If it comes as a surprise to you that we’re in a severe economic recession, write me a check c/o this site and skip this article. If because of the aforementioned economic recession, you’ve found yourself reading articles like this so that you can send little Ashley to kindergarten instead of China to make Nikes, here’s a list to make you think a little bit. These are items we sometimes spend money on, usually under the excuse of convenience, that make our Depression-era ancestors spin in their graves.
Unless you’re a professional car mechanic or housepainter, you need serious psychiatric care or home economics 101 if you find a package of “rags” in your shopping card. Not even counting your favorite “lounge at home t-shirt,” I’d wager you have a couple of shopping carts of clothing and fabric that you could take a pair of scissors to and make … rags. If it makes you feel better, you can fold them and arrange them by color out there in the garage.
Yeah, trivets – those sometimes metal, sometimes cork, decorative items we use to protect dining room tables, buffets, and countertops from hot casseroles and platters. Let’s see: We seek out and voluntarily purchase with our own money something that, in pursuing its true function, is to be covered up while it keeps our varnish from bubbling.
I hate to break it to you, but you can have dozens of these, color-coordinated if you desire, for anywhere from nothing to a nickel a piece. They’re called “tiles” and they’re available at second-hand housing material stores, anyone you know who’s redoing a bath or kitchen, or in the trash at some construction sites. If you want, talk some kid into gluing a piece of one of your “rags” to the back to prevent scratches.
3. Rubber Bands
Unless you’re a newspaper delivery professional or a Jamaican beach hair braider, there is no reason for you to be purchasing a bag of rubber bands – especially when they arrive almost daily wrapped around your mail and newspaper.
It doesn’t matter if saving these rubber bands in some little spot every day makes you feel like your old maid Great, Great Aunt Bertha. I can guarantee you that old Bertie never spent a dime of her own money buying rubber bands.
Whether you need matches to start a cozy fire in the fireplace or to burn down you ex’s new place that your former best friend build her, they remain widely available beside the cash register at most convenience stores. And no, you don’t have to buy a pack of cigarettes to grab a pack – it isn’t as if you’re taking the entire box of matches.
Yes, a number of stores have discontinued this feature in order to increase their sale of disposable lighters, but free matches remain available enough that you don’t need to be exchanging legal tender for them.
Really? You’re going to buy a little bag of dried herbs and berries – usually on the expensive side because it has “Martha Stewart” written all over it – to hide away in a drawer so that your undies smell better?
There are so many things that we throw away that still have enough or even more than enough scent remaining to take care of your underwear – clean that is. Empty cologne or perfume bottles work just great, and for quite a while too. If you can’t wait that long, toss an unused dryer sheet into the dresser drawers and you’re good to go. Tear those irritating perfume and cologne ads out of your magazines and slide them into the drawer bottoms.
Maybe I am beginning to channel my Great, Great spinster Aunt, but she’s saving me some money. Maybe if you listen to her, she’ll save you some cash too.