Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do Wa Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Redo!

I am frugal by nature. Just born that way, I guess. My mother often tells a particular story illustrating my superior prudence. Seriously, the stuff family legends are made of. When I was a teen, she sent my sister and me to the mall with $300 each to buy clothes for the school year. (Just in case my kids ever read this...no, you cannot have that much--Grandma is nuts!) After several hours she retrieved us and found that I had only purchased a grey knitted skinny necktie. I am good with money, not fashion, and it was the 80's ok. Total: $6.00. Not my fault. I cannot spend it. I do not know where the phobia comes from, and I am not sure I want to know. It is probably some sort of deep-seated trauma that I am neither equipped nor inclined to deal with.
The only good thing to do with money? Save it.
I know, as always, I exaggerate a wee bit, but just hoping that you can understand where I am coming from here. I love saving money. I love not spending money. I get get a bit giddy depriving myself of things that I even kind of want, but that is probably a therapy session for another day. Where is this rambling rant going? Repurposing that is where! (repurpose: tr.v. re·pur·posed, re·pur·pos·ing, re·pur·pos·es: To use or convert for use in another format or product.) I think I have always done this naturally. I reduce my possessions often. I like shopping second-hand. I reuse anything that isn't too gross. No, cleaning ziploc bags is NOT gross, but using the TP from your teenagers' friends' midnight foray IS. I recycle what I can and compost anything that the chickens don't eat. Of course what they do eat gets composted eventually too, but the chickens recycle that themselves! Point is...I think I am ready to step it up a notch. Hence the Repurpose Rampage. Come. Join me. Find something in your house that you can repurpose and keep using in a different manner. Then come share your project to help inspire the rest of us.
Back in the "old days" our grandparents didn't need a fancy name for it. It was just life. I still think it is, but luckily now it is chic so we can admit without hesitation and even with a bit of enthusiasm that we got our cool stuff at a thrift shop or garage sale. Better yet, reuse our own junk! Remember the old depression era adage: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without? Ya baby!
Ok, rant over, but really, I want to hear from you. My creative juices are flowing, but I do not have that much juice, so I need some ideas. Hopefully some of the projects I have in mind will actually turn out and I can share those. I recently turned a couple of old, holey blanket-sleepers that no longer fit my daughter into great little blankies for her dolls. She helped, we had fun, didn't spend a penny and I wound up with two left over zippers for other projects. Yippee! Dust off that sewing machine. Dig up those unused sheets and pillow cases. Break out the old paint cans. Clean out a closet or two. Oh ya...good times!
Quote of the day: "Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship"
-- Benjamin Franklin statesman, philosopher and all around cheap skate


  1. I'm with you, I already did something...http://ales-randomtips.blogspot.com/search/label/being frugal

  2. My husband has always been a saver and now we are very grateful for it. He is an owner in construction company that is not making any money right now so he and his partners are not taking a salary. Thank goodness for savings!!

  3. I was just thinking about you and composting this very week. I'm wondering- how do you do so during the winter? Do you troop out to the compost pile in the wet and snow or do you have some other creative solution. I started composting last summer, but don't have a ton of room and am still figuring the whole process out. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    As for the rest- I'm in the process of cutting up old jeans for a denim blanket and have a load of items to take to DI. Wish the load was bigger, but I'll get around to it. Coupons are my latest thing. If I have to spend money on something, hopfully I can cut back on what I have to hand over.

  4. Al...I could not get that url to work but I just went to your blog and found some great repurposed projects! I love the headboard/pillows/afghan!

    Shan...I do compost in the winter, but as there are not as many scraps with few fresh fruits and veggies it isn't as big a deal. I keep a small canister with a lid on the counter so scraps only have to go out every couple days and you can move a compost "bin" from the garden area to the back porch for the winter... less trudging through the snow. I use an old pot with holes left over from a tree we planted years ago. Any container you have room for will do, just make sure it has adequate air circulation. This keeps the compost process going without the stuff getting slimy. Most kitchen scraps and soft yard waste break down quickly. Your compost from summer/fall and winter will be black gold in time for the spring till! Branches and trimmings take a long time so I usually burn those and till in the ashes. (check the burning ordinances in your area first)

    Denim quilts always a great idea. And does your grocery store have a "share coupons bin"? Mine does, I love it. At the entrance there is a bin where you can leave what you don't need and take what you do!

    Joy...have a great one, thanks for stopping by!

  5. lol, I turned some old IKEA sheets into Morsbags to give to family for Christmas, and I have a sweater that I'm thinking of lining and turning into a sock project bag (for holding knitted sock projects).

    I'm sure I have some other ideas, but I'm still a little brain-dead.

  6. Love this post, although I can't completely relate, lol. I like to spend money :) I'm pretty good at not wasting and making things last though :) I love the quote, "fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". Great idea about the blankets by the way. My daughter would love that :)
    Anyway, there are these cute little blog awards going around, you're supposed to give it to 12 people, but I changed it a bit and I'm just giving them to my top 5 :) I've linked people to your blog and added a little description about you. Go check it out!

  7. Oh my Crystal...that is tooooo sweet. You are beautiful!

  8. Yes! However you call it, recycling, reusing, repurposing. It's great!
    We just moved a couple months ago. The paper the movers used to pack our possessions in has been doled out to teachers for art projects, put down under art projects to protect my table, and I'm planning to tear them up for paper mache masks for my cub scouts.

  9. Here is an awesome blog that does just that http://www.gorgfabgoodies.blogspot.com/ several sisters contribute to the projects. Check it out!

  10. I am much more of a saver than a spender. If I see something I really like, I leave it. If I keep thinking about it, I go back and get it. If I don't, well then I'm glad I didn't get it in the first place! Anyway, I saw a way to reuse something. Magazine articles. They cut them into strips and made them into bows for packages and used full pages of words for wrapping paper and it looks very cool.