Making Do

25 10 2010
Vintage Tupperware and Fire King

There’s a Depression-era concept if ever I heard one: making do. How often, nowadays, does someone flatly proclaim that they will “make do”? It may be an attitude ripe for revival in our culture. Take me, for instance: I tend to whine about my current financial situation, but the truth of the matter is that there are blessings in making do, such as:

  • Discovery. One of the first things one can do when faced with a money shortage is really using what one already has: reading the books on the shelves, wearing the clothes seldom worn, playing the games rarely played. It’s like shopping – in your house!
  • Creativity. The other day, inspired by French tartine sandwiches on an episode of the Barefoot Contessa, I made mock versions with ingredients I had on hand. It made me feel chic – and cheap, in a good way!
  • Contentment. While I certainly struggle with wanting things outside my reach, there are times of realization and satisfaction that I have all I really need, that I am blessed beyond a majority of the human population.
  • Good, old-fashioned smugness. Let’s admit it: sometimes there’s a guilty pleasure in knowing you cheated the system and saved some dough, or simply that you can be just as happy with a lower cost of living than other people.

Can you think of other blessings to be found in making do with what you have?

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3 responses

28 10 2010
Wayne Schmoyer

Regarding:

One of the first things one can do when faced with a money shortage is really using what one already has: reading the books on the shelves, wearing the clothes seldom worn, playing the games rarely played. It’s like shopping – in your house!

I like this part the best!

28 10 2010
Suzy

One of my favorite things to do (and my husband’s least) is to re-arrange all the furniture and pictures in the house. It makes me feel like I have a brand new home without spending any money. Yup- shopping in your house.

The other trick is to hold a white elephant party–gather unwanted things together (but things others might like–for example, I’m allergic to scented candles so they have to GO). Invite others to do the same, bring them together at a potluck dinner. After dinner go shopping for items others have brought. The things no one wants can go to charity. It cleans closets, decorates homes cheaply, throws a cheap party, and gives to charity. Smiles all around!

5 11 2010
Colleen

Those are great ideas, Suzy!

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