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A Tightwad's Guide to Frugal Living

Updated on May 30, 2010
Save those grounds!
Save those grounds!

Alternate Uses for Coffee Grounds

Being as frugal as I am, I am always looking for alternate uses for ordinary household stuff; or, better yet, ways I can re-use it to save both my money and the environment!

This morning as I was just finishing the preparation of my morning latte (with triple espresso, mind you) I bumped the basket holding the ground beans against the cappuccino machine. WHACK!! Coffee grounds all over the counter - again. As I scooped the mess onto a saucer, I began pondering what I should do with them. At this point, the grounds remain on that saucer for the time being, but I've decided to begin my frugal tips with.....what else? Things I can do with these coffee grounds - or Alternate Uses for Coffee Grounds!

I doubt that I know of all the possible uses, so I welcome additional suggestions. What I DO know is that I've come up with a LOT of them, so read on.

  • Use coffee grounds as fertilizer for your plants. You can mix them in with the soil (although Ive seen it suggested that one should compost them first, to avoid a temporary wilting of the plants). Or you can mix them right in with your tiny garden seeds, such as carrots or radishes, and plant the mixture in rows.
  • Coffee grounds make great compost material! (although the Department of Environmental Safety recommends not having coffee comprise more than 20% of your compost heap)
  • Combine coffee grounds with water to make brown dye for fabrics, art work, colored eggs, and more.
  • Someone else suggested this one: Make a "cockroach motel" by mixing fresh, used coffee grounds with water and placing it into the bottom of a jar. Place a strip of tape down the side of the jar, which will enable the roaches to climb into the jar where they will drown in the water.
  • GENTLE scrubbing with wet coffee grounds will remove fine scratches from furniture.
  • Fight ant invasion by spreading coffee grounds along the cracks that ants use to enter your home. Ants dislike coffee and will avoid it. (Use caution if using it in areas inhabited by children or small pets, as coffee can be toxic to either if consumed in large amounts.)
  • Fight odors: neutralize refrigerator odors with a bowl of dry coffee grounds, sprinkle coffee grounds in your kitchen trash can, add them to your vacuum cleaner bag to keep if fresh smelling - and who wouldn't love to smell coffee while vacuuming?
  • Scatter used coffee grounds on sidewalks and driveways to de-ice them!
  • Use dry coffee grounds blended with a little olive oil for an exfoliating, non drying body scrub.

That's all I've got for now, though I'll probably come up with some more in my sleep. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment box!


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    • clothespinnedlove profile image


      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      I do this all the time! Great to share with others.

    • DebbieSolum profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from River Falls, WI

      Thanks for the comment :) I like the smell of coffee any time, but mostly I like the smell of coffee when I'm drinking coffee!

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Interesting ideas. I like the thought of smelling coffee when I vacuum!


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