Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reducing Consumption

We are bombarded daily with commercials for all the things we NEED!  Newer, fancier, shinier, healthier.................you get it.  I find commercials offensive, as I see the same ones so many times - odds are I will never buy what they are selling. 
Marketing is a huge industry.  Their job is to get you so excited about a product that you will go out and spend your hard earned money - for something you probably don't need!

I am here to tell you that you probably have just about everything you need already!  The exception to that might be food - which is an on going thing!
We need to spend more time finding new uses for things, repairing things, and just plain thinking outside the box.

I think back to my mom and grandma and the things they had to make life 'easier'.  No fancy kitchen gadgets at all - Mom had a grater, hand operated mixer (we call egg beater), knives, and potato masher, etc. 
I remember when she finally got a stand mixer and thought she was 'thoroughly modern Martha'!!!  She didn't have Tupperware or fancy storage containers till I was almost an adult (and those were gifts).  She used jars and glass bowls and had all sorts of those little covers that looked like shower caps that she used over and over. 
We didn't have a drier till I was in my teens - we line dried everything - always!
Her vacuum for ages was one of those hand push rotary things and/or a broom!
She had a water bath canner - never a pressure canner.  She canned everything you could think and NO we didn't die or get sick from it.
She chopped and diced everything for canning with knives.  She never had a food processor.  I think we bought her a blender when I was about 14.
Our clothes were always hand made (often made over from other things), and they were mended to make them last longer.
Coffee was made in a percolator and tea water was heated in a pan, until she a pretty teapot for a gift.
Daddy repaired all his tools and kept things in good working order.  Many of his garden tools are still being used today by brother.

Yep, we have all gotten soft.  We want everything to be easy!!!  Did our parents and grandparents have it easy - NO - but they sure were made of good stock - which is more than I can say about a lot of folks today!
Newer and fancier doesn't always mean better, and it sure isn't always frugal.

As you know I have been spring cleaning - well let me tell you, I have found more things that I didn't know we had.  It is crazy as to how much has been purchased (albeit on sales and clearance), that was simply forgotten.  I put things away for the day we might need them - then forget!  I bet many of you do the same thing.
We are completely set on undies, t-shirts, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath washes, copy paper, envelopes, candles, card stock & card supplies (I WILL be getting back into making cards), energy saving light bulbs, how to books..........................and that is only from a couple rooms being dismantled and sorted!  We are good for ages and ages on those things - some will never be bought again.   (GEESH - I HAVE THE REST OF THE HOUSE AND THE BASEMENT TO GO)!

I challenge everyone to start going through closets and drawers and cupboards and basements - and find all the things you have forgotten.  Isn't it sad that we HAVE SO MUCH that we forget what we have?  Some people have nothing.  I have lots and lots of bags and boxes getting filled for donations as well as what we are keeping.  
I have kept back some clothing that will be remade into new clothing, some that the material will go into new projects, some we will wear as is, and lot's to donate.

Here are a few ideas of items you probably already have - and don't need to buy new stuff - just to be buying.
  • Vinegar can be used as fabric softener or as hair conditioner. (No smell when it dries).  It can be used as a cleaner for glass and all other types of cleaners
  • Coconut oil is great for cooking and baking - but it also makes a wonderful skin cream (it's all I use).  Keep in a separate container
  • Cooking oil stops a noisy hinge
  • Hair conditioner or lathered soap makes a great shaving cream
  • Baking soda and water paste is a great substitute for cleanser
  • A pot of water with fruit peels or cinnamon or herbs on the stove is a great replacement for air fresheners (and healthier too)
  • Old clothes cut into rags makes great re-usable/washable rags - no need for paper towels
  • Old t-shirts or flannel sheets cut up make great washable/re-usable hankies
  • Wash cloths or cloth napkins (can make from other items) are super re-usable/washable napkins.  No need for paper
  •  Newspapers make great glass cleaning 'rags'
  • Use an old single sock or a microfiber cloth on your Swifter - no waste and washable
  • Collect rain water or snow (melted) to use as a hair conditioner (it makes your hair so soft)
These are just a few ideas - I will list more later on part 2.

Just stop and think before buying new stuff.  Don't get caught up in the traps of the marketing gurus.  Look around and become MORE aware of what you already have.  Re-invent things for a new purpose.

We have more than any generation before us has ever had - and we still aren't happy!!!!  I think that says something pretty profound!
Get busy and FIND all your hidden treasures - make plans to recycle and re-invent - and donate what isn't needed.

As long as you have enough - you don't need more - odds are you already have more than enough!


  1. Socks were my recent find...when the kids were home and we three shared socks, we would pair them and toss them into a laundry basket, when they left the house for greater things I put the socks into a deep drawer...lately I got thinking that I never have socks for work...but before I went to buy more...yes I cleaned out the sock drawer...folded them in thirds following the Kon Mari method, and voila! I have enough socks...also following Kon Mari, I can see the socks all neatly organized and in a smaller drawer now.

    That said, I still struggle: I have been using the same ski jacket for twenty five years, it is still in good shape sans a broken zipper and some embroidery ends come loose, which I was going to replace and repair yet again for the fifth time, but TGMan said get a new one, so we did...I sure hope this new one lasts another twenty five years! And while I agonized over spending the money...and sometimes wish I hadn't, it does feel good to be warm again (the other had really gotten quite flattened). It is hard sometimes to justify spending money, and I still struggle with this recent purchase...but it is done, and now I am going to make a pair of mittens to match for next season's wear.

    1. Spending can be a struggle for me as well. G says "if you want it - buy it", me not so much.
      I realize that we only go round this world once and we can't take it with us - but I still try to make do. Guess it is how we were brought up.

      Cool on the socks. It's like finding the mother load!!!! YAY
      Have a wonderful day.

    2. You said about donations...when I want to hang onto something I know I should LETGO (!) it helps me to think...well I can at least bless somebody else right now with it...that does help me get rid of things...

    3. Yes mam it does. There are just some things I know I will never need (haven't in years) - so bless someone else. there are so many in need.
      I love giving to church thrift store - all money they makes goes to feeding hungry in our area. I also love giving to the abused women's shelter. They often leave with just the clothes on their back.
      Have a great day.

  2. Hi Cheryl, for me it is offfice supplies. I have reams of copy paper leftover from my homeschooling days when I bought a case of it. I would be surprised if I needed to buy anymore for at least another 10 years and that is even after giving a lot of it away. I also have enough paperclips to outfit an entire school. ;) Again...leftover from our homeschooling days. I do cut up old flannel nightgowns that are ripped or threadbare into rags. I find they are great for cleaning and very absorbent.

    1. It's funny we all have our certain area. I have a ton of office stuff too. I used to mail out newsletters every month - and have so much copy paper and envelopes.
      Pretty papers can be used in other projects - I guess I will use it all someday!

      Flannel is nice. I don't were gowns - so I don't often have flannel.

      Have a good day.

  3. I save the mesh bags from potatoes and fruit and cut them up and use as pot scrubbers. Just throw away and cut a new piece as needed.