What can I reuse or recycle to make a moneybox/piggy bank?

A couple of weeks ago on The Really Good Life, I was umming and ahhing about whether or not to buy an automatic chicken coop door. There were several reasons arguments for it but we don’t *need* one, it would just be a convenience – and I didn’t know whether convenience is worth £100.

The wonderful Alice helped me justify wanting to sleep later than daybreak and added:

Is there anything else you could give up or change to save the equivalent of £100 in a year to compensate? For instance I’d go a whole year without a takeaway to pay for being able to lie in all year, and that’d probably save me enough money over the year (as well as probably compensating somewhat in carbon/environmental terms). Can you “trade” anything else in your life that you don’t really need, motivated by knowing that the sacrifice is “paying” for the lie-ins?

As I said, Alice is wonderful and this is a great idea – and without naming any particular thing, I’ve decided to I’ll give up numerous often-fleeting wants over the next few months to (retrospectively) pay for it — mostly, I suspect, unnecessarily food while I’m out and about, stuff that can be easily done without and isn’t really missed outside of the moment — money thrown down the drain for little value.

Anyway I thought it would be fun to keep track of this money through a moneybox/piggy bank so I can see it building up (and at the same time, see how much I normally fritter away!) – and whenever I think something like that, the next thing that comes to my mind is: “how can I make one of those reusing or recycling stuff?”

So what can I reuse or recycle to make a money box or piggy bank?

Around our house, we already have some old coffee cans with slits in the tops for collecting change and my dad uses a giant old whiskey bottle from a bar for his pennies. They’re both very practical but I’d like something that’s a bit more fun if possible.

One idea I had was to make a papier mâché chicken from old newspaper and out of date flour. I imagine a hollow plastic ball could be used in the same way instead of the papier-mâché – and could be decorated in a similar way to become a rotund hen.

So any ideas?

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7 Responses to “What can I reuse or recycle to make a moneybox/piggy bank?”

  1. Bellen says:

    Back a few decades – the 60s or 70s – piggiy banks were made out of empty bleach bottles – anything with a roundish body and handle with spout – use 4 wine corks for legs, some felt for ears, the spout is the snout. Cut slit on top and further decorate with markers. They are cute and practical.

    Any clean plastic topped container can be used – plastic top so you can cut a slit- cocoa containers are good as the label can be removed, also small plastic pumpkins from Halloween, any vase with a smallish opening, 4 same sized glass jars lined up together – in a line or a square – wrapped with leftover paper or ribbon, chipped mugs or ones you just don’t like.

    Any of these can be decorated to suit your need – have you seen those containers labeled “Mom’s Bingo or Cruise or New Shoe Money”? – they usually retail for about $7.95 – do it yourself.

  2. cmdweb says:

    In the past I’ve cut a slit in the shoulder of a 3 litre plastic Coke bottle Take the label off too though – and wash it out). You’d be surprised just how much you can get into one of those things! Being clear, it lets you see whether you’re making progress or not too.
    Right now I use a glass demi-john left over from the home wine-making days.

  3. MaryH says:

    I’m a new reader, just found this blog last week and have really been enjoying it. Here’s a link to a Martha Stewart piggy bank using recyled items. I think if you wanted to you could leave the middle of the pig clear so that you could see the money mounting up!


  4. Alice says:

    I hereby begin my campaign for you to make a papier mâché chicken.

    But keep the ideas coming ‘cos I’m saving up for bike parts, and I don’t think a papier mâché bike would either work very well or hold much cash.

  5. Ddraig Goch says:

    To make a Frugal Fun Saving *Pig*

    To make a Frugal Fun Saving *Pig* you need a balloon, out of date flour, water, newspaper, paint of various hues & possibly a cardboard egg carton [plastic will do at a push!], possibly parts of a cardboard box

    Blow up the balloon and tie it off securely, hang it up somewhere sensible
    Paint it roughly with fairly thick flour & water glue [henceforth referred to simply as *glue*]
    Tear up newspaper into 1″ rough strips
    Drag a paper strip through slightly watered down [to thin cream consistency] glue and apply immediately to balloon
    Continue doing this, making sure that the paper strips are only slightly gluey or the whole lot will fall off, in a criss cross pattern until the whole balloon is covered.
    Leave it to dry.
    Repeat for a total of three layers.
    If you want to make a chicken/penguin/pig/whatever out of it, cut out the appropriate pieces of cardboard/egg box for the wings, beaks, feet, combs, etc and glue them on with heavy cream consistency glue.
    Repeat the paper strip covering at least twice again.
    You will now have a rather amusing looking “piggy bank” shape.
    Paint it in your base colour – white’s usually a good start – and leave to dry
    Having assessed where the best place for the money slot is, prepare yourself for the “pop” and cut it out with very sharp scissors. If you want to take the money out before you fill it up then I suggest leaving the hole cutting until you’re desperate, it means you think about it more and probably leave the money in there a bit longer! For children the main aim is to fill the “pig”.
    Now paint it to suit.
    Voilá, your very own, free, recycled, reusing Frugal Fun Savings Pig.

    Not only has he already saved you money by not buying him, but he’s also contributing to your funds by having given you free entertainment and possibly even entertained any children you need entertained without recourse to the TV etc.
    He’s taught you how to make *pigs* and pinatas, Christmas and Easter decorations, hats and masks [make one and get creative with cutting it up into pieces], Halloween costume parts and school play props.

    And you thought it was just a pile of rubbish!

  6. Tiptheplanet says:

    A 5 gallon water bottle is a good choice! Do you know what they use for water dispensers? That one! If it gets too dirty to be refilled with water, just turn it into a piggy bank. I did and just put in coins in there. I think it took me 2 years to fill it up and it took me hours to count and tape all the coins. It made me a lot of money! Haha!

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