This is the philosophy I was brought up on and still stick to in my life.
Use What You've Got
If you want something, rather than going out to buy it - see first if you can make it yourself, using things you already have.
For example, my daughters came home from school at the end of last term wanting to buy loom bands. Instead of spending money, buying more plastic toys, I looked at my stash, found lots of embroidery threads, looked up some macrame tutorials and helped my girls learn to craft their own bracelets, hair decorations etc.
I've always enjoyed finding my own materials for projects.
Like using old car windscreen shades, old curtains and clothes to make Insulated lunch bags:
Or an old kiddies t-shirt to make an ipod/mp3 player sleeve:
Or in the kitchen, the other week I came to make lasagne for dinner as planned when I realised I'd forgotten to buy the lasagne sheets -oops!
Then I decided, rather than nip to the shops to buy some, I'd dust off my pasta maker (which I had for well over a year before I even tried it out!). I quickly Googled a pasta recipe, made it and ended up with home-made pasta sheets in our lasagne!
But there's also the other side of
Use What You've Got
I've just done a big spring clean of my house - all the cupboards and drawers got emptied, tidied, de-cluttered and cleaned.
In doing this, I really got to see quite how much 'stuff' we have that we never use. I'm sure most households are the same.
So - I've decided that we're going to make an effort to use these things.
For example - when cleaning out one cupboard I found a cross-stitch kit my daughter had been given for her birthday over a year ago, but had never been opened! So that afternoon I sat down with her and showed her how to start, and she's loving cross-stitching away while listening to an audio book!
I also found some vases under the sink that we really never use. There is a bush at the front of our house that has needed a good trim for a while, so I went out and snipped away, but instead of putting all the cuttings in the compost bin.. we have a selection of flowers in vases around the house - including these pretty ones brightening up my kitchen window!
You get the idea.
We have cupboards full of things we need to use not just store.
I also have a whole wardrobe (and more) full of fabric, and crafting supplies waiting for the perfect project. Time to get creative and find those perfect projects!
Everything from kitchen gadgets, to exercise equipment, board games, books and fabric is going to be part of my masterplan to..
Use What You've Got.
Not only will this be fun, and add more variety to our lives, but it should also save us money too. We have so many things to explore and create right here in our own house, whether it's making our own lasagne sheets or our own version of loom band bracelets. Anything that saves us from spending our hard earned dollars has to be a bonus!
So how is this going to work? How am I going to use all these things?
Well the #100happydays project I mentioned gave me the idea to start with 100 days of this. The theory is that this will kickstart me into the habit of doing this long-term, not only the next 100 days.
So for the next 100 days, Every day I will post about
Using What I've Got
It may be a new recipe I'm trying from one of the many recipe books gathering dust on the shelf, or it may be a sewing tutorial using up some of my fabric stash, or perhaps a clothes upcycle (I have a large stash of clothes just waiting to be transformed!).
I'll make use of all three of my blogs - this one, Be Our Best and A Fitter and Healthier Me. I'll also use my Facebook , Google+, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. Adding into the mix the #100happydays, which this time I will complete, a happy photo each and every day!
I'm planning a little revamp of my blog to reflect my new focus and make full use of all the resources on it that I've created over the years.
One thing related to my blog I'd like to do, is make more use of my Round Tuit weekly linky party. There are around 200 fabulous links each week and just now all I do is feature my 3 favourites. That seems a shame, so I'm going to look at more ways to feature and highlight the links.
Finally, as I've mentioned many times before, I would love to be able to earn a decent income from my own work at home, so I'm going to set myself a financial target too. One that is achievable I'm sure, but will also push me to make full use of what I've got to attain it - through blog income, freelance writing, my occasional mystery shopping jobs and audits, and perhaps selling some of my sewing creations.
I'll put it out there for all to see and to keep me accountable. My goal is to make $1000 per month, working from home.
So there you have it. My new masterplan. I'll be spending this weekend working out my week ahead, and plan to stay a week ahead in my planning but also staying flexible because things don't always go to plan!
I hope you'll follow along and perhaps join me in this journey.
I'll end with a question for you..
How much do you
Use What You've Got?
Take a look in your cupboards - do you have things you never use? Clothes you never wear? Recipes you've never tried? Or a crafting stash that has been there for a long time waiting, waiting, waiting for the perfect project?
Do you think it might be time to use it?
It all starts tomorrow (Monday July 14th 2014)