Received wisdom

I’ve recently finished reading both Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life and The Joy of Less. These have provoked some serious thinking for me. As I’ve been pondering, I’ve realised how lucky I’ve been to have 2 frugal generations behind me whose wisdom I’ve received over the past 30+ years. Even though I may not have put it all into practise- here are some of the things my parents and grandparents taught me. I am looking to put more and more of this into practise.

  1. Cut open the tube of toothpaste/ hand cream/ tomato puree (or whatever it is) to get the most out of it
  2. Squeeze together old bars of soaps, to completely use them up
  3. Add some milk to baked beans to make them spread a little further
  4. Save old pants, t-shirts/ towels etc to use as rags
  5. Rinse out old soap/ milk/ shampoo etc bottles with water and use a diluted version. This works particularly well with fabric conditioner which is then ideal for hand washing
  6. Tip up the petrol nozzle to get out every last drop you’ve paid for!
  7. Wash out plastic bags to re-use them for other things
  8. Re-use old margarine tubs to freeze food
  9. Grow your own fruit/ veg- it’s MUCH cheaper
  10. Cut the fronts off old cards and re-use them for gift tags

I’ll try to regularly add short burst of these kinds of posts. I don’t want to overwhelm you! What have you been taught? The one thing I haven’t adopted is hanging out old tea bags on a tree/ bush/ line to dry. Yes, my grandma really did used to do this!

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3 thoughts on “Received wisdom

  1. I really like this. I don’t use margarine or eat baked beans, but the concepts you share go way beyond that. I am definitely starting to reuse and repurpose more than before. I’m excited to say, this is my first year going all out on a vegetable garden. I’m in an apartment, but I’m doing container gardens http://wp.me/p5KqMl-ec and they are actually growing!!! Really loving your posts about being frugal and environmentally friendly!

  2. Hi mireillesjourneytohealth!

    Thanks for commenting. I hope to have some garden posts of my own soon. I am trying to get a vegetable garden set up, but finances and lack of skill on my part are delaying it! Pots are a great way to garden- at my last property it was all paved and so I had containers. My cabbages weren’t successful, I think something ate them. But I had a few courgettes- but I think I needed bigger pots overall so they could grow properly. You can also grow fruit/ veg in hanging baskets- strawberries and tomatoes are great for this. You may need to make sure you cover them, so the birds don’t eat the fruits of your labour. I saw a great idea recently about re-using old colanders as hanging basket. That’s something I would like to try! I don’t use margarine myself anymore either and ultimately I am looking to move away from plastic entirely. But I think all these tips can be used at various stages on the journey. Keep your eyes peeled for more coming soon.

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