This one is pretty basic, when something comes in a box, I give the box to the kids for a while to play with (until they destroy it or we need it for something else). We also have turned empty containers and bottles into “toy food” for the kids kitchen (think ketchup, mustard, yogurt and raisin containers). Egg cartons and strawberry containers can be turned into lots of different kids crafts too.
I like to do this because the kids get a new “toy” it is free and gives them a few minutes or hours of entertainment. Then once it is destroyed or forgotten by them I use it for something else or recycle it.