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I've always liked making do with what I have, but now I have a goal to pay off a particular debt ASAP, so I'm trying to take it to a whole new dimension. I'm working on not buying unnecessary items, even small items from thrift stores or garage sales, using and using up what I have on hand, re-purposing, and just in general avoiding spending money I don't have to.

It's become like the perfect storm of not buying around here, because we have several goals this year that all dovetail nicely. We want to get our house de-cluttered, we want to pay more toward the aforementioned debt, we want to use up various supplies we already own rather than buy more, and I'm also attempting to start a micro-business with minimal start-up costs selling handmade items at the local farmers market.

I'm hoping some you other villagers will join in with your own ideas and accomplishments.

At this moment, I have a chair mat toasting in front of the gas fireplace. Yesterday morning, I pulled it out of the clutter pile in my sewing room. It looked like a taco shell. I need it and I don't want to pay to replace it. I softened it in front of the fire for a while yesterday, until I could unfold it. At that point it resembled a mountain range with numerous bumps all over it. Today it's more like the Black Hills in South Dakota. Tomorrow, I'm hoping for eastern Nebraska. The point is it looked like garbage 36 hours ago, but now it's on the verge of becoming completely useful for a total cost of absolutely nothing.

I'm making a conscious effort now to use up all the old cleaning supplies that are hanging around the place, instead of buying new ones.

Earlier this week, I repaired a broken hitch receiver cover using pieces cut from a plastic milk jug and some leftover Eternabond tape, thus avoiding the cost of buying a new one.



What's everyone else up to? How are you avoiding buying new things in favor of using what you already have? Give us your best ideas! We can all learn from each other.
 

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Great idea! I am repurposing containers and trays as I am organizing and decluttering - means that I can get rid of ALL cardboard containers. Now I need to delve deeper into reusing and then re bearing to post here!
 

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SD what a great goal. I have been doing something similar with craft stuff. I need to consider stretching that out. I have a few goals, like you, a debt to get rid of, and possibly a big project next year. I hope to cut daycare hours to 4 days a week, if I go with this idea.Anyway, if I cut hours, it cuts my pay, so I need to cut back a few areas, declutter the house so we can use it more efficiently.
 

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MM, I'm trying to unload most of the storage boxes too. Or else use up some stash Contact paper and make them more decorative and more sturdy. I have some items in boxes on shelves that would be hard to find plastic containers for. But I looked at a box of stuff yesterday and at some plastic totes I had just emptied, and the light bulb went off. Why am I wasting space storing empty totes and then using crappy cardboard boxes for storage? DUH! :lol:

M4E, it sounds like you have a big project in the works too. I hope it all works out for you.

I'm slowly weeding out glass storage containers I have in the kitchen. I need to get rid of stuff because the storage I built for my canning stuff two years ago isn't quite big enough. I'm starting to like the idea of the uniformity of canning jars for most of my kitchen storage. I have sizes ranging from two quart jars down to 1/4 cup jars, so should be able to find something suitable for most anything. I hate getting rid of canning jars and putting more of them to work would keep them in the house but yet still get rid of clutter, if I got rid of the odds and ends of other glass containers instead. I haven't completely decided on this yet but it's getting closer.

I recently discovered peanut butter jar lids and Parmesan jar lids will both fit standard canning jars. The peanut butter jar lids will help keep me from buying plastic one-piece storage lids from the hardware store for canning jars, saving money. I'm switching to canning jars with Parmesan lids for stuff like baking soda that is measured in a spoon. Those lids are going to be so handy for that kind of stuff.

The floor mat is coming along nicely. It's pretty much straightened out now except the ridge where it was folded in half. The dog is laying on that now, so a forty pound, heated weight should help with that. The mat is usable now but I'm going to give it a few more days in hopes it'll get completely flat. But it makes me happy I've successfully avoided buying a new mat and still got what I needed.
 

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Great job in getting your dog to lie where you wanted on the mat!
 

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It's was easy. The mat is still in front of the fireplace! The cats are always laying on it too, and it's working. The part she's been laying on is completely flat now.

Today I'm working with vintage patterns for my new sewing venture. Not only do I not have to buy patterns to make my products, but I don't have to worry about copyright issues either. They're so old the copyrights have expired and they're in the public domain now.
 

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Wow SD..I need to take come of your plan and do things here...I have been looking for a piece of faberic that I know that I have but have yet to find it..At least I am getting some things cleared out..
 

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The sewing room is coming along. I used free scrap lumber today to make risers for an old dresser that had been in the garage waiting to be gotten rid of. Then I moved the dresser into my sewing room for more storage and to organize some of the fabrics for my new business. The risers allow me to use totes I already have instead of having to buy new ones.
 
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