Hard times are upon many of us. I've been trying to Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without for several years now. Here are some of the things I've done.
Ways to USE IT UP:
1. Toothpaste- Take the end of your toothbrush and slide it along the toothpaste tube, pushing all the toothpaste up toward the opening to get out all the last bits. If you're at the end and want the very last bit, open the end with scissors and just put your toothbrush inside. You'll get a few more brushings out of the tube.
2. Lotions- If you have body lotion or baby lotion setting around unused, you can use it for shaving lotion. I just put some in my hand, add a bit of water from the faucet and spread it on my skin. The razor slides smoothly. The same is true for unused hair conditioner.
3. Lipstick- Use a lip brush or cotton swab to get the last bits out of the container.
4. Unmatched dishes-either your own or garage sale finds. Use these to give food gifts to neighbors or friends. We have had single neighbors who really appreciate a single serving of soup or whatever meal we're having. Using the mismatched items takes the worry away about getting your dishes back. When they're returned, it's just an added blessing.
5. Oftentimes, I have leftovers that I like to try to remake into something else. Soup's especially good for this. Leftover meat and gravy makes a great soup base.
6. If you have leftover bottles of cleaning supplies, use them!
7. Declutter and sell at yard sales.
8. Declutter your bookshelves and swap on Paper Back Swap. Please mention me, lauraofharvestlane, as referring you.
9. Sell clothes at consignment shops.
10. Sell other things on ebay.
11. Tear up old towels to use as rags.
12. Wear those old tennis shoes in the creek or to mow the lawn.
13. Wear old clothes around the house; save your nicer things for going out.
14. Wear used clothes from yard sales, thrift stores, or resale stores.
15. Pass clothing down to younger children or to friends. Accept donations, too!
16. Patch those jeans! Put a pretty patch over a stain on a dress or blouse.
17. Let down the hem on your girls' dresses. If it's worn, add some rick rack, flat lace, or fancy machine stitching.
18. Put a ruffle around the bottom of dresses that are too short, or around legs of boys' shorts to make them hand-me-downable to girls.
Ways to MAKE IT DO:
19. I have brushed my teeth with baking soda sprinkled on my wet brush. I have also poured a tiny bit of peroxide over my toothbrush. I've not tried combining them yet.
20. I've used my lipstick as blush. Dot it on; then blend, blend, blend.
21. Cut up old clothes or sheets into your preferred napkin size. Zig-zag stitch or hem the edges. Fold them and leave them in a basket on the table or counter. It works for baby receiving blankets, too.
22. When I make jelly, I use an old pillowcase that is clean and lint free instead of a jelly bag to hang my fruit mixture in to strain it.
23. Remake used or old clothing by: adding pretty patches or yo yos, dying the cloth, embroidering by hand or machine around edges or wear lines where a dress or pants were let out, or adding a ruffle or lace to make it long enough and fresh.
24. The most romantic dinners that my husband and I have had since we were married were those at home. I'd feed the kids and put them to bed early. Then, I'd either prepare something for us; or, we'd eat take out. Sometimes, we'd eat at the kitchen table or dining table, or even at a little table in our bedroom. When we lived in a second floor apartment, I put a tiny round table and two chairs on the balcony. Each time I'd use a nice tablecloth, candles, china or nice dishes, and nice glasses or stemware. Add soft music; and, you have a wonderful setting. Give it a try!
25. You can clean a lot of things with baking soda and/or vinegar. Do some research.
26. Old baskets can be had for a song at many yard sales. You probably have some on hand. They can be spray painted for an updated look or to put goodies in for a gift.
27. Mismatched dishes in a color scheme, from yard sales, look pretty when set on a lovely table cloth. I'm collecting white dishes.
28. A sheet will work for a tablecloth. A two yard length of fabric hemmed at the ends can also make a tablecloth for many tables.
Ways to DO WITHOUT:
29. Don't go shopping for entertainment. Stay away from the mall and online shopping. It's a whole lot easier to do without the latest greatest if you don't go shopping for fun.
30. Stay home. Gas is a luxury these days, so limit trips.
31. Combine trips when you do need to go out. We have to go to a nearby city for some things we need. I like to combine everything I can think of that I need to do in that city on that day.
32. Use a bicycle, if you have one.
33. Invite friends for a potluck. Share the cost of the meal by asking others bring a dish to share.
34. The fewer ingredients in a recipe, the simpler and more cost effective it usually is. Steak is a notable exception to this rule. ~smile~
35. Rethink why you eat. Really, it's just to fill your tummy and to give you nutrition. Rice and beans can do that just as well as meat and potatoes.
36. Always think about what precedents you are setting with your children. A new bike for a birthday or Christmas sets a high precedent for next year. Designer tennis shoes or clothes set a high precedent for next year.
37. Don't allow your children to watch Saturday morning cartoons. The commercials are designed to make your children into gimme monsters.
38. Stay away from toy stores and toy aisles. Don't let your little darlings see what other accessories there are to go with their toys!
39. Stay away from craft and fabric stores! Eek! I knew you wouldn't like that one!
40. Do a Bible study on contentment. "Do not covet your neighbor's______. You fill in the blank.
May God bless you as you journey along this life using it up, wearing it out, making it do and doing without... CHEERFULLY! That part can come only from God!
Laura of Harvest Lane
Happy at Home
|This post was featured in issue #135 of The Christian Home Magazine.