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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

The fourth R

The fourth R of frugal living is...... RESTORE IT

For generations we have been in a headlong rush to buy, buy, buy.  Better Homes and Gardens magazine once called itself "the magazine for people with BUY on their minds."  That was a number of years ago and I don't know how they describe them self now.  Hopefully, more people are coming to their senses and asking themselves "instead of buying something new, where can I go to find something I can restore to usefulness?"

When my kids were very small, (I only had three children back then) I had a favorite game I played with them.  I called it "let's go to the dump day" which was about once a month when we visited their grandparents.  The dump was just that.  A place were residents in a small country town could take stuff to dump.  Old toys, jars, lamps, or anything they couldn't get rid of otherwise.  My sons found some pretty good metal toy trucks and cars.  A coat of paint and they looked like new again.  I found things like lamps and jelly jars.  The jelly jars were actually drinking glasses.  So many were being produced that many people had started just throwing them away. 

Today's version of "going to dump" is traveling through the alleys on junk days three times a year.  The good items one finds on junk day is dependant on how fast you get there when stuff is set out.  If anything usable is being set out, there is always someone with a second hand store looking for things to sell.  Men and women travel in trucks picking up scrap metal too.

Another version of going to the dump is using Freecycle.  Anyone who wants to get rid of something can post it on Freecycle.  There is almost always someone looking for whatever is being thrown away.  From toys, to clothes, to furniture, to cut up downed trees or old bricks.... someone can use it.

A coat of paint and a little glue to restore an item to usefulness is another way of saving money.

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