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Home Saving Tips


What else do we need to do?
From what I’ve been hearing in the television news report, recession is still around the corner due to sluggish economic growth.  Evidently, a great number of people are still unemployed in different states due to increasing rate of those applying for unemployment benefits.  But if you still have a job, you are very lucky to have one.  On the other hand, we need to realize that this is not only about receiving big or small monthly paycheck to finance our necessities in life.  With our money on hand, it’s either we know how to budget it or we don’t care how much we spend. Aside from this, it’s more disastrous if we are living beyond our means.

Every business is a risk because it has its ups and downs due to several factors that affect it, like competition, tax rate, less consumer spending, consumer preferences, and others.  Though we don’t like to anticipate that one day we’ll lose our job,  saving money should be part of our daily existence regardless of how big or small our paycheck is. This is really a very important factor to maintain balance in our lives and avoid the biggest impact of job uncertainty.  Just like in all business matters, everything should be in balance for all the debits and credits we record in a journal. There should be more cash inflows than cash outflows, otherwise the business will go kaput. Likewise, if there is more spending than we are receiving, we will end up going to a financial ditch.  On the other hand, the more savings we have, the more stability we gain for a better future, especially for our children.  Saving money opens the door to make decision about some  financial investments like, mutual funds, market placements, bonds, time deposits, real estate, and other investment plans.   With more savings on hand, you can even set up your own business in the future. Though we don’t know what kind of future each one of us will have, it is still better to be prepared before a certain crisis comes than be sorry at the end. 

If we are receiving our unemployment benefits, we know that this is not a lifetime benefit.  In this case, the more we need to budget our expenses and if possible,  lessen unnecessary expenses. When we run out of our unemployment benefits,  the more problems will arise, especially when no job has been found yet.   What else do we need to do?

Even those who retired already and have been receiving their monthly social security benefits, saving money is really very important.  It is during this retirement age that we develop serious health problems. Having health insurance plays a very important role here, but not everybody has health insurance.  If we don’t have cash or any savings to pay for our doctor’s fee, medication, and hospital bills in time of illness, what else do we need to do? Depending on credit cards doesn’t solve the real problem because we will just end up heavily indebted later on.  Some even retired early because they have disabilities due to work-related incidents or accidents.  Being disabled doesn’t prevent one from getting a job again, but  the importance of saving money must not be disregarded when we find a job again. 


Letter to the Editor- Frustrated Over Gas Prices 
When the cost of gas rises, the chain reaction is-- the cost of everything goes up. It takes only one day for the gas price to go up even by a single cent, but  minimum wage increase doesn’t happen simultaneously.  Besides this, we have too much to provide for and problem arises when we can’t afford to pay for it anymore with our meager salary.   We all know that the use of credit cards has also its limit and we can’t afford to go to a ditch financially.  How often do we use it?  Trying to meet both ends, so the family can survive, is a big sacrifice on the part of the breadwinner.         

Uncertainties in all aspects of our life happen when we least expect them. My mother’s experience is no different from anybody, but we can learn from each other’s experiences and mistakes.  She became a widow at a young age of 27 and has 4 children to provide for.  She was an ordinary housewife and didn’t know any business at first.  When my father died in an accident, she used the savings she had on hand and sold her jewelries to finance her first business.  She went into buying and selling  of vegetables and later into financing business in the wet market.  She did a lot of austerity measures to save money, so she could be able to send us to college.  I appreciate wholeheartedly my mother’s sacrifices for us and the value of hard work she instilled in us.  I learn how to save like she does and be meticulous about the things that need to be saved also.  

Saving doesn’t involve only money, but also things.  If we know how to reuse or recycle these things, we can be able to save money by not buying brand new ones. It’s one way of saving money aside from other means, like availing of sales discounts, getting sales coupons, saving water and electric consumption,  and many others.  If we have a bigger space, we can plant our own garden. It will also save us money by keeping us from buying vegetables and fruits from the grocery store. We buy our food, things or items, and cars for convenience.  Because of this convenience, we have accumulated lots of trash in our environment.  But, if we know how to reuse or turn this trash into something, we will be able to lessen it.  The truth is, there is money in trash. One good example is junk business of old trucks and cars. There are countries engaging in this kind of business, like Japan. Japan has been exporting used cars and trucks together with its parts and engines to other developing countries.   


In my own simple way,  I would like to share  some Home Saving Tips to give you an idea of how I turn things into something reusable inside our humble abode. I categorize them accordingly as follows:

REUSABLE PLASTIC BOTTLES 

CLOVER HONEY BEAR BOTTLES
I always buy this kind of clover honey bear from Walmart. These cute honey bear bottles can be reused as toothpick holder or storage for small items.  These can be made into an art work. For details, please click the name of the projects below:





JOINT JUICE DRINK BOTTLES
This small bottle of juice drink, my husband likes to drink during breakfast, gives me a good idea to save it. Why?


I reused them to keep our foods from spoiling in case of power outage.This is how they are arranged inside my freezer now.  Its size really fits well in the  freezer shelves.   


MEDICINE BOTTLES

These can be reused for any storage purposes and be made into an art work.  For details, please click the name of the project below:




MILK BOTTLES
I don’t need to buy new bottles to store water for cleaning or even drinking in case of water supply shortage.  I just need to wash it thoroughly and put some baking soda to clean and remove the smell of milk.  I also put the half gallon of water inside our chest freezer to keep our foods from spoiling in case of power outage.



SPICE BOTTLES
These containers can be reused as toothpick holder or storage for other small items.  If you buy something in bulk, like whole pepper and ground it, you can reuse them. I like keeping small items because they look cute to me. These can be made into an art work, too.


LAUNDRY DETERGENT CONTAINERS
These containers can be reused as a watering can in the garden or as any fluid container.  You just have to rinse it thoroughly to remove the smell and remnants of the detergent and let it dry.  I can use it as a gas or water container also and put them inside my car’s trunk compartment, in case I accidentally run out of gas along the highway or my water radiator heats up.  Who knows when an accident will happen?  At least, I’m prepared for this. 



GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE BOTTLES
I save this container to store the house seasoning I make. It minimizes my time and effort in preparing it every time I cook a certain dish.  The house seasoning can be stored up to 6 months. With its wide mouth opening, it is a lot easier to measure out the seasoning I will need for my cooking without any mess anymore in the kitchen table.    


 PLASTIC CLEANING SPRAY BOTTLES
These bottles can be reused for your dish washing, gardening, cleaning, and other purposes.  If it’s already empty, wash and rinse thoroughly and label the bottle anew. 

REUSABLE GLASS BOTTLES / JARS


FACIAL MOISTURIZER JARS

I never thought I would be able to come up with an idea about my L'Oreal facial moisturizer jar. It’s a very durable container that can be used as storage for small items you like to keep.  This can be made into an art work. For details, please click the name of the project below:




SANDWICH SPREAD AND SAUCE BOTTLES

I like Cheez Whiz, the original sandwich spread made by Kraft, ever since I was a child. The bottles can be reused to store foods and other items.  Its cap doesn’t get rusty easily.  I made a greenecraft project named using the big Cheez Whiz sandwich spread bottle. For details, please click the name of the project below:



REUSABLE PLASTIC CONTAINERS



 BIG / SMALL FROZEN FOOD CONTAINERS
These can be reused to store sugar, foods, flour, and other food items I buy in bulk. I use these to store our precooked one-day meal in the freezer. These containers have been tested  not to have chemical reaction to food when stored in the freezer.


ICE CREAM PLASTIC CONTAINERS
This plastic container can be used as mini trash can in the kitchen and as container to keep foods, cut veggies, small toys, and other small things you like to keep.  This can also be used as a mixing bowl, to hold plants, or use it when you harvest fruits and flowers in the garden, too.


SWIFFER WET MOP TRAYS
These can be reused as storage for bigger items.  You can wash and rinse it thoroughly to remove the smell of the chemical.  


FOLGERS COFFEE CANS

This is my husband’s brand of coffee -- Folgers Columbian. This coffee container is the best container I have because it’s very durable and can be reused for many storage purposes and others.  This can be made into an art work. For details, please click the name of the projects below:





SMALL / BIG MAIL BOXES
This is just a simple box that I covered with leftover roll of wall paper. I reused it as an organizer for the trapping magazines of my husband.  It can be placed under a center table  in the living room or under your study table.  


TEA BOXES
I like to drink hot tea in the morning together with a tasty bread or cookies.  I reused it to store the mini bar soaps my husband gets from the motels he temporarily stays whenever he goes on a job in other states.   My favorite tea I like to buy is one made by Twinings of London because of its great taste and I can also make a project out of this tea box.  The box itself has vivid colors and there is design inside it that I don't need to draw.
  

ZERO WATER FILTER BOXES
This is the kind of water filter we use -- Zero Water. Please read the article - Everybody knows and Nobody knows why we use this kind of filter. This box very durable because of its thickness and can be reused to store other items. This can be made into an art work.


QUAKER OATS PAPER CANISTERS

Our brand, Quaker Oats-Old Fashioned, combined with dried fruits and nuts, is what we always eat during breakfast.  I reused the big canister to store small bag of rice and pinto beans, while the small one for other storage purposes.  I also reused the big one to hold my yarn, while I crochet or knit. These can be made into an art work. For details, please click the name of the projects below:



SWEETENER and DRINK MIX BOXES
I saved the sweetener box for my husband as his disposable mini trash box on his table.  I reused the drink mix box as my organizer for my craft materials inside my storage box. 


REUSABLE TIN CANS


COOKIE TIN CANS
These are very nice cookie tin cans! I really love them. They can be used for different storing purposes like, sewing kit, make-up kit, stationery kit, pen holder, doll dress kit, coin saving can, letter or receipt holder, small tool box, and others. It can also be reused as a gift can to put in whatever your gift is, instead of buying a gift box.  

REUSABLE TRAYS


EGG TRAYS
Whether made of plastic or styrofoam, I reused this as a practical way of storing my tomatoes to avoid contamination among tomatoes as each one fully ripens.  Wash it first and the tomatoes. It can be stored in the refrigerator where it is so easy to grab these tomatoes and maximize upper storage space inside the refrigerator. It can also be used  as display tray to keep onions, garlic, ginger, pepper, and other cooking ingredients in the kitchen.  It can also be used as seedling pot tray.  


BISCUIT TRAYS
This is what I got from a box of biscuits my daughter gave me.  The biscuits were not only delicious, but I was able to use the plastic tray to store assorted small items inside my drawer.



FRIED CHICKEN TRAYS
After eating the delicious, juicy rotisserie chicken, I washed the tray and reused them for storing lettuce and fruits like blackberries, strawberries, peaches, and others that can readily be served on the table. 



DINNER BOX TRAYS
These can be reused as liquid soap dish, to store small items in the drawer, as water color painting tray, and others.



BAKING ALUMINUM PANS

They can be reused as flower pot tray, tray for preparing coffee to avoid spill on counter top, tray for hot glue gun, drying or soaking pan for fruits and vegetables, tray for thawing frozen meat and fish inside the refrigerator, and other purposes besides reusing them for baking.  Things made of aluminum can be sold. They can be made into an artwork,too.    


REUSABLE GIFT WRAPPERS / FOOD STORAGE BAGS


BREAD PLASTIC BAGS
We love eating wheat bread made by Oroweat. I save the plastic bag for my husband to be reused during the trapping season. I also save bread bag ties and clips to tie trash bags and hang my rose flowers to let them dry.



FOOD STORAGE BAGS
Ziploc food storage bag is expensive.  That's why I don't just throw them away, but reused them for storing documents, finished crochet and knit projects, and for other storage purposes.



GIFT WRAPPING PAPERS/BAGS
Every after holiday season or birthdays, we normally receive gifts from our beloved family members, either wrapped in gift wrapping paper or bag.  They are also expensive to buy in addition to the gift itself. They can still be reused, if not really damaged, for the next holiday season or celebration. 




OTHER HOME SAVING TIPS
Bath / Face / Hand Towels
Old or worn-out bath towels can be redesigned into another hand towels with crochet patterns, mittens, pot holders, bathroom rugs, or nice rugs for your feet to use when applying lotion after taking a shower.  They can be also redesigned into stuffed toys and small throw pillows.  Old face and hand towels can be reused as ordinary rug for the kitchen, duster for the living room, bedroom, or car.  

Bed / Cover Sheets
Old or worn-out bed sheets can be reused or redesigned to make pillow cases, another  bed cover or quilted bed cover,  window curtains for the kitchen, seat cover, lampshade cover, throw pillows,  table cloth or runners.   

Buckets / Tin Cans
Damaged plastic buckets or tin cans can be reused as planter box for your plants or flowers. 


Cottons from Medicine Bottles

You can keep the cotton used as an absorbent from the medicine bottles to use for removing your nail polish or to stuff a stuff toy.  I made a greenecraft project combined with crochet pattern -  Crocheted Ms. Piggy Bank.  I used this kind of cotton to stuff its body. 

Grocery Plastic Bags
You can reuse them as trash bags. Cover your small trash can with it to keep it clean. It helps you save money by not buying new plastic trash bags to save and minimize the waste in the  environment, too.  You can also bring them back to the grocery store for recycling. 

Mineral Water Bottles
These can be reused as planters for flowers and vegetables in your garden.  I already used them to plant tomatoes, leeks, etc. 

Oil Scented Plug-in Bottles
You can reuse this by storing in your clothing cabinets, under the sink cabinet, or drawers. The remaining fragrance can still bring out its smell while in storage.

Paper Brown Bags
They can be used as decorative flower vase or used for other craft purposes.  I used this as a covering and making mini envelopes in my project, DIY Project Stuff Kit.  It can also be used as a good absorbent of water when you defrost your upright refrigerator minimizing the use of paper towels to wipe off the water drops or spill from the freezer.  It will also prevent your refrigerator from getting rusty easily in the future.  It can also be used to cover every storage drawer area to avoid having stains caused by rotten vegetables, drink spill, food spill, etc. thereby keeping your refrigerator always clean and no scratch from too abrasive cleaning.

Additionally, spread out a brown paper bag on top of the chopping board before cutting the carrots to keep it from having stain also.  I used to have a hard time removing the stain on my chopping board caused by the color pigment of the carrots.

It can also be used to keep your vegetables stay fresh longer by covering them with this brown paper bag instead of paper towel because it is more expensive.  Then put them in a plastic bag inside the vegetable storage of the refrigerator.   

Paper / Plastic Cups
These disposable cups can be reused as starter flower pot, for soaking seeds to germinate and other purposes.  

When my daughter and I bought a sundae treat,  I saved these plastic cups with cover to store the lemon peel, so that no fruit flies can get into it.  I used lemon peel on my face for natural whitening. 

Perfume bottles and testers
I had the chance to get a free perfume tester by Elizabeth Arden, Fifth Avenue, 4.2 fluid oz. spray which has only .2 fluid oz. been tried for testing.  Though it has no cap on it, I took it because it still really smells good.  I like this brand of perfume, especially the Green Tea,  which is hypoallergenic.  I’m allergic to perfume and wine and that’s why this perfume is the only brand by Elizabeth Arden that I like to spray on my body directly. I don’t know of any perfume brand that is hypoallergenic other than what is made by Elizabeth Arden. Don’t just throw away expired perfume or perfumes that you don’t want to use anymore.  You can use these perfumes as air freshener in your car, bathroom, bedroom, cabinets or closets,  and kitchen when you want to get rid of bad odors.  You can also keep beautiful empty perfume bottles for decorative purposes. 

Pillow Cases
Old pillow cases can be sewn with new designs as primary pillow cases, mittens, pot holders, grocery bag, travel bag,  pillow bag, small purse, sanitary pad pouch, unique placemats or cut into small fabrics to make a new quilted bed cover.  


Plastic Spoon or Fork
You can reuse these as tags to write the name of plants and stick it into the soil. It  helps you remember also what kind of seeds you planted and where you planted it.  You can also reuse the fork to hold a small card when you like to give a plant to somebody as a gift.   

Scotch Brite
If you need to change your old dish washing Scotch Brite, don’t just throw it away immediately. You can still reuse it for cleaning different things like, mono block chair or table, kitchen sink and counter top, bathroom sink and tub, garden tools and buckets,  garden boots, walls, car rubber mats,  and others.

Shoebox
New or old shoe boxes can be made into a storage box, like my DIY Project Stuff Kit I made. It would be better if the shoebox is made of plastic or hardy materials to store whatever stuff you like to keep. It would be nice also if you cover it with leftover decorative wall paper or gift wrapper or nice cloth to make a unique storage box that can be displayed. Besides this, things that are well organized are wonderful to look at and help you save money by not buying new storage box.


Soft drink Bottles
They can be recycled and reused as planters also or for other liquid storage and artistic purposes.

Tea Bags
I like drinking green tea, but I don’t just discard the tea bag right away. I keep them for other purposes like, to fertilize  plants, to rejuvenate the skin or puffy eyes, to freshen the room, to add flavor to meat, to freshen breath, to relieve sunburned skin, to dye,  to cleanse face, etc.  Actually, I made a coffee can hanging planter with upside-down tomato plant and added this tea bag. 

Tic-Tac Freshmints Plastic Container
I didn’t expect my niece would ask me to have my empty tic-tac plastic container.  She wanted to have it, so she can store her hair pins.  Small things are hard to keep and they easily get lost. This gives me an idea, too, that it can also be used to store your small items like, pins, needles, and other small items. 

Toilet Tissue Paper Roll
Make a small slit on  one end to hold one end of the yarn. Start rolling up your leftover yarns. Make another small slit on the other end to hold the last end of the yarn. Don’t forget to write the name of the yarn, its brand name, and other descriptions on the paper roll itself.  This will avoid tangling of different leftover yarns in your storage.  You can also make a creative project out of this. Actually, I included this in my project named, DIY Project Stuff Kit.

Toothbrush

Don’t just throw away your old toothbrush. You can also reuse it for cleaning things like, small bottles and caps, kitchen faucets and strainer, bathroom faucets, shoes, computer keyboard, fish aquarium, coffee filter holder, comb and hairbrush, and other hard-to-reach areas of any surface.


Wet Tissues Container
This can be used as a mini trash can, planter, storage can, pencil / ball pen holder, holder for yarns, and others.  I made a project out of this – DIY Table MiniTissue Holder.

Yogurt Cups

We love the taste of yogurt because it gives the healthy benefits to our body.  But wait—don’t just throw the cup.  You can still reuse it to make good projects like, my Holiday Angels and Yogurt Flower Vase.



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