Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Use it up, Wear it out....

Did you finish the rhyme when you read the title? I'm sure many of you did:

Use it up
Wear it out
Make do
Or do without!

I did a little google search to find out the origin, and while there was nothing concrete (Is there anything concrete on a google search?), the phrase has been called "the four threads of New England character," and it became the conservation motto during WWII. It's no wonder I grew up hearing it.

I try to apply these principals to our lives, and while I don't always succeed, I'm pretty much always thinking about ways to be more frugal in any given situation, perhaps to my own detriment. C'est la vie. It's truly just in me. Here are a few examples; I'll focus on a different stanza for the next few posts:


Black bananas and hard marshmellows. The stuff of trash bin dreams? Not at my house! I keep old bananas in the freezer until I feel like baking. I have several great banana based recipes, but the family favorite is Banana Muffins. Pure yum. And hard marshmellows might make lousy smores, but I picked up this bag in the clearance section at Sav-A-Lot for 50 cents; melted with butter and combined with the rice crispies, no one had a clue that they were past their prime:
What are some ways you "use it up" when others might throw it out?

On a side note, I have to say, I'm getting more and more excited about Hong Kong every day, particularly because everyone we talk to who has been there has nothing but great things to say about it. However, most of these wonderful comments are quickly terminated with "but it's expensive!" Yikes. I am determined to make it a frugal experience, so you'll have to stay tuned to hear all about it. Until then, we are busy preparing: doctor appointments, criminal back ground checks (we're clear, in case you were wondering), kitchen remodeling, mailing documents with Fed Ex to the tune of $117.00. Hmmm...when I see it written, I realize we not starting out on a very frugal footing...


  1. Pretty much all fruit past its prime gets cut into chunks and put into my freezer for smoothies. Yum! And my husband hides bananas and brings them out when past their prime so I'll just HAVE TO make banana bread. Soft veggies that won't do in a salad go into soup stock. Old worn out jeans recently made it into a really warm quilt for my son, and unmatched pillowcases from Goodwill have recently found new life as aprons and and "green" grocery bags. We Yankees certainly know how to repurpose!

  2. Jeff loves overripe bananas frozen in chunks for milkshakes. We never have enough of them! And hard marxhmallows are pretty tasty all by themselves (if they are small enough to chew :) I am looking foward to seeing how you guys do Hong Kong frugally- If anyone can do it, you can! Holly

  3. I do the same thing with bananas ;). Also really ripe bananas make the best banana bread. Kelly

  4. Love the ideas! Keep them coming. Erin...I've always wanted to make a jean quilt. Someday. Someday.

  5. i have no ideas. i just want to say that these are the most impressively black bananas i have ever seen. i thought they were cigars.

  6. Ha...they are black. It's because they were in the freezer. I draw the line at cigar muffins, regardless of how cheap they are:).