Four Things You Should Stop Throwing Away

How many would-be preppers are letting their income dictate whether or not they start taking the right steps toward self-sustained independence? The hidden beauty of prepping is that you can get started without spending a single dime. True, you’re not going to build an impressive survivalist fortress without coming off some dough, but every little bit counts. You can get started just by hanging on to some of the things you typically throw away.

Here are four things you should start collecting:

Empty Cans

Next time you pour the contents of a soup can into a bowl, don’t be so hasty to throw out the can. Get rid of the jagged top, clean out the can, and put it away. With your old cans, you can rig up a makeshift alarm system across your lawn, put them to use in various forms of cooking, and utilize them as small storage containers.

Bath Towels

You’re probably in the habit of throwing out those old bath towels that have been chewed to rags by years of bleaching. Next time you do a purge, save the ragged towels that embarrass you when company visits. They may not be good enough for the master bathroom, but they’re good enough for a survival situation. And hey, if that “situation” turns out to be nothing more serious than a flooding dishwasher, you’ll still be glad you don’t have to use the “good” towels.

Paper Clips

Paper clips are cheap, plentiful, and disposable. But if you’re serious about prepping, you have to remember that you may have a finite supply of these versatile little tools. You may not need to organize reports in a SHTF scenario, but you can use paper clips to sew, fish, and even broaden the scope of your radio transmissions.


A lot of people keep a few old socks around in the garage; they make convenient rags for checking the oil as well as dusting the house. They can also be useful in a survival situation. Rags in general could be of great use, but socks in particular make excellent water filters. For sediment, mind you, not bacteria.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take this as a starting point. Start looking at everything in your home through a different lens. You will find that you already own many things that will serve you well in a crisis.


  • Betty

    sounds good to me I live on a very low retirement so cannot afford many of the expensive things we need but can start with these

    • Dorothy Wilson

      His comment sounds good to me. Did not mean to flag. Sorry.


    Be like me your junk is my treasure, you through it away I find a use for it and the best part it didn’t cost me anything as I am cheap and by the way my middle name is cheap but in reality cheap is not really my middle name, I am just cheap and I guess I will always like a good bargain especially if I can get it for nothing. But I do have one bad habit I like to hold on to stuff telling myself that one day it will come in handy and sometimes they do.

    • bendecido

      I wouldn’t call it cheap but thrifty.

  • Fredsgirl1

    I don’t throw much away and never any of these. My childhood was colored by a family that survived not only the great depression but also WWII in the UK, so I always look at things, not for what they were designed to do but, for what use they could be put to. It sends my husband crazy. Tough. When he needs that little thing to finish a project I almost always have something that will serve to hand.

    • Rosie Bum

      I am big into gardening and planting food everywhere…having resources. I live in US and I have both native plums and Japanese plums. Late frosts sometimes kill them Then…I discovered English plums which bloom later and give me a later crop. The native plums will grow from seeds and I like to make 50 things from one. I also propagate figs and berries I sell a few to cover the cost of mine and share with others?

  • louis britt

    Save your Lint from your Dryer, everytime I Clean the Filter full of lint, I put it in a Gatorade bottle or some small plastic bottle,, Makes GREAT Tinder for starting a fire, If you ever have to Bug Out, and its Lite to carry.

  • James Higginbotham

    this is funny because my wife is always saying you need to throw this or that away.
    and i always say NOPE, MIGHT NEED IT ONE DAY LOL.