make it, don't waste it

As a family, we do what we can to make our money go further.
At times, we try to make things ourselves, instead of buying it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Other times, we look for ways to use something before we get rid of it. It's kind of fun to try and with the kids being homeschooled, it gives them a chance to see that being creative and using what you have is an alternative to buying. Not to mention the benefit of recycling and reducing waste. My youngest has gotten pretty good at finding a second life for things and she uses a lot of odds and ends for art projects.

One thing we make ourselves is basic household cleaners.

1) Glass cleaner:
In a clean, empty spray bottle, add 1/3 cup of vinegar for every 4 cups of water.

2) All purpose cleaner:
In a clean gallon container combine 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 gallon water.

Finding a second life for things instead of throwing it out is something I actually enjoy doing and find it very rewarding in a creative outlet kind of way.

1) Billy used two thick wooden beams to make a balance beam for the kids in the back yard.
2) A tea cup saucer became a place for butterflies to drink by adding some small rocks and water.
3) Some old picket fence panels got painted and block off the pool pump.
4) Crushed up cookies at the bottom of the bag get tossed on top of pudding or ice cream. (my kids love this!)
5) Old washcloths and towels become cleaning rags
6) Sunday comics to wrap the kids Christmas gifts (they think this is cute!).
7) A very large piece of cardboard became a mobile jigsaw puzzle holder while it's being worked on.
8) we save buttons, tassles, old earrings, greeting cards, etc to use for art & craft projects.
9) an old tupperware container became our buried time capsule.
10) Four wheels from a table left behind by the people who used to live here became the wheels for Buddie's (our iguana) cage...even though she's hardly ever in it. We only use it when people are over.
11) My seven year old just did this 5 minutes ago: She's got a cold and is on the couch with a box of tissues. She just finished the box, so I gave her a new one and went to thrwo the old one out. She told me not to because she was going to use as a garbage pail and put the old tissues in it. :-)
12) There's also our
bird restaurant.

Another thing that Billy & I did when we first bought this house was start composting. We really didn't do it very well, got discouraged and then with the adoption process underway, composting was the last thing on our mind. But, I've been giving it a lot of thought again lately. One of the things we'll have to do first is make a bin. I don't want to spend a lot right now because I'm not sure it's going to work (especially with rainly season upon us) or that we'll be able to keep up with it. We might actually start collecting grass clippings now and start in the fall when we can use the fallen leaves as a base.

These are some ideas I found online:

Old Fencing: Take down the fence in sections. These sections can be used to make a great compost bin, ready-made with small space between the slats so your compost can breathe.
Dresser Drawers: Take an old dresser / bureau. Knock out the bottom of each drawer. With a few 2x4's you can attach the drawers together to make a small compost bin. Detach the top of the dresser and attach to the top of your bin with hinges at the back for easy accessibility.
The simplest compost bin container - 4 sticks of wood in the ground, Wire or plastic netting round the sticks, lined with cardboard.

If I remember anything else, I'll post it. :-)

**edited to add this link**
Reuse it from HGTV

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