When things get tough, as the saying goes, the tough get going. What we need, with wages staying the same and prices going up, are ways of making what we have last longer. With that thought in mind, let’s think outside of the box, shift the paradigm, move our cheese and engage in a host of other clichés and see if we can't cut back on our waste.
This is just off the top of my head, of course, but it’s a start:
• Washing clothes. Frankly, this is over-rated and a silly use of water. My idea? Eat naked to avoid stains, thus prolonging the socially acceptable length of time you can wear the same pair of pants.
If stains are not your problem, but, rather, perspiration, rub yourself with those free perfume samples and see if anyone notices. Set a goal for yourself -- how many days can I wear this before I am forced by the authorities to wash them? Once this has been established, see if you can beat that goal. Perhaps a friendly competition amongst your friends?
• Consider using the things you normally throw away.
- The water you use to boil potatoes, for instance, could be used to water your plants, wash your windows (although not well) or, for the truly eco-minded, bathe in. Add a squeeze of lemon for a fresh smell!
- Fliers, mailers, and the envelopes your bills came in can be used in a number of ways including one-of-a-kind wrapping paper, stationery, and as an extra layer of weather protection between your shirt and your jacket when you discover that you can’t afford a winter coat.
- Consider the cooking implications of used hot-dog water. Wienie Water Soup is economical and has been overlooked for too long! Frozen in cubes, it makes an excellent soup stock.
• Turn the thermostat down in the winter and invest in cats. Free kittens are everywhere – and warm! A pile of cats on your bed is the antidote to a chilly room and far more money-saving than heating the whole house. Feed them Wienie Water Soup and whatever may have moved into the basement.
• Do you really need a phone? Do you really need cable television? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are “yes”. There’s nothing to be done here. I suggest you continue to afford these things by selling some of those kittens you moved in over the winter.
• Mix your own prescription drugs. Holistic healers tell us that many remedies can be found in nature. Explore this possibility. A little tree bark, a handful of dandelions, a pinch of ants mixed with potato water and applied internally? You’ll be saying “what headache?” and “I’m comin’, ‘Lizabeth!’ in no time!
• The cost of gas just keeps going up. Ride shares, motorcycles, buses? Is this enough? Telecommuting has become more and more popular. Consider a home business, perhaps something involving the trading of leftover wienie water.
The going gets tough, and the tough get creative.