Monday, January 30, 2012

Use It Up, Wear It Out

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  It's a mantra from the Depression era that I have come to embrace over the last couple of years.  No so much because I'm a tree hugger, but because I'm a tightwad and even us evil right-wingers don't like to see trash and waste.  Shout to reader, Lindsey, who a while back suggested that I give some tips and tricks about self sufficiency and how I manage money...with a Back 'er Down twist.  Lindsey has a great blog too by the way, you should check it out.  The following is a quick tour of a few of the items that I've reused in interesting ways.

This is my potato drying rack and storage facility.  It's suspended from the rafters in my shop using chain that I found at the dump.  The framework for this beauty is the base of a crib.  Our youngest son transitioned to a bed last spring and the crib wasn't really fit for use by another family, so I butchered it and made this.  I do have a few bucks in the screen that lines the bottom.

Coke crates are great for carrying things.  I particularly love using them in the garden because dirt can fall out of the holes in the bottom.  I also like to wash veggies in these as the water and dirt sifts right out of the bottom.  I guess that technically this crate is property of Coca Cola.  Shhhhhh.  I honestly don't remember how I got it.

I love a bucket!  I have a lot of pickle buckets and a few like the one pictured which had hydraulic fluid in it. I use buckets as containers, seats, planters, scoops and a bunch of other things that I'm not remembering right now.  They're really great to put under the tongue of light trailers to keep them out of the dirt.

This is one of my more interesting reuses.  The crates are store bought, but the framework is the body of an old creeper that I had lying around.  Two of the wheels had messed up, so it wasn't really useful to me anymore.  Compound that with the fact that new casters cost about as much as a new creeper and it was destined for a better use.  I trimmed it up, drilled a few holes and used angle iron down the front for stability.  Fortunately I was able to tie into existing holes and mounting brackets on the golf cart.  This front rack has been a really useful addition.

I probably have a container fetish.  Coffee cans are a weakness.  I use them all the time for organizing nuts, bolts, washers, small parts, etc.  I have also used them as planters and we event use one as a dog food scoop right now.  However, you see the picture above of seven cans that are currently not in use.  That number has recently grown to 15.  Might be time to stop with the coffee cans ;)

This is an old cast iron washpot that belonged to my grandparents.  I really couldn't think of a practical use for it, but I couldn't bring myself to toss it.  So as it sits with much historical value, it also doubles as a container for fat-lighter splinters.  Note the bricks too...... left over from the construction of our home.  I'll use them one day, LOL

So that's a quick tour of some of my reuses.  I also reuse burnt motor oil, dryer lint, coat hangers, bent-re-straightened nails and wire.  I'm a tightwad.  I consider it a virtue.  How about you?  What do you reuse?  I'd love to hear new ideas.

Y'all take it easy,



  1. Cleaned out peanut butter jars are where I keep nuts and bold, screws, washers, wire nuts, etc. They stack easy, and they are clear (without the label) so I can see what's in each one.

  2. That's a great idea Heath! At the rate we go through peanut butter, I might have to adopt that idea!