Quick Tips: Reuse Convenience Containers to Save Money and Reduce Waste

source: Robert S. Donovan

source: Robert S. Donovan

The other day, Tanna at Complete Organizing Solutions mentioned that Play-Doh is a summer sanity saver. I couldn’t agree more, and it’s an activity we pull out almost every week.

I know that many people make their own Play-Doh, but I’ll admit we prefer the convenience and even the texture and classic smell of regular Play-Doh. And if I’m really being honest, I especially love those teeny tiny “party pack” containers of Play-Doh because it lets me give the girls a couple of different colors without ending up with a whole container of brown Play-Doh at the end.

That said, the frugal part of me refuses to actually buy those containers just for the convenience. Instead, I save the tiny ones we have and simply refill them as necessary from the larger, less expensive containers.

This is a principle that can be used in many, many different areas of our homes. Buying in bulk is often less expensive (unless what you’ve bought will go to waste), but not always more convenient.

To balance the money savings with the convenience, save the fun little Cheerios snack container you bought one time and refill it from a box of Cheerios over and over again.

Buy cleaning solutions in bulk or concentrate (or make your own) and simply use the original spray bottle again and again.

Is there anything you’ve been hesitating to buy in bulk because you don’t want to give up the convenience of smaller containers?

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

4 Responses to “ Quick Tips: Reuse Convenience Containers to Save Money and Reduce Waste ”

  1. This works really well for soaps and shampoo!


  2. Mandi this is a great idea with the Playdoh! I’ll be sure to save those little party size cans when they’re empty.

    We do most of our shopping @ the warehouse store so I do this so much that I tend to forget the frugality of it! We use the heck out of our freezer because we buy in bulk (I really need a deep freeze!), and I have a ton of containers in the garage that I use to refill the smaller ones I keep in the cabinets (oil, vinegar, salt, handsoap, etc.) We even get gallons of milk & freeze them in smaller containers (we don’t go through milk that fast at our house). When we’re ready for more milk, it’s just a matter of pulling a container out of the freezer to thaw.

    I can’t think of anything that I hesitate to buy in bulk! I think we buy most in bulk!


    Mandi Reply:

    You know, we’ve gotten away from buying in bulk because I was ending up with too much waste. I’m not really sure WHY, but I’d love to get to the bottom of it and get back to buying in bulk. Besides the savings, I think Costco has THE best produce, and I miss their huge containers of strawberries this time of year!


  3. I don’t like all the packaging out there. I hate seeing a full trash barrel and full recycling bin at the end of the week. I feel it means we consume too much. But, I have to say that one thing I haven’t stopped buying is juice packs. My children chew through everything, plastic bottles (we reuse), biker-style-squish water bottles, sippies (even the hard plastic kind), and anything with a pop-up straw. The convenience is just something we have all gotten used to, especially in the hot summer. Do you have another solution idea for juice or water on-the-go that wastes less packaging? Great post! Abbie

    Abbie’s last blog post…A Journey Toward Being Debt-Free


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