using a paper towel she was fixing to throw away, wipe off ONE more thing in the kitchen. The top of the stove, a canister, or something!!!!! My mom wasted very little. She was recycling before it was even in the dictionary. She especially didn’t waste sunshine! Even after we got a dryer, she still hung most things outside. She also brought the clothespins in knowing that leaving them out would cause them to not last as long. Do you need a little plastic bowl with a nice lid? Ask my mom for one. She’ll have just the right size. Now people like her could be called a packrat, but I never saw my mom need a container for leftovers……….she might buy those fancy little Rubbermaid containers at the store now….but somehow I can’t see her doing it.
Not being a ‘waster’ is Biblical. Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster. A waster is compared to he that is slothful in his work. We all know what a trial it is to be around a slothful worker. It’s just plain wrong.
Waste: 1.to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words.
Sloth: 1.Aversion to work or exertion; laziness; indolence.
Let’s look at some things, as a housewife, considering ‘waste’. Our substances should be precious……..
Proverbs 12: 27 ¶ The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
Do you waste water? Do you have to be in a state announced drought to be careful? Do you take long luxurious hot showers every night….as if you were on vacation or something? Do you run the water the whole time you are brushing your teeth? Do you run a new tub of water for each bath you give your little kids? Do you ever water your flowers or garden with water left over in a pitcher? How about giving the cat the water that is left in your bottled water? Do you wash just a few clothes in a regular load not thinking about how much water is being used? Could that load just wait? Do you leave the hose on all night and your back yard is a swamp in the morning? Do you let the kids run pool after pool full of water in the summer? Do you run water the whole time you are rinsing dishes or just when there is a dish that needs rinsed? How about running ONE sink full of water instead?
What about bathroom products? Did you know that you are supposed to use a pea sized blob of toothpaste, NOT a green bean? Do you think Colgate wants you to know that? Probably not. Soaps? Cream Rinse? Razors? Deodorant? Shampoo? Do you throw any of these things away just because you got a new bottle or package of something else….something else that is even better and…….well, more fun? We should make a habit of using everything up before starting in on the ‘new’ stuff we bought. Just as you do, I love a new bottle of shampoo…….but am I being a waster when I forget that I have ½ of a bottle of something that worked pretty well just yesterday……
How about gas? Let’s just ask our husbands if he minds if we do these things: run back and forth to the store all day long, leave the car/van running with the a.c. on cause we don’t want to be hot, going here and there; far and near just to ‘get out of the house’, go long distances to a certain store when a store nearby could suffice, take care of things as they come one at a time as opposed to making out a list and making one trip? Ask your husband if it is just as much fun to go to the gas station as it is the do-nut store?
How about baby stuff? Have you ever considered using cloth diapers? Sure, it might cost a little up front to buy them, but after that, there is little cost. If cloth diapers are impossible for you to deal with, there are store brand disposables that work just like some of the name brands. And bottom wipes! I know a lady that used 8 wipes on ONE infant. Did you know they tear in half? J I’m living proof that you can clean a baby’s bottom with ½ of a wipe. What about those little bottles of juice? Buy a big bottle of juice and make your own little bottles or sippy cups. Sometime, figure up the cost of prepared baby foods as opposed to mashing real food up with a simple fork, for baby. We like to act like we’re on vacation all the time when it might not matter what kind of convenience things we buy. I looked at the cost of baby food in jars the other day! WOW. Buy 3 little jars of carrots and you have spent enough to buy pounds of real carrots. This means you steam them and mash them up for baby! Do we take care of ‘equipment’? Does a new bed have to be bought every time we have a baby? Car seats? High chairs? Playpens? If we take care of those things, they do not have to be replaced. Keeping them clean is what keeps them nice…for the most part. I would never suggest that you ‘keep’ something that was unsafe, but I would suggest that you ‘keep’ things in good order. Don’t be a waster when it comes to baby things. Most things can be used over and over again, most things can be adapted to a baby’s needs without buying special expensive items.
Electricity. Our rates rose in the middle of the summer last year. We set our thermostat on 81. Yes, I complained. The thermostat being on 81 is hard but the difference in the bill has been worth it. Run fans, make meals that are cool instead of baked, put your crock-pot outside on a table to cook, barbeque, keep the lights off, keep the kids out of the fridge and freezer and only use the dryer on rainy days. Electricity really effects our comfort zone. Nobody likes to be warm and sticky in the house and going out back to hang up a load of clothes in the blazing sun doesn’t sound like too much fun, either. We want to bake a cake, we can’t keep our kids from opening and shutting the doors, the fans make too much noise. Ho-hum. Aren’t we pitiful?
Are we careful when it comes to clothes? Do we get rid of clothes the next child down could wear, but we just don’t want to pack it away and save it? This can be impractical if your kids are far apart, but if you have lots of littles and plan to have more, keep the good stuff. Do we waste in this area because we have never learned to mend? Don’t chunk a nice dress because the hem is out of it, a top because a button is missing, a nice skirt because it needs to be ironed, or a pair of boy’s jeans with a hole in the knee! Mending is fun! At least you can try, what do you have to lose? If an effort was made to ‘fix’ something and it failed, you will know better next time! Your husband’s heart needs to trust in you in this area.
Speaking of husbands….do you have a place that he knows he can go to for a rag? Guys need rags. I tremble when my husband comes in the door with that look in his eyes and says….. “I need a raggggg(grrrrrrr).” I happily, most of the time have some….somewhere. When somebody gives us a trash bag full of t-shirts, we use the good ones, get rid of the good ones that do not fit us, and the rest turn into ‘rags’. Oh yes, he can BUY shop towels and use your kitchen towels, and maybe even wipe his hands on his jeans, but it is nicer for him to have a ‘rag-bag’ available just for ‘him’. Shop towels are expensive, kitchen towels with strange things on them usually need to be tossed and jeans could last longer if they weren’t used in the way they are sometimes. Does your husband have coffee available to him in the morning or is he with the rest of the guys at a gas station buying coffee? What about a lunch? Is he having to spend $25 to $30 (this is conservative) a week on lunch because a sandwich is not available in a nice lunchbox? Have you learned to cut his hair? Maybe your husband is bald, he doesn’t eat lunch and never works on the car. I guess you’ll have to think of other ways to save him money.
I LOVE a good fabric softener and have found that you don’t have to use a whole lid full to make a load of clothes smell like lavender sunshine! I found out last week that Pet Pride cat food from Wal-Mart is some of the best cat food available. It is ‘complete’. It is also priced lower than those neato looking foods. Chow !Chow !Chow! Buy things at the $$ stores in your area. If you have a Dollar Tree, go often. They have stuff in there that is way lower than Wal-mart and lots of it is the exact same brand! Don’t buy mulch, look in your neighborhood the end of fall for nice bags of leaves. They work perfect and they are free. And bagged up! J Learn to sew, grow your own peppers, buy vases at thrift stores, buy Stride Rite shoes even if they’re too big for your child, use skinny fonts when printing something to save on printer ink, make your own ice, vacuum your own car, don’t buy convenience foods if you can figure out a recipe that is cheaper, buy sewing notions at thrift stores and garage sales, buy seeds at Dollar General instead of Home Depot, turn your car off and open the windows, buy used books, buy cheap paper towels, take care of your brooms, use inexpensive laundry soap and nice softeners, buy in bulk if at all possible, don’t waste gas, use baking soda to clean with, wash dirty tennis shoes….they might just come clean, go to the library….it’s free, buy hair clippers……they pay for themselves!
Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Seems like sloth and wasting go hand in hand. They kind of work together, don’t they? Win the war against waste and free up some money so your husband can give more to missions!