Have you asked yourself this question recently? I think it all the time and I use it all the time. Taking the time to stop and ask yourself … how can I use what I already have to do this? … can save you money in ways you wouldn’t have considered before.
Repurposing is one of the favorite frugal tools. Training yourself to view things differently, as having multiple purposes, opens a world of possibility. Not only are you creating things out of what you have as opposed to purchasing new, you are also decreasing your output of waste (one of my favorite frugal side effects!).
My friend Amanda gave me a large bag of extra material, a huge blessing this time of year. Here are some things I’ve created recently with that material and other things I just have … NOTHING extra purchased.
- A tree skirt out of material given to me and extra quilt batting
- 3 Christmas stockings (to match the tree skirt) out of material and an old sheet
- Christmas Eve pj pants for my daughter out of spare material, ribbon and elastic
- My Christmas wreath
- Pancakes for supper from items in my pantry
- Birthday Cards out of card stock and craft supplies
- Coasters for my coffee table out of scrap fabric
- A new handbag for myself out of extra fabric and materials
Here are some plans I have for the coming weeks using only what I already have:
- Christmas Eve pj pants for myself
- A fleece scarf for my daughter
- A dress for my daughter
- And I’m thinking about trying some doll clothes
A lot of my projects are for sewing because that’s where my creative juices are flowing lately, but repurposing spans many areas.
Consider it when cooking. What can you scrounge out of your pantry? How can you use up that extra pound of ground beef?
Consider it when decorating. How can you reposition items you already have? Switch the room where the item is located. I recently put a dry-erase/cork board in my daughter’s bathroom with Tic-Tac-Toe on it.
Consider it when playing with toys. What can you make into a toy? This past summer I saved detergent caps for my daughter to play in water with. They were perfect for ‘measuring’ and pouring. Actually … she plays with a lot of my kitchen things. Hmmm …
Consider it when organizing. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of organizational tools until you’ve exhausted your possibilities at home. What whimsical thing can you toss all your pens into? I have all my kitchen utensils in the most adorable tin bucket (washed out very well) that held flowers once.
Consider it when gift-giving. The idea for the coasters I made came from my friend Leah, who recently made them as a gift for another friend. So clever. People love homemade or personalized gifts.
You get the idea. Before grabbing your keys and running to the store for every … little … thing, stop and ask yourself “how can I make that with what I already have?”
Can you add to my list? What type of things do you repurpose? Have you recently made something out of what you already have?
Why I do what I do ~ would you believe that my cat, Fenway, is intently watching America’s Funniest Home Vidoes right now?
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