Friday, December 28, 2007

Cute Ways to Use Your Leftover Margarine Containers

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I also hope that most of you are snuggled warm in your beds as I write this and not slaving over your computers.

Here’s a cute article on the many things you can do with your leftover margarine containers. By the way, I hope everyone used margarine in their recipes for Christmas!

Before you discard common household items, think about whether they can be reused. Recycling is great, but preventing waste is always your best option — and often your most frugal one. Today, readers share multiple uses for a simple empty margarine tub. Consider these ideas before you decide to toss them.


DONATE: I give mine to the school art department. They use them for paint projects and storage. — Laurie, Florida I give them to the local soup kitchen to send home leftovers to the clients. — Missyali, Ohio

ODDS AND ENDS: I use them to store small things, such as hair accessories, buttons and tea bags, or leftovers for the fridge. I use neon-color labels on them. I use them to bring food such as dry cereal, crackers and fruit to work, too. — Shorty, Canada

PERFECT PORTION: I use them to make sure I have 1 pound of hamburger in each freezer package. The 16-ounce container will be just 1 pound filled. I also use them for freezer containers. I mark each one with masking tape and label what's inside and the date I froze it. One pound of homemade soup frozen is two small bowls. Most of my leftovers go into them, too, and they stack well in the freezer. — Brat, e-mail

SAVE MONEY: I send my husband's lunch to work in them. He never brings home my containers, so this way I'm not losing any money. — Sherry, Michigan

CRAFT RECIPES: I use them for the kids' homemade play dough. — Heather, New York

GARDENING: I use them to start seeds in and to scoop potting soil. — Denise, Colorado

CATCH DRIPS: I use the lids as trays under houseplants and for pantry items such as molasses, honey and corn syrup. — Marcia P., via e-mail

REFILL AND REUSE: The small tubs are great for filling from larger containers of yogurt, ice cream, bagged snacks, gelatin and nonfood stuff like glue and paint. You can use them for kitchen compost scraps or to save leftover vegetables for soup. I've used the larger containers to hold coffee filters and brown sugar, too. — Paula, e-mail

PIGGY BANK: They're perfect little snack cups for kids. They're easy to make a small change jar/bank with or use in a backyard sandbox or at the beach, too. — Janine T., e-mail

HOMEMADE BUTTER: I whip my own butter to increase the volume and store it in plastic tubs. Just whip half a pound of butter and 1\/4 cup of milk, or try 1 cup butter and 1\/2 cup canola or olive oil. You can experiment with a variety of flavors, like adding jam or honey. — Jennifer B., e-mail

CUPCAKE KEEPER: I keep small margarine containers because a cupcake or muffin fits perfectly in them for the lunch box and they do not get smashed or soggy. I reuse them when I have something gross like chicken skin and freeze them until garbage day. That way it does not stink up my trash. — Debra, Nebraska

FOR PETS: I use them as scoops for pet food and as drinking bowls for pets. — Brenda, e-mail

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