Janitor’s School Supply Bonanza

My father worked as a high school janitor. At the end of each school year, students threw away notebooks, paper, pens, gym clothes, and even shoes. Dad would bring home these items for the four of us kids to use.

One year, we had enough notebook paper to last five months, a supply of pens that lasted through the school year, and enough notebooks for all of us to have at least three each. We also had gym clothes and shoes to outfit us for the year.

Get friendly with school and university janitors then enlist their help. The end of the school year is a great time to pick up tossed but otherwise usable items. Debora



Free School Supplies

Keep your eyes open at your office. Instead of throwing away outdated three-ring binders, pocket folders, and other useful supplies, bring them home for the kids’ school supplies. Or donate them to your local school.

Company logos can be covered with popular stickers or vinyl paint designs. BethLyn

High School Rings

Before spending a lot on a high school ring for your student, check with local jewelry stores.

Most people do not realize that local stores offer a wider variety of styles from the very same companies, for as much as two-thirds less than the on-campus representative’s price.

Since this item commonly carries a price tag of $200 to $300, it pays to shop around. Teresa



Homework Totes

Don’t discard cardboard tubes from wrapping paper or plastic wrap. They work perfectly for kids to carry assignments—like maps and art projects back and forth to school. Use them to “file” those projects for long-term storage, too! Kim



Kid’s Room Recycled Bulletin Board

Need a bulletin board for a child’s room? An old-fashioned game board—a relic from the age before electronic games took over makes for the perfect solution. This Monopoly board is a perfect example—it’s colorful and decorative for hanging on a playroom wall.

By the nature of the board, it will easily accept push pins to tack up photos, notes, and so forth. One idea is to paint the center of the board with chalkboard paint. Or cover the center of the board with white contact paper. White paint is yet another idea.



Feed Ducks Frozen Peas, Not Stale Bread

Apparently, going to your local park to throw stale bread at ducks is completely wrong. It’s not good for the ducks and not that great for the pond, either. The remnants of soggy bread left behind encourage algae, rats, and disease.

Read more

Super Cute Halloween Costume

Best Halloween Costume ever—Bag of Jelly Beans. Items required: Super large clear plastic trash bag. Many small balloons in a variety of colors.

Dress person in black pants and a black long-sleeve t-shirt. Cut two holes in the bottom of the bag for legs and corresponding holes on either side near the top of the bag for arms.

Step into the bag, pulling it up to the upper thigh level. Now drop in all of those little balloons you’ve inflated and tied off securely, making sure they are well distributed to look like jelly beans in a bag. Gather the top of the bag and tie it loosely around the neck.


Super Quick Toy Cleanup

My son has LOTS of Legos. I love the creativity this kind of play encourages in him, but not the headache of picking up all those toys! So, I store a large tablecloth in the bin on top of the Legos.

When he wants to play, I just lay the tablecloth down and dump the bin of Legos on top. My son understands he can spread out as far as the tablecloth goes. 

When it’s time to pick up, all I have to do is grab the four corners of the cloth, dump the Legos in the bin, and there you go—all picked up! Thanks for all the great tips you and your readers share with us! Heidi