Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting you start stockpiling your house with trash! Instead, I look at it as killing two birds with one stone.
If I am going to buy a gallon of milk, not only have I paid for the milk inside the container but I have also paid for the container itself. More often than not I will end up throwing the container away. But, before I throw it away, I ask myself if there is a craft, experiment or project in the near future that I can use it with. I have a certain bin in our homeschool area where I put these items. I don’t keep a hundred milk jugs at a time but just save what I need as I think I will need them. In the long run, piles of money can be saved by thinking practical and thinking ahead.
For homeschool related material, I try to keep about 10-15 egg cartons on hand. I don’t save every single carton because they do pile up quickly. I like to buy the cardboard type over the styrofoam so I feel like I’m helping the environment out, at least a little! In the winter, I may start stocking up a bit more to use as seed starters that are biodegradable and can go right into the ground.
They are also useful for painting projects, storing beads or creative crafts. Why not use them to store small toys or counters for preschool related activities? Think of small items that need to be stored and see if an egg carton will work before purchasing fancy storage containers!
This might sound a bit too frugal for your taste but trust me, having just a few of these on hand comes in handy more than you might realize! In our home we use it to store glue. That’s right, glue! It is much less of a hassle than traditional methods and comes out perfect every time! These would also work well for using paint or for science experiments that need water.
Pencil holders, crafts, stilts, candy holders, bird feeders, planters, windchimes, drums, toy phones, paintbrush holders; the list goes on! Decorate with paint, decoupage or add stickers and proudly use them throughout the year in your homeschool!
Have you seen how artists are taking old books and repurposing them into journals? I saw a tween (and her mother!) make these for notebooking and journaling and they were simply adorable! Old books are great for this, (think early 1900’s). The child who loves to draw, doodle and craft would love this idea since not only do they have an opportunity to create each page to their liking (by adding embellishments or painting over the words,) but they can then transform the book with their own thoughts, ideas and creations!
Are you growing plants in your homeschool? Use a milk jug for watering. Simply poke holes in the lid and you have yourself the perfect watering jug! Milk jugs can also be transformed into magazine holders, bird feeders, pencil holders and more. Decorate tactfully and nobody will have to know that it was once used to hold milk!