From Coffee Tins to Tofu

Coffee Tins

I used to treat myself to those fancy, flavored-coffee and instant-tea mixes — the kinds that come in cool rectangular tins with fitted plastic lids. When the tins were empty, I recited the Savage Sisters’ mantra, “What else can I do with these tins instead of throwing them out?” That’s how I discovered their value in organizing all kinds of odds and ends in the garage.

I can tell at a glance which coffee tin holds the item I need.

I can tell at a glance which coffee tin holds the item I need.

A key to using them effectively is being sure to clearly label what’s inside. Yes, I know; it’s much easier to dump in wood screws, snap on the lid, and promise yourself you’ll remember the contents later. It’s also annoying to have to round up labels or tape, a marking pen, scissors, and your reading glasses. But later when you can tell at a glance what the tin holds, you’ll thank yourself many times over for making the effort.

Tofu Containers

Over the years, I shifted to healthier alternatives such as tofu, and my supply of coffee tins has dwindled. No, no, I don’t mean I started drinking tofu. I scramble it with eggs for breakfast. (Diana is writing now. Jennifer steers clear of tofu. I don’t think she eats breakfast, either.) Anyway, the little plastic tofu containers are also wonderful for organizing small items, and they stack so well, several of them take up hardly any more room than just one does.

This empty tofu container is perfect for holding little condiment packets in the fridge.

This empty tofu container is perfect for holding little condiment packets in the fridge.

The brand I buy comes in 5″ by 4″ by2.25″ white plastic boxes. I use them in the kitchen and garage. They also work as drawer dividers, sewing-notion keepers, and organizers for all sorts of craft supplies.


If you tend to be a saver, you’ll really have to set a limit on how many empty coffee tins and tofu containers to keep on hand at any given moment. Once you’ve reached the limit, firmly toss the excess into the recycle bin and console yourself knowing they’re not taking up valuable space in your home — or in the landfill.

Written by Fiercely Frugal Savage Sister Diana

© 2009, The Savage Sisters

This entry was posted in Organizing with Flair and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From Coffee Tins to Tofu

  1. Pola Kelley says:

    You’re a real hoot. My Mom would adore your reuse philosophy. She never would let us throw out even the smallest things as it could always be used for something else and dad was a master of making things out of scraps–still remember the hula hoops he made out of a stiff hose for us. Anyway, your site is fun and I enjoyed visiting.

  2. savagesisters says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Pola, and leaving a comment. Hula hoops from a stiff hose? I never would have thought of that. Even though it’s been many years since we were in school together, I guess we can still share ideas on important things. And saving money is important! Thank you. ~ Diana

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