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Living Frugally and Repurposing

When I was a young stay at home mom, I often wondered what it was I financially contributed to the family.  I was often left with low feelings of self worth.  I remember seeing on a talk show once someone compared a stay at home mom to a "kept woman".  I recognized these thoughts as fiery darts from Satan, and though what better way to destroy a family, than to start with the degradation of the mother?!  I haven't watched a talk show since.

I began to look at what I did at home and what it saved us financially...Stay at home moms save on daycare.  They are personal cooks, house keepers, launderers, accountants, tax consultants, nurses, teachers, personal shopper, handy men and boo boo kissers, our job titles are endless...

We can contribute to the financial success of our families and homes in our resource management.
  1. Take care of your belongings.  It will obviously last longer and in return save you money.  A popular quote from the 1930's comes to mind, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." This is such important counsel that our leaders have shared it from the pulpit.
  2. Save money where you can.  I am a coupon queen, although, by no means do I participate in extreme couponing.  That just takes too much brain power!  I  try to never buy anything unless it is on sale.  I love it when I can combine coupons or coupons with a sale.  
  3. Gardening or canning - If I am being honest, I am an epic failure at both.
  4. Repurposing is a great way to make something old and used up, new to you.  It doesn't have to look trashy.  In fact, with a little creativity, it can become quite fun.  I really enjoy following blogs that can turn trash into treasures.  Their creativity is inspiring.
Some items I have repurposed over the years just might spark an idea in you:
  • Received a used couch for free and covered in a lovely new couch cover.  Much less costly than a new couch.
  • My mom took down a beautiful balloon shade she no longer wanted.  The fabric was just lovely.  With all those yards of free fabric, I sewed some kitchen curtains.  There was also enough fabric to recover an old chair.
  • I was changing out an old comforter and rather than send it to the DI, I remade it.  Cutting it up I turned it into a crib set; a matching bumper, dust ruffle and blanket.
  • I'm no thief and I don't particularly like other people's trash, but I found a barely used rocking chair in my neighbors garbage.  After asking, I took that chair and painted it with house paint and set it on my porch where it sat for many years.  It just had good bones.
Though I haven't done a lot of repurposing in recent years, I know the value it can contribute to a family, especially when facing financial challenges.  
"Let us as women in the Church today make happy, provident living a life-style in our homes, approaching this goal in a spirit of challenge and innovation and thanksgiving.  Let us see what creativity can do to heighten the standard of our living, not reduce it - to be provident without becoming penny-pinching, miserly, or ungenerous." ~Barbara B. Smith Follow Joyously, Ensign Magazine, November 1980

Do you find joy in repurposing?
What kind of projects have you done?

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Lisa is the mother to one Air Force Son, one Missionary Son and one Sophomore in High School daughter.  She has been married for 24 years to her best friend and blogs at That's What She Said...

Photo by Lisa's son Michael

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