Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saving Money and Recycling Around The Farm

You may already do some of these things but I just wanted to share some of the ways I recycle and save money on the farm

1. Save Glass Containers for drinking glasses

I have quite a little eclectic collection of drinking glasses that I've saved from old sauce containers, pickle jars etc...
I have not had to buy new drinking glasses in years since I am always inadvertently obtaining them at the grocery store. 
If there is a label on the glass jar, soak it in warm soapy water for a few hours and then you can pull off the label with little or no residue left behind.  If there is something still on the glass it will come off in a few cycle in your dishwasher or regular hand washing.

2. Visit Your Local Thrift Store/Salvation Army for unique Cooking Utensils and Silverware

I do not know if it's just in my household but spoon seem to disappear and never come back so instead of going out and buying a whole new set of complete silverware I just go to the thrift store and pick up more spoons or forks etc for as little as .25 or .10 cents a piece!
I have found some really gorgeous silverware patterns in the past year which makes my collection very interesting for myself and guests...
I also get used cooking utensils and give them a nice good washing before using them.  I found this set of dutch pattern cooking utensils a year ago for $1.00 and an amazing wine opener for .50!

3. Use Old Clothing For Rags, Dishcloths and Dish washing Sponges.

If you have old tshirts, jeans, crochet doilies with stains or rips of tears..give them a new purpose by using them to clean your house!
You can wash them in the washing machine and air dry (I would not recommend using the dryer if you have used the rags with heavy cleaning agents because they can be flammable)
Old crochet doilies and clothing items with some texture to them are great for dish washing
I think they do a better job at cleaning than paper towels or mom always had cleaning rags in the closest all ready so you could just grab them and clean up.

4. Reuse your plastic containers or heavy paper containers for food storage 

My mom would always love to give my brother and I food to take home with them after a yummy meal but she feared that she would never see her nice glass or Tupperware containers again(and most of the time she didn't)! To solve the problem she would save her plastic containers from takeout meals, yogurt, cottage cheese, coffee bins etc and not even think twice about sending us away with a home cooked meal.
I also do that now, and I always have a stash to use for leftovers to put in the fridge as well or the coffee containers off heavier cardboard are great for storing grains and rice in the cupboard

5.  Refill your ink cartridges for less than .20 cents each!
Two years ago I stopped buying ink from the big companies like Epson, Cannon etc and I have literally saved hundreds of dollars.  I use my print quite often for pictures, postage labels, receipts, labels etc and it would always irk me to have to go out and spend $14 to $20 for each never made sense to me!
I researched online and found an awesome company on Ebay called BigDrop and they sell Do It Yourself Ink Systems. I bought compatible cartridges for my printer and bulk into refill with...the whole set only cost me $20.00 and I've only had to buy more bulk ink once(black) and that only cost me $5.00.
They have the ink systems for almost every printer you can imagine.  When your printer says you've run out, you take out the cartridge and refill the color(not a messy job like you would think it would be!) then put back the cartridge and you're home free.  The cartridges they sell have have override chip in them to make the printer think you are always putting in a brand new cartridge.
I just love it because I am never stranded mid project without ink...and my wallet isn't crying anymore either!

I hope these ideas have sparked your own ideas! If you have other ways to reuse and save money around the house please post them here! I would love to read them...I will give a 10% off coupon code for the Mountain Girl Store to anyone who would like to share!

Have a great memorial day!
Margaret at MGC

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