December 30, 2019

A set of organized small shelves in a bathroom.A year ago, I said goodbye to my older brother who felt he lost his sense of purpose in life. I dedicate this essay to his memory.

An artist at heart, my brother loved doing home renovations. He also loved teaching me the basics, like how to use a power drill. This skill has played an essential role in my frugal living. Many of my frugal habits center around repurposing. It is finding another meaning in something, whether it retains its current form or not, and whether it is carefully preserved or eventually discarded.


Although I do not recommend this to everyone, I sometimes acquire free materials off Craigslist. Using my power drill, I have been able to repurpose free wood into shelves for my kitchen and bathroom. I previously entered my apron holder in the ThriftyFunTM DIY contest, and the bathroom shelf is pictured here. I am especially proud of the bathroom shelf, holding many repurposed items. I have not had to buy containers for Q-tips and cotton balls thanks to repurposing empty candle jars. The vase was formerly a pudding jar. The tin can was also once a candle holder. The strawberry baskets are now soap and hand towel holders.

Another frugal practice, with no assembly required, is having clothing exchanges at my office. My coworkers and I bring unwanted clothes to exchange with each other. The rest is donated to thrift stores, where I also prefer to shop nowadays.

There is a rewarding feeling in salvaging items, and getting more than one use from them. It saves money, reduces waste and inspires creativity. When facing financial and many other hardships in life, I have found that the ability to repurpose, or find new meaning, is a philosophy to live by.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 5


December 31, 20193 found this helpful

The bathroom shelf is beautiful! I love the bathroom shelf. Your brother lives on through you.

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January 1, 20202 found this helpful

So sorry you lost your brother but seems his skill lives on in you. Great ideas which benefit others. Love quirky ideas.keep up good work . Best wishes

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January 3, 20200 found this helpful

A nice tribute to your brother. May his memory live on forever through your writings, and your aquired skills. Thank you for sharing with us. Bless you both.

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January 6, 20200 found this helpful

Thanks, Everyone, for your kind words.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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