Surely I’m not the only one who squirrels away the extra ketchup, mustard and mayo packets from the occasional drive-through meal.

I can’t stand throwing them away so I started a mini single serve stockpile in my fridge. My condiment stash had piled up so much that every time I opened the fridge, two or three packets would fall out. (I swear we don’t eat fast food THAT much…why am I so defensive?) Aside from the packets being convenient for packed lunches and picnics, we just weren’t using them up. So I found non-culinary uses for those convenient little packets.


  • Polish Copper Cookware: The acid in the ketchup cleans away tarnish stains. Just rub a blob of ketchup over copper pots and pans with your fingers. They’ll gleam without toxic chemicals. For tough tarnish stains, it helps to add a pinch of salt to the mix.
  • Healing Powers: Well, “healing powers” may be a touch of hyperbole, but I have frozen some of the small packets and used them as mini ice packs for the smallest of “ouchies.”


  • Soothe a Sore Throat: Mix one single serve packet of mustard with a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. honey, and ½ cup warm water. Stir the concoction and let it settle for about 10 minutes. Gargle the mustard mix and say goodbye to your sore throat.
  • No Deer Allowed: Repel deer from your garden with the scent of mustard. Squeeze several packets of mustard into metal pie dishes and hang the dishes throughout your yard. Deer won’t look at your garden like an all-you-can-eat buffet any more.

Soy Sauce:

  • Hair Dye: A totally natural approach to darkening those tresses. This dye is recommended for already brunette hair and will produce a darker shade with soft highlights. Just mix ½ cup vinegar and ¼ cup soy sauce. Brush the solution through your hair (avoiding contact with other surfaces because it will stain). Leave the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes, rinse, and style.

 This has been a guest post by Sarah from Carmel, IN
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15 thoughts on “Squeeze Extra Savings from Condiment Packets”

  1. Of2dbeach says:

    We keep them and if we have extra paper napkins we save them also instead of tossing them out.I put a few napkins and straws in my glove box, you never know when you might need one or not get one!. The others go into the Hurricane box and gets rotated every few months. Seems silly till you been through a few Hurricanes and ketchup can be a life saver for sure especially with kids around.

  2. Guest says:

    I just used ketchup packets at our weiner roast in our front field (burning brush from June’s storm).  Made it much easier to apply to our sandwiches – just the right amount. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the mustard will work on the cat that keeps pooping in our front yard.

  4. Familyshopper says:

    I like the hair dye remedy for in-between salon visits to keep gray hair away :)

  5. woman says:

    I have done this for years.  I save ketchup, hot sauce, honey, soy sauce, napkins, etc.  Basically anything we get and we have extra we save it.  It always comes handy for camping trips, usually im the only one that eats ketchup so why buy a big bottle for one person.  

  6. Miss Jenny Faye says:

    I filled my near-empty Kikoman bottle with left-over soy sauce packets. 

  7. wamunds says:

    I just use them instead of a bottle of ketchup. Rarely buy ketchup anymore

  8. Misty says:

    seems like you could just squeeze the packets into the bigger bottle (ketchup packets into the big fridge bottle….)

  9. cg says:

    Mustard also works wonders on a sunburn. Once when I was on a camping trip as a teenager I got so sunburned I was in agony. I most likely should have went to the ER but thanks to good ol Mom I didn’t and healed in 24hrs for not much peeling. She pasted me in mustard for almost 3 hours then I soaked in a cool bath for about 30 mins. Every since then I always use mustard for a sunburn. It’s the vinegar inside that works, but the consistancy of the mustard holds it in place.