I beleieve that in North America we have been conditioned to consume and throw out. When we purchase a product we use it and when it gets a little old we toss it and get a better model. Take a look at your cell phone, if you have one, did you replace it within the last year or two? Chances are that you did and your old cell phone was still perfectly functional; it was replaced simply because there was a better model out there for us to use. Rather than simply buying new all the time this weeks saving idea suggests that we reuse some of the items that we throw out. I will not pretend to be any different from other consumers, I too buy products when I might not NEED them. But I do try to reuse whenever possible.
A perfect example of this occured for me a couple years ago when my friend was moving out of town. He was never big on cell phones and didn’t have his own. Because of the move he was contemplating getting one. When he told me this I offered to give him an old cell phone of mine. I had purchased it as part of a pay as you go package. I changed packages and cell phone carriers a couple months after making the purchase and had kept the phone. In the end I gave my friend the phone and he’s still using it. We were able to reuse an item that would otherwise have cost him a bunch of money.
Opportunities to reuse items are all around us and it doesn’t have to be for big ticket items only. We have jars of rice at home that were once salsa jars; this keeps the rice protected and from spilling. I could have purchased special jars or containers for this but why when I had some perfectly good containers available. Printed pieces of paper have been turned into little scraps for notes so they can be reused before they are recycled. Getting into the mindset of reusing items isn’t always easy because we are so used to buy use and throw out that we don’t even realize that something might have a second use or could be useful for someone else..
Saving ideas are posted on Fridays as suggestions on how you could save yourself some money. If you have a saving idea send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.