When you think about it, eggs themselves are a pretty frugal food. They are just about the cheapest form of natural protein available, and are the primary ingredient in nearly every made-from-scratch recipe. We go through a lot of eggs in our household–boiled eggs, scrambled eggs for breakfast (and occasionally, dinner), deviled eggs, etc. Instead of tossing the empty cartons I began hunting different ways we could reuse them. Here are a few ideas:
- Use an empty egg carton to ship breakables. If you are selling on eBay, egg cartons are a great thing to keep around as they offer protection to small, breakable items. If the item is especially small, and you don’t want to pay extra for shipping a rectangular container, cut four compartments from the bottom and roughly the same-sized square from the top, clam shell them together over your breakable and place in a small box, or wrap with tape and brown paper. Since egg cartons are light weight they won’t add much to your shipping bill.
- Start seedlings in egg carton bottoms. A little soil leveled off in the bottom of an egg carton makes the perfect area for starting a seedling. Later, you can transfer the dirt and root bulb to your square foot garden!
- Make extra ice for coolers. Need some extra ice to ice down the cooler? Cut the bottoms on an egg carton and fill with water. Place them in the freezer overnight and slide out the ice “cubes” in the morning to ice down your favorite beverages. Note, give them a good cleaning if you plan to use the ice in drinks–wouldn’t want any egg leftovers in there.
- Organize washers, nuts and screws. I hate putting together store-bought furniture because it usually comes with instructions no one can understand and a huge plastic pack of screws, washers, etc. that all look alike. Save some leftover egg carton bottoms to sort and organize these items during your next DIY bookcase project.
- Make fire starter briquettes. Looking for a good use for a pile of sawdust from your latest home improvement project? Melt some wax in a big pot, mix in a little sawdust, and pour the wax into the bottom of an egg carton. When the wax cools you are left with little fire starter cakes that are great to take along camping, or use in the backyard fire pit.
- Change sorter for yard sales. Why buy an expensive cash box with separated compartments just to hold loose change? For your next yard sale, hang on to an empty egg carton bottom and use it to make change. This is also a fun way for kids to learn to separate their coins. Cut out a four-compartment section of the egg carton bottom to separate pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Let the kids decorate their “egg banks” to add a personal touch.
*Got some old milk jugs sitting around, too? Check out 12 Household Uses for Empty Plastic Containers
Do you have any other tips to share for reusing egg cartons?