later, I still have 10 of those napkins in daily rotation. In addition to keeping 26,400 paper napkins out of the landfill, I've also saved, according to analysis by the Ocean Conservancy, somewhere between $645.00 and $5271.00 that I <a href="http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/08/31/five-reasons-to-use-cloth-napkins-over-paper/">would have spent on paper napkins</a> in that same period. And that's a conservative estimate!</p> <h2>5. Compost Compost Compost!</h2> <p>I am a ninja composter.</p> <p>In addition to yard and kitchen waste, I also compost newsprint, dirty cardboard food containers, and fabrics made from natural fibers. When clothes moths decided to use my angora sweater as their headquarters for wardrobe destruction, I dumped the sweater into the compost bin, not the garbage. It was so satisfying to smother those evil bugs under coffee grounds and melon rinds.</p> <p>Compost is a cheap and easy soil amendment that anyone can make. It simultaneously fertilizes your garden <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/video?id=8848605">for free</a> and keeps waste out of the landfill.</p> <p>If Americans composted their food waste instead of putting it into the landfills, the yearly <a href="http://www.greenwaste.com/recycling-stats">reduction of greenhouse gases</a> produced would be equal to taking two million cars off the road. What's a bigger time waster: composting or global warming?</p> <h2>6. Bring Your Own Container Instead of Taking a Doggie Bag</h2> <p>Styrofoam is toxic to produce and doesn't break down in the landfill. Instead of bringing home all that dirty packaging, I bring my own Tupperware containers to restaurants to use, not just for leftovers, but for take out as well.</p> <p>While this habit is mortifying to my friends, in the 10 years I've been doing this, I've never had a restaurant refuse me. In fact, I've only gotten positive feedback from restaurant owners, some of whom have rewarded me with extra food. Every Friday my husband and I get take out from our local Indian restaurant. We got a terrible shock the one time that we forgot to bring our own plasticware and used the restaurant's take out containers instead: We came home with 30% less food! Although our Tupperware containers clearly state the volume on the bottom of each piece, the restaurant just fills everything to the brim.</p> <p>If you pack a lunch, invest in a lunch box instead of using a paper sack. Teach your kids to bring home their reusable lunch supplies. In addition to honing their organizational skills, something that will help them their entire lives, this <a href="http://www.wastefreelunches.org/what-is-a-waste-free-lunch-program.html#waste-free-lunch-cost">good habit will save $246.60</a> per school year per kid. Imagine how much money you'd save as an adult by switching to sustainable lunch packing!</p> <h2>7. Avoid Over-Packaged Goods</h2> <p>Even if packaging can be recycled, recycling costs both money and resources. It's far better for the planet and your wallet to avoid excess packaging to begin with. For example, buy one big container, instead a bunch of smaller containers. Most stores charge less for bulk purchases, and the reduction of packaging weight will save you on online shipping costs.</p> <p>Buy dry goods like grains and pasta in bulk. The closest bulk bin section to me is at the notoriously expensive Whole Foods. That said, organic bulk oatmeal at Whole Foods is still cheaper than the non-organic, generic brand at my regular grocery store. It pays to comparison shop!</p> <p>Only purchase products that can be recycled locally. Check with your municipal recycling center about what they accept.</p> <h2>8. Recycle Recycle Recycle!</h2> <p>Even though every recycling program I know of accepts glass, Americans still throw away 9 million tons of glass every year.</p> <p>Over one ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled. Recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than raw materials, so manufacturing recycled glass bottles emits less greenhouse gases.</p> <p>Recycling glass is clearly the right choice for the planet, but why do so many people refuse to do it for personal finance reasons? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">In 2012 I made $120.00</a> just by recycling the glass bottles of my wino neighbors.</p> <p>Even if you don't have recycling in your area, consider reusing glass jars. Use jars instead of plastic drinking cups at your next party. If you eat a lot of tomato sauce, team up with someone in your community who is a canner and who will reuse your pint jars over and over.</p> <h2>9. Cancel the Junk Mail</h2> <p>Sale circulars and solicitation letters are mailed out to entice customers to spend money. For me, junk mail is annoying. It's an extra chore that some stranger has added to my day. Even if separating out the junk mail from actual mail takes five minutes a week, that still adds up to over four hours of wasted time per year that I could have spent doing something that I enjoy.</p> <p>Junk mail is also taxing on the environment because it takes resources to print and mail all those unwanted letters and catalogs.</p> <p>To stop junk mail, register your name and address with the <a href="http://www.dmachoice.org">Direct Marketing Association</a>. If you register online, they will wave the $1.00 processing fee they charge check writers. DMA Choice divides junk mail into four categories: Credit Offers, Catalogs, Magazines (this includes newsletters and subscription offers), and Other Mail Offers (including donation requests, bank offers, and retail promotions). You can request to stop mail from individual companies or from an entire category.</p> <h2>10. Share the Surplus With Your Neighbors</h2> <p>Why throw away leftovers when you can use them as bait to lure your neighbors into your frugal network? If you have extra anything, offer it to those who live close by. Sharing is one of the easiest ways to build community and save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-build-a-frugal-community-and-how-to-do-it?ref=seealso">Why You Should Build a Frugal Community &mdash; And How</a>)</p> <p>In exchange for homemade jam and honey, my neighbors give me free eggs, orchids, backyard fruit, house sitting, manual labor, rides to the airport, and friendship.</p> <h2>11. Sell, Donate, or Curb Away Unwanted Items</h2> <p>I am always surprised by what people buy first at my garage sales. It's always the stuff I think is junk. Search on Craigslist and eBay to see if your trash is actually treasure.</p> <p>Generally, I only donate items that are in extremely good condition, because I only buy items from charity shops that are in extremely good condition, and most stores can only sell items that are in extremely good condition. Even with my picky donation standards, I still get a nice tax write-off every year.</p> <p>Anything I think is useful but not sellable, I put out on the curb the day before trash day. This includes worn clothes, partially used office supplies, random storage containers, and furniture I'm too lazy to repair. Most items I curb are gone within an hour.</p> <h2>12. Buy Used</h2> <p>Buying used is a direct form of recycling. It keeps things out of the landfill, and it uses far fewer virgin resources.</p> <p>Making every effort to only buy used goods has saved me thousands of dollars over the last seven years. Unless something is highly collectible, most used goods cost considerably less than their new counterparts. And even when they don't, a lot of used goods are considerably better made than newer models. Thrift stores of full of old things that were built to last. The new J. Crew T-shirt I bought last August developed holes after just 10 wearings, but the J. Crew T-shirt I bought in 1988 has lasted through at least 1000 washings.</p> <p><em>What do you do to generate less garbage? If you have incentives in your area that help you save money on your trash bill, please help your fellow Wise Bread readers conserve cash and resources by sharing in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eco-capitalism-how-to-make-money-from-garbage">Eco-Capitalism - How to make money from garbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/packing-it-in-the-independent-of-london-issues-a-challenge">Packing it in - The Independent of London issues a challenge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle Shopping recycling trash trash fees Thu, 29 May 2014 08:24:18 +0000 Max Wong 1140924 at http://www.wisebread.com