Mattress pads can be rather expensive to buy. You may have extra ones lying around because they were used for cribs or single beds that you no longer own. Or the one on your bed may have yellowed with age or torn in spots. It seems a shame, though, to just toss them in the garbage. Here’s a few suggestions for reusing them.
- They make great table protectors under a tablecloth, and can be washed if needed right along with the tablecloth.
- If you sew and have some extra fabric from previous projects, you could use them as a filler for a pot holder.
- Similarly, you could make a cloth trivet for use under hot pans.
- Quilters can put them to good use as batting for baby quilts or extra padding in larger ones.
- Do you have young children who play soccer, or are learning to ride a bike? Make shin guards out of your leftover mattress pads.
- Many craft projects require some kind of stuffing material. If you don’t have a project in mind right now, save the mattress pad for future use.
- Young toddlers who are just beginning to walk can hurt themselves around furniture with sharp edges. Cover those edges with pieces of mattress padding.
Although recycling has become more popular, the amount of trash we generate could still be reduced further. Think of all the cereal or cracker box liners you throw out weekly while grabbing for a new plastic bag to store various items. Here’s some ideas for reusing those bags.
- Pack your lunch or your child’s lunch.
- Put snacks in it for long car or plane trips.
- Store fruits or vegetables.
- Keep your bread or rolls fresh.
- Open it up and place over food you reheat in the microwave to keep from splattering.
- Cut open and place between layers of hamburgs or boneless chicken breast for freezing.
- Use when you want to chop nuts or make cracker or potato chip crumbs.
- Use as a container for a shake and bake mix.
- Use as a base on counter when rolling out cookie or pie dough.
- Lay on the counter when separating packaged chicken or other raw meat into smaller portions. It will keep your counter cleaner.
- Take with you when walking your dog to clean up after it.
- Spread several out on the table when decorating cookies to contain the mess.
- Spread several on the table for your child’s paint projects.
- Store small toys in them.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. If you have more ideas, let us know.
Other savings in the kitchen can be had by reusing plastic bags and aluminum foil. You probably don’t want to do this if they have been used to store raw meat, but often they can be used many times before discarding. When I was growing up, my dad rigged up a string over the kitchen sink with a clothes pin attached to it. Plastic bags were washed and rinsed and then were clipped to the clothes pin to dry. Now I do the same thing. Freezer bags, particularly, are expensive but sturdy, and will hold up to several washings.
Those plastic bags that you bring your groceries home in also have multiple uses. They can be used to line trash cans instead of buying separate bags for that purpose. Dog owners find them convenient for cleaning up after their dogs while out walking. Many stores recycle them now which is handy. Of course, the best option would be to take your own cloth bags to the store and reuse them, thus avoiding plastic altogether.