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. Ketchup squeeze bottle:- I have used ketchup and shampoo bottles for oiling for my bicycle, motorcycle and car. This is very best use of like this bottles.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Qasim! That’s a great idea, ketchup bottles are extremely versatile and could be used for any number of things once the red stuff is gone. I may need to save several of these 🙂

  2. I never thought about using old egg trays for Ice Cubes. Great idea. Excellent list.

    1. Yep, there are so many unrecognized treasures that go into our trash on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning hoarding, but when utilized properly, we can get a lot more out of our hard earned money. 🙂

  3. Thanks for this information and keep up the good work in this website. Cheers!

    1. You’re welcome Juliet, I’m glad you found the post useful. And thanks for leaving your feedback!

    1. Yes indeed Perry….Finding practical methods to solving problems is a good practice to help save you time and money. This concept can be applied in many ways during a lifetime, not just for finding extended uses from consumer products. 😉

  4. Your are sharing a good and well directed post with us. Sometimes it was really happen with us. Your solution is also great !!

    1. I’m really glad you’ve found the post useful. Sometimes money saving projects can even be fun. I thank you for stopping by.

  5. Growing up, I remember my grandparents saved and reused/repurposed everything they possibly could. We used to laugh at my Grandmother washing aluminum foil to re-use, and just recently I was talking about the coffee can filled with bacon grease that used to sit on the back of the stove for cooking. I was laughing because it seems ridiculously unhealthy now, like how we laugh at how smoking used to be allowed on airplanes.

    However, that sense of frugalness seems more appropriate in today’s economy, just as a sense of environmental awareness seems wiser as we begin to realize how our actions impact the world around us. And so I begin to adopt some of these tips (although never the bacon grease, I won’t even cook bacon in my h ouse as it makes everything feel too greasy).

    I’ve begun to save all plastic containers from food to wash and reuse instead of buying tupperware-style containers. I save wine bottles to use with clay plant-watering devices (you fill the wine bottles with water and put them in the clay thingies upside down and they slowly water your plants over time), I save old towels to use as rags, etc..

    I’ll have to try some of the tips above, there are some very creative reuse/repurpose ideas that seem quite practical.

    1. Thanks for a great comment James!

      I suppose that in today’s world, it is more “acceptable” to cut costs and reuse in order to save for the future, or to make living expenses more affordable. Of course we will always have those that believe in the designer label and would never be seen wearing the same outfit twice.

      But I am more impressed in the person that knows how to utilize their resources in order to create that “rainy day” savings fund. So bravo to you sir for not letting things go to waste!

      1. I just saw an episode of Top Gear where one of the presenters seemed baffled that there were “seasons for handbags”, and I had to laugh. My ex-girlfriend was always buying new handbags and shoes and jewelry and clothes and everything else in the world each new “season” (for the guys out there, that means 4 times a year). Her closet was overflowing with things she’d never wear again, but never got rid of either. When the prepper movement started becoming more visible, I used to tease her that if in a post-apocalyptic world shoes became the highest form of currency, then she’d be the queen!

        But seriously, there seem to be two different types of people, utilitarian and non-utilitarian.

  6. Very interesting article! Your solutions are great. I didnt know about the Cigarette Butts. There’re a lot of people throwing away things that can still be used.

    1. Thanks for the comment…It really is surprising how much can be done with the things we normally would throw away. I guess marketing has got us focused on the sole purpose for everyday items and we’ve kind of lost that touch of imagination. It’s good to explore the benefits that things can offer.

    1. Hope you find many great uses for things once thought of as trash, here’s to saving.

  7. You are very smart because you thought about that things. We normally throw them away because it’s simple to do that. We and when I said “we”, I’m talking about hole people, we are lazy and all the time we choose the easy way. Now, I’m thinking at a method to learn how to use that things, not to throw them.

    1. Oh yah, with a little imagination and some ingenuity you can come up with some pretty amazing uses for things you would normally throw away. Seems that a lot of what we can create ourselves lasts longer than the store bought alternative too!

    1. I’m glad you’ve found something of interest in the list, keep refurbishing and get the most out of your money. 🙂

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