Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Putting What I Have...To Work For Me

When it comes to frugality, I enjoy the "getting from afar" a lot more than the "working willingly with my hands."

Time for a change!

Every time I feel the urge to spend, I'm going to rummage around for something that's already gathering dust. If it doesn't save us money or make life more beautiful, it's gone.

And I pledge to do this every day for the rest of the month. Today's item: the waffle maker!

(Find more things that work for you at We ARE That Family's WFMW.)

25 comments:

Jan said...

Hi,
Using what you have certainly will benefit. It takes practice but after a while it becomes a habit. In our consumption driven culture it is usually the last thing we think of.
Try it you might be surprised.
Jan

Sandy Toes said...

Great idea!!!! I too have decided to use what I have...I can paint it or whatever but try not buy all new.
sandy toe

Pokeberry Mary said...

A sure sign of spring is the urge to dejunk!
Good for you!

Amy said...

Oh, I just love this challenge! Love it, love it! What a great idea!

Leila said...

So. much. stuff.

We'll always have to buy things, but it's good to be practical with what we have, too!

And don't you just hate when you buy something and then realize you did already have it! Grr....

Missy K said...

OK, Meredith, get out of my head! Last night, after the kids were down, I had some quiet time and found myself thinking about some overloaded shelves and closets, and how I could not possibly love everything they have on or in them. And yet, the new (usually just new to me) always beckons. I'll join you!

amanda said...

Great plan! I look forward to seeing how it goes!

laurel said...

It must be something about spring coming...I have been having the same urges to use what we have, declutter, simplify. I always feel this way around this time of the year. I feel like things collect over the winter (and I want the house to be more cozy), and then it starts to hint of spring and I am ready to live with less again. Can't wait to see what you do through the month!

Mama Squirrel said...

Meredith, I am more of a "dumper" than I ever was--but my packratty Squirrelings tend to go the other way, and object when things disappear--I don't mean their personal things, but just in general. Like a toy (probably yard-saled in the first place) that they played with years ago that's too young for everyone here, but when its existence is now threatened, it gets the "heritage designation" and can't be touched. Any suggestions?

Nancy said...

What a great challenge! I think I'll open doors and drawers and see what's there that I could be putting to use rather than collecting dust.

Waffles for dinner are one of our favorite winter time meals. Ours gets a regular workout.

Mrs. Darling said...

I love the reference to the Proverbs 31 woman. I had never really thought about that but I suppose I too enjoy the gathering from a far the most!Thanks for the chuckle and little insight!

Tubo Family said...

I really worked on this one the six months my husband was unemployed and found it surprisingly satifying. I reminded my self that it is the same search and gather process that I so love about "treasure hunting" in a thrift store. And I found it really fun in the reverse too--finding unfavorites to say goodbye to in my decluttering mission.

Tubo Family said...

Mama Squirrel--my 4 1/2 yo is a natural born collector and even wants to save gift wrappings, not to reuse but just to have, so I know what you mean about the heritage designation. I got a tip from another mom and that is to use the container rule: determine what your container (it might be an actual container,a shelf or even a room) for that type of item is and tell your child or yourself to keep only what fits. Another technique I use is not to weed out starting with most favorite, because the claim is "it's all my favorite," but to ask for the least preferred first.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

I'm going to be doing this right along with you. Preparing for a new baby is always a good time to get things simplifies and in order, but usually I'm much to sick. This time I'm going to take advantage of being "just tired" and get some things done:)

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I already do a lot of this, but this will be my first systematic effort to use or lose.

And yes, I do think spring has a lot to do with it!

Susan said...

I have spent the past month working VERY hard at decluttering the entire house (and I really do mean EVERYTHING!), and it's amazing the things you can say goodbye to once you get going. After a while, going through all your stuff makes you just about want to chuck everything, so I guess a little bit of restraint and balance is called for! I found as I went through things that so many of the things that we had, that I didn't use, were not being used because we have always been "fixing up" some part of our fixer-upper house, but with 5 kids, it's been slow going at times over the years. So even though we would really like to get a bigger house, we have the ultimate "use what you have" project planned for this spring- a real push to finally complete our house this year, including a kitchen remodel and finishing off the basement. Paint samples cover my desk even as I write this. I look forward to seeing what you and the other ladies accomplish!
Susan

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Count me in as another one who has had this thought recently. My biggest downfall is books and craft supplies. I'm typing in my craft room right now, and it is overflowing with stuff. I realized recently that I seem to have a slight problem with buying supplies, then not using them more than once or twice, if at all. I have fabric that I mean to make stuff out of, yet it sits in a closet gathering dust. I'm throwing money away for potential new projects while never even starting several projects already sitting at home.

My goal this month is also to use what I have and not run to the store for new stuff. I already have more than enough. I feel like a copycat, but I swear I'd already resolved to do this before I saw your post! :-)

Thrifty Gal said...

Meredith ~ You, and your commentors, are inspiring! After my daughter gets over the flu, I'll be trying this out too! :)

Gena said...

This is what I am trying to do for the entire month of March. No spending, except for fresh fruits and veggies. Using what is in my home to decorate, redecorate and recharge my batteries.

theoldmasonjar said...

Funny quote, good idea! :) It will be interesting to see a list of all the stuff you toss.

Willo said...

This is an excellent idea! We are trying to do the same! Not only does it save mucho money but it's great for the Earth!

La said...

oh, oh, oh! i want the waffle maker! pick me, pick me! ;)

(really, i've been wanting one)

Joy of Frugal Living said...

Great idea, I'm looking forward to hearing about it. I bet it will inspire me extra as I try to declutter pre-baby. :)

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

My waffle maker is gathering dust too. The sad thing is that my daughter has been begging me to make waffles and today I just bought a cheap pack of frozen ones. Next time I'll just get out the appliance and whip up something healthier, cheaper, and tastier.

Kimba said...

I love this idea! I'll admit to packrat tendencies so I have some full closets and shelves. There is no reason on earth that I can't simply use the things that I already have. No shopping!

Except for a big ceramic bunny, if I can find one at goodwill. I need a big ceramic bunny to paint white for spring. Kidding. Sorta.

Kimba