Been thinking about something lately and couldn't decide if it should be posted here or on the food board? Decided on here.
My Mom grew up in the Great Depression - she passed before the "Great Recession" - but something she used to say to me has stuck with me throughout the years. I'll just call it "Waste Not; Want Not" ~ I know it came from a poem someone else wrote:
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."
So I find myself re-using foil and Glad-wrap and inventing creative ways to use left-overs instead of tossing them. Saves on the landfill problem which "greenies" would probably like but I'm not one of them ~ instead, I just hate to see waste but am thinking I am one of the last ones standing that feels that way.
I absolutely cringed when I watched my nephew's wife toss an entire turkey along with gravy, potatoes and rolls last Thanksgiving ~ they don't "do" leftovers...
Am I the only one that saves things - items and food - and re-uses them or has the world become disposable? Guess I got started on this post because of another thread that turned into a discussion on "junk drawers" and I realized that I actually use most of the stuff in my "junk" drawers ~ and started wondering what other people do?
IR -- We do use leftovers (unless they get lost in the back of the fridge, turn green and grown hair -- LOL!)
I don't save plastic wrap nor foil but I use canning jars a lot to put leftovers in and I use carry bags for groceries rather than bringing home tons of those plastic ones.
But . . . it's not food related but I use microfiber cloths instead of Swiffer products. I have a "swiffer" dust mop but instead of those disposable products I use microfiber and then just wash them. They pick up as well as the swiffer product and there is no "kaching" every time I dust as I throw the swiffer duster away!
And I bought refillable floor mops (similar to the swiffer product but refillable with your own stuff) which again saves me money.
All of that stuff works as well as the disposable stuff but it is a lot cheaper and like you, it isn't about being "green" but about saving money!
View my blog:
I had a horrible problem with stuff that I brought home from my mother's home after she died. I couldn't throw it in the trash at her home so I boxed it up and brought it home. This isn't the stuff worth saving which we divided up or took to women's shelters, etc. I finally took a good look at most of the stuff and gave some bedding to a local animal shelter, took some stuff to Goodwill and finally closed my eyes and pitched a lot of the rest.
Out of necessity, I became a greenie -- I took early retirement so living cheaply was not a choice and I do not feel deprived. I was able to retire early because of my "living on the cheap". About 90% of my house contents is reused, recycled, upcycled, or homemade and I am totally comfortable.
So far this calendar year I have placed two bags of trash to the curb. Yep -- just 2. I pay by the bag plus a quarterly fee. The way things are going, only 2 more bags will go to the curb this year. Nothing organic goes into the trash before the morning it goes out -- when I take out the frozen meat product trash out of the freezer and place it in the bag. Everything else organic goes to the compost pile.
I don't use paper products except toilet tissue. I buy tea towels at yard sales, cut them in half, and hem the good sections. Bad sections go in the cleaning bin, good sections are used as bar wipes in place of paper towels.
I can't even tolerate to throw away houseplant cuttings -- to I cut them off and root them into new pots. If I get too many houseplants then I sell them at a spring yard sale, along with 40 or so potted perennials dug up from my back cottage garden -- this supports what I need for the garden -- mulch, annuals, etc.
So -- at least here in my house, the theme is "waste not, want not". And I don't need a thing!
Here's a little humorous pic of a recycled soup can ;-) (sorry, phone pic not very good quality)
BTW, that's the view from my kitchen window that I am privileged to look at every day while doing dishes.This message has been edited. Last edited by: MyLifeVacation1,
I try to be frugal and re use items, not because I am a 'greenie" but I just can't stand to see waste.
We eat leftovers and I will also freeze leftovers in meal size portions to microwave on busy days. Very little food gets thrown away here, and I save our scraps for the grand dogs.
I don't buy products that are going to be used only a time or two and then go to the landfill- like bottled water. We have tervis tumblers and if we will be going out and want water with us, we take it in those. Tap water.
I reuse foil if it is clean. I use plastic containers for food, rather than ziplocks, although I do keep them on hand for times nothing else will do.
I use paper towels, but the one I put down by the coffeemaker in the mornings, will be reused somewhere else later in the day.
The kids gave us a Keurig and we bought the adapter for it.
I use an old cloth on my swiffer...
I just hate to see all this plastic headed for the landfill after only one use.
We buy Tidy Cats litter in the big yellow buckets. What a waste! We are always giving people in the community buckets- they are nice sturdy ones that it is such a waste to throw away. I really wish they would but them in a heavy sack that would at least decompose someday.
It definitely has been a "throw-away" society for years now. I know this topic has been discussed before and I think it's timely especially now.
My mother did very well with very little. I think most people that grew up during the great depression were that way. My three sisters and I learned a lot from her. My DH and his parents came from another country in the 60's with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their backs. He doesn't believe in wasting either.
We always eat leftovers and when possible incorporate them into a new dish like with leftover chicken, pork or turkey. Omelet's, frittatas, stews you name it. Leftover rice, I don't think I've ever thrown away. The only thing that gets tossed is the errant fruit or vegetable I forgot about in the bottom drawer that shriveled or decided to get a new "hairdo". LOL!
I don't understand young people that go to salons to get manicures and pedicures, I've never had one in my life. Starbucks, iphones, getting a new car every 3-4 years, running up credit cards, eating out every day or 2-3 times a week. Always buying "stuff" and then having garage sales to get rid of it so you can buy some more....what a waste of money.
People complain they can't afford to live comfortably on two incomes. But if you could only see what they waste....
OK I could go on and on....let me step down off my soap box before things get nasty. LOL!
I try to be very careful not to waste things, but I know I'm not as frugal as those who experienced the Great Depression or the scarcity of certain items during WWII. I'm of the spoiled generation who has always had access to a wide variety of fresh food at the local market and tons of time-saving convenience products.
I have changed my behavior during the last few years by replacing paper and plastic products used in my daily life with items made of reusable cloth and glass. I cook from scratch rather than using convenience foods. I've transitioned to digital magazines and books. I try to buy vintage rather than adding to the demand for new items. I plan errands to conserve fuel. I'll probably never plant a garden, can a tomato or sew a shirt, but I will continue to look for lifestyle changes I can make that aid in the conservation of precious resources.
We sisters were born between 1927 and 1943 and so lived in the depression and WW 2. Yes absolutely we conserve, but most especially paper products which must have been drilled into us all as I noticed last summer being with my four sisters that that is one area we are all alike.
The funny thing about the foil is that my niece, with whom her widowed mother lives, told me once that they had a piece of foil that has been with them twenty years! LOL! And this sister is one who really likes the good life, travel, jewelry, entertainments; but even she can not get away from those early life lessons.
I think what you grow up with is what you practice all your life. I grew up on a farm where we grew the vast majority of our food, raised animals for meat and mostly wore hand-me-down clothes. Right now, I have clothes in my closet that have to be nearly 20 years old but I can't seem to let go of them. I was raised that you wore them until they were worn out.
I don't have a garden, but would like to can more things. Only thing I can regularly is strawberry jam. I did learn how to do that growing up. We use our own shopping bags. Plastic bags are one of my pet peeves. Never should have been invented!!! I use containers for leftovers, which we do eat unless they start growing stuff. I do have resealable plastic bags, but don't remember the last time any were bought because they get washed and reused. DSIL made me a little stand specifically for drying them after washing.
We have curbside recycle pickup, so everything possible goes in there. We have very little that goes into the trash.
It really irks me that you can't get things repaired these days. All you hear is "it'll cost more to fix it than to buy a new one". Ever heard of planned obsolescence?
Yeah, I could get up on that soapbox, too.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
I, too, could get on my soapbox! It really irritates me to have to discard something that only needs a minor repair because you can't find anyone to repair it!
Some of you have reminded me of things I do and didn't mention- reusing ziplocks if possible, I also re use those plastic grocery bags. I line our small trash cans with them. Also I use them doubled when I scoop our litterboxes then tie them up before tossing them in the garbage.
We definitely re-use plastic grocery bags. The clear ones from the produce section, I use for food storage. Others to reline wastepaper baskets or to throw garbage away. We re-cycle everything it is possible to re-cycle. I save bacon fat. . . in fact my favorite new saute mixture is butter, bacon fat and evoo, in very small amounts of course. I use bacon fat to coat a baked potato before baking and to grease some pans.
I love my books and am not ready to go digital for them, never use paper towels to dry my hands or for any thing like that, only food related things. Again when I drain bacon I put a piece of paper towel on a layer of newspapers.
ZL I am still waiting for my first manicure and I am 78! (Have had a couple of pedicures though) My DD and DGD get both regularly.
For some of us it is not just upbringing but our own inclinations. I love antiques and history and would much rather buy something old or second hand, and only one of my sisters shares that interest.
Okay I was with you until you started putting down manicures and pedicures, I get them all the time, but maybe I'm safe because I'm not young.
I also like to go out to eat a lot! but I can afford it, I don't run up a credit card to do it.
I thought I was cheap but maybe not so much...
haha I have a friend who laughs about how cheap I am on some things, but spend a lot going out to eat, at least I give her laughs.
I think all of us have our own priorities, I am amazed at what some of my friends spend on some things I won't.
Since I was born in the mid 40s & raised by parents who went through the depression & WWII, yep, I also do most of what all of you have mentioned.
I do use some paper products...but if they don't have grease/fat on them...they go into my compost. I reuse foil all the time. I have one piece that is designated for warming hotdog/hamburger buns & I'll use it until it wears out where I fold it. Then it will get crushed into a ball & become a cat toy. Some of the other goes into our can recycle bin...DH likes the little dollars he gets for that.
I've been growing some of our veggies & have a bunch of stuff planted right now. I should have some radishes in a couple of days.
We eat leftovers. If it gets shoved to the back & is questionable...it's cat food!
I use a lot of cool whip containers for leftovers and some old margarine containers.
I save bacon grease...eggs & hash browns are wonderful cooked in it.
I'm making more & more items from scratch. I am amazed at how many things have some form of sweetener in it...like dry potato soup mix! I don't put any sweetener in my potato soup when I make it!
Bananas about to go bad get made into banana/nut bread or smashed & put in the freezer for making it later...it works! Leftover mashed potatoes either get frozen and served again later or made into potato pancakes. If I have some onion left from something I'm making, the rest gets chopped & put in the freezer...goes great on pizzas, in meatloaf or other dishes I'm making.
I pick wild blue berries & black berries...use them both in different ways. Homemade blackberry jelly is yummy & fairly easy to make.
When I lived in Ill. I used to pick wild strawberries, black raspberries & blackberries up there! I also collected wild asparagus along the road near our house.
So I use most everything I can in some way or another!
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Wear it out, use it up, go without.
last Sunday I made a roast chicken, (I used a big fryer, the "roasting hens " were WAY too expensive.) On Monday I made soup and we ate that for 3 yeah THREE days. on the 4th day, Mark (DH) asked rather plaintively, "could we please have new food?"
The guy teaches full time PLUS evenings at the local state college, and had 3 late suppers last week. I guess he earned his grilled cheese that night.
I reuse foil, plastic bags, and paper towels. (I wash mine, I use VIVA and they hold up really well.) I also use regular tea towels for most stuff. I bought some paper plates 3 years ago, we use so few that the package looks full.
I mop with old rags on an old fashioned mop handle with a metal clip. like my mom used.
We freecycle the kid's clothes and I get a lot of their school uniforms through the swap they hold at school.
I pick wild berries and grow at least a few veggies.
We bought a new car in 1975.. NEVER EVER again. I drive a 15 year old mini van I got for $2700 and it runs just fine. We haven't had a car payment since 1978.
We have a credit card with a very small line of credit we use to hold motel rooms or at chrismas buy gifts on line. cheaper than driving to the mall..80 miles one way..and pay it off in january.
We were dirt poor when I was a kid and this is just the way I was raised. I remember we were doing a little better in 1968 and my father took me to Sears for a new winter coat and he was furious with me for reading the price tags before I looked at what it was attached to.. I kept that coat for nearly 10 years.
I try to teach my kids about frugality and in some ways it's working, but not so much with others
Life is GOOD!!
Glad to read that my off-the-cuff thread has struck a nerve with so many of you; I've enjoyed each and every post to date! Thanks!
Have to say that I do use paper products but I already posted that I'm not a "greenie" just someone who hates to see waste! I use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without... but I seriously could never make do without those plastic sacks from the grocery store.
I use them for scooping my cat litter just as Becky56 does and, with seven boxes, they are pretty much a necessity in this household. Don't know what I would do without them....
It's fun reading how everyone else deals with re-using or tossing! Keep it coming ~ there are no "right" answers here!
Oh, wow, you guys are touching my heart.
I will eat leftovers. I save foil though I don't really use foil very often. I definitely reuse paper towels and am trying to teach my kids to. I would love to have a garden but don't seem to have the time or energy.
Hey, CCM, I've missed talking with you so glad this thread caught your attention! I hear you though, not many of us have a garden so no worries.... Myself, I was really talking more about being frugal in a disposable world! I missed chatting with you!
I wasn't putting down manicures and pedicures in general, even though you have to be careful about getting an infection if it's not a well run salon.
If you have the extra income for it I think that's great. It's just the people who complain about having to refinance their home or can't pay their utilities because they don't make enough....and they're sitting in the chair getting a pedicure while on their new iphone. I have no sympathy for them.
I grew up very poor too, I may treat myself to expensive things now because I've paid my dues and can afford it. 50 years of being frugal and doing without has allowed me to do so.This message has been edited. Last edited by: zone9alady,
I think there are plenty of frugal people around. My grandma was a penny pincher, and she taught my mom to be that way. My mom trained me, and I trained my kids. We are all happy and proud to be careful with our money and thrifty.
Oh I know you weren't putting me down, I'm with you on the complainers who waste their money.
I've thought about this thread, I guess I'm not very frugal, every week I have the chance to save $4 by parking in a distant lot, but I pay the $4 for convenience, I'm guessing most of you would not pay, as many of the others I work with don't pay for parking.$4 a week is worth it to me.
For me it's a combination of frugality, environmentalism, and just my dislike of waste.
Of course I eat leftovers - otherwise I'd be cooking every day. I reuse foil and ziplock bags as much as possible. When I'm wasting more energy to clean them, they'll finally get tossed. I bring vegetable bags and deli containers back to the supermarket to use again.
I cringe when I see co-workers throw out a clean baggie that only held a few carrot sticks. I can't stand all the individual drinks people buy in plastic bottles on a regular basis (I sometimes buy them when I'm traveling, but not for household use - buy a water filter), or little one-time-use plastic containers (fruit cups, coffee pods, yogurt). And don't forget take-out food. It all needs to be wrapped and bagged - then tossed.
So yes, IR, you struck a nerve I like to feel I'm doing my part, but our wasteful habits make me wonder if it's worth the effort. It's a good thing I have to go to work now, or I'd keep typing This message has been edited. Last edited by: 40kpaintchips,
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