Frugal Living

3 Things I Always Reuse

A part of my frugal mindset includes creating less waste. I love combining the ideas of saving money and saving the environment. For me, sustainability encompasses both those areas.

This habit of reusing things in creative ways looks to go back to my childhood. I found this little guy on my dad’s garage shelf during one of my recent visits. Art was never my strongest subject!


Looking at some more practical uses, though, here are 3 things that I always try and reuse before sending them to the recycle bin.

1. Plastic Bags & Packaging


Most people know how handy a plastic shopping bag is for a garbage bag. But I don’t often get plastic bags from the grocery store anymore since I use cloth shopping bags. That’s why I got creative. I didn’t want to buy garbage bags if there was a way to save the money and the waste.

Now I use any packaging that will do the trick! Toilet paper and paper towel packaging work perfectly to line a bin. With strategic cutting of the packaging at the top to create a bag-like opening, it will usually fit over my smaller bathroom garbage bin.

2. Newspapers


Newspapers are easily recyclable, but to give them a little more use before they hit the bin, try using your newspapers for wrapping paper.

Newspaper is also perfect for lining your kitchen compost bin to keep the bin clean longer. This can also be done for your larger outdoor green bin, if your city has these.

As a renter, I have moved a lot, so newspaper is often used as packing paper as well. But it doesn’t have to only be used for packing dishes when you move, newspaper can be used to cushion packages for mailing too.

3. Glass Jars

Jars are one of my favourite things to reuse. I’ve reused jars for plant pots and for wrapping homemade gifts, such as bath salts.

For everyday use, I have jars on hand to store food items. It’s nice to have a plastic free alternative to standard storage containers and I find glass jars perfect for freezing batches of food I’ve made in my crock pot.

For more ideas on how to reuse glass jars, check out my list of 26 ways to reuse jars!

What items do you love to reuse?

Flower pots
Gift wrapping in a repurposed jar
Pasta sauce jars repurposed as storage jars


  • Caroline

    Love this – your succulents look so cute too! I really like the idea of using toilet roll packaging – I buy mine in bulk so wouldn’t be able to do this but it’s a great idea ❤

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Thanks! Succulents are one of the few plants I can keep alive haha. But I’m trying to learn more 🙂

  • Tammy

    We save and reuse these same things but due to online news we have nearly no newspaper these days! That is a problem because we used to use newspaper for lighting our wood stove. And we never have paper towel wrappers because we haven’t bought those in years; I’m curious what you use them for.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I love that you reuse these things too!
      I grew up using newspaper for fire starter too. I saw someone in one of my zero waste groups mention they stuff toilet paper rolls with lint or paper scraps for fire starter, which I thought was creative. I’ve never tried that though.
      I don’t use much paper towel anymore. I usually have a roll in my car for random occasional use. At home my main use is when I squeeze the water out of my tofu. I wrap it in paper towel to soak up the water.

  • katejones73

    These are some great ideas! I already use glass jars for all sorts of things, but I never thought of using the plastic wrap from toilet rolls. I used to use the small plastic bags you got from stores as small bin bags, so this would be a great alternative. I shall definitely be trying it out : )

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

%d bloggers like this: