Daily Dupaco

Friday, June 08, 2012

Waste not, want not: repurposing your purchases

Even when I commit to making a list, it almost never fails that I return from a shopping trip with a grocery item or household product we already had stashed away in a cupboard. 

(Apparently, I thought it was a good idea to stock up on soap, rice or you name it the last time I went to the store, too. At least I'm consistent.)

I try not to waste my purchases, but there are only so many times your family will eat rice before they get a little cranky.

Oftentimes, consumers don't realize just how much food they waste, from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce - money that could have be saved or spent more wisely.

Turns out, American households throw away 14 percent of the food they purchase, an average of 470 pounds of food into the trash annually, according to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This costs a family of four about $600 each year.

The EPA's Household Food Waste page offers ways to make the most of the food you buy, greening your wallet and your planet.

For other ideas, check out Uses for Everyday Things, which offers thousands of creative ways to make the most of the household items already on your shelves. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Baby oil works as a gum remover: Use baby oil to remove bubble gum from kids' faces and hands. Put some oil on a paper towel and rub the gum away.
  • Coffee filters work as a glass cleaner: Use the filters, which are lint-free, to clean glass table tops and mirrors in your home. 
  • Gatorade works as a toilet bowl cleaner: The citric acid in the sports drink works well for removing stains from toilet bowls. Pour two cups of a lighter colored drink into the bowl, let it sit for about an hour, then brush with a toilet bowl brush and flush.

By Emily Kittle

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