Thursday, October 18, 2007

Waste not, want not

I remember hearing that saying since I was a young child. I thought about it, but never really thought to apply it to much of my life.

As we are thinking of more and more frugal living, I realize that frugality is not just in how we save money at the store, or how we do things in a cheaper way, but also in what we do with what we have.

I am sure I am not alone with finding green stuff in the back of the refrigerator. No, I am not talking about lettuce, but rather the leftover food that I put in the container because it was too much to throw out. Then I never got something to go with it or forgot it was back there.

Or what about the good sale that saved all that money on the thingamajig in the back of the closet... never opened? Or the shampoo at the bottom of the bottle and it just seems like too little to bother with keeping.

We are in a throw away world and even those of us that want to be frugal do things to throw money away.

I have a few starters to think about, and after you see mine I am sure you can all add to the list.

  • Small amounts of leftover veggies, meats, potatoes etc can be frozen and then used to make a stew or soup, just keep adding to the container as you collect them.
  • Broth from cooking meat can be saved and frozen for other meals. Use an ice cube to skim off the fat (it will stick to the ice cube) and then put the broth in a container. If you are not going to use it right away, freeze it and add to it as you get more.
  • A chicken or turkey carcass can be cooked in water with some vinegar added. The vinegar will pull out the calcium and give you a calcium rich broth. Any meat will fall off or be easily picked off and you can then toss only the bones and waste nothing.
  • Add water to your shampoo or conditioner when it gets to the bottom. There will be enough to use for a shampoo or two.
  • Organize what you buy so you know what you have and where it is. When things get cluttered you waste money because you often buy things you already have, but just can't find. This goes for pantry, craft supplies, clothing etc.
  • Freecycle, sell or give away to a thrift shop things that you do not use and are cluttering up your space so you easily know what you have and where.
These are just a few ideas for being even more frugal and stopping the waste. Look over all you have and do and see what you are losing, throwing in the trash or planning on putting in the trash. Don't toss it unless it is no good, really really empty.

For more frugal ideas return to Biblical Womanhood!


Martha A. said...

Those are good things to remember! One thing I just did today was organize a gift area so I know where all the things I got cheaply for gifts are. It is nice as that way I know where they are when a baby shower, birthday etc. rolls around.

Mom2fur said...

You can also store your shampoo or conditioner (or any bottled product) upside down so gravity pulls out the last bits. I've been squeezing all I can from my conditioner because I keep forgetting to buy it!
We don't have much in the way of leftovers here (there are 6 adults and one quasi-adult--I mean teenager--in this house) but sometimes we do. I try to keep leftovers up front where I can see them, and try to get them into the freezer if they are not finished in 3 days. We have pasta every Sunday. Last week, there was quite a lot of rigatoni left. So I put it in a casserole dish and added some shredded mozzarella. It went into the freezer. It isn't a whole meal...but it's enough for a side dish!
Also, I never knew that about vinegar! I make broth, and next time I'm going to try this. Thanks!

Mike and Pumpkin said...

Thanks for your post. It was a big reminder to me to continue to be watchful about the things I waste.

Now that there is a drought here in Georgia, I am trying to not waste water. If it wasn't for the drought, I would have never realized how much water I waste.
Thanks for posting I enjoyed reading your tips.