10 Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs: Don’t Just Recycle – REUSE!

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10 Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs

For today’s “Works for Me Wednesday”, I’m going to borrow a post I wrote last year on Jinxy Knows Best:

We all know the refrain “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, but sometimes forget those 3 words are phrased in that order for a reason – their order of impact. We can help the environment the most by reducing consumption. The second biggest impact comes from reuse. So, whenever possible, it’s better to reuse than to recycle. Recycling is great, but many resources are consumed in the recycling process. It’s easy to throw an empty container in the recycling bin, but if you can actually find a practical new use for that container you’re helping the environment even more. This issue came up for me personally with regard to plastic milk jugs. For the last few years our next-door-neighbor asked for all our empty jugs. She’s an avid gardener and uses the jugs as planting containers and transfer containers for digging up plants to share with others. Well, several months ago, she let me know that she had enough jugs to last for quite some time. So, I was left with the question of what to do with my empty jugs. Here is a list of ways to reuse them.


10 Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs


  •  Fill with water and use to fill empty spaces in your freezer. Your freezer runs more efficiently when it is full! – Then when filling a cooler you can use these as ice packs.
  • Make a funnel – Cut of the bottom of the jug and turn upside down
  • Fill the jug with small stones and place it in your toilet tank to displace water and reduce the amount of water used per flush.
  • Fill with sand as use as weights to hold down a tarp or anything else you don’t want flying away.
  • Cut off the jug bottoms for use as refrigerator organizers. They can be used to keep produce organized and also are great for holding condiment bottles and catching drips.
  • Make a scoop. Leave the cap on and cut off the bottom portion. Use the handle as the handle for the scoop.
  • Use them to store dry goods (rice, sugar, etc.)
  • Make a watering can – Use a small nail to poke about 20 holes in the cap.
  • Do a fun craft project like this skeleton

About Chrysa

Chrysa is the founder and owner of ThriftyJinxy.com, a site dedicated to living a fabulous life on a frugal budget. Her approach is that by spending less on the boring everyday stuff, you can have more money to splurge on the things you REALLY want, whether it’s travel, fashion, electronics – you name it! Chrysa is married, has a 9-year old nephew she dotes on, as well as three lovable cats and a big sweetie of a German Shepherd.


  1. I love the funnel idea! And the watering jug!

    I wish I had empty space in my freezer I needed to fill!

  2. Great ideas. Unfortunately, Milk in Germany comes in cartons or glass jugs. But would love to have that funnel! I remember using those as a flotation device as a kid before floaties were invented! THat was back in the 70s when they tied 2 gallon jug together with a string and floated around with those in the lake.

  3. Another use for plastic milk jugs: fill them with water and use them for weightlifting. Also, I took a water aerobics class many years ago where the plastic milk jugs–empty and clean–were our “flotation devices.”

    Fun ideas!


  4. Wash em ,& reuse as water jugs when anticipating power outages,like coldest winter nights & pipes might freeze,& /or take out the power.Tie a rope on em,fill with 10 oz water for ballast,& use around lakes,pools ,boats as emgcy lifesaver gear,row tow,throw,also when towing someone back to land,instead of letting them grab you & pushing you down to gain buoyancy,2 liter bottles work like this too,with masons nylon twine ,paracord,or rope…

  5. Don’t just stick them in a freezer. USE THEM. Fill 3/4 full of water then put in freezer. When working out in the heat use them as ice/cold water jugs. Just pull one out and finish filling with water, wrap in a towel or put down in a plastic bag full of packing material and VOILA.. instant insulated ice water jug completely free.

  6. I care for my health and well being of my bones so I don’t consume any kind of dairy whatsoever but I could use water, tea, etc. jugs.

  7. Cut off tops and use as mini greenhouses to cover tender plants and protect against early spring frost.

  8. Bobbie valerius says:

    The links don’t work. It says the site can’t be found…

  9. Sue Ann Kelly says:

    For gardening in raised beds, remove the top, poke holes in the bottom half of the jug with a nail, and bury them in the bed with only the top slightly above the dirt level. When watering, fill up the jug through the top, and the holes in the bottom will insure your roots stay watered, without overusing water or ‘drowning’ everything else.

  10. It doesn’t tell what the jugs stacked against the wall was for. Left me wondering.

  11. I always keep a couple dozen filled with water in the basement. If we lose power and the generator fails, we will at least be able to flush our toilets!

  12. Living in the snow belt, i have always filled with kitty little or salt & kept in the trunk of my cars( if not used i kept in the garage during the warm months), also keep one by each door in the house with salt to melt the snow /ice on sidewalks….just shake it out……when changing the oil in my car, filled them with the old oil to take to recyle center ….

  13. Trucker Mike says:

    I find them great for portable urinary containment devices. -Trucker Mike


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