Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why is Frugality Frowned Upon?

People don't appreciate frugal anymore. 

I was surfing pinterest, as I'm prone to do, in the DIY & Crafts section and came across one about how you can use nail polish remover to remove the print from Country Crock butter containers so that they can be reused.

I've seen different versions of that one.  This one was from a kid activities blog about reusing it as a gift box.  One of the comments on that pin was (to paraphrase) that just because you take the print off a container, its still a used container, not a gift box.

I was blown away.  I'm pretty sure that whatever you put a gift in, it then become a giftbox. 

It saddens me to think how very materialistic we have become.  We are a nation of "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie" and too many people think that anything re-used or handmade is cheap and unworthy.

I'm sure that somewhere in their afterlife our ancestors are looking at what we have become, and are shaking their heads in disappointment.  Now, I'm not sure what the early settlers of this country used for giftwrap, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a fancy new box or bag.  It wasn't a freshly cleaned and repurposed butter dish either.

I can imagine them using plain brown paper, or a simple swatch of cloth.  And not only that, but that wrapping would not immediately be tossed into the garbage, but would be re-used for something else.  A rag doll for the next gift giving holiday perhaps. 

Because reusing things didn't use to be a hobby or a fun DIY.  It used to be the way they lived.

I remember one story my Granny told me once about how she, as a little girl, watched a family member (I think she said it was an uncle, but I don't remember) go through a container of bent nails, and hammer them   all straight so they could be used again.

There was a slogan during WWII that went along the lines of "Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without."  Sounds like a beautiful idea to me.

Maybe its just me.  Maybe it is because I grew up underprivileged and learned early in life that you have to do what you can with what you have a lot of the time.

I just think that its a GOOD idea to teach our children that its okay to reuse things. 

In fact, we should reuse MORE things. We should teach our children to use what they have instead of insisting they learn to only use brand new.

I fear, however, that its too late to stop the cycle of  "Gimmie, gimme."


  1. I was thinking about this subject today. I gave a big speech on Thrift Core once: talked about how I talk with thrifters around the world, even in the arctic, about inspiring business and big things, and what they focused on was me being a cheapskate. I forget those people are out there but being an uber frugal recycling, upcycling, dumpster diving cheapskate isn't the status quo and freaks people right the fuck out sometimes. But I love to live my life this way and change (or at least sometimes open- even a little) minds by sticking to it.

  2. I think reusing things is great. But today society has become a throw away one. Making easier to buy things to throw away than reuse or recycle. I am always on my kids and boyfriend to recycle. If we can't use it we recycle it some how. Anything we can't use that has some type of metal or tin will be stripped down and turned in to the metal recycling center. The cash goes in to a safe to use towards vacations. Or holiday travel.


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