Failing to eat your bread before it turns stale is extremely frustrating, and as a homesteader, the last thing you want to do is waste it. But fear not, there’s no need to throw your stale bread in the trash because there are plenty of creative ways to breathe new life into neglected stale bread. From using it as bird food, to pet treats, and worm bedding, you’ll be amazed at how many things you can do with a hard loaf of bread.

PLEASE NOTE: It’s important to mention that stale bread doesn’t mean moldy bread. Stale bread has lost its moisture making it dry and unappetizing. But moldy bread has passed its expiration date and shows visible signs of spoilage in the form of black or green spots. Moldy bread can cause health issues when consumed. If your bread shows any signs of mold, use it as compost, but do not under any circumstances use it to feed animals. With that said, here are 10 things to do with old, stale bread.

Bird FoodStop Throwing Away Stale Bread. Do This Instead

Whether fresh or stale, birds love bread. By leaving stale bread scattered around your garden, you will attract plenty of birds. Keep in mind that bread should never be the primary source of nutrition for birds. Offer small pieces of bread rather than large quantities. Too much bread can lead to health issues for birds. If you choose to feed bread, opt for whole grain or brown bread over white bread. Whole grain options have slightly more nutritional value.

There are several benefits to having birds in your garden, such as:

  • Pollination: Birds eat nectar, and while they are doing so, the pollen latches onto their bodies. As they travel to different flowers, the pollen attaches itself to the flower’s stigma, and this assists in the fertilization process.
  • Less Bugs: After eating the bread left out for them, birds will remain in your backyard and search for more food. Swallows such as the purple martin enjoy feasting on winged insects such as moths, dragonflies, flies, beetles, and mosquitos.
  • Less Weeds: Weeds destroy all the hard work and effort you put into growing and maintaining a healthy garden. Therefore, it is essential that you are diligent in de-weeding your garden. One way to help get rid of weeds is to attract birds into your garden. The goldfinch species of bird will stop weeds from growing by eating their seeds.

Dog Treats

Homemade croutons make an awesome treat for your dogs. Croutons are easy to make and a delicious cheap treat for your furry friends. All you need are a few slices of stale bread, grated Parmesan cheese, and some bacon fat. Here are the cooking instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 F
  • Slice the bread into 1-inch squares
  • Add the bread squares to a medium-sized bowl
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and toss to combine
  • Drizzle the bacon fat over the top and toss to combine
  • Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray
  • Spread the croutons out onto the baking tray and bake for 40 minutes
  • Turn the croutons halfway through to make sure all sides are browned
  • Once cooked, remove the croutons from the oven and leave them to cool down completely before serving the treat to your dog

Worm Bin BeddingStop Throwing Away Stale Bread. Do This Instead

Make worm bedding by tearing the bread into strips and sprinkling water over it to dampen the bread slightly. Combine the bread with other bedding materials such as dry leaves, cardboard, or shredded newspaper. Layer the bin with the bedding, making it about 3 inches thick. Allow for aeration by not packing it too tightly.


Add stale bread to your compost pile by shredding it into small pieces. Make a hole in the middle of the compost and then add the bread; this will make the compost pile warm which will prevent pests. Finally, cover the top of the bread with carbon-rich material such as shredded newspaper, straw, or dry leaves.

Livestock Feeder

In Moroccan culture, bread is never thrown away because it is considered sacred. One of the many ways they use stale bread is to turn it into cattle feed. Whether you have goats, sheep, ducks, or chickens, they won’t turn their noses up to some stale bread.

Soften Foot Calluses

Homesteaders work really hard and spend a lot of time on their feet which can cause painful calluses. During the winter months, they get rough and dry and can cause a considerable amount of pain. Luckily, stale bread can help bring some relief to your overworked feet. Pour apple cider vinegar over a piece of stale bread, place it over the callus, and tape it down. Wear a sock and go to bed, in the morning, you’ll feel a lot better.

Cut OnionsStop Throwing Away Stale Bread. Do This Instead

Everyone loves onions, but no one likes cutting them. Fortunately, you can put a stop to those dreaded watery eyes with a slice of stale bread. Push a slice of bread onto the knife, slide it up to the handle, and slice the onions as normal. The bread works by absorbing the strong sulfur compounds that are responsible for making your eyes and nose run.

Prevent Fridge Odors

There are some dishes that taste better than they smell, and when you put the leftovers in the fridge, they leave a terrible odor. You can prevent this by placing a few slices of stale bread in the fridge overnight. The bread will absorb the smell, and you can throw them out in the morning.

Keep Cookies Fresh

As contradictory as this may sound, stale bread helps to keep baked cookies fresh. Bread holds a lot of moisture, and when the moisture is released, the humidity of the environment that it is in increases. The humidity restricts the amount of moisture released from the cookies, which slows down the molding process. The next time you bake a fresh batch of cookies, store them in a sealed container with a slice of stale bread.

Clean Suede

Suede shoes are notorious for attracting dirt. One of the most difficult stains to remove is wet mud. Fortunately, you can save your favorite suede’s by rubbing a slice of stale bread over the stain. The bread acts as a type of sandpaper and gently removes the dirt without ruining the material.

With these fantastic ideas for using stale bread, you’ll never waste another slice again. Have fun embracing the art of repurposing old, stale bread.

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