Sure, I save here and there by using loyalty cards and buying cheap gift certificates for my favorite brands.
But coffee pods will always be one of the first items on my grocery lists.
That's why I went looking for ways to reuse and recycle those little plastic cups.
Some brands have made their products fully recyclable, but plenty of the big names in the coffee business still use the cups.
If you've just been throwing them out, give one of these 21 creative "upcycling" projects a try.
1. The K-Cup Lantern
You need to save up quite a few coffee pods for this kitschy project, but it's worth the effort.
It looks just like those funky modern lamps for sale at big box stores, but this version is way cheaper.
2. Crushed Coffee Pod Curtains
But it would be easy to build something similar with painted K-cups. You could even string on some beads for a true throwback look.
3. Snack Containers For Lunches
I find myself any small container I come across these days, because I can always find a way to use it with my lunches.
You can store some dipping sauce in a coffee pod (be sure to plug up the hole first), or use it to keep small foods tidy in your bag.
4. Refill And Reuse Them
Hey, it works, and I can say from personal experience the coffee tastes just as good.
Depending on your machine's make and model, you'll need to be a little creative to brew a nice cup.
Most people line up the pod's hole with the machine's spout, and add a layer of foil to the top of their pod, so it will pour correctly.
I know that's a lot of work, but using K-cups to make your own cheap coffee will save you quite a bit. Just don't use the cups more than twice.
5. Card Holders
My family's favorite card game is euchre, and sometimes our games stretch late into the night.
The hours at the table don't feel so long when you have a handy card holder in front of you.
Just flip a K-cup and cut a slit in it. Voila!
Sewers and serious crafters can always use another one of these.
What's handy about a K-cup pincushion is the storage room inside for buttons, needles, and anything else you need.
7. Flip Flop Decorations
Warm weather is here, and odds are last year's flip flops in your closet aren't looking so stylish right now.
A pair of medallions made from K-cups and spare crafting material are an easy way to refurbish any sandals - they cost next to nothing but add just the right amount of flare.
8. Marshmallow Shooters
Here's a fun way to entertain your kids or grandkids for hours without spending a dime.
These marshmallow launchers are made from just a K-cup and a balloon, but kids will love chasing each other around the backyard with them.
9. Jello Shots
While kids are having fun playing with marshmallow shooters, adults can enjoy their own treats.
It turns out these tiny cups are the perfect size for jello shots. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly and plug up the holes before you fill them in.
10. Storing Craft Supplies
There are two big advantages to keeping craft or office supplies in old K-cups:
First, they're the perfect size to hold odds and ends like beads, pom poms, buttons and paper clips.
But they're also convenient because there are all sorts of caddys, drawers and containers designed specifically for K-cups.
Sort the small stuff in these cups and your home will be organized in no time.
11. Outdoor Decorations
You can even use colorful Christmas lights year-round to add a little personality to your lighting. The colors shine through the plastic cups really nicely.
12. Growing Herbs And Flowers
If you want to try seed starting your garden indoors, you'll need plenty of small containers. With a little indoor potting mix, old K-cups are the perfect size.
You can start flowers indoors or grow fresh herbs for your kitchen.
Because of their small size, you can even hang your planters by the window as a nice decoration.
13. Make Popsicles
I was happy to discover how easy it was to make popsicles from K-cups, because half of a frozen treat is the perfect size for me.
There are other advantages to making your own popsicles: you can combine any flavors you like, including fresh yogurt, and the treat slides out of the cup pretty easily.
14. Trinket Box
This cute creation from Entirely Smitten is so adorable, your guests will never imagine it's made from a recycled coffee pod.
15. Wind Gauge
This is a simple afternoon project that will keep your kids busy, and teach them a little about science at the same time.
Two pods and a pair of straws make a working wind gauge that you can keep in your garden all summer.
16. Money Sorting
I'm the kind of person who always digs through their change, looking for rare coins and cool designs.
The downside of keeping them sorted in coin rolls is you can't actually see what's inside. So I like to store them in old K-cups instead.
17. Christmas Decorations
Some crafters save up their K-cups year round to make holiday decorations on a budget, and they actually look pretty nice.
If you have a lot of cups to use up, how about a homemade advent calendar stuffed with candy, toys and treats?
18. Sturdy Candle Holders
This project is a little more involved than the others, since it includes mixing concrete in K-cup molds, but the result looks really nice.
19. A Tiny Scoop
This tip is a life saver if you love to bake. Reuse those old K-cups as scoops for chocolate chips, coffee grounds, and other ingredients.
It's easier than digging in with a measuring spoon when you just need a small amount of something.
20. Freeze Cut Herbs
A K-cup with a little water is the perfect way to conveniently freeze herbs. The containers stand up, but you can top them with plastic wrap if you're nervous.
The herb cubes you make are perfect for adding flavor to soups and sauces.
21. Arts And Crafts
With a little imagination, there's no limit to the creative ways you can use old coffee pods to entertain the little ones in your family.
They make perfect stamps, and their shape is great for plenty of seasonal crafts.
Keep a few empty cups handy, and you're guaranteed to find a way to use them.
Looking for more easy DIY ideas? We have 40 crafty ways to use a Mason jar.
And if you have coffee on the brain, here are 13 unusual uses for it, besides your morning cup.