25 Ways to Save Money, Use Coffee Filters, Frugal Living

August 3, 2010, updated August 27, 2014

Sharing Tips of Frugal Survival

From August of 2010, until today (August 27, 2014) I have continued to substitute coffee filters for paper towels, envelopes, protective layers, and toilet tissue. One of the things that makes me feel good about sharing space on this planet, is understanding that my words have helped people to save money and hopefully the environment.

There have been many times in four years when I have been someplace, usually work, where they have run out of paper towels, and I have had the opportunity to say, "hey, let's try a coffee filter." The responses ran from immediately accepting, to very unsure of what they were being told. If they comment about how good it worked, or whatever, I'll say, "oh, well I wrote an article on Twenty-Five ways to save money by using coffee filters, it's on HubPages." Really, there are big doubts as to how many ran home, and pulled this article up or not, but I have converts.

Twenty-five uses for coffee filters, living on the cheap; frugal living has saved me hundreds of dollars over the past several years.As a person who desires to be more Earth conscience, and wants to reduce my carbon footprint, I can say that these tips are ideas I have used, and coffee filters have saved the day.


Not only as a writer, but as a consumer, I heartily recommend the twenty-five uses included below.


Changed to border
Changed to border | Source

25 Ways to Use Coffee Filters - Did You Know?

For newlyweds, retirees, transients and students who want to, or must live within tighter budgets,, and are looking for thrifty tips without engaging nosy family members, this article is packed with good and easy ways to save money, while helping the environment. This should help stretch your pennies a bit farther.

You will amaze yourself with all of the things you can do with a package of coffee filters.

Coffee filters come in all sizes, shapes and types. There are store brands, off-brands, and name brand coffee filters. For a few dollars U.S. you can get fifty name brand filters, A typical store brand will outfit you with about two hundred filters for under five bucks.

Another bonus for the environment, is finding old packaged filters at yard sales. Many machines die right after purchasing filters, and they don't always work in another machine. By re-using the old filters, it keeps them out of the landfills.

Cheaper still.


Out of Paper Towels, Construction Paper, Art Supplies?


Out of paper towels? Use 1 or a few coffee filters in place of paper towels.

  1. Fried food - (Homemade Taquito Recipe) - place one to three filters on the plate to absorb grease.
  2. Tea bags - place loose tea in the center, fold like a diaper, staple or clip closed. Use a yank of plain dental floss to create a string for your "bag"
  3. Coffee bags - See Tea bags; repeat step two, except with coffee
  4. Parts pouch - 1 or 2 filters, to save fish hooks, and other small tackle
  5. Spills - Just one coffee filter can sop up a small to medium spill.

Uses for Coffee Filters

Loose change, special coin, gems or broken chains that must be transported, can be kept safely wrapped in coffee filters
Loose change, special coin, gems or broken chains that must be transported, can be kept safely wrapped in coffee filters | Source
Use coffee filters to store nails, tacks or screws that must be kept separated.
Use coffee filters to store nails, tacks or screws that must be kept separated. | Source
I used torn up bits of a coffee filter, to stuff the nose, and make the hat look 3 dimensional.
I used torn up bits of a coffee filter, to stuff the nose, and make the hat look 3 dimensional. | Source
When I make homemade flautas, or taquitos, I use coffee filters instead of paper towels.
When I make homemade flautas, or taquitos, I use coffee filters instead of paper towels. | Source

Drop a Diamond, Have An Inspiration, Book?



  1. Fold in half, write any notes, and save your place in a book
  2. Keep a small stack of coffee filters next to the phone, for messages
  3. Place diamonds, or other precious jewels as a temporary storage, in a hurry.
  4. Use vinegar, plus 1 or 2 coffee filters, to clean the countertops
  5. White vinegar, and a coffee filter, will make your windows, or mirrors shine.

Frank Sinatra - The Coffee Song by Columbia - YouTube

Been Stranded, Waiting For Someone To Get T.P. For You?

  1. Toilet Paper - Use one or two natural, chlorine free, or organic coffee filters, and crumple them several times. It is probably best not to not flush the filters, and if you are camping (dispose of properly).
  2. Shoe Liners - Put a drop or two of your favorite essential oil, cut filter in half, You can sprinkle some corn powder on the filters too for extra comfort
  3. In an emergency, a coffee filter is an excellent place to store small chains, links, or jewels that have fallen from a setting
  4. Six filters deep can be used for a pot holder (test before picking up the heavy pan), reuse for cleaning up spills.
  5. Four filters can be used for emergency panties liner. Use the natural, organic, chlorine free. Crumple filters several times until they are soft. This is a temporary fix. (Be careful they do not cause irritation).


Dog Slobbers?

  1. Use a large filter, to line the bottom of the cat food bowl (Do not leave in bowl unattended. remove when cat is done.)
  2. Natural, and organic coffee filters to line the bottom of the refrigerator crisper, or veggie drawer for freshness. Change frequently.
  3. If you are moving, or storing glassware, put in between bowls and cups.
  4. Use a crumpled filter to take the extra lotion off your hands.
  5. Use a large filter, rubber band large filter, with a small 'well' into the top of the cup. Place leaf tea in 'well', slowly, and carefully pour hot water, to use as a tea diffuser


Rock Hound, Picker, Sneaky Grandmother?

1. When finding small fossils or shells, a coffee filter is a good item to use to mark and store items until they can be put on display.

2. Patting corn startch on coffee filters, and then patting under arm pits, when away from a bathroom or civilization, can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container.

3. When making crafts, such as the affordable and unique Christmas stockings, use strips, and small balls of coffee filters as stuffing to add dimension to your crafts.

4. Pack coffee filters in your emergency roadside kit. They take up less room than towels, and are heartier.

5. Use as a dust cloth.

All of these uses for Coffee filters were born of hard times, or when I had run out of something, this is mainly for fun, but as they say, "desperate times call for desperate measures".

Before using the coffee filter for an odd use, please make sure you are being safe, use common sense.


Since you use the Filters for other things...

© 2010 Lori J Latimer

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

LillyGrillzit, Oh what would we do without you. 25 uses for coffee filters living on the cheap is not only great for saving money but I'm thinking this is also a very green thing to do. HEA we all need to learn to spend less, buy less and be wiser with what we have, the planet depends on us to do that. I send out the most positive of energy and prosperity to all those who are currently struggling! Expect things to get better! Peace :)


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Hey Lilly! Now I don't have an issue with #20 at all, but who carries coffee filters in their purse??? ;)

Seriously-great ideas!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Katiem - Thank you for your positive and encouraging comments! Expecting things to get better - Peace !

Lorlie - #26 - tissue, crumple several times, leave a few in your purse for emergencies! LOL! Thanks for stopping by!


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA

#16 sounds interesting :)


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

chan0512, in a pinch, it works, and if you get the fancy coffee filters, they turn out a bit softer... :0)


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

This is WONDERFUL! I love all the uses you have tried and found effective! I like the way you think!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you! RunAbstract. The feeling is mutual, I enjoy your Hubs and useful comments!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Do you mind if I link this Hub to one of my own? It is my 'how to survive a wage garnishment' Hub. This is great!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Sweetsusie, you can link anything you want! I love your writing and the heart you put into it! Anytiime!


TruthAwake profile image

TruthAwake 6 years ago from The Dirty South

Ha ha I LOVE this! I will definitely be checking out more of your hubs on frugal living. So interesting!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

TruthAwake, I apologize for not responding. I had one weekend where nothing stuck, no comments or anything. Sorry for being remiss. Thanks for the Visit and Comment.


Alpaca Annie profile image

Alpaca Annie 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN

Lilly, I love your 25 uses of coffee filters! It's just a reminder that we all need to learn to be a bit more frugal, as times ahead may be tough. We need to be prepared and I like your style! Great Hub!!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you Alpaca Annie for the read, and nice comments. I use these tips all the time, and have for years. Some people have bad names for those who live frugally, but it comes in handy during hard times. ;0)


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

Lots of very good stuff here, you can also use them as liners around your wired bras. To prevent chaffing of your skin on hot sweaty days. Good ideas here though, really very creative.


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Dear Fluffy77,

Thank you for another tip about coffee filters! I use several of these weekly, just sharing with the new poor. :0)


lucybell21 profile image

lucybell21 4 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

Great tips! I use coffee filters at work for my residents, we put chips and such in the, as my kitchen aides are lazy and don't want to wash extra bowls lol. So now I even do it with the grandkids at home. Another good use is in the cup holder in the car, so it does not get messed up. Nice hub!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working