A trip to the supermarket filled the refrigerator but left us with a trail of disposable paper goods and packaging. Foil pans, foam trays and plastic inserts littered the kitchen countertops. Determined to create a detour away from landfills, I recycled the packaging. I used the containers for storage, organization and food prep. And while saving the environment, I developed a frugal strategy for organizing desk and kitchen drawers. Here's my green recipe. Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
Clutter control: Supermarkets sell frozen foods and fresh fruits in a variety of foil and plastic containers. Those vessels, emptied and washed, provide great organizational tools for cabinets and drawers. Small trays can be arranged to create storage compartments for keys, coins and stamps. Finding keys and spare change has become easier around my home, and we've streamlined our clutter.
Flatware tray: As a special treat for the kids, I purchased a box of frozen appetizers, (mini hot dogs in pastry dough), packed in a sturdy plastic tray. The container featured long indented rows, which worked well as a utensil tray for our flatware. There was ample room for forks, knives and spoons. Buttons, coins, rubber bands and small sewing supplies also fit neatly into the long indentations.
Stationery supplies: A long, narrow plastic foam tray that once held a trio of red, green and yellow bell peppers now holds a collection of pens and pencils. The writing tools are neatly contained in the tray, which is tucked into a drawer. Writing checks, making lists and finishing school assignments is less of a hassle with easier access to supplies. The tray provided a frugal but effective makeover for our junk drawer.
. Foil pan: After we polished off a key lime pie, we found additional uses for the frozen foil pan that held the dessert. The recycled pie tin is great for warming up french fries, sandwiches and other quick meals. Foil pans can be placed under plants or serve as a spare feeding dish for pets.