Sunday, January 29, 2012

Practical Wisdom From Yesterday's Women: Save The Bottles

If you're just tuning in, I've been reading through *very old* books on homemaking and frugality, and sharing with you some wise insights.

Today's tidbit of wisdom  from the past is about not tossing glass bottles:

Save vials and bottles. Apothecaries and grocers will give something for them. If the bottles are of good thick glass, they will always be useful for bottling cider or beer;

Child, Lydia Maria Francis (2009-10-04). The American Frugal Housewife (Kindle Locations 251-252). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 


In 1832 when this book was written, everything didn't come in plastic bottles, and there was not curbside recycling pick up.  I'm pretty sure that they sat out milk jugs to be refilled (a type of recycling), and selling them as she mentions is a type of recycling, too.

However, around the house, there are many uses to be found for bottles and jars.  Many times I have used containers that would have been tossed for another purpose around the house, and it has saved me from having to buy something to fill that purpose!


  • Freezing things!  I use margarine tubs *all the time* for my freezer meals.  My whole family has always done this, so it just seemed like the thing to do to me.  But, it saves me from buying plastic containers/bags.  I also use glass jars (think pasta sauces) to freeze liquid items--my homemade salsa and pizza sauce for example.
  • Bath Toys!  I cleaned out some empty spice containers and tossed them in the tub. My kids had the greatest time sprinkling each other at bath-time.  I got this idea when I saw a group of children bring a whole bag of such items to a splash park.  All of us mommies were sitting around in awe that the most popular kids there were the ones who had brought their TRASH as playthings!
  • Storage!  I've not yet done this myself, but I've seen many people use glass jars to store bulk foods like beans, rice, spices, etc.  They look nice, and you can easily see inside.
  • Projects!  I'm not good at these, but I'm sure all of the homeschooling mom's out there can give tons of examples.  My daughter's Kindergarten teacher just requested plastic bottles with lids for a science experiment, and they have been collecting cereal boxes for quite some time now for their 100th day celebration.  I'm quite interested to see what they are doing with them!

What other ideas can you share?

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