Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making Thriftiness Work For You

Most people I talk with concerning down sizing and frugality think that in order to live this type of life you must always be doing without.  That assumption couldn't be further from the truth.  Instead, living a frugal, self-sufficient life is simply understanding that it's your job to make most of the things you would normally buy, and source for the most reasonable price possible that which you can't make yourself.  Here are a few examples of things I have made instead of buying when the need arose.

I had three small loaves of homemade bread I knew would not be eaten before they went stale.  Most people would toss the bread into the trash or maybe feed it to the birds, but with a frugal mindset I decided to make bread crumbs.

The two loaves in the back had been tossed into my 'bread crumb bag'  in the freezer that is why they look a little wrinkly!

Take the stale bread, cut it into slices and place directly on the oven rack and toast it.  If you want to really be frugal, toast immediately after cooking something in the oven and you will be able to turn the oven off and toast the bread with the heat from dinner!  After toasted, place in food processor and 'pulse' till crumbs are fine.  Store in an airtight container.  If you want Italian bread crumbs here is the recipe!
Here is the link for step -by-step photo tutorial on making bread crumbs. 

    I have very dry skin and was accustomed to purchasing lotions of every brand in the hopes of finding one that did what the label claimed.  Just the other week I made my first batch of body butter with all-natural ingredients and, to be honest, it's the best stuff I've found!  It moisturizes my skin and leaves it feeling soft even through the next day.  This is one of those times where I did spend money to purchase basic ingredients, but I was able to make a far superior product.

    When Layna moved back home this summer she brought several items into the house, one of which was a Paula Dean jar candle.  The candle had only been burned a few times but she was ready to toss it.  Racey and I both love candle light so we eagerly saved it from the Goodwill bin.  After burning the candle all summer and loving the scent, the candles wick decided to move off center and would only burn for a few minutes before the wax would put it out.  Racey first tried to slowly melt the candle in the oven in the attempt to move the wick back to the center, and this did work for a while but the longer we burned it the more the wick gravitated to the side.  Then I had an idea!  As he tried to fix the candle in the oven it filled the house with the scent from the candle and that gave me the idea to use my tart burner to melt the wax and if we couldn't use the candle for light anymore we could at least use it for the lovely sent!

    Here are the ways in which we used our thriftiness on this item:
    • We didn't buy it, we saved it from the trash or Goodwill (people are always throwing or giving things away.  This is a great way to use your thrifty skills and save the landfills!)
    • We used it for our pleasure and entertainment till it couldn't be used anymore (Don't buy or own items that just take up space and bring you no joy, only clutter)
    • We attempted to repair it instead of throwing it in the trash (We didn't pay money for it after all so why not just be rid of it some might be thinking)
    • Once the repair no longer worked we found another use for it as an air-fresher (most items can be re-purposed if you care to save it from the landfill)
    • Once all the sent is gone we will save the wax for other projects we have planned 
    • We will recycle the jar to hold something such as bath salts, foot scrub, etc
     As you can see thriftiness and frugality are not about doing without, but more about resourcefulness and using the products that are already around your home to meet your needs.  Many of us are fooled into thinking that our way of living and consuming will never end or decrease.  In reality though our planet has finite resources and our modern way of consumption will come to an end at some point if our budget doesn't get us first.  

    In fear of being labeled a tree hugger here, I want to leave you with this thought...

    Save yourself the money, save our natural, limited resources, and learn to live as if Wal-mart never opened their doors and you'll be happier for it!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...