Every time each person on earth goes to throw something out they should look at the item and ask the following two questions: "Is this item worth anything to myself or others?" and "What can I substitute this item to replace so I will save money?" If you ask these two questions every time you take something to the garbage pail you will, save a lot of money.
Entire books have been written and even careers made (Martha Stewart for example) on finding ways to reuse disposables from the house and garage. But, still many people miss a lot of savings by throwing away items that could be obviously reused.
Certainly, plastic microwave dishes can be reused to heat up items. Some people even make up their own microwave dinners, recover the plastic containers with plastic wrap and refreeze them. These plastic microwave dinner plates can also be used in place of expensive disposable plates at picnics. Plastic dinnerware dishes can be used for storage of things like loose change, buttons, screws or anything else saved in or on top of a desk. One artist I know uses a plastic microwave dish to mix and hold her oil paints whiles she is working. When she is done she puts plastic over the paints to keep them from drying out. Last summer, I made a fairly nice bird bath using a deep dish microwave casserole dish in the center. I used 4x4's from my scrap wood pile to brace the outside rim and put some stones underneath to hold the dish firmly in place. I then placed some flat stones at one end of the dish so that small birds could wade in the little pool. The bird bath cost nothing to build but, the birds and squirrels appreciated the drink.
Those little pie tins from pot pies, can be reused, you guessed it, to make little mini pies. If you've baked some large pies but, have some stuff left over, remember your mini-pie tins.
Plastic bread wrappers can be reused to store food, picking vegetables from the garden or for a lunch sack. Of course no one should ever have to buy wire ties since items like bread wrappers provide ample ties for most households. I often tie the ties together to make a long tie to attache my grapevines to a trellis. Scraps of cloth from old cloths or sheets can be cut into strips to tie up soft vines like tomatoes or to tie between a stake and a young tree that is growing up crooked. Old nylons work particularly well for trees.
Glass and plastic jars along with tin cans can be cleaned out and reused for storage and organizing. Even if you can't think of an immediate use for these items you should still clean them out and set them aside. It won't be too long before you will find you need to store some items or reorganize an area that has small items scattered all over. Remembering those cans and jars at such a time will help get a job done rather than just looking at the mess and wishing you could buy something to clean it up. By keeping things organized with all your extra free containers, you will be able to keep track of the items you have so you will know where they are when you need them so, you won't re-buy items you already have which, is the ultimate waste of money.
Using your plastic and paper sacks to line your indoor garbage cans will keep your cans clean while not having to purchase expensive small plastic garbage bags.
Keep a stack of old boards somewhere (preferably out of the elements) so you don't have to run to the nearest lumberyard to purchase a small board at very high prices when you need one for a project. At worst you might have some wood stakes to tie up you plants.
When possible, whenever you have a tear down project, save any screws, nails, fasteners, knobs or other hardware that are in good condition.
Just remember, the more times you reuse an item the more times you multiply your savings. The first reuse of an item instead of making a purchase, saves you 100% of the needed items purchase price. The second reuse saves up to 200% and so on...Pretty soon you are saving big money with a huge rate of return for just stopping and, thinking about the possible uses of the items you are taking to the trash.
Above are just a fraction of all the ways you can reuse stuff and save a fortune not only in buying items you don't need but, in gas to go to the store to buy that one item you need to complete a project. Hopefully, this article will get your thought juices going as to what you can do with various items you throw out all the time. This will help save you a fortune and, help save the environment for yourself and your kids.