I have come to the conclusion that my Everyday Cheapskate readers are very smart. Just take a look at a sampling of the latest batch of tips I received.
photo via PaisleyJade
MUSICAL COASTERS. Friends give me their old CDs, which I use to create gifts. Using cotton yarn, I crochet two small doilies the size of the CD. I then put a CD or DVD between the dollies and sew them together. I make sets of four or eight coasters and give them as gifts. I usually try to pick the yarn color that will go with my recipient’s decor, otherwise I use a neutral color. To launder, I don’t toss them in the washing machine as the CDs may break, but I do soak them in soapy water, rinse and stand on end to dry. Joyce, Michigan
FROZEN STORAGE FOR BAGS. After wrapping meat tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil, I write the contents on a piece of paper and place the meat and note inside a zip-type freezer bag. When I remove the item from the freezer, I store the empty bags in the freezer. I have no need to continually buy expensive freezer bags, and I always know where to find one. Lucy, email
MEATY CUPCAKE LINERS. I use flattened, large paper cupcake liners between hamburger patties when freezing. No cutting waxed paper and no corners sticking out. Sharon, Arkansas
FRESH-FROZEN STRAWBERRIES. When I have too many strawberries to eat, I hull, wash and spread them out on a jelly-roll pan. When they’re completely dry I freeze them on the pan. Once frozen, I put them in a zip-type freezer bag and store in the freezer. I use these for making smoothies or for topping on ice cream. Gretchen, email
NO MORE CATALOG SHOPPING SPREES. With the popularity of online shopping, catalogs might not be as big a budget problem as when I was younger, but I was able to break my catalog habit relatively easily. When the catalog arrived in the mail, I would browse through the merchandise and then fill out the order form (omitting the payment information). Then I’d stick the order form in the catalog and put it aside, preferably out of sight. I did this with each catalog that arrived in my mailbox. This worked like a charm. I am now to the point where I toss catalogs without opening them! Doris, California
ROOTS-ONLY COLORING. I have found two hair colors that work for me, one for summer and one for winter. I clip coupons for the brands I like, but what really works for me and saves me so much money is that I only color the roots as my hair grows out. Coloring just the roots allows me to need only half of the hair color, preserving the rest in the original containers for next month. And using half gives me just enough solution to cover the roots. I figure I have saved thousands of dollars over the years. I haven’t used a salon to color my hair in over 25 years. Cathy, Florida
Question: Turning CDs into coasters is not very common. What is the most creative thing you have repurposed and turned into something that was useful or enjoyable? Discuss in the comments section below.