5 Ways to Reuse Your Prescription Bottles

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

Since the first of the year, I’ve been on a mission to reduce clutter in my life. I’ve identified an area of messiness that may resonate with you:

Piles and piles of empty prescription bottles. 

Everytime I throw one of those little buggers into the recycling bin, a part of me freaks out: It’s so useable! I have so many! There’s got to be a better way!

And, a quick search revealed an article from Consumer Reports saying curbside programs aren’t a guarantee that pill bottles will be recycled (even though most are a #5 plastic, there’s something about their size makes it hard for them to sort).

So now I feel even more motivated to find ways to reuse prescription pill bottles. Considering I see my pharmacist for a minimum of five ‘scripts a month, it’s a Must Do on my task list.

Here are five ways I’ve reused old pill bottles (no craft skills needed!).

prescriptions1) Matches. Keeps ‘em dry and away from a 3-year-old’s hands. Stuff an entire book or use to store wooden matches for camping, by the grill, or wherever you might find yourself needing safe access to fire.

2) Travel container. I’m inexplicitly drawn to the travel-size container aisle at Target. There’s something about tiny bottles of product that leave me weak in the knee. Well, no more — now that I’ve successfully used pill bottles to bring my shampoo and lotions with me. Label with a Sharpie and you’re set to jet. Q-tips and cotton balls fit great too!

3) Spare change holder for your car. It never fails — if I’m required to pay a parking meter, A) It’s a meter that doesn’t take credit cards, and B) I don’t have any quarters in my purse or truck. I’ve always used the ashtray approach to spare change management, but the penny to quarter ratio averages 32 to 1. A pill bottle holds a roll of quarters and, bonus! it’s clear, so I can see when I need to add more.

4) Bobby pins and ponytail holders. I’ve bought hundreds of these items, yet at any given moment, I can locate 2 ponytail holders and one stretched out bobby pin. After a recent stock-up, I filled two bottles which now roll around nicely in my drawer.

5) Buttons. I’m notorious for ripping the tags off of clothes and leaving them in a pile on my dresser in an attempt to keep the attached button. I have a container already designated for buttons, but it’s tucked amongst my sewing supplies in another room. Enter empty pill bottle: Thrown in my top drawer, I can quickly stash the button.

Disclaimer: These are not FDA-approved uses. But if you don’t mind living on the edge, these bad-boys-of-plenty can actually be pretty helpful around the house — and save you a few bucks next time you’re tempted by The Container Store.

What’s your best tip for recycling or reusing your pill bottles? Please, share below!