Helpful Tips and Tricks

25 Uses for Things You Might Throw Away

Throw Away
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  Bob Dass


Should I Throw that Away?

We go through our lives each day and may consume 100’s of products in a week. But they question often arises, “Should I Throw that Away?”
There are many everyday items that may appear as waste to most consumers, but to a select few, they are “gold” and have many more miles left on them. I’m not exactly what you’d call a frugal person, but I do believe in getting the biggest bang for your buck. Especially now since we’ve moved into a new home and have taken on a considerably higher months payment for a bit nicer place. These changes in living can often bring thoughts of “How can I save money?”
So I wanted to go over a few things that I’ve discovered that can help you use some of those things you would normally throw away. Things that can be turned into other products which will allow you to save money in the long run.
Now keep in mind, not all of these uses will produce the highest end accessories, but these things are proven to work, so check out the list below.

Things you normally throw away

Food Items:

1. Bacon Grease: Never throw away the left over bacon grease after cooking your bacon. Strain the left over grease through cheese cloth and store it for later use. Bacon makes everything taste great, and keeps for ever.


2. Banana Skins: Puree your left over banana skins in a food processor and use the paste to polish your silver.


3. Bones: Use your left over bones from beef or chicken by boiling them to make stocks. Then once the bones are boiled clean, cut them into buttons and beads using power tools.


4. Coffee Grounds: Used coffee grounds can be dried out in a warm oven and used to absorb odors from your cat’s litter box or refrigerator.


5. Corncobs: Would you believe that a dried up corncob can make an excellent scrubber for those especially tough jobs? Well they do!


6. Stale Doritos: If you’re on a camping trip and need some kindling to start a fire, then some stale, or non-stale doritos will work just fine.


7. Eggshells: Using vinegar and eggshells, make a bath to soak china and glassware in, excellent for removing stains.


8. Various Leftovers: Take all the scrapings from the left over food on the dinner plates and start a compost pile for your garden. Especially fruit and vegetable peelings.


Non-Food Items:

9. Bottle Caps: Need a fish scaler? Use old bottle caps nailed to a piece of wood (fluted sides up) to scrape off those pesky scales.


10. Sardine Can Keys: Use your sardine can keys for rolling up the end of your tube of toothpaste to get every last drop out of the tube.


11. Cigarette Butts: Soaking leftover tobacco in water overnight, then pouring the water on your plants works great for killing mealybugs.


12. Old Combs: Use an old comb to hold your nails for hammering, keeps you from smashing your fingers.


13. Roll-On Deodorant Bottles: These old bottles can be re-used by filling them with bath oil, liquid starch, suntan lotion, water for moistening stamps and envelopes, or paint for the kids.


14. Egg Cartons: Old egg cartons can be used as ice cube trays, starter pots for spring seedlings, or can be nailed to a wall for sound proofing a room.


15. Hair: Hair can make a good fertilizer, it has 16 times the nitrogen than in cow manure. Or if you cut hair is long enough, consider donating it to a cancer charity for making wigs.


16. Old Light Bulbs: Dip these into metallic paint, then tie a wire around the metal grooves to make Christmas ornaments, of course extra decorative paint is great too!


17. Styrofoam Meat Trays: Trace the shape of your foot onto the styrofoam, then cut out the shape and insert into your work boots for extra insulation or padding.


18. Plastic Milk Jugs: Cut the bottom out of the jugs and use them as heat-retaining caps for garden plants in spring and fall.


19. Used Motor Oil: Use your old motor oil as a waterproof sealant for fence posts or tomato stakes by soaking them in the oil for 24 hours.


20. Old Records: Heat your oven to 350° and insert the old records into the oven long enough to shape them into snack bowls or bookends. You may also be able to do this by submerging the old records into very hot water.


21. Worn Out Gloves: You can use your old worn out gloves to make a screwdriver holder for your belt. Just cut out the finger tips and make slots for your belt to go through. Instant screwdriver holder for your belt.


22. Old CD Spindle: An old CD Spindle, usually at least a 25 or 50 count spindle will make a great case for preserving or toting your bagels in.


23. That Extra Pant Hanger: Use an old pants hanger (the ones with the spring loaded clips) and turn it into a cook book holder that you can hang on the cabinet knob.


24. Old Muffin Tin: Use an old worn out muffin tin to serve condiments like mustard and ketchup in while having a pic-nic or bar-b-q.


25. Ketchup Squeeze Bottle: When the ketchup runs out, don’t throw it away, use it to dispense pancake mix or vegetable oil.

So remember, with a little ingenuity and a few by-products you can save yourself a lot of money on those everyday products that commercials on TV say you can’t live without. The Earth’s resources are being used up, so let’s do our part by getting the most out of all those everyday products. Remember, “Don’t Throw that Away!”
Do you have any more great ideas for saving money and the World?

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48 thoughts on “25 Uses for Things You Might Throw Away
  1. Stale Doritos to start a fire? What a cool idea! I’m ashamed I didn’t think of that myself 🙂

    1. hah, yah, I’ve got some baked doritos right now, may have to let some stale up and see if they work as well as the regular one. 😀

  2. Well,your 6 Tips for Eliminating Clutter is very useful,Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m glad you’ve found some use out of this subject. Thanks for reading!

  3. Haha, my mother thought me from a young age not to throw away bacon grease. It is not the most healthiest of cooking methods but gosh darn, it makes everything taste so good and you cant beat the smell of it. Brings back fond memories.

  4. When reusing the plastics, make sure you read the recycling label on them. Some plastics are food safe, and others are not. As well, some of those plastics are reusable and others are not.
    The ones that are not reusable, will begin to break down and some not-so-good for you chemicals will begin to release in to your food or drink, especially with liquids. The same is true for plastics that are not food safe.

    Look for number 4 LDPE plastics. These do not leach into food or drinks, are completely safe, and can be recycled.

    1. Thank you Matt for the tips. Some good info…It’s definitely a good idea to take precaution when reusing products for purposes in which they weren’t intended.

      Very interesting about the number 4 LDPE plastics, I’ll have to look into that some more.

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