20 Things You Should Never Throw Away

Never throw away these 20 items. A true homesteader knows how to recycle, save these goods for reuse and save your money in the long run.

Things not to throw away

We all hate clutter. Sometimes we just want to purge out seemingly useless things from our homes. Some things, however, are better off the trash bins. Here’s our list of 20 things you should never throw away and cool, functional ways to reuse them!

 1. Fancy Glass Bottles

upcycling projects

Clean and reuse your fancy glass bottles, they make great containers for homemade vinegar, fruit jams, and herbs and spices.

2. Baby Food Jars

upcycle ideas

No need to buy salt and pepper shakers, use your baby’s empty food bottles to make one yourself!

3. Mason Jars

Mason Jar Glasses

Too many mason jars in your house? Use them as drinking glass! The next time your friends come for a visit, serve up some homemade chillers using your recycled mason jars.

4. Big plastic jars or gallons

 Recycled Water Bottles

Use as water containers. Just  be sure to date and rotate every six months.

5. Cereal boxes and shoe boxes

upcycling crafts

Three words: Your son’s robot.

6. Paint Cans

Recycled Paint Cans

Make an improvised Emergency Heater using your empty paint cans. Here’s how.

7. Egg crates

Reusing Egg Crates

Raising your own flock of chickens? Store fresh eggs in empty  egg crates if you are planning to eat them for breakfast and not hatch them.

8. Newspapers

Recycled Newspapers

Use your stack of old newspapers to start wood fires.

9. Tin Cans

Upcycling Crafts

Use bigger tin cans as flower pots and smaller tin cans as desk organizers.

 10. Wooden boxes

Repurposed Wooden Box

Throw some soil inside old wooden boxes and grow your little herbs for yummy dishes. Put it somewhere near your kitchen to make it more convenient.

11. Fruit and vegetable scrap, coffee grounds, old herbs and spices

Make A Compost Pit

Instead of throwing them in the garbage, throw them in a compost pit instead! Learn how to make a compost pit.


12. Bones from roasted meat

how to make chicken stock

Finished eating and throwing the bones away? Don’t! Save and freeze chicken, beef, turkey and pork bones, they’re great for making homemade meat stock.


13. Bacon fat

bacon grease uses

Eating homegrown eggs are delicious. But frying the eggs in bacon fat tastes even better!

14. Old, worn out clothes

repurposing ideas

When the holes of your shirt have become big enough to accidentally stick your arms through, it’s probably time to consign it to your rag drawer. Cotton shirts make the best all-purpose rags!

15. Aluminum foil

uses for aluminum foil

If you’re using aluminum foil to store food, save the foil sheets for future household use. Foil is an excellent pot scrubber, silver polisher and knife sharpener.

16. Old toothbrushes

Repurposing Ideas

Save on scouring pads by keeping old toothbrushes. They’re great for cleaning tiles, cleaning the sink and cleaning your razor.

17. Plastic bags

repurposing ideas

Use unwanted carrier bags instead of bin bags to line smaller garbage bins inside the house.


18.  Eggshells

eggshell uses

Deter garden pests, feed your chickens, boil them in your coffee — there are several reasons why the eggshell should stay out of the trash bin. Learn more.

19. Cardboard boxes

repurposed items

Minimize closet clutter by storing seasonal clothes inside old cardboard boxes.

20. Small bits of used soap

Repurposed Materials

Before tossing that last little sliver of soap into the bin, imagine all of them piled up over the month or year.  Melt down and combine bits of leftover soaps into a usable sized bar, a lot of money can be saved up by doing this. Learn how to make a soap bar from leftover soaps here.