Money Saving Experts share their tips for reuse and upcycling

mseHave you ever browsed the forums on the Money Saving Expert site?

It’s THE place to head to if you want to stop wasting money and make the most of what you have.

The site welcomes around 13 million visitors a month, many of whom share their invaluable knowledge and experiences on the forum. They believe the average person in the UK can give themselves the equivalent of a 25% pay rise by being an active, savvy consumer.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to pick their member’s brains in this thread to gather their best reuse and upcycling tips.

Here’s what they came up with:

Freecycle / Freegle

Firefox1956 said “One of the very best ways of recycling and upcycling is to join your local recycling group such as Freegle or Freecycle.”

Food waste

kboss shared “The biggest waste and moneysaver for me this year has been my new rule of not throwing away food.”

jlhmd shared “After peeling potatoes the other day I brushed the skins with oil (both sides), placed them on a rack, added salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and placed in the oven until crisp. Saved throwing them out and the kids enjoyed them with a salsa dip.”

skeeter93 shared her recipe for leftover coleslaw! Coleslaw crisp is coleslaw, with breadcrumbs and cheese sprinkled on top and baked until melted.

Nocturnes shared “My neighbour keeps chickens so any food waste that doesn’t end up in the stockpot goes to them. In return we get a good supply of eggs”

Separate wants from needs

RAS suggested “The best way to reduce waste IMO is to reduce the amount you buy.”

FairyPrincessk shared “I like to ask myself ‘what do I have..?’ before I buy anything.


GreyQueen said “Everything which can be repurposed in-house is, then first-refusal to family and friends, charity shop if appropriate, thereafter offer on Freegle, and then and only then recycle.”

Puppy love

Katiehound said “I make doggy duvets out of duvets which would go to landfill. After cutting, washing, hemming and a pillow case type cover I sell them through a dog groomers and the money goes to charity”


Aril said “I use microfibre cloths for all my cleaning and washing up so I don’t have j cloths to throw away.”

Pass it on

Winter Phoenix shared “When new neighbours move into the street, they usually put out their removal boxes for recycling. I collect any in good condition, and put them on Freecycle. I’ve never been stuck with boxes for more than a few days!”


Finally, Ilona shared these amazing photos of her creations made from difficult-to-recycle items.

Pink bag made from knitted video tape:

Key fobs made out of old credit cards:


What about you? What are your top tips for reuse and upcycling?

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Rachelle Strauss

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