Good Things to do with Junk Mail
Junk mail, ugh!
The frugal person sees good in all things, even junk mail. I know you’re sitting there scratching your head and wondering what good is there in junk mail. Well, that is what I’m here for, to tell you exactly what good things you can do with your endless supply of junk mail.
Flip it over
Many times junk mail and even those ever present bills have a good side–that is to say, of the main letter or sheet of paper. All you have to do is flip it over to see if it is blank, and if it is, it’s usable. More times than not you’ll find a perfectly blank sheet of paper staring back at you. Yes, but what good is that if the other side has writing on it, you may be asking. Two options for a half blank sheet of junk mail paper:
1. Cut the sheet up into serviceable pieces of note paper—4-8 works for most. Fold the sheet in half and then in half again, unfold it and cut along the folded lines. Now stack these small pieces of paper, and place them with a pen by the phone. You won’t ever have to scramble around looking for something to write on and messages won’t get lost or forgotten.
2. Leave the sheet whole and use it in the copy or fax machine. Unless you run a business and need good paper for packing lists, invoices and purchase orders, the junk paper will work fine for any copies you keep for your records. Need I say this practice can save you a boat load of money? We have two active and very busy businesses going here which means we deal with companies who insist on endless amounts of paperwork, in duplicate and triplicate, so most of that gets printed on scrap paper. If they need to send us something by email which needs to be printed out, we can use the scrap paper. The money we save on paper doing this is extraordinary! “Running low on scrap paper. Hope we get some junk mail soon!” is often spoken at our place. Okay, not so often. We do get a lot of junk mail!
Shred, baby, shred!
Many people put their junk mail through the shredder, but then they don’t know what to do with the mess of shredded paper. Couple of options for you:
1. Shredded paper is great for packing filler. If you need to ship a somewhat delicate item, or just don’t want it rattling about in a box, fill in the space with shredded paper. You’ll be rid of all that shredded paper, put it to good use, and your item will arrive at the other end unharmed. One proviso: Just make certain none of your pertinent information—credit card numbers, SS#, phone numbers and the like– is on any of the paper!
2. Did you know shredded paper makes a great addition to the compost pile? It’s considered carbonaceous material which is often hard to find in the summer months when there is an abundance of nitrogenous material. Save the shredded paper to add to the compost and you’ll have a balanced and active compost pile all year round.
Bills, bills, and envelopes
When it comes to bills, I’ll bet a lot of you pay most of them online. So, the electric, phone or cable bills with the return envelopes is just a waste. Ah, you’re not thinking like a frugal person! I save all those useless envelopes and use them for collecting seeds, to store receipts, to hold coupons–a shopping list can be written out right on the envelope itself– and even to mail invoices, send a note and to ship seeds out to my friends in far off places. I let nothing go to waste and neither should you!
Have you ever received mail which includes envelopes with return shipping—pre-paid envelops? Those are usually from very annoying and endlessly persistent companies who just won’t take no for an answer. Well, my friend Julie, the shepherdess at Wooly Acres, came up with a great way to make them understand that if they continue in this wasteful game—oh, the poor trees being used up needlessly for this practice!—they will now pay for it by having their return envelopes sent back to them with the junk mail from other annoying companies. Isn’t that a twist, the spamming companies paying to get your junk mail? I love that!
Like I said at the start, the true-blue frugal person takes time to find the good in everything, and I just showed you the good in junk mail. Aren’t you thrilled beyond belief? Don’t all of you jump up and cheer at once…you’ll make the earth tilt off its axis.
Glory Lennon is a frugal homemaker, avid gardener and accomplished writer on the web and for print media. When she’s not at the keyboard writing a novel, short story or an article about her favorite plant of the day, you can find her at Glory’s Garden or in the backyard where she grows flowers of all kinds.