The Last Thing To Do Before Throwing Out Empty Butter Wrappers

Considering the Environmental Protection Agency reports about 45% of U.S. landfills are full of discarded food packaging and container materials, any area where we can reuse these items is a major plus. You may throw your butter wrappers away without a second thought once you've used all the product inside them, but there's a plethora of ways they can be repurposed. For instance, try placing them on top of baked goods fresh out of the oven for a few minutes or using them to easily coat knives for cutting sticky foods.

But the absolute last-ditch way to use butter wrappers? Grease your pans. You may have learned to coat a paper towel in butter, lard, or oil before rubbing it over your pan, which helps your food come out easily and in one piece. There's typically just enough butter left on an empty wrapper to accomplish the same goal — a much better use for it than tossing it straight in the trash. 

Use butter wrappers to grease your pans

This trick is ideal for making baked goods on sheet pans, loaf pans, and cake pans — but that's not all it's good for. Before sautéing meat or veggies in a skillet or making pancakes on a griddle, try rubbing your butter-covered wrapper all over the pan's surface. Since the paper is typically flexible, you should be able to get onto the sides and into the corners of your pan easily, and you can avoid greasy fingers by only touching the outside.

But what if you're not making food the day your butter is done? You can save your wrappers for future use by freezing them in a plastic bag — or if you think you'll use them in the next few days, store them in the fridge in the same way. Especially if you go the freezer route, make sure to let them come to room temperature before use for easy greasing. If you have an abundance of wrappers, it may be most advantageous to freeze them since they can last in there for at least a year. In the fridge, they'll typically be good for a few months or until the butter's expiration date.