|Glass Jars and Plastic Cups|
Glass Jars -- like the kind that hold salsa and tomato sauce. Once cleaned and labels removed, these jars are incredibly useful. They hold kids craft supplies like paint brushes, markers, googly eyes and scissors. See here. I have one labeled "Homework Pencils" because Leah will find ANY excuse not to do her homework (or whine about it) and I learned early on "not finding a pencil" was an easy one.
You'll find jars of all sizes around the house -- some on the kids' desks (holding rocks and shells) and in windows propagating rosemary. Why buy them!? But, guys, they really shouldn't be used to store food again, okay? Maybe as drinking glasses, but not for canning. Got it?
Plastic Cups -- these I wash and save for my little artists to dip brushes into while creating masterpieces. I don't save every one they eat from, but having them stocked-up means they don't have to share and I can toss them after a paint project if I don't have the energy to wash them again. These are apple sauce cups, but the larger yogurt cups work well, too.
Egg Cartons -- my little artists use paint from bottles (it's just easier and there are more color options), so these cartons become SUPER USEFUL as a palate. I easily break them apart, they load them with paint and get to work. The lids are even useful to hold the water cups and used brushes. Also, cartons come into play when it's time to start seedlings in the spring. As do the plastic cups.
I had friend who saved cereal boxes to use as canvases -- they absorbed paint well. And, on the rare instance we do take-out, I try to save those containers, as well.
What do you save?