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Old 12-23-2014, 07:38 AM   #61
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My main frugal habit is reusing tea bags. I'll reuse one as long as it keeps flavoring a cup of hot water. My parents did this when we were growing up and it is a hard habit for me to break.

DW would also reuse food plastic container packages for storage. As part of our FI "celebration" she has cut that down, if we need clear containers we go to a local dollar store to get sets of 3, 4, or 5 for a dollar.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:43 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LitGal View Post
I do use dryer sheets a second time.........thought I was the only one to do this, until I found this forum filled with so many members identified as "recycles dryer sheets."



B...
After ER:
A SECOND time! Wastrel, spendthrift! I just leave one in the dryer until it stops doing its job. One sheet can easily handle 10-15 loads before things start to get staticy again.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:08 AM   #63
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned recycling wrapping paper, gift bags and bows and ribbon. Perhaps that is a given amongst this frugal crowd. DM, born in 1925, painfully slowly unwraps gifts taking time to fold wrapping paper so that it doesn't wrinkle. And of course all boxes are saved. She hasn't bought new paper/ribbon in years.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:18 AM   #64
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How about visiting Costco around lunch time and grazing all the samples given out around that time? I have a couple of employees that do that a couple of times a week. Then, if there aren't enough freebees, they'll split one hot dog and drink which costs $1.50 with free drink refills.......sometimes they take an extra cup if one of them has a cold. Most of the time they fill up on freebees.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:22 AM   #65
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All these posts remind me that the line between frugal and cheap can be very thin.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:30 AM   #66
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Guilty as charged...

I am the queen of string, twine, long twist ties, and plastic containers/cups for my seedlings. I use wide deep plastic containers for self watering reservoirs under clay pots.

I recently went through my food storage container collection, matching tops to bottoms. Everything else got recycled.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:37 AM   #67
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A cow*rker that sat behind me. Every day after lunch took a piece of dental floss from a ziploc, used it at his desk(1st class move). Then put the used floss back in the ziploc. Nothing washed, nothing ever replaced. Somehow that's too much for me.

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Old 12-23-2014, 08:56 AM   #68
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I have saved every leftover nail, screw, bolt and nut through building 2 houses, 2 detached garages, multiple remodel and woodworking projects during the last 30 years. And almost all wood scraps from my woodworking projects. I'm getting quite a collection. It's getting to the point where I can make something useful for next to nothing.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:10 AM   #69
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My mom made a pencil holder from a small oatmeal container. She took pages from a magazine, rolled them up and glued them around the edges. That container must have lasted over 30 years. We use old coffee cans as pen and pencil containers (>20 year old coffee cans). There is a brand of gelato (Talenti) that comes in a fabulous reusable containers with a screw on lid. I've only bought it twice (we generally do not do dessert, too much carbs and fat), but have saved the containers--they are fabulous for rubber bands, paper clips, etc. The gelato is pretty good too!

I do fast food about 2x/year and Starbucks only when travelling, as part of the travel experience, so about 4-5 x per year. I have two reusable Starbucks cups that cost a dollar and I use them when I can, as I save 10 cents each time I use it. I also find it handy to bring my own coffee in a Starbucks cup.

Haven't tried washing and reusing ziplock bags for food items, but I reuse them a lot for non-food purposes.

I'll have to try reusing dryer sheets more, thanks for the tips.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:18 AM   #70
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My Dad reached rock bottom in his frugalness early this year when he came up with an idea to saw the paper towel roll in half. His eternally patient wife finally had to step in and draw the line there. Next time I was there the paper towels were fully intact.


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Old 12-23-2014, 09:20 AM   #71
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10 hotdogs for a buck, 2 (w/o buns) per lunch, five days a week. While others go out and spend $25-$50 per week on lunch, I spend $1. 50 weeks per year and I'm up $1,200 to $2,450. With 5 years to go, that's $6,000 to $12,250, not including earnings/time value.
Most days at work lunch is two cheese sticks, each with a piece of ham wrapped around it. I have eaten a lot of cheese sticks, but I'm retiring next month and intend never to eat one again ....

No one has mentioned coffee cans. I still have some of my dad's from the 40's . Chock Full O Nuts, and various pieces of hardware and plumbing supplies.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #72
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My Dad reached rock bottom in his frugalness early this year when he came up with an idea to saw the paper towel roll in half.
That one made me chuckle, but please don't give my family any ideas.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #73
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It had never occurred to me that a ziplock bag was to be used only once.

The only time I ever toss a ziplock bag after one use is if it has held something really greasy - in that case, it isn't worth trying to wash and re-use it. Otherwise, they are washed and reused as many times as practicable. Same with plastic containers, and aluminum foil.
I started to post about saving plastic containers for leftovers for guests, and washing and reusing ziploc bags and aluminum foil but stopped because I said "that's not extreme frugality, I'm sure everyone does that". I've lived by the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra all my adult life.

Btw, those little plastic square ties that come on some baked or produce items are great for organizing wires. You can write on the tag and then put it around the wire so you know what its for. The other option is to use masking tape, but that's using "new" material, so not as frugal
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #74
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned recycling wrapping paper, gift bags and bows and ribbon. Perhaps that is a given amongst this frugal crowd. DM, born in 1925, painfully slowly unwraps gifts taking time to fold wrapping paper so that it doesn't wrinkle. And of course all boxes are saved. She hasn't bought new paper/ribbon in years.
Yes we do that too! We even have special pieces of paper that date back 35 years that were originally on presents from my Oma who is long since passed. These have gotten gradually smaller over the years and are only used on presents in the family. The problem is that as we give less of objects and more of time and experiences, the paper is mounting up. I will need to off load all the wrapping paper in 2.5 years when we downsize and put our remaining belongings in storage for a few years while we travel. I guess at least the paper can go in recycling and I think Goodwill will take gift bags!
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #75
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My Dad reached rock bottom in his frugalness early this year when he came up with an idea to saw the paper towel roll in half. His eternally patient wife finally had to step in and draw the line there. Next time I was there the paper towels were fully intact.


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Oh my, that was nose snorting good. I misread it the first time, thought you were talking about TP. Either way still smiling. Thanks.


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Old 12-23-2014, 09:51 AM   #76
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Oh my, that was nose snorting good. I misread it the first time, thought you were talking about TP. Either way still smiling. Thanks.


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Now my Dad is cheap, but if he ever takes to sawing the TP in half, it's time to pack him up and take him to the nursing home!


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Old 12-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #77
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Paper towels - that's one of my pet peeves. I hate them and use them as little as possible. I only purchase the "select a size" type and only use 1/2 of the smallest sheet most times. I loved the idea of sawing the roll in half - if I could figure out a way to do that which wouldn't result in paper dust all over the place I'd actually do that !

For large spills I use a large sponge, a "handi-wipe", or a white face cloth. I have a dozen white face cloths which I purchased for $4. I use them for all my cleaning.

The sponges and handiwipes get washed and sanitized in the dishwasher (as does my normal dishwashing sponge). The white face cloths get washed, with some bleach, in the sink and then hung to dry. Again, "reduce, reuse, recycle". I've been "green" this way since before it was even a term. I remember the "reduce, reuse, recycle" commercials during Saturday morning children's television shows (or maybe it was on Sesame Street) and it just stuck.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:56 AM   #78
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Now my Dad is cheap, but if he ever takes to sawing the TP in half, it's time to pack him up and take him to the nursing home!
No need to worry - the TP makers are doing that for us already. Look at your TP holder - notice how much extra space there is ? TP has gotten noticeably narrower in the past year or two.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:30 AM   #79
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For the person who asked how to wash out ziplocks.... I fill it with hot soapy water and wipe it out with a sponge... then rinse in hot soapy water...

I'll admit I often toss the sandwich size ziplocks if it was holding a pb sandwich... the pb is harder to get off.

Paper towels... We noticed our consumption of paper towels dramatically reduced when we switched to using shop rags for cleaning. We always have at least 2 terry shop rags (bought in bulk a few years ago at costco) - one is "counter top clean" and the other might be grungier - and is used for cleaning up spills on the floor or degunking the stove. We rotate through... when the counter top one gets a little gross - we rinse it well and hang it on the stove (to indicate it's the less pristine one). I launder them and line dry them. Our paper towel dispenser has a serrated edge - so we can cut shorter pieces than the pre-perforated ones on the towels. We've found a roll of paper towels can last up to 2 months now.

A lot of what we're doing is out of cheapness.... but we like to tell ourselves we're being "green". It works either way.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:54 AM   #80
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No need to worry - the TP makers are doing that for us already. Look at your TP holder - notice how much extra space there is ? TP has gotten noticeably narrower in the past year or two.

I hadn't really noticed that, but it sure seemed the traditional sized roll has become small. I always buy the biggest rolls possible now so I don't have to change it so frequently.


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