If you have a fireplace or burn wood in your stove see what you can do to make use of the ashes. One way to use them if you own chicken is to add them with equal parts sand and diatomaceous earth to your chickens dust bath.
The diatomaceous earth will kill and mites or lice the chicken have and the sand and ash will clean their feathers. Chickens are never ever happier than when taking a dust bath in the nice warm sunshine. Survival tube has 10 more uses for the ashes.