Useful things you should never throw away includes items that can be re-used, recycled or upcycled. Whatever you want to call it, saving these things from the trash helps you save money and/or time. Maybe you don’t feel right now like you need to save a bunch of “junk.” But trust us. When you see how useful these things can be, you’ll take a second look at everything before you toss it in the rubbish.
Pasta Sauce Jars
Makers of pasta sauce, such as Classico, sell their pasta sauce in glass Mason jars. Other brands may not use Mason jars, but their glass jars are still worth never throwing away. Never throw away pasta sauce jars. Once you use up all the sauce, just put the jar in the dishwasher and wash out the lid by hand. Store the empty jars in your pantry, workshop or basement.
The list is considerable, but pasta sauce jars can be used:
- to store leftover food in the refrigerator
- hold jar salads
- hold portions of a giant batch of homemade soup
- store small workshop items like nails, hinges, bolts and screws
- make, shake and store homemade salad dressing
- as a personal water bottle
- store pantry foods like rice, beans, pasta, quinoa, etc.
- soak small paintbrushes in water or turpentine
- serve as an impromptu flower vase
You’re probably wondering what is clothing hardware. Clothing hardware is all the stuff that isn’t fabric. That includes things like buttons, snaps and zippers, along with anything else the clothing might have on it. Not all clothing is in suitable shape. If your clothing is stained or just unwearable, you probably throw it away or use it for rags. But don’t throw away that clothing hardware. For one thing, buttons and zippers are relatively expensive. Secondly, they are easily reusable without having to do anything to them. For instance, you can cut a zipper out from a pair of slacks and sew it into a new pair without even worrying about matching the fabric.
For folks who don’t sew, you might be thinking you’ll never be in a position where you’re sewing a zipper into anything. But consider that the zipper is made of metal and metal is recyclable. So instead of throwing away the hardware that you’re definitely not going to use, put it into the recycling bin. The same goes with plastic and metal buttons. You can keep the buttons for use when you need one, or recycle them. By the way, buttons make good fasteners, but they also make awesome eyes for homemade dolls and Teddy bears.
If you never have any old toothbrushes, you’re not replacing your toothbrush often enough. The ADA recommends buying a new toothbrush every three months or so. When it’s time to replace your toothbrush, never throw away the old one. Old toothbrushes are incredibly useful for a variety of chores, including:
- Scrubbing around the metal drains in your tub and sink.
- Cleaning tile grout
- Applying new tile grout
- Cleaning around the edges where your sink meets the counter
- Getting hairs out of your razor
- Making a cool paint splatter effect on canvases
- Scrubbing away mud in between the tread on your shoes
- Cleaning toaster oven crevices (while it’s unplugged!)
Old Pots and Pans
If you have a collection of old pots and pans,never throw them away. Old pots and pans can still be used for other things even when they’re no longer suitable for the kitchen. You can use old pots and pans to make DIY soap, for candle making, making homemade lotions, as a water bowl to keep in the car for your dog, as camping cookware, as a makeshift watering jug in the garden, mixing custom paint colors in the garage, as part of a child’s toy kitchen, as a makeshift bucket to hold laundry cleaning supplies, to catch water from leaky pipes, plus a whole lot more.
Beef and Poultry Bones
Okay, when you finish with your steak, the bones just go into the trash, right? Wrong? Beef and poultry bones have a lot more use, even when there’s no meet left on them. Never throw away beef or poultry bones in the trash. Here are some things you can do with those leftover bones:
- Make homemade bone broth
- Let your dog chew on the beef bone (not the splintery poultry bone)
- Bury it in your yard (the soil will love the decomposing calcium)
- Make beef or chicken stock
These five things that you should never throw away have uses that you might never have thought of. The next time you go to throw anything away, pause and think if there’s another possible use. It’s an easy way to save time and money.