Thursday, October 2, 2008

Frugal Friday: Resourcefulness

Amy Dacyczyn, in her book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette (one of my all-time favorites), recommends that anytime you need something, ask "Do I already have something that will fulfill this need?"

It amazes me at home much can be improvised in this way, and how well some things work in situations other than how we usually think of them.

A few of my favorite examples of using things in unexpected ways:

  • Super glue on cuts. It doesn't sting, and the skin heals up way faster than any other method I know.

  • Industrial shelving as bunk beds. This is weird, I know. But we have all four of our kids in one tiny room. For their beds we bought industrial shelving that was the same width as a crib mattress. It only comes in 6-food lengths, so there's plenty of room on the end of the mattress for each of them to have their dresser right up on their bed. I wish I had a picture, but the lights in their room are broken right now, and I can't get a good picture without the lights :(
    Edit: Here is the girls' bed, in all it's messyness.

  • Our neighbor built a fence out of semi-truck bumpers. It's definitely strange looking, but functions well as a fence, and is amusing to us while we're at the park behind his house. I am consistently amazed at the ingenuity though.

  • We decorate for free with outdoor plants brought in, like this ginger, that after a month still looks gorgeous in our living room.

  • Failed recipes remade. A couple of weeks ago Chester made bread and burnt the yeast so that it didn't rise at all. After waiting all day, we decided to roll it out as thin as we could, then baked it at 325 until they were nice and crunchy. Home-made wheat thins. They're really yummy!


  1. Hi! I found your site through the frugal friday stuff and I loved what you had to say about outside the box. I feel the same way! So I've been perusing your archives and have enjoyed the reading.
    About the superglue though, be husband used superglue on a cut and started getting really dizzy, etc. He finally went to a neurologist and turns out it was the super glue...the chemicals in the blood stream are not so good. He kept re-applying it before he knew this though so he could have overdone it. Just a heads up:)

  2. Wow! I would have never thought of that. I guess it doesn't exactly smell like something you should be adding to your blood stream, does it. I'll be careful about using it -- and definitely not use a whole bunch. Thanks!
    I'm glad you've enjoyed the reading. I'm pretty new to the whole blogging thing, but have found that I feel more sane if I write consistently.