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Waste Not, Want Not Tips and Tricks

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A recycled tin can man.
Frugal is being thrifty, recycling and using things up as much possible. This guide contains waste not, want not tips and tricks.


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By 21 found this helpful
March 26, 2015

If you want or need to be frugal, it's not just about the "stuff" you don't buy. You also have to use everything to its maximum potential.

For example, I never throw away a chicken or turkey carcass after the majority of the meat has been consumed. I cook it in water, with some wilty celery, carrots, onions and a clove or two of garlic. I usually do this in the crock pot to save on energy. Then I strain it and give the veg to my chickens. It sure beats throwing it out. You could compost it if you have no critters to eat it up. Freeze the broth in two cup portions. To make it healthier, add two tablespoons cider vinegar to the cooking water. It's supposed to pull some of the calcium out of the bones.

I also routinely "recycle" leftovers. From meatloaf, I'll make chili, soup, or stir-fry (just chunk it up). With soup, I sometimes drain the liquid, add cubed potatoes and some cheese and make a casserole.

I have several pressure canners and now I have a pressure cooker, a very good investment for the frugally minded. This thing can take the worst, cheapest cuts of meat and make them fork-tender in 45 minutes. They're not scary anymore, think about getting one.

For a non-food related example, my husband built a greenhouse out of an old trampoline frame and some steel T-posts. He covered the thing with chicken wire and then clear plastic. Then last year, we actually built a greenhouse, so what to do with the old recycled greenhouse? He took it apart and used it to build a run onto the brooder coop where we raise chicks. Didn't have to buy anything for this project, and it looks pretty good, I must say.

It takes nothing but elbow grease to keep your house and yard tidy. No matter how bad your circumstances are financially, you will feel better if you do the best with what you have.


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May 21, 20109 found this helpful

I have been thrifty minded for a long time. I grew up with a single mom supporting three kids. I saw how hard it was to make ends meet. My Frugal LifeWhile I was married, I was a stay at home mom. So six people on one income required thrift. I prepaid our mortgage, paid cars off early and stretched our grocery budget. We spent $150 every two weeks for groceries which was mainly staples, meat on sale and shopping at Aldi's.

Since I have been divorced, it seems I have forgotten things like "waste not want not." I can be at work with a soda, throw half a bottle away when I leave and then kick myself when I need a drink because I am not going home for several hours. Instead of buying a travel cup, I just kept buying a drink at the gas station before work because I wanted ice with it.

I am learning that being thrifty is something I can't take for granted that I am. I must continually keep it in mind and look seriously at the things that I do every day without thinking. It is important to me to be thrifty for my finances and the earth. I do not wanted to be labeled merely a consumer, which in one book I read considers consuming to be something we burn up or waste. There is far too much consuming going on and our earth cannot withstand the abuse.


By Lyn from Taylorville, IL

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March 29, 20074 found this helpful

The best way to save money is not to waste anything!

If you think about it, on an average day, people waste so much.

By Sandy

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By 3 found this helpful
July 11, 2008

My mother believed in "waste not, want not" and taught me to take good care of my belongings. If it were clothes I wore, they could be passed onto another and if it were toys, a younger child would get them. My Frugal Life

"Eat what's on my plate" taught me I could learn to like a lot of foods that were good for me that I may have otherwise turned my nose up at and I remained healthy. "Some child is going hungry" taught me I should be thankful for the food I do have.

Early valuable lessons learned have stuck with me through my adult years and have been taught to my children and grandchildren.

In the world today it has helped me tremendously to conserve on water used, making one trip to town to run several errands saves dollars on gas and wear and tear on my vehicle. Yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, coupons and checking on sale items at the grocery store contributes to saving more money.

If I want to see a movie, I go to the library and check them out for free just as I do books and most importantly, I've become a savvy shopper over the internet and shipping is a lot cheaper most of the time than using gas and grabbing a "bite out" while getting the necessary item(s).

I've also learned how to make things with my own hands that cost a lot less than buying elsewhere such as crocheting, macramé, watercolor and pencil art, stained glass and use what has been created to decorate my home and give as gifts to family and friends.

As a young adult, I had nothing but used furniture and learned how to refinish it so it was nice looking. From this, I added another "DIY" to my growing list.


I have a vegetable garden each year and can and freeze my crops. I pick berries and make jelly and share fresh produce with others.

Life is about learning and being frugal is what has been the most enriching of experiences as it can be easy to do or even difficult, but being frugal is proven oftentimes to be born out of necessity.

By Lorelei

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By 3 found this helpful
November 19, 2013

If you are like me, you like to find a use for everything, rather than throw it away. At a minimum, you will settle for putting it with the recycling, or donating it, as long as, it does not go to waste.

Comment Was this helpful? 3

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