Frugal recycling / repurposing ideas

I grew up in California and learned about recycling in public school.  I remember Saturday mornings spent smashing aluminum cans as a fund raiser for my Camp Fire Girls group.  And my dad would reuse cardboard boxes at work to ship packages.

Fast forward to 2011 and now I live on a farm.  How do we recycle and does recycling save money or time? 

Since we live in the county, we have to haul our trash.  We have 4 trash cans that we use to collect our trash and drive them to the convenience center every 2 weeks or so.  I can also deposit recyclable materials there, but must make several different stops.  The problem I have is that the paper and cardboard must be dry and we store our trash out doors and it gets wet when it rains.  Basically, we do not recycle a lot because of the limitations of our storage area.

But, we do reuse many other items.  A few of the things that come to mind are:

  • Started all our seeds in yogurt containers in the green house.
  • Line the chicken brooder with newspaper
  • Feed chickens table scraps, including apple cores, orange peels, celery tops, etc. The chickens then recycle and turn it into eggs, which we eat and sell for $2/dozen.
  • Large laundry buckets are used for feeding and watering sheep.
  • Old towels are used for washing and drying sheep.  We wash them several times each summer for showing.
  • We reuse egg cartons to sell our eggs.  We are thankful for our friends who save them for us.

Frugal ideas for use around the house.

  • I LOVE Paperback swap!  I get to pass along books that I am finished with and can get the books that I want to read. I reuse envelopes to mail the books.
  • We do not use paper towels.  We save the  money is buying them, plus do not have to haul them to the convenience center. Instead  I have a good supply of wash clothes and kitchen towels we use for cleaning.  I wash them 1-2 times a week.  Easy.
  • Unless I am serving a group of 20 or more, I do not use disposable dishes.  Basically same reasons as above.
  • In the winter we heat our house with wood.  We cut the wood from the back of our property, so there is minimal cost.  We rent a log splitter once a year and I have the chimney cleaned  yearly. As we are clearing the land to create pasture for our sheep- saving on feed costs.
  • Homeschool books- from the beginning I chose non consumable resources and used them for all 4 kids.  Then I sell them to other home school teachers.
  • Shop from home.  Ebay, amazon, lands end, etc are some of my favorite retailers.  I can compare prices and products, order and have it shipped to my house.  This save time and money.

None of these ideas really cost a lot of money and in the long and short term all the ideas save our family money.

Proctor and Gamble and SheSpeaks are sponsoring the Future Friendly Blog Hop to encourage us to reuse, recycle and reduce.  Check out the other ideas and add your ideas.

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About dwolters

mama to 4 wonderful kids. live on a farm and raise sheep
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