Thrift Stores and Charity Shops
Many people make a New Year's Resolution to "clear the clutter" and get organized. When taking your clutter into your local thrift store / charity stop to donate - do make sure you check inside the store to see what's on offer.
Many people donate unwanted Christmas presents in January or donate the items those gifts replaced. Ironically, they often donate better quality items, than the new replacements they received!
For example, someone might donate their "out-dated" dishes that were "Made in England or Japan"; in exchange for a shiny new set from Home Outfitters, Pier 1 and the like. To each their own, but for the lover of antique, retro, quality or just plain eclectic dishware -- your local thrift store becomes a treasure trove!
Charity shops often have promotions too, like any other retailer, at this time of the year, to make up for low sales.
But January is also a time of year when many people are cutting back on their expenses. For some, there is more tax deducted off the pay cheque starting in January. Others overspent at Christmas or feel the need for a holiday somewhere warm. Whatever the reason for shortness of cash in January - there are still many thrifty ways to save money.
~ Reuse food containers in your kitchen ~
Isn't it silly that we buy containers to freeze or store our food in - when we throw perfectly good containers into the recycling bin every day? Containers that are already bought and paid for. Recent news has led me to believe that many of the items we faithfully recycle are not being recycled at all - but shipped to other countries for disposal in their landfills and even oceans. This, of course, defeats the purpose of recycling which is to keep the items out of Mother Nature's belly!
Here's a number of re-uses for those many containers that make their way into your home:
The best! Use for dry beans and lentils, pasta, popcorn and rice. Freeze homemade applesauce and crushed tomatoes (make sure you leave a good inch or so at the top for expansion). Use for non-food items like: nails, screws, tacks, seed pods - you get the idea.
Yogurt, margarine, sour cream, cream cheese, and those funky plastic take-away/delivery containers - anything that is packaged in an opaque plastic tub can be re-used. Use them to freeze meal left-overs, extra tomato sauce and chicken broth. Keep them handy to send guests home with left-overs, children to school with cut veggies, cookies and cupcakes for school parties and numerous other non-food uses like: crayons, craft supplies, pet food - just don't get the two mixed up!
Bread Bags & Cereal Boxes
Those many bread bags basically replace plastic wraps! Okay, they don't "cling" but many items you wrap don't need that feature. Use them to wrap extra portions of raw meat like ground beef and chicken for freezing. Cut them in half and use them to wrap sandwiches and snacks for lunches. Collect dry seed pods in the summer or fall - shake the bag and all the seeds will collect beautifully in the bottom of the bag (I learned this trick from a wonderful old Yorkshireman). Talk about thrifty. He also cut up his cereal boxes to make shopping lists!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2018 / edited 2019