Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Discards in a Frugal Home

Discards!  We aim to put very little in our trash bin.  It's good for the earth because we reduce what takes up a space in a landfill.  It's good for our wallet because we eek every bit of utility of an item.  And it's good for our health because the other items listed simply feel good.  Looking for ways to reduce what goes in your trash?  Consider:

  1. Composting -- I keep a bowl on the counter into which I toss egg shells, coffee filters and grounds, spent flowers, brown paper, and of course veggie and fruit scraps.  Off to the back yard they go, to break down, turning into fertilizer for our flower beds and potted summer veggie plants;
  2. Sell It -- From Craigslist to Ebay to a garage sale, turn your gently used yet no longer necessary items into cash for your emergency fund, investment account, or put make a large payment on debt you carry.
  3. Donate and Deduct -- If you itemize your taxes consider donating items to nonprofits such as Goodwill, St. Vinencet de Paul, Savers, etc.  Get a receipt and deduct it from your income tax for the year.  This is an option we turn to because time is often too short to sell small items at a sale, but a drop off at a thrift store is easily accomplished.
  4. Craft It -- empty salsa jars and the like are cleaned and stored on a shelf in my basement.  They are perfect for homemade gifts -- facial scrub, scented bath salts, or a batch of homemade granola.
  5. Pass It Along -- We keep a brown grocery bag near our front door into which paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, plastic lids, mail order brochures, etc. that we deliver to our children's preschool where they turn them into arts and crafts.  Even if you do not have young children, consider this option if your church has a childcare room, your gym, or a local community center.  Reuse is wonderful.
Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment if you have a suggestion to share.

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