Sunday, 12 November 2017
I've been thinking lately about The Ancient Art of Little Economies. Little things that one does to save money, to save time, to save sanity. I do Little Economies a lot, but sometimes, of course I digress and am wasteful.
But really, I don't like it. I don't like having my bin for paper, tins, etc, etc, fill of junk. To me, that shows that I have been wasteful. So, what do I do, instead?
I do use tins... but only occasionally. Rarely. Mostly on blue moon occasions.
I don't buy 'stuff' then have to throw out some existing 'stuff', to make room for the new 'stuff'. I look at ways to use up what I have, instead.
Sometimes, just by moving paintings, ornaments and furniture around, you can get a 'new look' for your home.
I do the same with clothes. I pull them out of storage at the start of each season, and see what I can come up with to have a nice stash of clothes. Occasionally I do need to buy a few things, but seldom. I also mend clothes.
I mix tail ends of foundations, and skin care, to make more. I dilute cleanser and body lotion with whatever oil is floating around, from out of the kitchen through to baby oil. I cut tubes in half when they appear to be empty, and recently got 6 more applications of cleanser out of what appeared to be an empty tube, when I did this. I also mixed some CC cream with some samples of foundation to make a lovely new foundation.
Hilariously, when my eldest grand daughter and youngest child were both thirteen, they both wanted make-up. Well, thirteen is a good age to want that! However, myself and my eldest daughter were both somewhat impoverished at the time. My youngest and I went to the local mall, where we saw a Maybelline freebie display. Tiny samples of foundation, blusher, lipstick, etc. My youngest and I walked past and took a handful. We walked past at regular intervals, smiling, acting nonchalant and taking. Then we went to see grand daughter. When we handed over her stash, I told her that "the world is full of make-up". And, being her granny, of course I was the font of such knowledge. Ever since then, she has known that makeup is out there, if you want it. ps Granny-wise, I shall never forget the look on her face when she got her stash. A Lovely memory, for me, frozen in time.
I save ends of vegetables, such as carrot tops, vegetable peelings, garlic and onion skins, when I'm preparing food. They go into a container and about once a week, I make stock from them for cooking and for soups. You cover the vegetables with some water, add some black peppercorns, a bay leaf, odds and ends of fresh herbs, bring it to the boil, and steep for at least 15 minutes, then strain. I don't cook meat, but if you do, you can add bones with a dash of vinegar to leech the calcium out of the bones, but this does need more cooking.
I rummage around my fridge a couple of times a week, and use up bits and pieces. To be honest, I do keep a fairly sparse fridge, but still.... I'll do a tray bake of root veggies, or make some veggie soup. I freeze extra portions so that I don't need to buy designer soups. Fried rice is another option. And juicing is another way to use up appropriate fruit and veggies.
I seldom buy magazines, I get them from the library instead. And the same with books. I also get books from $1 sales, and then when I've read them, I donate them.
Why? For me, it actually isn't just about money, but also about ecology. That is, I really do little economies to reduce my carbon footprint. I don't want my future family line to live in a junked up world. Nor do I want that for anyone else.
All of these Little Economies, they do add up. I learnt to be this way, from my beloved Grandmother, who was very posh. From Nanna, whom I lived with, I learnt that the best way to have money, and appreciate money, was not to waste it, and certainly not to keep spending.
And, it's not about having a miserly life. Far from it. At Nanna's, we had a lovely, gracious, affluent life. It's easy to be gracious when one is not constantly 'wanting'. Wanting things, situations, etc, etc. No, learning how to work with what I have stops me from all that wanting. Mostly. I can and do lapse sometimes....
And it's easy to be affluent when we are not wasting our money. Maybe I have the pratty gene... but I enjoy living like this. It makes me feel and be self reliant. And, looking at what I have rather than what I want... makes me more creative. And grateful. Yes, the gratitude thing again.
And, I am able to be generous with my family, money-wise, because I haven't been wasting my funds. And that, to me, is real affluence.
What little economies do you have? Feel free to share them in the comments area below.
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