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15 Uses for Empty Yogurt Containers

Georgie is here to share with you her thrifty tips for reusing empty yogurt containers.

There's no need for fancy Mikasa ramekins in my house! My ranch dressing goes in a yogurt cup.

There's no need for fancy Mikasa ramekins in my house! My ranch dressing goes in a yogurt cup.

Can You Reuse Empty Yogurt Containers?

As many technological advances as we've made, the planet seems to be getting smaller. This is probably due, in part, to the amount of trash we throw into our garbage dumps. But there's no reason to trash so much. Up to 70% of the stuff our trashmen haul away could be recycled. That includes the things we throw away that could be reused.

Many communities are getting on the recycling bandwagon, and there are tons of internet businesses that are thriving right now by showing consumers just like you and me how to make things with items they might have otherwise thrown away. Re-purposing and up-cycling have become buzzwords as more and more people try to find at least small ways to help the environment, not to mention saving a few bucks here and there.

I'm not as gung-ho about reusing things as I could be, but I'm definitely more conscious of it. A few months ago, I published a list of 15 uses for old underwear, and now I'm back with 15 uses for empty yogurt cups!

M&M's YoCrunch containers make great cups for leftover peas!

M&M's YoCrunch containers make great cups for leftover peas!

15 Frugal Alternatives to Tossing Your Empty Yogurt Containers

Here's my master list of at least 15 ways you can reuse your small yogurt cups. I buy single-serve applesauce, and there are also lots of other kinds of individual serving cups on the market too—EZ Mac, for instance (although why you would ever want to eat that I don't know!), and they'll work just as well for most of these uses.

  1. Use them for dip! I'll fill one with barbecue sauce or ranch dressing when I'm having chicken fingers or french fries because it keeps the Sweet Baby Ray's off of my peas. You can also use them as individual, single-serving bowls for salsa or that awesome hot bacon and cream cheese dip stuff, which means nobody's double-dipping in your bowl of salsa!
  2. The cups that have lids make great bowls for small amounts of leftovers or putting snacks in your kids' lunches.
  3. Use them as a measuring cup. Most yogurt cups are six ounces, which is exactly three-quarters of a cup when filled to the brim. This is also great for folks who measure their food very carefully for dietary reasons. Six ounces of cereal is a standard serving on some diets.
  4. Stick one in your box of powdered laundry detergent for a less-mess way of getting the stuff into your washing machine.
  5. You can scoop out your oatmeal, sugar, rice, grits, or any other dried food with these, too. Keep one in each bin—they're much less messy than pouring!
  6. They can be used for crafts, too. I take the shorter cups to sort beads for making jewelry, but you can easily use one cup for each color of paint you're using for a project. Use another to wash off your dirty paintbrush.
  7. I went around my house recently and removed all of the nails that the previous owner left in the walls (it seemed as if there were a million of them!). I put them in a drawer in an empty yogurt cup! You could use these containers for screws, nuts, bolts, or just about any other small item you might need to hang up that framed photo of your Uncle Marty in a bunny suit.
  8. I also keep a stash of those bread twist-ties in a kitchen drawer in one of these cups. I use them to keep bags of veggies closed in the freezer.
  9. Use them to measure or pour out small amounts of bleach or other household chemicals to save your good measuring cups. They can also be used in place of misplaced or broken cups for dispensing liquid laundry detergent.
  10. Poke holes in the bottom of your cups and set them in trays (or a plastic tray from, say, those apple Newtons), and you've got yourself a nifty little planter for seedlings. They're also small enough to fit in most window sills, in case you want to grow some basil or sage for your recipes!
  11. My grandmother used to swear by apple cider vinegar as a rinse after shampooing her hair. She'd give me about half of a yogurt cup full each time I went to take a shower to get all of the soap residue out of my hair.
  12. I learned from a friend that these are a great way to hand out snacks or servings of Kool-Aid to small kids. They're just the right size for M&Ms, bugles, and granola. Also good for a sample or a good way to serve appetizers at an informal party.
  13. You can pour your Jell-O in them and chill for individual treats, or you can fill them with juice, cover the top with aluminum foil (if they don't have lids), poke a hole in the foil, and stand a popsicle stick in them to freeze for a cold goodie in hot weather.
  14. Take a lidded container, poke a few holes in the top, and fill it with potpourri or your favorite sweet-scented herbs to place in your dresser drawers or closets to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
  15. Keeping a handful of q-tips or cotton balls in your medicine cabinet or your bathroom counter is easy with these containers!

And there you have 15 ways you can reuse something that you'd more than likely have thrown away!

If you have a great use for empty yogurt cups, please comment and let me know! I eat a ton of the stuff, so it would be great to have other uses for them instead of tossing them out!

© 2013 Georgie Lowery


Dulce on July 20, 2020:

Glad to see I am not the only one who feels bad to throw these away..... have dozens of them, as I was sure I would eventually find a use for them. Thanks for giving me 15 ideas!!

Hugh Morrison from London, England on May 01, 2020:

You can fill ice cream tubs, margarine tubs etc with water and use them as 'freezer fillers' to fill up space and reduce energy costs in your freezer.

Faith Ij Walton on September 20, 2018:

how is this an album?? just dont get it ty

Solidsol on August 17, 2017:

I wonder if teachers of kindergarten children would like to have them for projects?

Janellegems on October 13, 2016:

Great Hub. Very unique, interesting ways to use empty yogurt containers. Thanks for these suggestions.

Marie Ryan from Andalusia, Spain on April 05, 2016:

Absolutely loved this...

I must have 50 empty yoghourt pots waiting for their final destiny...

Oh wait, does that make me a hoarder?

By the way, how do I vote "Up" "Interesting" etc? I don't see any buttons.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 05, 2014:

Like my mom I have oodles of plastic cups and bowls and the older I get the more I think of to use them for. Great tips!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 06, 2013:

Well, aren't you the clever one! I love re-using and recycling. Great hub. Voted up, useful, funny, interesting, and awesome!

Claudia Porter on April 30, 2013:

I love keeping these kinds of things. I pack leftovers for my daughter's lunch and then I don't mind if it doesn't come home. Good suggestions.

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on April 17, 2013:

Great ideas. I hate throwing out things that could be useful. I will try the popsicle thing.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on April 14, 2013:


I use a lot of small containers of sour cream, and those are good for most of these too. Now I want some ice cream! ;)

Thanks for the comment!

Bianu from Africa on April 14, 2013:

Very interesting article. I am more of an ice cream person, so I'll try some of these ideas for ice cream containers.