Thursday, March 26, 2009

Saving money, Tightwad Style

I recently re-read one of my favorite books - The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Whenever I read it, I'm always inspired to try to be more creative with my things - not only to buy less and save money, but also to not be so wasteful and throw so much away.

Since my last reading, here are a few things I have been doing:

* I started using bar soap, which is cheaper than liquid. I don't know if this is something I'll continue doing, since I prefer liquid, and bars cause soap scum to build up on the sink. I may try a different brand and see how that goes.
* I didn't have a soap dish, so instead of buying one, I filled a glass candy dish with small decorative rocks that I had and used that.
* Instead of buying a small travel jar of baby powder for Benjamin's diaper bag, I filled an empty spice jar with corn starch. It works perfectly, since it has the "sprinkle" top.
* I've always saved fabric scraps that are big enough to be used for quilt squares, but I usually throw away little bits and pieces. I started saving those little bits, and will use them instead of polyester stuffing in some things. I don't think that would work for everything (it probably wouldn't be as nice for a pillow, for example) but for some things it will work just fine. I almost used this in one of Benjamin's fabric blocks, and it would have worked really well, but I didn't have quite enough scraps, so I'll just save them for my next project!
* Something I started doing that I didn't think I would ever do is reusing baggies. I read about this years ago, but the idea didn't appeal to me. But my thoughts changed recently when I was about to throw away a baggie that had held half of a washed tomato. Suddenly it seemed wasteful to throw away a baggie that had hardly been used and was perfectly good. So I've started washing and reusing some baggies. I don't reuse baggies that held meat, cheese, or anything really messy or greasy, but I no longer just toss the ones that held a few crackers or veggies.

I know these all seem like little things that don't really make a difference. But like anything, saving money is a way of thinking - it's a lifestyle. I want to be content with less and be more creative with the things I have. I want to be a better steward of all the resources I have.

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