When you are trying to make your money stretch farther, sometimes the best choice you can make is simply to not spend the money. Learning to make do with what you already have is a vital skill that will save you money. Today, I’d like to give you a list of ideas for making do with what you already have. Some of them may not apply to you, but I hope you can benefit, or perhaps get some ideas for ways you can use items in new ways or give them a longer life.
- Rather than buying more storage containers, cover cardboard boxes with salvaged wallpaper or fabric.
- Learn how to make minor repairs around your home. Youtube videos have helped me several times when appliances were acting wonky.
- Rather than buying home decor items, try rearranging the items you have. Regrouping in different rooms can give you a whole new feel for free.
- Use the envelopes provided for paying bills to organize receipts or coupons while shopping.
- Allow your children to cut up old magazines to create collages/scrapbooks/school projects before throwing them away or recycling them. Hours of entertainment!
- Check your freezer for older food. Freezer burn can be trimmed. Older meat can be seasoned. Use an inventory list on your freezer to help you keep on top of your food and avoid waste.
- Keep a bag in the freezer to fill with veggie scraps such as onion skins, carrot tops, celery root, etc. Use them with chicken bones to make bone broth. I make mine in a crockpot.
- Take the time to organize your items so that you know what you have. For example, if you keep all your hand tools together (screwdriver, tape measure, hammer, nails, ruler) you won’t need to buy them for a project based on the inability to find them.
- Keep your kitchen tools to a minimum. You don’t need a new gadget. Your kitchen is well equipped with a few well chosen pans, a french knife, a colander, etc. Basic tools will serve you well, and I guarantee they are easier to wash.
- You only need one set of dishes with a limited number of place settings. This tip also prevents the mountain of dishes. If you only own ten plates, you will only ever have to wash ten plates.
- Avoid paper products where you are able. Use cleaning rags instead of paper towels, for example.
- Quart jars are super versatile. They can be repurposed for a ton of things, from a vase to a nighlight.
- Bottle caps make great math manipulatives.
Once you get an eye for using what you have, I’m sure you will come up with many more ideas. Sometimes, buying new is still your best option, but I want to encourage you to look around at what you have first, before going to the store. You may be able to find a solution right in front of you.
When you have tried to make do, and still decide to make a purchase, be sure to ask this question first!
What have you been able to repurpose in your home? Please share!