Upcycling simply means converting useless or old materials or products into something new and of better quality. What you convert can come from anywhere–your home, your office, or even skip diving.

It’s easy to imagine that you don’t possess the skills to upcycle stuff. The truth, however, remains that upcycling isn’t as complicated as you think. Using Google search and YouTube, you can discover various homemade guides on upcycling one thing into another.

The big question is: How much can you save through upcycling? The answer to that is a lot. In fact, upcycling can be essentially beneficial to both low income earners who find it difficult to make ends meet and people that are business savvy but don’t have the resources to source raw materials.

Upcycling can thus become an alternative to a personal or small business loan or, perhaps, a means of earning extra cash or reducing expenses in order to meet up with loan repayment. This, however, doesn’t diminish the importance of loans. In fact, you can combine a small personal loan, with upcycling and a garage sale towards funding a holiday or your wedding. However, always make sure you understand your loan completely before going ahead with it.

This is not a joke. People have done similar things. In Oakland, America, for instance, an artist combines skip diving, upcycling, and funds from donations to cheaply build small shelters for the homeless in his community. If he can achieve so much through upcycling, then you shouldn’t find it difficult to either save some money by upcycling your old items or make extra cash by combining skip diving, upcycling, and a garage sale.

Let’s look at ways you can save by upcycling stuff

With upcycling, you can turn just about anything into something else or something new. Below are some great examples.

  • Instead of buying new shoes, you can dye your old ones to bring out their appeal and sheen.
  • Convert a groundnut butter jar into a piggy bank.
  • Cut and sew old jeans into shopping bags.
  • Using sandpaper and stain, you can sand and re-stain your old furniture to bring out its beauty.
  • Don’t throw away your old clothes and towels. Neither should you waste money buying cleaning cloths. You can turn the former into the latter. Cut out any buttons, zips, waistbands… and you are good to go.
  • Build your dog a kennel using wood from your old furniture. You can also make a bed for the dog using fabric and padding from your old cushion.

Your upcycling options are limitless. It doesn’t mater if you don’t have the skill required to pull off a particular upcycling idea. There’s always the internet and the wealth of free information it contains. Always remember, it’s wasteful to spend on new products or items when you have the means to upcycle and save money.


Cheryl Posner is the owner of Winey Mommy. Of course, she loves wine, her family, and writing about it all (in no certain order).

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