Saving Money by Upcycling Things in Your Everyday Life

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You don’t have to be crafty to save money; by simply reusing, upcycling, or repurposing the things around your home, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

While being handy with a sewing machine or glue stick can definitely help, there are myriad ways to repurpose the things in your home that take no skill whatsoever!

The next time you walk to the garbage can with an item in your hand, stop and take a second look at that thing you are calling trash; is there a way you can reuse it that will save you from having to spend money on a new item? Chances are good that the answer is yes!

Here are ten ways that you can recycle, or repurpose, things in your home:


Gift Wrap

If you look in your cupboards and closets, you can find unique ways to wrap gifts that ensure you will never buy a single piece of gift wrap again.

Newspapers, saved wrapping paper, mailing paper, old boxes and even fabric make unique wraps that your recipient can reuse themselves.



Are you going to be starting a garden this year? Old Styrofoam and plastic cups make perfect containers for seedlings.

Best of all, these containers can be rinsed out and saved for next year once your seedlings have grown sturdy enough to plant outside.


Herb Garden

Does your family go through bottle after bottle of soda or water every day? Cut that bottle in half, poke holes in their bottoms and line them up in a great wooden box; you’ve got an instant herb garden, tailor made for your kitchen window.


Nails and Screws

Chances are that you’ve been in at least one garage in your lifetime and have seen jar lids screwed to the underside of a shelf, holding a jar full of nails or screws underneath. This ages old idea is still a fantastic one today!



Whether you’re cooking for a family or just yourself, you probably have leftovers sitting on your table frequently. Use those butter, margarine, sour cream and cottage cheese containers to store these foods instead of Tupperware.

Bonus: if you give your friend some food to take home and don’t get your container back, you’ve really not lost anything!


Nail Holder

Have you ever been pounding a nail, only to miss and crush your thumb instead? It will never happen again when you use an old fork to hold that nail for you while you hammer!



If you have a baby, don’t toss those bottles once your bundle of joy has outgrown them; use them to hold craft paints for your toddler or yourself. The non-spill teat on top of the bottle makes all worries about spilled paint disappear.



If you’re outdated clothing isn’t in good enough shape to donate to the local thrift store, rip it into strips and create a great braided rug from your “new” material.

This is an especially good idea to use for your children’s clothes. Rather than storing them in a box, make great use of them!



If you need a new headboard for one of the beds in your home, creativity will come in handy. You can use old doors, pieces of fencing or even the covers of hardback books to craft a new headboard, saving you hundreds of dollars!


Hand Soap

If you’ve got little ones in the house, or even big ones, ice cube trays make great soap molds! The soaps that you get out of your ice cube trays will last at least a week and are perfect for tiny hands.

All you’ll need is a slab of melt and pour soap, a glass bowl and a microwave oven!

There are hundreds of ways that you can repurpose things in your home to save money!

The next time you find yourself saying “I need…” look around the house and see if there is something you can repurpose that will fit the bill; chances are you’ve already got the perfect item!

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.

  • Guest Author

    Greener Ideal strives to help you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips, healthy recipes and commentary on the latest environment news. The views expressed by guest authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.