Stretching Money by looking at everyday objects differently. - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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Stretching Money by looking at everyday objects differently.

We all have them, the weird things that are in the house that we save and get over run with or we simply toss because we see them as not useful.  Well, if you look at things just ever so slightly might find some great uses for 'useless' stuff.

But, before I list and try to explain them.....If you would like a visual aide (I learn better by doing and seeing than reading!) then follow this link to this certain playlist on my youtube channel Quick Tips for saving time and money!

Here is a mini-breakdown of a few. I'm not sure I've hit all the points, and there are 15 you may want to watch them anyway!


Using Aluminum Foil to the Max - Wash it and reuse it. Multiple times it can be washed and reused.  We often have our 'final' use of aluminum foil for raw meat (that is first wrapped in wax paper) THEN and only THEN after being used several other times do we toss it in the trash.

Organize on a Dime - Finding lids to your pots and pans can cause delay and waste time.  Those 'organizers' cost way too much.  Just two thumb tacks and some 1/2 inch elastic across your cabinet door gives a great place for these to store for easy access.

How to reuse a plastic ziplock bag - If it hasn't had raw meat in it (again, it's our last time of re-using it, like aluminum foil) then wash it and air dry it.  Just turn wrong-side out and wash with soapy water, rinse and hang to dry.

Freezer Soup - Keep a large glass container in the freezer for loading up all the small veggies and potatoes that are left over. Then thaw and add to soup or pot-pies.  Don't freeze meats with it so you can have more choices when you're making the meal. Also don't freeze rice or pasta with it as they go in at the end of cooking time.

Save the burnt toast - This is hard to explain, but unless you've burnt it through and through (which would likely mean you had a fire) you can scrap off the top layer of toast on both sides and have a perfectly good piece of toast.

Reuse Mesh Produce Bags - You can make them into wonderful, easily washable kitchen scrubbies. No sewing and no hassle


There are about five more of these types of 'odd-ball-brain-activity' ideas at the above link - I just couldn't think of how to put them into words. 

Just try to look at things a little differently and ask...."What can I do with this that will save me money?" ...before you head for the trash can!

Happy Inventing!!


Best Blessings,

Donna Miller


Donna Miller is an author, teacher and entrepreneur. Her favorite roles are that of wife and mother to three home-school graduates. The Millers own and operate  Millers Grain House  which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.



TiffanyJohnson said:

I just thought of something, old conditioner shampoo bottles make AMAZING pencil holders (I buy economy size) just cut off the top and you can make it as tall as you like, or as short. Then decorate... and weve all made these outta veggie cans before, but the bottles wont rust

(Donna Note): This is a GREAT idea!!! Also, did you know that conditioner is better for using for shaving than shaving cream? A lot cheaper too!

August 31, 2009 5:59 AM

cheapChic said:

Something worked for me is washing the zip lock bags, unless meat touches it then its tossed but if no meat touchs it then was it reuse a few times until there are holes in it then toss out sounds gross to you but I only buy zip lock bag 2 times a year in stead of every two months like I use to added saving to the pig of a bank..


(Donna Note): This is one of my video tips!! Good Job!!


September 2, 2009 1:09 AM

This Old Housewife said:

Speaking of re-using stuff, I had a friend with an object she didn't know what to do with--it was the shelf set that goes above a dresser.  The dresser sold at a yard sale minus this shelf set.

She had a photo of it on her blog, so away I went to make suggestions.

After examining this thing a minute, then putting myself into her shoes, I suggested she turn it over, or on its side.  "Does THAT give you any clues?" I asked.

"Yeah--now I can do something with it besides hang in on the wall!"

She ended up turning it upside-down and using it for a shoe-and-key caddy in her mud room--the shelves handily held her shoes and boots, while the drawers at the bottom (now the top) were taken out, turned right-side-up, and re-inserted to hold her keys and small items.  She painted the whole thing black, and it stands proudly in her mud room loaded with shoes, keys, hats, scarves, and whatever else gets shed at wintertime.

That's how to turn a white elephant into a work horse.

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About Millers Grain House

Donna Miller is the wife of almost 29+ years to the love of her life Joseph, the mother of three home-school graduates and has one daughter-in-law. She is the hostess of the radio shows Your Preparation Station, Surviving on Shoestrings and Encouragement in the Kitchen . She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, NC. She is an Adjunct Instructor for Frontier Christian University. She teaches local classes and ladies retreats for people to learn hands-on lost skills. She is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. She and her husband are the owners of Millers Grain House and are the founders of PREPARE Magazine .

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