Friday, March 10, 2017

Less Equals More

Yes - Less can equal more, especially when it comes to spending less or buying less.  That in turn equals more money on hand.  More money to pay off debt, more money for emergency fund, more money for vacations, more money to buy a house.....................................and on and on.

I spoke the other day about reducing our consumption of things.  We are bombarded daily, with things we need and why we need them,  on the TV and radio.
The TV shows we watch do the same things.  I love HGTV and DIY - but can't stand the obvious and over the top consumption.  I know we all have different ideas on what is nice and what is pretty and acceptable in our homes - but when I see people look at kitchens and bedrooms that are bigger than my entire house and say "eh - it's just too small" - my blood pressure sky rockets!!!!  How much room do we need to sleep?  I also see those shows, where everything is "just so outdated" - and to be honest I am drooling - because I would love it! (I am a vintage type gal).
I guess that is why the saying "different strokes for different folks" came about!

My other pet peeve - is watching the remodeling shows and watching them take a sledge hammer to perfectly fine cabinets and shelves, etc.  GEESH, those could be used by someone else who can't afford brand new or who simply believes in recycling to help Mother Earth!
I love the shows that make a point of using as much as possible of the original home, and find their 'new' supplies at rehab and recycle stores.  That is being such a good steward.

OK off my soap box.  You get my point.  We need to be more mindful of using what we already have - quit falling for the 'must have' traps - and save a little money in the process.  Folks, we have all worked hard for what we have, and it makes little sense to just throw it away.
I guess I am like Ellen (view comments of last post) - in that I struggle with where to draw the line on spending for need and for want.

Here are a few more ideas for using what you have instead of buying something new or running out on an emergency run for something:
  • Mouthwash is antiseptic.  It will work on small abrasions and cuts to disinfect
  • Honey is a great antiseptic as well.  Rub over a small cut for healing
  • Bar soap can be used for about everything (especially gentle ones like Ivory).  Can be used in bathing (adults and babies), hair, laundry, dishes, etc.
  • T-shirts with worn collars and sleeves can be cut into tanks tops or work shirts.  They can also be made into cloth grocery bags
  • Old cell phones can be donated to women's shelters
  • Body washes can be used in hand soap dispensers or made into foaming soap, and can be used for dish washing in a pinch
  • Clamp clothes pins make great chip clips.  Pants hangers can be used as chip clips as well.  Either cut the ends off and use, or place a bar in the pantry and hang your bags.
  • Twin fitted sheets make great table covers for picnic tables or long dining tables
  • Baking soda and vinegar can be used to open sluggish drains
  • Use  stale soda pop instead of water when making Jello - even gives it a better flavor (and you aren't wasting)
  • Clay or plastic pots can be used for more than flowers.  I use a couple in my kitchen for holding utensils that I use daily (I have very little drawer space).  They would be good storage in bathroom as well.  How about using them to hold office or craft supplies?    Clean clay pots can be used in baking.  Use as herb gardens.  Recycle and use in gifts with seeds/gloves to a gardening friend.  Broken pots are great for drainage in other pots.
My daily silverware container.  It sits right next to the sink on the counter - I wash flatware and place in container - and it's right there ready to use daily.

The cooking utensils that I use pretty much daily sit in a pot right next to the stove.  As you can see most of my utensils are vintage - I love the old stuff.
  • Really large flower pots can be used as storage/tables on the patio.  Great place to store hand tools, small hose, etc. and cover with a hand made table topper (old boards or a tray or platter) and use next to a chair to hold drinks
  • I keep dill pickle juice and use as a marinade for meats, I also place other fresh veggies in it and make new pickled veggies.  Shoot I love to just drink it!!!!!
  • Compost food scraps 
  • Wooden pallets are now the new thing!  If you can find them for free - they can be made into all sorts of things
  • Cut old frayed bath towels into wash cloths.  Simply bind or hem the edges.
  • Flat sheets can be made into valances, window curtains, and even clothes
  • Old books make great secret storage places

We are basically the only ones that can help ourselves.  Many people are so tight on money, that every idea that we can share, could help them tremendously.  Others, just want to save where they can - so they HAVE a fund to take care of emergencies or have a trip or pay extra on the house.
We all have our own reasons for being frugal!!
Plus with being frugal and re-inventing, re-cycling, and up-cycling we are also helping this beautiful planet we live on.

Give us a shout out - we are all here to learn!
Blessings my friends!


  1. Can't remember if I posted this or not, but my mil used to save the 'wax paper' liners from baking mixes and cereal boxes to cover big and little pies and baked goods. She would slip the cover sideways over it. Not much for baking mixes and cereal in a box anymore, but it does give a second life to something!

    1. Ellen I keep the cereal box liners for wax paper too. I split them open and then use between items I freeze (mainly meat). I truly can't remember the last time I bought wax paper.
      LOVE the idea of just slipping the pies in the bag!
      Thanks my friend.

  2. Love all your tips. Waste not want not is a great way to live Cheryl. You know some of those cabinets they knock down are made of wood -instead of the cardboard like material they have on some now. I hate that too. Have a great day.

    1. I know - I just cringe every time I see them bust up perfectly good cabinets. Habitat stores would love them!
      Waste not want not - is pretty much my motto. I guess it says a lot about the generation that raised me!!!!
      Have a lovely day.

  3. I live in a university town and we sometimes drive right by the married student housing where mostly international students live. This housing has several very long community clothes lines. Many times the laundry is not hung up with clothes pins but with dozens of those clothespin type clothes hangers. Isn't that resourceful?

    1. Rhonda that sure is. They can go from the line to the closet in swoop!
      I sometimes hand t-shirts or blouses on regular hangers on the line. It seems to get the wrinkles out better. Ready to hang.

      Student housing is also a great place to get a lot of freeby items at the end of the school year. They don't want or can't take a lot back with them.

      Have a good weekend.

  4. Your articl sure hit home with me. I too loved watching the "fixer upper" shows and truly loved some the ideas that were presented on them. But then it got to the point (seeing Pinterest and Facebook) that EVERYBODY wanted the same thing. I like the ship lap, tobacco baskets, stainless french door refrigerators, wood floors, white cabinets, etc., but I DON'T WANT my house to look like everyone elses!! I've also come to intensely dislike the words "needs to be updated" on these shows. Also, how long before a new trend is pushed on people - one or two years and they "have to update AGAIN" after having spent thousands of dollars. If something is pushed on me, I tend to run the opposite direction. 99.999% I will NEVER buy something I see in an advertisement. I refuse to even look at them. The things in my house have a "personal meaning" because they came from my grandmother or my childhood days.

    1. Kris I agree whole heartedly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      My house is my house. I get crafty ideas I like - but I have never been a trender (JUST ASK MY WARDROBE!!! LOL).

      It does seem silly to spend so much money - when new things will come along - and most of those people you see on the programs seem to be trend followers.

      I always turn down the commercials so I don't even have to hear them.
      Have a great day.

  5. Hi Cheryl...oh how I agree with you about the remodeling shows. My hubby is a former carpenter and we are blessed by some of the great things that people have torn out and replaced with newer stuff but my goodness, the waste of some of these people. I use most of the tips you listed and got a good giggle about you liking to drink pickle do I! Be blessed!

    1. Debbie I have pickle juice is good for restless leg syndrome too. I have always like pickle juice, since I was kid. My sister and I used to fight over it, when we were young!

      Glad you got some nice things from others carpentry projects.
      Waste has just become accepted any more and I can't stand it.