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To secure peace is to...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all realize that we live in disposable society. Everything is packaged to be thrown in the trash. Everything is individual wrapped and most packaging is of the cheapest materials. One hundred years ago, it wasn't so. The advent of so many petroleum based products has made reusable packaging nearly non-existent.

However, some reusable items still exist. My best prepping buddy's grandmother lived through WWII and we've taken a lot of lessons from her. Here are some things she saves:

1) Old bread loaf plastic bags
2) Reuses sandwich bags
3) Bread loaf ties
4) Glass jars (spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc)
5) Steel cans that beans, tuna, and chili comes in
6) Old clothes for rags
7) Styrofoam meat packaging
8) Bags of all types
9) Plastic bottles
10) Burlap sacks and today's new age plastic burlaps

etc....she saves everything. She has several trash cans that she throws some of it in, and the rest goes in a couple of cabinets in the basement.

She has also been a huge stickler for having years (literally) worth of toilet paper and soap. After coming through WWII, she swore she would never be without the two.

Are there things you guys save like this?
 

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We all realize that we live in disposable society. Everything is packaged to be thrown in the trash. Everything is individual wrapped and most packaging is of the cheapest materials. One hundred years ago, it wasn't so. The advent of so many petroleum based products has made reusable packaging nearly non-existent.

However, some reusable items still exist. My best prepping buddy's grandmother lived through WWII and we've taken a lot of lessons from her. Here are some things she saves:

1) Old bread loaf plastic bags
2) Reuses sandwich bags
3) Bread loaf ties
4) Glass jars (spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc)
5) Steel cans that beans, tuna, and chili comes in
6) Old clothes for rags
7) Styrofoam meat packaging
8) Bags of all types
9) Plastic bottles
10) Burlap sacks and today's new age plastic burlaps

etc....she saves everything. She has several trash cans that she throws some of it in, and the rest goes in a couple of cabinets in the basement.

She has also been a huge stickler for having years (literally) worth of toilet paper and soap. After coming through WWII, she swore she would never be without the two.

Are there things you guys save like this?
Thank you for the post, but if you don't mind me asking. What were some of the uses that she came up with for those items she saved?
 

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Ringin Your Gong From 600
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7,683 Posts
I reuse plastic bottles, jars, old shirts for rags...if I am throwing something away, I'll see if anything can be used off of it.

It's sickening to look at the amount of junk mail and packaging that go into the trash or recycling bin. Even with that, my daughter and I only fill about 1/2 of a kitchen trash bag a week with trash. It could be better but that's much better than what I'm seeing from other homes on trash day.
 

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Prepared Firebird
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People in my family, who lived thru the 1930's Depression, all told me that bar soap and towels (bath and kitchen) and washcloths all become very scarce during those years. Even if people had the money to buy, these items were hard to find.
 

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Prepared Firebird
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We all realize that we live in disposable society. Everything is packaged to be thrown in the trash. Everything is individual wrapped and most packaging is of the cheapest materials. One hundred years ago, it wasn't so. The advent of so many petroleum based products has made reusable packaging nearly non-existent.

However, some reusable items still exist. My best prepping buddy's grandmother lived through WWII and we've taken a lot of lessons from her. Here are some things she saves:

1) Old bread loaf plastic bags
2) Reuses sandwich bags
3) Bread loaf ties
4) Glass jars (spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc)
5) Steel cans that beans, tuna, and chili comes in
6) Old clothes for rags
7) Styrofoam meat packaging
8) Bags of all types
9) Plastic bottles
10) Burlap sacks and today's new age plastic burlaps

etc....she saves everything. She has several trash cans that she throws some of it in, and the rest goes in a couple of cabinets in the basement.

She has also been a huge stickler for having years (literally) worth of toilet paper and soap. After coming through WWII, she swore she would never be without the two.

Are there things you guys save like this?
*************************

She probably doesn't have a specific use for much of these things that she saves. It's pretty common for people in their 80's and 90's to hoard packaging items like this. Living thru the hard years of the Depression left most of them with the fear that they should squirrel up whatever they could. I've never met a Depression survivor, who wasn't convinced that the same thing could happen, again.......and they were determined to be ready for the second round of it.
 

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To secure peace is to...
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the post, but if you don't mind me asking. What were some of the uses that she came up with for those items she saved?
Pretty much what LadyFenix stated. Some of it was for storage or just to have. Since everything was so scarce, anything was better than nothing. I'm sure they got pretty creative and even the most basic items were used for barter.
 

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Gitter Done!
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2,864 Posts
Got boxes of receipts and tax forms I saved up, maybe use them toilet paper?
Saved my propane bottles to refill one day. If I ever get a refiller piece for them. (It is late, got radiation on the brain so can't think of certain terms.)

Oh, saved those plastic bags, great to poop in if you have to if your toilet doesn't work and just throw them in a 5 gallon bucket when done. Sealed up it helps with the smell after a few days. You never know how long you have to stay in your shelter. Gross stuff.

Electronics, I save everything that is broke. Fix it at times or just use parts from one item to fix another. Die hard tight wad I guess. haha

Buckets, have stacks of those, you never know what you may need them for.

Wood, no matter how small, I keep it in case I need some fire starter or wood to add in the fireplace. Or ends up being a project for something.

Altoids cans, great for survival fish tackle, bandaids, even smokes or other small things that can be put in those little tin cans.

Peanut cans, great for small parts or screws, bolts, nails, etc.

Cigarette packs, some I throw away, but keep a few on hand in case I need to roll a few and or make up a pack or two for a trip.

Pipe, I never throw away extra water pipe (plastic or metal) since they have many uses. Used a PVC pipe to make a Tesla coil with and fun to tinker with.

CD's, those blank ones that didn't ever record anything, can be used for small home made solar panels. Thinking of making a big one if the radiation doesn't hit. Great to make a 12 volt solar panel with so you can charge batteries. (Small batteries, those with the charger or charge up motorcycle batteries with.)

All my soda and beer cans get saved. Aluminum has many uses and is worth more money now then it was a year ago. Great for making those air batteries with, they light up an LED light pretty good with two of them. No batteries required. Runs off the Eather, neutrinos or static in the air. Easy to make.

I keep all my clothing, nothing goes to the thrift store. They can be used as rags, as wads for my muzzleloader or for what ever they come in handy for.
Same with shoes and boots, I can't seem to throw a good pair of shoes just because they have a hole in the bottom of them the size of a half dollar. If you wear them when the ground is dry they are pretty comfortable. LOL
The leather is worth keeping them for.

I saw a teenage girl in the store the other day that I could have sworn she found those pants in my rag box in the shed. Half a butt, a quarter of a pantleg on each leg and acid burns all over the front. It had to be illegal to wear that in public, but who is going to go up to her and say anything when she is crazy enough to wear those pants she might do something crazy to the person that says anything. Blew me away.
..........
 

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I'd be concerned about the meat Styrofoam trays though. They have to be contaminated. Otherwise, I reuse plastic bags and other things. A one-liter water or soda bottle holds almost exactly 2 lbs of rice.
 

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Happy to be here!
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My grandfather used to tell me stories about the depression and WWII. They were very creative with squeezing the last bit of usefulness out of everything they owned. One story was about their car tires. You couldn't get replacement tires because of the cost, and then the rubber rationing. They found a set of slightly bigger tires that were no good. they squeezed them over the top of the tires already on their car, and wore the tread off the chewed up ones. He said you couldn't go very fast, but it worked to save the tread on the tires that the had.
 

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When I was a kid we always saved bread bags, used them over our socks because the boots leaked. I've kept most stuff on that list in the past (not so much now) except some plastic bags used for frozen stuff and dry goods.
 

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I save smaller glass jars that have good-sealing lids. I use a Pump n' Seal to convert them to tiny air-tight containers for medium-term food storage.

I also recycle zip-lock bags. I break down carboard boxes for starting a fire in the wood stove.

I try to make sure everything has at least "two lives" before it goes to the landfill. And I burn what I can to keep it out of the dump.
 

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1) Old bread loaf plastic bags

Rarely use these nowadays, but they were once used to take lunch to school. Now I use them to dispose of stinky garbage.

2) Reuses sandwich bags

3) Bread loaf ties
I save the ties from supermarket produce bags, and use them to reclose packages going into the freezer; and that stinky garbage mentioned above.

4) Glass jars (spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc)
I use these for nails, screws, washers, etc. If I am dismantling something with a lot of small parts, I'll use a jar to keep track of them.

5) Steel cans that beans, tuna, and chili comes in
When I was a boy we kids were given these as drinking vessels. Nowadays I throw them away.

6) Old clothes for rags
Back when I was my own mechanic these were important.

7) Styrofoam meat packaging
Throw away.

8) Bags of all types
I use the full size grocery store bags as free-standing trash receptacles.

9) Plastic bottles
I generally prefer not to store food or drink in recycled plastic bottles. However, I do capture drained-out motor oil in them (gallon milk bottles or windshield wash jugs) for transport to the public disposal.

10) Burlap sacks and today's new age plastic burlaps
I have not seen any burlap in ages.


In addition: I save junk-mail envelopes for scratch paper.
I send back the postage-paid business reply envelopes (empty) in an effort to toss some revenue to the post office, while thumbing my nose at the many credit card offers coming in.
 

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When I was a kid we always saved bread bags, used them over our socks because the boots leaked. I've kept most stuff on that list in the past (not so much now) except some plastic bags used for frozen stuff and dry goods.
I did that too as a kid, I was the youngest, boots always leaked.

They don't make bread bags big enough anymore. :eek:
 

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I'd be concerned about the meat Styrofoam trays though. They have to be contaminated. Otherwise, I reuse plastic bags and other things. A one-liter water or soda bottle holds almost exactly 2 lbs of rice.
Sanitize them in a solution of bleach and water. I wouldn't re-use them for food prep or storage, but run them through a shredder and you have a poor man's styrofoam insulation: perfect for pouring inside the cavities of concrete blocks, etc. Great way to re-use old styrofoam coffee cups, too.
 

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I definitely try to save those Altoids tins, especially b/c I want to make a PSK, and spray paint them with HI-temp BBQ grill paint. I'm starting to save those orange Gatorade powder containers. They seem pretty durable, and can hold a lot of items. Same goes for spaghetti sauce jars, as I'd like to get into canning soon. My fiancee thinks I'm nuts, but I tell her that my Mom's side of the family, the older aunts and uncles, lived through the Depression, and they learned how to make do with EVERYTHING. I swear my Uncle still has his First Communion money....but that's a different story, lol. Anyhow, if you went into his basement, you'd see stuff that is still in fine working order, since the early forties. Unbelievable. Stuff you and I would probably hurl into the trash bucket, he's found multiple uses for them. If anything can be said about this economy, is that it's going to teach a generation of kids used to excess, to have to learn to scrimp and save, and get multiple uses out of items. That, and it's starting to make a lot of entrepreneurs...unemployment can do that to you!
 

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I am saving all my glass jars now. I use the to put rice, pasta, cereal, or dry beans. Basically to keep insects away from it for short term storage. I have dozens of coffee cans that I haven't put to use yet, and vitamin bottles. Although they are small (vitamin bottles) Eventually I will find a use for them before my wife thinks I'm nuts...Oh... too late for that!
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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My grandma used to order little girl dresses from Wards, take them apart, make patterns of them, sew them back up and return them. :) She justified this by saying that she had sewn them much better the second time.
 
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I save things that may be of use. Jars especially. I save nuts and bolts and wire fittings and such. I guess I picked that up from my dad. Mom used to always tease him about being a pack rat, but every time he needed to repair something, he'd go out to his junk bins and find something he needed to do the repair without having to make a trip to the hardware store.

I'm also big on stripping components from dead electronics to use in repairing other electronics. But since most electronics today don't have seperate components, it's losing its usefulness.

I save chunks of brass, aluminum, steel, springs, and such that I can use in gunsmithing to make parts from. And of course lead and wheelweights for casting bullets and muzzleloader balls.
 
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