Oct 25, 2010

Making Do

One motto of the Frugalista is "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." This is good advice, not just during a "Great Depression," but for any working (or unemployed) folks in today's economy.

Let's face it. The rich are the only Americans getting richer. The rest of us are on the hamster wheel, spinning ever faster just to keep up with what we had years ago. Forget getting ahead - some of us are happy just to keep the electricity on for another month.

Our children are seeing what happens when the magic money tree dries up. No, Honey, no electronic toys for Christmas. Would you like a new pair of school pants? And Honey better be grateful that the school pants are new, not holey, patched hand-me-downs. That's about as good as it gets.

Turn out lights. Use both sides of the paper. If you break a pencil, you sharpen it, not throw it away. You wear one pair of shoes until you can see your socks through the bottom. You learn to live without. How did our grandparents live their whole lives without cell phones, but our kids can't go 14 minutes without one?

I haven't had an oven all summer. We still ate. We just didn't eat things that had to be baked. I have a stove top, crock pot, microwave - wouldn't Ma Ingalls have loved those conveniences? How spoiled do you have to be, to not be able to function without a gas range? Yet some are so spoiled. Freezer-to-oven is the only way they know how to cook. They don't realize that doing without is a great opportunity to try new recipes and techniques.

We made do. We ate. We tried new things. Truth is, you'd be amazed to learn what you can do without. If you don't believe me, ask the Hurricane Katrina survivors. They, and other disaster survivors, have learned what is really important in life.

Making do is a good lesson to teach your children.

What will you teach yours today?

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