14 Items Preppers Shouldn’t Throw Away

Every time that we finish eating from a container or have put on a pair of blue jeans for the last time, we find ourselves throwing these things out like they’re trash. But this is something that we shouldn’t be doing, especially when you consider yourself a prepper. Even though an item may no longer serve its original purpose, it can still then be used for something else, a skill that Native Americans were particularly known for. These are 14 items preppers shouldn’t throw away. Those white lids above are BALL White Lids, I use them for regular and wide mouth mason jars.


14 Items Preppers Shouldn’t Throw Away

1. Worn Out Clothing

Your old worn-out t-shirts can be used in the place of paper towels and wash rags whether you’re working out in the garage under the hood of one of your vehicles, or when you’re doing dishes in the kitchen. If you have clothing that is simply too small for any of the members of your family, you could store them away so that you have something to trade in a doomsday scenario. In case you missed this post, Prepping Items You Can Find at Thrift Stores

2. Newspapers

Have you ever come across a person who had piles and piles of newspapers stacked to the ceiling in their home? Maybe they knew something that you and I didn’t know? Newspaper can be used as tinder to help start a fire, and as an insulator in the cracks of your doors and windows in the wintertime. Many gardeners use newspaper as a type of mulch/compost that helps to keep your plants and soil moist as well.   

3. Grocery Bags

Grocery bags are extremely useful in ways besides carrying things. They can be used to add protection around your shoes when it’s wet outside. If you have enough of them, they can be used to create a rope, or a small trash can liner that you can use in your bathroom. For more ideas, check out these 45 different ways that you can use your grocery bags. 

4. Coffee Cans

Just like grocery bags, coffee cans are also very versatile in the many ways that they can be used. You can place smaller plants in them and store just about anything in one including your water supply and keeping your toilet paper dry during emergencies. I’ve even heard of people who use them to bake bread.  These are 16 clever ways to use your old empty coffee cans. 

5. Glass Jars

Glass jars with lids are also great for storing liquids. A spaghetti jar makes for a great glass to drink out of as well. 

6. Baby Jars

Baby jars are ideal for storing your smaller nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and other miscellaneous small essential items. You can even use them as a holder for homemade candles when you’re dealing with a power outage. 

7. Old Tires

There are several options for use of your old tires. They can be used as a large garden container for flowers or your vegetables. Some people get creative and recreate them into lawn furniture, or chop them up into little bits like what you see on a children’s playground in order to block weeds in their garden. 

8. Plastic Bottles

The next time you have an empty 2-liter pop container or an empty milk gallon, don’t throw it out! These are useful for storing water, or as a method for watering your plants. You could also cut your milk container in half and use it as a scoop for your cat litter, or as a dustpan when you sweep. Please keep in mind water jugs are not a safe way to store water for more than say 2 weeks. They crack, leak, and a very hard to clean. They are only good for flushing toilets. A better option is the detergent thicker containers.

9. Cardboard Boxes

Whenever you order something from Amazon or purchase a new appliance from the local appliance store, don’t make the mistake of throwing the shipping/delivery box away. Cardboard boxes are great to have on hand when you’re moving, or simply keeping your stuff organized in your home.

When you’re not using them, they can be broken down and laid flat so that they don’t take up so much space.  If you’re ever put into a situation where you have to bug out and grab a few last-minute supplies, you’ll be glad you had those cardboard boxes stashed away.   

10. Dryer Lint

Did you know that over 2,900 house fires that happen each year are eventually narrowed down to the same culprit? Dryer lint. It’s extremely flammable and can be used as tinder for starting your outdoor fire for all of your heating and cooking needs. When you clean out your laundry lint trap, be sure to place it in a Ziploc baggie so that you can keep it dry for use later.  Please note, thanks to my friend Harry, be careful with polyester, nylon, orlon and many other synthetic materials that can give off noxious fumes when burned. 

11. Egg Cartons 

Plastic egg cartons aren’t exactly great for the environment in the first place, so instead of throwing them out, they can be used to start the seedlings for your garden a couple of weeks before spring arrives. After SHTF, you’ll need a good fire starter, and egg cartons along with dryer lint will be the perfect tinder.  The cardboard ones are better for the environment and for making fire starters with cotton balls dipped in Vaseline and dryer lint.

12. Wire Pieces

Small wire pieces are great for tying things together, including a temporary fix on your outdoor fence, or also for securing your plants to a stake so that they can grow properly.  

13. Pantyhose 

Just because you have a run in your pantyhose doesn’t mean that you have to throw them out. They’re still good for preventing blisters when you’re out hiking in the woods, or for when you are in need of a homemade water filter to cover your drinking sources. Pantyhose when tied extremely tight can also be used as a tourniquet to help stop excessive bleeding. 

14. Bacon Grease 

Bacon grease is another item that you should consider holding onto, though most people make the mistake of disposing of it. Stored bacon grease is an excellent way to add flavor to certain dishes and is also a great fire starter. To find out more, check out one of my previous posts on 13 Ways to Use Bacon Grease. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with it.  

14 Items Preppers Shouldn’t Throw Away 

Final Word

I’m guessing that a majority of these items you’ve been throwing out for years. Preppers should always take the time to stop and consider what other purposes a worn-out item or used container could be used for instead of kicking it out to the curb. What are some other items preppers shouldn’t throw away? May God Bless this world, Linda.