Bill Says Waste Not, Want Not

Waste not, want not. I can’t remember who first said it. It was either my old Pappy or Benjamin Franklin. Neither one probably made it up, but it’s a good saying nevertheless. 

What does it mean? It means that you never have to worry about running out of stuff if you don’t waste it. Not being too picky about what kind of tobacco I smoke it’s an easy saying to follow. It doesn’t bother me at all to mix it all together. I don’t care if it’s an aromatic or an English blend or if it was something left over in the pipe bowl that didn’t get smoked. You would be surprised how much gets left over. 

There are a bunch of people out there that do something similar. They put their leftovers in a jar and give it a name. I think Gray Bailey and others do that. There is even a way to save some money by getting the leftovers right from the tobacco shop. I don’t know the name of the guy I heard it from but his initials are O.T.C. Piper, his name is probably Otis or something. That’s like a double savings, you get the tobacco cheap to begin with, plus you save all the leftovers from that. That’s the way to go. 

If you were to look around there are tons of ways to save money. Most people don’t smoke their cigars all the way to the end. Save those stubs and pull them apart, wrapper and all, and put it in your leftover jar. A years worth of stubs is a [expletive deleted] ton of tobacco. Good tobacco. 

Tobacco shops will let you have a little taste of a tobacco blend. Now they charge you two bits because of some [expletive deleted] government law. For a few cents you can fill up your pipe, so when you go to the store be sure to bring your biggest pipe, that way you can stuff more tobacco in there. You can smoke it for a little bit then let it go out and shove it in your pocket. When you get home you’ll have over half a bowl of good tobacco and sometimes you got it for free. 

One of the best ways to get some free tobacco is to offer to help clean up after the pipe club meeting or after the staff meeting. All those little little plastic zipper bags that people bring in to share usually have a little bit left in the bottom of each one. Slip those right into your jacket pocket as you clean up. It’s not stealing because nobody wants them anyway. The best guys are the ones who want to taste as much as they can. They empty their pipes several times leaving behind alot of unburned tobacco in the ash tray. It’s so simple to pick it out and add it to one of the plastic bags. 

Don’t worry about getting a little ash in there. Your pipe has a lot of ash in it when you’re smoking anyway so what’s a little bit more matter? Plus you get pretty good at sifting the ash out. 

Another great tip for saving money is to never bring a way to light your pipe or cigars when you’re with other people. They will always let you use their lighter or give you some matches, especially if they are pipe smokers. Those guys are so friendly they go out of their way to hep you. I’ve even had some of them give me a lighter. It might only be a Bic lighter but that’s just as good and will light your cigar as well as any fancy gold lighter. This saves you from wasting your own lighter or matches. 

It used to be when you went to a store, not a tobacco store but a convince store,  and bought small cigars they would always give you a book of matches. Now if you ask them they look at you like you’re crazy. They usually point to a box of lighters and want you to buy one. Oh, and another thing, if you bring your lighter to the tobacco store and tell them it’s not working, sometimes they put fuel in it to make sure it’s not empty, giving you a blast of butane for free. Even if you buy a can of butane off them, you still got your lighter filled for free that one time. I wouldn’t do that trick too often or they will catch on to you. Save it for when you are in there for a bunch of other stuff and they won’t notice because they will be so happy you bought a couple of cigars from them. I like the factory seconds, you can get a whole bundle for $17.

By now some of you might be thinking that I’m just being cheap, but that’s not true. I’m wasting not and wanting not. All this stuff would go to waste if it weren’t for me. It all goes home into a big glass jar, might have been an old pickle jar, and it all gets used. Sometimes if it doesn’t taste that good, I just shake the jar around and mix it up some more. There are probably some tobaccos that have been in there for years. Everything in the jar was either free or leftovers that someone didn’t want and was going to throw out. I’ll bet you that jar could last me a year if I had to. Think of all the money I’ve saved. 

You might not get the best tasting tobacco but you won’t get the worst either. It all balances out. It also takes care of itself which I can’t explain. I think the dry ones, especially the cigar stubs, absorb moisture from the wet ones and things like that. 

I have other great tips I can share with you in the future, but these are some of my best ones. You should start a jar of your own if you don’t already have one. You’ll thank me later. 


Bill is the acting Briar Report Chief of Staff.

he is also the Managing Editor of

He can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @StogieReport

Editor’s notes:

These opinions are Bill’s and are not those of the rest of the Briar Report editorial staff.

He is fooling no one, and is welcome to any tobacco that is left over. He is also not fooling anyone into thinking he helps clean up.

OTC Piper is a YouTube presenter who speaks frequently about his experience and knowledge of over the counter blends. He can be found here.