Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Added Value. Do You Look For It?

When shopping, do you look for products that give you "added value" for your money?
Obvious examples of this are;Flour that comes in a fabric flour sack and jelly and jam that come in drinking glasses.
You may not have to pay extra for products that have that "added value", either. The flour I buy in 10 and 20 pound sacks is priced less than national brands that come in paper packaging. The quality is just as good.
The patterns are sweet and charming. Old fashioned patterns in plaids, gingham's and calico.
I have found jelly and jams packaged in many different types of glassware, from mason jars to champagne glasses!
Less obvious products come with "added value", as well.
Oatmeal. Those round oatmeal containers, once made of easily destroyed light cardboard are now made of heavy duty stuff, some brands even use a light plastic. The oatmeal rounds are great for many purposes. My kids used to make them into banks and also keep their crayons and markers in them.. I use them to put yarn in (attention knitters!). You cut a hole in the top (very small), thread your yard through the hole and then can easily use your yarn without it getting snarled or batted across the room by the cat. I also use Oatmeal rounds to store some spices, tea, my fried chicken dredging mix, etc. I use a Sharpie to mark on the top the contents. You can also cover the rounds with Contact paper in a color or pattern to match your kitchen and affix a pretty label--if the aesthetics of the oatmeal label don't appeal to you.
Coffee Cans. I don't drink coffee, but all my friends that do give me their cans. I LOVE coffee cans! In the tool room they are perfect for nails, screws, nuts and bolts. In the kitchen they are handy for all kinds of storage. If you use them in the kitchen, wash them out pretty well, otherwise whatever you store may end up with a coffee flavor that you didn't want. Some coffees come in plastic type jugs with a handle. I use one of those to put chicken feed in. Very convenient in the morning!
Bleach bottles. The one gallon bleach bottle is very versatile! Some people use them for water storage. I use some for seedling planters (cut off the top and punch in some drainage holes) and turn the top into a scoop (useful for my chicken feed!).
Glass jars...pickles, spaghetti sauce, etc. I use jars such as these to store anything you can imagine. A pickle jar does duty as a pen/pencil holder on my desk. A spaghetti sauce jar holds beads for crafts in my sewing area. I soak the labels off and fill some with my home-made bath salts to give for gifts (remember to paint the lids or cover them with a scrap of pretty fabric!).
Remember when you buy groceries or anything at all, for that matter, to look for "added value" in the packaging!
Added benefit to the planet is that the more you can reuse the packaging, the less you will be tossing in your local landfill!


  1. I save every bit of reusable packaging that comes my way. Unfortunately I don't have all that much to put in them so it's becoming a bit of a pack-rat problem. It's just really hard for me to throw out perfectly good jars and cans. I have a huge store of all types and sizes already and as the room is running out I'm trying very hard to toss things out and am making some progress - I only retrieve things back out of the trash occasionally :)

  2. My students are currently using yogurt containers with a hole in the bottom to grow their plants. You can also use empty TP rolls for this. I was actually thinking about the "wide" TP rolls we have at school to use to put around young plants to keep crawling slugs and such from them next spring. I'll be asking the housekeeping crew to keep a day's worth for me. They are about six inches in diameter and on their 'sides' about four inches. And I recently was able to buy some "gourmet" cat food that comes in little tubs which I am cleaning and will use to hold the tp rolls (which I will cut in either halves or thirds; fill with potting soil. two will fit in each tub. Since I have such a small garden, I will only be starting a few of each plant, these tubs I can write on with a sharpie. OR I can slid one of those peat pellets in each one.

    Jars are great to use to store dehydrated food. I use a zip lock bag in each one so I can put a bay leaf between the baggie and glass.

  3. I always look for added value in the packaging. Cat litter is a good example. The big rectangular plastic buckets with snap tight lids are great for storing lots of prep items that would otherwise be vulnerable to moisture or rodents or insects. Some cat litter comes in big jugs with a round screw on top that is ideal for making liquid laundry soap. We do use the clorox containers to store both drinking water and flush water. And we use the oversized liquid laundry jugs with the spigots on one end to store our homemade liquid laundry soap ...and also to store wash water for camping or shtf situations.

    As ou stated in your post, repurposing the containers that our store-bought products come in saves us money not having to purchase containers and saves space in the landfill as well. It's a win-win.

    : )

  4. Great ideas, guys! And I, too sometimes end up with more jars and other containers than *stuff* to put in them. So, I end up saving them...just had a pile of 2 liter soda bottles come crashing down in the screened in porch this morning---EEK! Gave me the impetus to scald 30 of them out to use for water storage and scald 20 out for rice and bean storage.


Because of a couple of rude people that left comments that included links to porn pages and such, I have been forced to start moderating comments again.