Showing posts with label recycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recycling. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

12 Reasons Why You Should Be Thrift Shopping!


Long before thrift shopping was cool, I was doing it to stretch my budget and because I just couldn't afford new things. In fact, my parents did the same thing! I grew up on hand-me-downs until I outgrew my cousin's clothes. Almost all my books came from used bookstores and the library. We went to auctions and garage sales. My parents needed to stretch their pennies too!

Now thrift shopping is cool. Thrift stores are gaining popularity as are the "for sale" or "garage sale" groups on Facebook. Craigslist is still going strong and eBay is still a great place to unload your used but still in great condition goods. Consignment shops are still a good place to buy and unload your good condition goods (and make a little extra money!). Garage sales are still fun places to shop!

I have a lot of fun thrift shopping as long as I don't go overboard. I want you all to be thrift shoppers too. If you are, but know someone who should be, show them this post!

12 Reasons Why You Should Be Thrift Shopping!

1. Thrift shopping is sustainable. If you are even a little bit concerned about our planet, you know there are way too many goods being produced today. More than can be used actually, but people still demand and buy them. By buying used, you are breaking that cycle and keeping perfectly good things from going to the landfill. To keep the sustainability cycle going, you should use those used goods until they are completely worn out or pass them on to someone who can use it. 

2. You are a non-consumer. As stated in #1, you are breaking the consumerism cycle. When you purchase something used, you are a non-consumer. You are not buying something new. You are not supporting the mass merchandisers. You are not succumbing to advertising telling you need something new. You are using what someone doesn't need anymore and you are not supporting people who have no interest in your local economy.

3. Thrift shopping supports your local economy! Whether you buy something from a used goods store or a person, your money stays right in that area. Your money isn't going to some big corporation who cares very little about you. Your money is going to a local organization (except Goodwill) or people who will in turn spend that money locally. 

4. Why buy new when used will do? This phrase is attributed to a certain person, but honestly it has been around awhile. Why? Because it is true! Used is just as good as new in most situations. Most of my clothes and my kids' clothes were used growing up. We got new things for gifts at birthdays and holidays, but otherwise they were used. Even when they were in high school, we regularly found almost new and new clothes for them at the thrift store. I still buy almost all of my clothes used because you can't beat the prices!

5. You save money! Doesn't everyone like to save money? You can outfit an apartment or a house for hundreds of dollars cheaper than buying new. Does buying used things gross you out? Wash them once and get over it. You are saving money! 

6. If you have kids, you are teaching them frugality. My kids liked to go to the thrift stores and garage sales growing up. They still do even as teenagers and young adults. They also have found a lot of great things there. They learned one way of being frugal and they learned that used things were not gross. The younger they learn that, the better.

7. You will find brand new things while thrift shopping. Honestly, this is the best. People are often too lazy to return something to the store or cannot return it so they will just donate it to the thrift store or sell on a garage sale. Their loss is your gain because, most of the time, you will get it for only a few dollars. Score!

8. Anyone can thrift shop! And I do mean anyone. Some of the most financially stable people I know are avid used goods shoppers. They love a good deal and refuse to pay full price. Let's take some tips from those people, shall we? You can be a prepper, homesteader, parent, retiree, single, married, young, old, rich, poor, and anything else you can identify with. Anyone can be a thrift shopper!

9. You can find really good presents while thrift shopping. I have found a lot of presents while thrift shopping. Books that look brand new. Clothes with tags still on them. Sets of dishes still in the original sealed box. Candle sticks and vases because I know people that collect them. You get the hint. Start your gift shopping at the thrift store or online consignment sites and go from there. 

10. Once you start, you won't be able to stop. I know that sounds pompous, but it is true. The idea you will be saving money and scoring some really good stuff is addicting. When you realize you can do this all the time, you will be hooked!

11. The inventory is always changing. If you can't find what you are looking for one day, wait a few days and come back to the store/check again online. More than likely, you will find what you want at a price that is reasonable or cheap. 

12. Thrift stores have sales too. They get a lot of things donated or consigned to them. They often do not have the storage for these things so they run sales. Our local stores often run a buy 1 get 1 free or buy 2 get one free sales. They also have bag sales where a bag of goods is five dollars no matter what you have in the bag. I know other thrift stores will have 50% off sales and more. Keep your eyes open and you will find even better deals at the thrift stores. 

Thrift shopping is fun! The pursuit can be challenging at times, but the results are usually worth it. Just know, even with thrift shopping, you need to be mindful of your budget and not get crazy while shopping. Sometimes, people will buy whatever they want because it is a good deal, but they still overspend. 

What is your favorite thing to buy in the thrift store?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Paper or Not? What Is Best For Your Preps?


Paper goods can be a pretty decisive part of prepping. They are handy to have on hand when you have to reserve water, when someone gets sick on the carpet, and to escape the pressure of doing more laundry. I know a lot of people think you should keep paper goods in your prepping supplies because you might have to ration water and they will be easier to use and can be burned. 

I know a lot of people disagree and think that you should keep non-paper goods in your preps because they can be reused. Using cloth napkins, rags, towels, and family cloths are undoubtedly better for the environment and less costly on the wallet and the trash bill. 

I happen to agree with both sides. I keep both, but mainly use non-paper goods. However, just to state this now: I will give up toilet paper when I run out of toilet paper and not a day sooner. I am not sure you can have too much toilet paper on hand either. But I digress...

There are pros and cons to using paper goods versus non-paper goods. Obviously be the best choice. I will break it down for you below:


It seems like a prepper would have less problems using non-paper goods than paper goods. Paper goods have their place, but they can be easily replaced by non-paper goods in almost any situation. 

Those that do believe in using just paper goods should have an outdoor fire pit or a burn barrel to burn that kind of trash. Those preppers who believe in non-paper goods, practice a zero-waste, or minimalist lifestyle will use non-paper goods and should be planning ahead for that. You can always stock more water for washing.

What side do you fall on? Do you use both? Let me know below in the comments!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Saturday, October 29, 2016

20 Things We Do Not Throw Away


Every year, more and more trash is accumulated in our landfills due to our wasteful habits. Many people will only use something once and throw it away. Many people still do not recycle their packaging despite the increasing availability of recycling centers. And many people would rather throw away their old things rather than take them to a thrift store or consignment shop. 

However, being a believer in the frugal lifestyle and a student of the zero waste lifestyle, I cannot do that. We actually have very little trash for a house this size most of the time. We recycle as much as possible. I sell the things we do not use anymore or I donate them to the thrift shop. We try to use things until they are no longer functional. We fix broken things to be used again. 

Below is a list of things we do not throw away. I know I am forgetting things, but this is a good start!

1. Anything that is recyclable. I was raised to recycle and still do this as much as possible.

2. Twist ties from bread and buns.

3. Nuts, bolts, nails, washers, and screws. Unless they are rusty or bent. Or cheap and will strip out on the first twist of the drill.

4. Resealable plastic bags. We wash them out and reuse them until they have holes or held raw meat.

5. Brown paper bags.

6. Gift bags and tissue gift wrap.

7. Plastic store bags.

8. Buckets of just about any size.

9. Food! We have made a concentrated effort to be much more diligent about this. Having a dog and chickens helps to make sure food does not go to waste.

10. Rubber bands from anything.

11. Buttons. I even cut them off shorts and shirts before we use them for rags or throw them away if they are usable as rags. 

12. Hand soap containers. We refill these until the pump does not work anymore.

13. Whipped topping and big yogurt containers. How else are you suppose to send leftovers home with people?

14. Canning jars. If they can't be used for canning, we use them to store dry goods.

15. Paper. I try to use both sides of the paper before I put it in the burn bin or recycle it.

16. Boxes. I need them for storage and for my giveaway box. If we can't use them anymore, we recycle them.

17. Towels. If they can't be used for bathing or nice kitchen towels anymore, we use them for rags.

18. Clothes. They are either sold, given to someone in need, or donated unless they are too worn out. 

19. Blankets and sheets. We either donate them if they have been outgrown (by teenagers too cool for Disney sheets), use them as drop cloths, to protect plants, or we store them for company. They are never thrown away!

20. Totes of all sizes. I am just amazed at how many people just throw these out on the premise that they don't need them anymore. I can't think of a time I haven't needed them! I keep these and reuse the totes until they are broken past the point that duct tape doesn't hold them together anymore!

This is just a starter list. We have a lot more that we just don't throw away. Although, in the spirit of being honest, sometimes things just end up in the trash. Cleaning out a bedroom just does something to my mind, but I always still have a giveaway box!

What don't you throw away?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


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