‘Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’ I made this my motto during this year of less is more and my dabbling into minimalism. I discovered that this saying was used during the Great Depression when people were very good at wasting nothing and the trend seems to be now returning. For some, the priority is saving money, for others, it’s saving the planet.
Here are a few simple tips that for many, were a way of life and that I'm going to try and adopt in today’s throw-away world.
1. Fix it – Before rushing out to buy a replacement, can it be fixed? With so much information out there these days,, you can find how-to’s on just about anything and there is something quiet satisfying about getting that old coffee maker working again (no I haven't tried yet). Can we fix it? Yes we can!
2. Everything old is new again – A coat of paint, some new upholstery, shiny buttons, using what you already have and giving it a new lease on life is limited only by your imagination. That and not being so lazy when it comes to sewing on the buttons.
3. Try second-hand – from Gumtree, EBay, op shops (I found the best pair of Italian shoes for $2) to local buy, swap and sell groups, there are heaps of wonderful bargains out there and who knows, I may even get around to selling my own clutter.
4. Grow your own – Nothing beats going out to your garden for fresh vegies and they always taste so much better. Especially when hubby is an expert!
5. Cook your own – Now that we've grown all those beautiful tomatoes and zucchini, I need to create some magic in the kitchen. Hmm that mans actually cooking and not just watching MasterChef. Will start that tomorrow as we had take away kebabs tonight. Oh and I hate throwing out anything - I love left overs!
6. Eat out less – Eating out at restaurants used to be a special treat, so I need to cut back and plan nights out to make them special once again. And if I can find a bargain coupon, even better.
7. Save up for special things – Everything can be obtained instantly these days with just the swipe of a piece of plastic. Instead of instant gratification, I'm going to return to the pocket money days and save for something special, or better still, do without!
8. Think before buying – Is it a need or is it a want? Can I make do with what I already have? Do I really need a shiny new toaster when the one I have works perfectly? A bargain is only a bargain if it is something you really need and will be useful.
9. Compare and Save – With so much competition and information readily available, shop around. For major purchases ask for a discount and even for minor ones, ask if they are likely to go on sale soon. They can only say no and you can always walk away and wait.
. The best things in life are free - Not everything worth doing costs money! In fact, sometimes the opposite is true. I've been finding the library is not just a great place to borrow books, but has heaps of free stuff to do. Or of course checkout WeekendNotes (great articles by that wonderful writer JuliaA) and all of the other what's on websites and newsletter that are out there. No need to spend a fortune on entertainment or doing stuff!