So after all of the clean up, and organization, and inventory I’m sure you are noticing a few things that are staple items for you. And, I’m sure you have realized that you probably spend quite a bit on those staple items. Especially if they are supposedly healthy items. There may have even been times where you thought you’d like to make something from scratch to substitute some of those items. But then you’re looking at dehydrators, Vacuum packaging, and expensive plastic bins to hold them all in.
If you are looking to go out and buy things like these out right, then you’re right. It will be expensive. But what if you took a step back and looked at some of your staples you have, and the waste that comes from them…that’s right, the packaging.
I have three staples that we have around here with large plastic packaging. Coffee, Animal Crackers, and Pretzels. These take up so much room in the garbage and are hard to squish down. Of course I could always recycle them, however that actually cost money and I don’t have room in my trailer to set up the bins to sort and take them to a center. So, what do I do? I use them to store my food in. Cereal, snacks, flour, sugar, you name it, I’ve used those bins to put it in.
Also, they are entirely customizable. Get a little plastic spray paint for the outside and paint them how you like. Get some chalk board paint or chalk board stickers, add it to the side then they are interchangeable. So, why would you throw them away?
I currently use the taller clear plastic bins from the animal crackers (that one looks like a bear), and the pretzels (that one looks like a barrel), to put cereal and snacks so that the buggies can see where their snacks and cereal is. The rest I label so that it isn’t quite as tempting for them to get into, and spread all over the kitchen floor.
Prior to my using the clear bins for their snacks, I had had a few days of what I thought was peace in the bathroom, just to come out and find noodles, rice, sugar, or anything really, spread all over. There was even a time where they were playing scientist with the rice and sugar. So, the bins seal well, but just like the child proof things in life, they are easy for the buggies to get into. My recommendation for that is to have the snack bins of theirs be in clear containers, at least one or two.
My mother actually started these for herself years ago. I laughed at her for it, because I knew that all the coffee jugs came from her. But they do work so well, and I’ve had mine since that day I laughed at her. Through the years as I’ve washed them, getting the tops mixed up makes them not fit as tightly, so I’ve let the buggies have the ones with the lids that aren’t tight. They then go from food storage to bug houses or frog houses.
Really, there are many things you can use these for. In the shop to organize nails and screws and other small parts. In the craft room for buttons, zippers, gems, and trinkets. Toys inside and out. So, the next time you are thinking about throwing it away or recycling it, why not try reusing it or up cycling it.
What other things have you used in your kitchen to help keep the cost down, and organize so that you can get back to overloading on the baking items?