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Waste Not, Want Not: Re-Purposing Old Purchases

When money is tight, you don’t want to waste anything! Every purchase matters, and sometimes if your old stuff is worn-out or getting old, your first thought may be to toss it in the trash. But, ask yourself: is there any way I can salvage this? Our credit counseling advice is to really think about this. Re-purposing old purchases is one common and creative way to give new life to stuff that you may have previously thrown away.

ACCC hopes you have fun re-purposing old purchases!

ACCC hopes you have fun re-purposing old purchases!

Waste Not, Want Not: Re-Purposing Old Purchases

The Circle of (Shelf) Life: Food

Your first thought when it comes to re-purposing old purchases may not have been food. I get that. But, a large portion of what consumers waste is the food we discard. It’s not only a waste of money, which we can all agree is not good when you’re in debt management, but it’s also a waste of a meal.

Produce is a big-time offender of being bought with good intentions, but inevitably thrown away a week later. It can go bad so fast! But, in some cases, you can probably salvage the fruits or veggies in another form. Over-ripe fruit? You can bake it into bread or even bake it down in the oven to make “dried” snacks. They’re really good! You can also take fruits and veggies to make a smoothie. If worse comes to worst, and you really can’t eat the food, put it in compost.

Meats can be a bit tougher to give a second life. But if the expiration date is coming up quick, our best suggestion is to cook it and refrigerate it! Or, put it in the freezer.


Re-purposing old purchases has never been so trendy as it is with DIY. DIY stands for “Do It Yourself”, and is one of the best frugal trends to happen as of late! In the past, most people would throw out an old couch, bookshelf, table, chair, you name it! But, with tutorials and creative sites with DIY Boards like Pinterest, taking something old and making it new has never been easier.

If you have a couch or chair that’s out of date, rather than throw it away, why not make it a DIY project? Same goes with ugly throw pillows. Or, if it has a rickety leg, make a small fix to salvage an otherwise perfectly usable piece of furniture.

With other pieces of furniture, see whether a fresh coat of paint would bring an outdated item and make it more modern.

Other Household Items

Have old or dingy towels? Sew them together and make them into a new bathmat.

Flat pillows? Get some fluff at a fabric store and re-stuff them.

Use old blankets, sweaters, and make into a pair of mittens, scarves, or socks!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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