Second Uses and Alternative Uses for the Items in Your Life

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Second Uses in the Kitchen....


Coffee Beans CupCoffee grounds can be a good exfoliator and even has good effects on reducing cellulite. Instead of throwing out the used coffee grounds, spread them on a plate to dry. Next time you take a shower, scoop up a handful and massage in vigorous circles on your thighs and any other area with cellulite. Be warned, this makes a temporary mess and that is why I recommend doing it in the shower!

Coffee grounds are also a good facial exfoliator, but you must be much more gentle with the scrubbing on your face. Just use your fingertips to rub in gentle circles. Use it on pores and wrinkles, but be very, very gentle around the tender skin of your eyes. It leaves your skin refreshed and with a healthy radiance.

If you have a problem with ants, sprinkle coffee grounds near or across their entry places. Sprinkling coffee grounds directly on anthills is also an effective method of ant control.

Brunettes can use coffee grounds to shine and conditioner their hair. It will create lovely highlights and may even cover up gray hairs. Shampoo as usual and then massage the coffee through your hair for several minutes. Remember, though, that coffee grounds in the shower is really messy, so plan for extra rinsing time.

Several sites report that coffee grounds in the garden will keep the cats away. I tried this and still had a problem with one of my cats getting in the garden. I'm going to try again with a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds as soon as I get some orange peels.

Coffee grounds also make an effective room deodorizer. Place the dry grounds in a shallow dish in the room or fill and tie off bags made from old panty hose and hang the bags in closets that need to be freshened.

Coffee grounds also deodorize freezers and refrigerators. Put the grounds in a jar or margarine container and poke holes in the lid, then just place in the refrigerator or freezer where the container can get air circulation. After 3-4 weeks, replace the grounds with fresh used grounds.

If you routinely make a second pot of coffee, you can dramatically cut your coffee costs by leaving the freshly used grounds in the filter and simply adding new grounds on top.  Experiment, but start by adding 1/2 to 3/4 of the grounds you would normally use.  I've found that this makes a delicious second pot of coffee at half the normal cost. 

And lastly, coffee grounds can be used as a dye. Tie them in a bag made from panty hose and place them in simmering water. Turn the heat off and let the coffee steep for 10 or so minutes. Increase/decrease coffee grounds according to the intensity of brown color you desire. Be sure to use enough water to easily dip and soak your entire piece of fabric.


Olive OilOlive oil is a pure, fine oil. If you have a squeaky or stubborn-to-open kitchen drawer, try rubbing a bit of olive oil on the runners of the drawer. It can also be used on squeaky hinges and sticky door bolts.

Olive oil also makes an excellent face-scrub and makeup remover. Gently massage it into slightly damp skin, then use a wet wash cloth to rinse away. Leaves skin clean and soft.



Bottle of BeerUse this for shiny hair.  Shampoo as usual, then pour the beer through your hair.  Wait a moment, then rinse.  Condition as usual.



Try using regular paste toothpaste to polish your silver.  Be sure to use the non-gel kind.  Test a small hidden spot with a dab of the toothpaste and a soft cloth.  The toothpaste should clean and polish as well as the expensive silver polish lotions.  Use a damp cloth and gentle circular motions.

Toothpaste works well on a variety of items that need to be polished - sink faucets, doorknobs, and more.  It's gentle and best of all, very inexpensive.  It's an especially great use for a tube of toothpaste that no one in the family seems to care for.  Put it to use polishing and cleaning your home!


Spray with perfume and use as a sachet in your drawer or closet.  They hold scent very well.


Use as a pencil holder.  Coffee cups are usually the perfect size and shape.


Use as a paint drop cloth or give to a painter.  If you can find color-matching duct tape and you are handy, you could make an outdoor furniture or equipment cover from the old curtain.


NewspapersNewspapers make great mulch for your garden.  They help retain moisture, control weeds, and they are biodegradable and eventually enrich the soil.  Do not use glossy colored sections since the ink may contaminate the ground.  (Call your newspaper office and ask if their ink is earth friendly.)  To use as mulch, either lay papers directly on the ground and then cover with grass clippings, or dig 1/2" to 1" deep in the desired location and then lay the newspaper out and cover with soil.  The paper can be torn to accommodate plants. 

The layers should be about 5 - 7 sheets thick.  If you are concerned about drainage, punch a few holes here and there with a screwdriver or nail.  Otherwise no need to do much except lay the paper out and cover it.  I have even layered papers directly on a section overgrown with weeds.  Just use your trimmer and cut the weeds low, then cover with thick layers of newspaper with grass clippings on top.  As long as no sun can get to the ground underneath, most weeds will be eliminated.


Carefully unwrap gifts received in beautiful wrapping paper and you can enjoy the paper again. If the paper was especially wrinkled, you may be able to iron it flat with a warm iron - careful not to burn the paper. Otherwise, the wrapping paper makes a lovely liner for your lingerie or makeup drawer. Simply cut the paper to the size of the bottom of the drawer. Spray with your favorite scent first, if desired.

Of course, if you were able to iron the paper flat. you can also roll it around a paper tube and use it again for wrapping gifts.

Box covered in pretty wrapping paperI used a beautiful piece of wrapping paper to cover several small boxes to use in my makeup and hair accessory drawer. It took a lot of folding and re-folding and tape, but I loved the paper and it is a pleasure to see the boxes in the drawer.



Check back for more ideas. We'd love to hear yours!