12 Things My Grandma Never Threw away

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In a world where consumerism and waste seem to be the norm, it’s important to remember the value of reusing and repurposing items. Many of our grandparents and great-grandparents lived through times of scarcity and had to be resourceful in order to make do with what they had. As a result, they learned to save and reuse items in creative ways, passing down these habits to future generations. In this article, we’ll explore 12 things that many grandparents never threw away, and how they found practical and creative uses for them. These items may seem like trash to some, but to our grandparents, they were valuable resources that could be repurposed in countless ways.

source: Library of Congress

Glass Jars

One item that many grandparents never threw away was glass jars. Whether they were empty jam jars or pickle jars, they found all sorts of uses for them. Glass jars were often reused to store leftovers or homemade jams and jellies. Some grandparents would even use them as vases or to create DIY terrariums.

source: Flickr


Another item that many grandparents saved was buttons. They would keep them in a button jar and add to it every time a piece of clothing was no longer wearable. They found all sorts of creative ways to use them, from repairing clothes to making jewelry. Some grandparents would even create art projects with buttons, such as mosaics or collages.

Fabric Scraps

When a grandparent finished sewing a project, they never threw away the leftover fabric. They would keep the scraps in a bin and use them for patchwork quilts or to create small craft projects. Some grandparents would even use fabric scraps to create clothing for their grandchildren’s dolls.

source: Adobe Stock

Egg Cartons

Grandparents never threw away egg cartons. Instead, they used them to start seedlings for their garden or to organize small items in their workshop. They would even cut them up to use as fire starters when camping or for charcoal grilling.

source: the prairie homestead

Twist Ties

Grandparents would always save twist ties that came with bread bags or other items. They would use them to organize cords, seal bags of snacks, and even to tie up small plants in the garden. They found twist ties to be very versatile and useful for many tasks around the house and garden.

Rubber Bands

Another item that grandparents never threw away was rubber bands. They found all sorts of uses for them, such as holding together books, organizing pencils, and keeping bags sealed. They would even use them to create slingshots or as makeshift hair ties.

source: Shared

Bread Bags

When a grandparent finished a loaf of bread, they always saved the bread bag. They would reuse it to store homemade baked goods, or for packing sandwiches for a day out. Bread bags were also great for storing shoes or dirty clothes when traveling.

Paper Bags

Grandparents would save paper bags from the grocery store to use as trash bags, or to wrap gifts. Some grandparents would even use them to create DIY journals or to make decorative garlands for a party.

source: Twitchetts

Cardboard Boxes

Grandparents would save cardboard boxes of all sizes and found all sorts of uses for them. They would use them to organize tools in the garage or to create forts for their grandkids to play in. Some grandparents would even use cardboard boxes to create unique storage solutions for their homes.

Broken China

Grandparents would never throw away a piece of broken china. Instead, they would use it to make mosaics or to create new pieces of art. Some grandparents would even use broken china to create a unique garden path or to decorate a flower bed.

source: Vocal

Empty Tins

When a grandparent finished a tin of coffee or cookies, they would keep the tin to use as a container for small items or to make crafts with their grandkids. They found tins to be very versatile

source: Karen Ehman