Frugal Uses for newspaper or paper in general

mid_tn_mamaFebruary 7, 2004

Here's mine:

-- Put under a paper towel to drain greasy things like sausage or bacon.

--Use to separate canning jars when storing in a box.

--Save the comics for wrapping paper.

--Shred old bills and checks and compost.

--Put a little paper in the bottom of your indoor compost bucket (or line the bucket) to keep it neat and let it empty faster.

--Paper sailor hats for children's parties.

Ok. How about adding yours...

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Use around plants as layer one covered wth mulch.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 5:11PM
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I use the sheets of computer paper that end in up the recycle box ....print on the clean "other side" crafts instructions etc.....use them for scrap paper.....reuse the pretty paper one local florist wraps around the flowers as interesting mats for dried floral pictures, and also used it again as gift wrap. I'm planning on trying paper quilling at some future date and have just been fooling around making some different paper ornaments to get a feel for the hobby. Decoupaged some newprint once in an odd frame and hung it in the bathroom for of a kind art. I'm sure others have more creative

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 7:13PM
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Print outline pictures on clear back side of printed paper for kids in day nursery, religious school, kindergarten, etc. to use for colouring.

Use for temporary notes, scratch paper, preparatory writing. I almost never use new paper for anything but presentation material, for public use, etc. Possibly for use in ring binders, if I want to use both sides. I only buy small quantities of new paper.

When I worked as security guard in offices, I'd often go through scrap paper basket by the photocopier, often found fresh paper - sometimes they appreciated me giving them the fresh paper, sometimes not. If not, I brought them home.

Give printing paper already used on one side to the library - they cut sheets into pieces about 4" sqare to put into little boxes around the library, with miniature pencils, for note-making.

I think that I'll take some to a woman that attends an investment group (about 18 local subscribers of a no-ad financial magazine) that meets monthly - she sits and doodles through the whole 2 hour meeting. Both she and husband attend - retired, though I think not more than in 40's: both financially astute.

Sometimes cut them to size and use to roll coins - I can get wrappers from some banks, but prefer to use scrap paper rather than buying them. Son, as a clown, twists long balloons into animals, hats, "jewellery", so sometimes needs more than I can get at the bank - especially the $1.00 and $2.00 ones.

Try offering paper used one side to the neighbours for figuring, calculating - they'll look at you as though you have two heads. Just one of the joys that go with being frugal.

Glue or sticky-tape several pieces together to make larger sheets when needed - less costly than buying large sheets, especially if one needs only a few and prefers not to buy several hundred in a package.

I bought 500 (I think) sheets of 19" x 24" paper to use a few as a flip-chart while travelling to speak to gatherings and groups about relief and missionary work. That was just over 40 years ago - and I'm still using them (about half of them remain, I think - so I won't be able to die for a few years, yet). Have had to repair the package a few times.

I'm sure that I know of some more - but can't think of them at the moment.

still joyful (to be making quite a bit of paper become useful more than once)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2004 at 7:56PM
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I use old newspapers to put on the kitchen floor when I am frying foods
& instead of using a cutting board for garlic and onions, I use a good chunk of newspapers as a make shift cutting board. Easy to clean up, and no lingering smell on the cutting board.

The ink in our newspaper is made of soy, so there is no danger.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 1:29AM
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I think saving the funny pages, cutting them into 3" wide strips then folding the long ends toward the center and in half again (lengthwise) to give them weight, would make them into nice colorful paper to cut and use for paper chains on a children's Christmas tree.

You could even cut out individual characters, glue to patterned cardboard from a kleenex box and make ornaments.

It provides quality time with kids, teaches them to reuse, and I should certainly be festive looking!

Eileen :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 9:28AM
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Newspaper can be used for cleaning windows. Just spray on your favorite cleaner and dry off with a scrunched up newspaper. Also, newspaper pots can be made for planting seeds and tiny seedlings.

Newspaper and cardboard can be used for mulching and making new paths in a garden area. When it's muddy, these really help.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 10:57AM
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Hang in newspaper in front of your sink when you are de-kernaling corn during corn harvest time. Saves a lot of sticky cleaning later.

Use for making patterns for sewing or woodworking.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 10:55AM
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Just read this one today.

If you have a paper shredder, cut up the funny pages or used, decorative gift wrap by type (example: all occasion vs. Christmas) save for later use to place in gift bags (hopefully reused) to be given - or gift boxes to be mailed, this adds a frugal and festive touch!

Eileen :-)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 3:51PM
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I used newspaper as a drop cloth when staining my dining room table. I also use it to line my snake's aquarium when it needs to be changed (once a week). I use it to make new gardening beds and paths. I get the paper daily, so most of it gets recycled in the bin.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 9:49PM
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When I clean the refrigerator, I put a layer of a couple sheets of newspaper topped with a paper towel in the bottom of my vegetable drawers. Very easy to replace every couple weeks--no scrubbing. Keeps things smelling fresh too.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2004 at 9:46PM
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When I had a bigger garden, I used to use newspaper to mulch around plants and make paper seedling pots.

The kids bring home tons of papers from school. The one-sided ones get cut into strips of three to be placed next to the computer for scrap paper. Anytime we need it for a note or whatever we have plenty. Get so much of it, it even lasts through the summer when school is out of session!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 2:09AM
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My telephone bill comes as a regular sized sheet of paper, with the bottom third perforated in order that one can easily tear off the portion to return with payment.

I use the third portion of the other pages, when not printed on, to tear off and use as note paper, handy size for writing phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Though the front side may be printed, almost always the back side is not. It's most convenient, of course, if both sides are clear.

Enjoy your week, everyone,

joyful guy

    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 8:00PM
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I spread them on the floor and sink when coloring my hair.

I also have a BBQ grill (ala TV Commercials) that uses crumpled up newspapers for fuel.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 3:19PM
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Minnie, of Taxes,

Would the burning of those crumpled-up newspapers add quite a bit of carbon (read, "soot") to the hot dogs, chops or steaks? How successful have you been at convincing guests that this is value added rather than deteriorated?

Crumpling up those newspaper sheets would keep one busy full-time while the grill was running, wouldn't it?

Probably soon your friends might ask, when being invited over for a BBQ, whether they were to be the person suckered into being chosen as "crumpler-of-the-day" (?)

Don't mean to rain on your parade (picnic)!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2004 at 3:23AM
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Along the gardening line, you can use newspaper sections to kill grass in an area you'd like to plant or mulch or whatever if you are patient. Just put the newspaper down, wet it (blocking light from the grass, add mulch over it, and in a few months you have a bed ready for planting, no herbicide or backbreaking sod cutting necessary.

We also use newspaper to line the bottom of our cats' box, works beautifully. We do cut down on the amt of litter, though...just about 1-2 cups for the whole box, on top of a section of paper. Change every day or other day (just lift up the clean ends of the paper and toss). Never smells, cuts down on the dust, works for cats who have "issues" with dirty boxes...and best of all, no fussing with a gigantic mound of smelly litter! Takes about 1 minute to completely change the box.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 10:05AM
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I put a few pages of newspaper in the bottom of unused, closed coolers and lunch boxes--No smell or mold!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 1:00PM
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If you are a gardener, you can make 'newspaper pots' to start your vegetable or flower seeds in.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 9:00AM
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Hi again Meghane,

Have you noticed the snake laughing when you use comics in the cage?

Different sense of humour, I expect.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 1:48PM
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This week I cleaned my shelves and relined them with newspaper. The shoppers paper was made smaller and made lining the drawers more difficult. When peeling apples or carrots to freeze I use newspaper to collect the peelings. It makes great mulch under the tomatoes and stops or slows the blight. When putting a home perm in down goes the goes a newspaper on the table first. It is used in bird cages and the new puppy cage. In the garage when the oil gets changed in equipment down go newspapers. When storing dishes or glasses out come the newspapers. Time to quit.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 8:42PM
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joyful guy: There is now a device similar to a really small tall put the charcoal in the top part of it, the crumpled newsprint in the bottom. Set it ON TOP of the grill. Set the newsprint on fire, and in about 5 minutes your charcoal is burning nicely, the newsprint has all burned up and you pour the charcoal out of the device and into the bottom of your grill. So no lighter fluid is needed, and it makes BBQing much much easier and fun. The toughest part of BBQing for me is lighting the coals and making sure that they stay lit, this device takes a lot of that frustration out of the equation.

Newsprint: They can also be rolled into "logs" to use as fireplace starters (but don't use the colored print). Passed on to a local organization that deals with children for placing on the table during arts and crafts time. Useful for creativity, having children cut out the words and make stories (kinda like old kidnapping messages).

And although not for everyone, it can even be used as wall paper. I did not use newsprint, but I did use the picture books that get damaged beyond repair to "wall paper" one wall on my children's bedroom. Simply took white glue (bought in the gallon), thinned it out and placed full pages on the wall until the entire wall was covered. I used a lot of different books (cleaned out the bookshelves) and my girls are all young so the resulting wall is very colorful and the girls have fun making up new stories for their old favorites depending on the pages they are surrounded by. Since books vary greatly in size, they are placed higgly-piggly not in rows, but newsprint could be done in rows. The boys who are older wanted their room done in old maps. You could finish with a coat of varnish, although since my kids are young I did not. I foresee more pages going up in the future when their tastes change. The white glue is easily removed with a flat paint scraper, not sure that varnish would be.

For the colored ads, I have started having my children cut out their "Christmas wish list" and paste them in small books (recycled paper stapled together). It helps greatly when their fondest wish is "this's got a's called Hannah (Hadley)'s really cool! .... and they have it at Wal-mart (K-mart)."

Has anyone mentioned packaging? I put it in anything I mail out that requires a bit of stuffing. The soldiers appreciate it as a little bit of home, and I'm told appreciate it almost as much as the care packages....crumpled and all.

Old phonebooks: Pass on to individual who does a lot of business (personal or otherwise) in an area that lives outside of it. Perfect for small gluing projects, fingernail painting done by small children, other projects that only require a very small area. When done with project, simply rip out the pages that have been affected and toss.

It occurs to me that most of mine have to do with children. =0) That's the season I'm in right now.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:42AM
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Some really great tips!

During the school year my kids come home with an unbelievable amount of paper. I reuse the backside on my computer printer. I also use newspaper to line the counter when i bake cookies. I let the cookies cool on the paper and it helps absorb any extra oil.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 11:50AM
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Use newspaper in place of nappies.

Use it to clean the glass of your house window.

Use to rap all the flower bunches for your girlfriend.

Thats it. Cheers.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:13PM
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Momto6, I've seen the devices you're talking about. They're metal cylinders that have a series of slits in the bottom through which you light the crumpled paper? I've also seen instructions on the internet about making them from old sheet metal coffee cans. I was going to make one myself since it looks so simple, but I just bought a large quantity of self lighting BBQ fuel very cheaply, so should be good for this year and next.

As for reusing newspaper, aside from lighting fires, some people mix them with water and compact it in to brick shapes that are dried and can be used as fuel.

We don't actually buy many newspapers or magazines now, we bring home the old ones from the rack at work, and I seem to collect them on busses and trains too. The dining room is always full of them by the end of the week, so I've been trying to find uses for them.

One of the papers we do buy is made from good quality smooth paper that doesn't shed dust and ink, so we use that in the kitchen for wrapping things and draining fried stuff. Other newspapers would unfortunately be too grimy for food.

We sometimes use them to protect the floor when painting or using strong cleaning chemicals. I put some in the bottom of the oven when I clean it to catch and adsorb the dripping grease. They're also good for lining the car boot if you're carrying something messy. Many disposable cleaning tasks too, like scraping up messy things, such as pet messes or spilt oil.

I save large colour prints and maps for making envelopes. Open up a bought envelope and use it as a template.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 3:12PM
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My boss saw how much paper was in the trash. especially computer paper printed on one side. Then she started going thru the wastebaskets, pulling out sheets of paper. Took them to the old fashion paper cutter, cut them up and made scratch paper for our desks. Great for phone messages, etc.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 7:21AM
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I get a lot of paperwork sent to me at home from my job. I'll give them credit for doing a lot of 2-sided copying, but all too often there's packets of maybe 25 sheets stapled together and just printed on one side. So I just take one of these "tablets" flip it upside down and put it on a clipboard. Good heavy paper, you don't see through to the stuff on the other side. I can cut them in half or use whole sheets as needed. Many are good enough that I could even run them through the printer if I wanted to. I make a lot of lists, take a lot of notes and stuff so I don't feel bad at all making a second use out of this. I'm not really a tree-hugger, but I do like to not waste things ridiculously.

Also I have a master grocery list and also a list of things I often get at major stores so this works great to look at the checklist and make up the list needed.

BTW, some of my homemade clipboards are the plastic doors from an old cabinet that are perfect size, stiff plastic, lightweight and a binder clip keeps it thin and useful.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 7:07PM
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We get bunches of coupons from local businesses in the mail. These coupons are individual pieces of paper about three by eight, printed only on one side. My mom turns them over and uses the back as scratch pads. She makes up daily "to do" lists, menus, and shopping lists. Of course, she looks at the coupons first and takes out any she might use. Like a free donut at Tim Hortons when you buy a cup of coffee.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 10:00AM
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