being resourceful

I’d like to think that I always try to be resourceful, but this has been further impressed upon me lately as I look around me and realize how many resources I have at my disposal.

Should my kids EVER be bored?  Wow…NO.  We have so many toys and activities for them to choose from.  Like any children, that doesn’t stop them from wanting new things, but I have been working hard (and plan to continue) to cue them into the fact that acquiring things generally only satisfies temporarily, and then in the ends seems to fuel the desire to acquire again.  It feeds discontentment, I feel.  That is a BIG concept for little kids, so I plant a seed here or there and smile as I see little roots starting to take.

So, for instance, when it comes to meal time I have been trying to use what’s in the cupboard/fridge/freezer.  I can’t always make a whole meal out of it and often do need to supplement with something from the grocery store, but bit-by-bit I’m stretching my horizons and it feels great.

A little while ago I defrosted a freezer meal I had prepared before school started that was Italian Sausage links with chopped onions, green peppers, and tomato sauce.  It was a crockpot meal and we cooked it up and enjoyed it on hoagies, as suggested, but you couldn’t load in the vegetable without really saturating the bun.  We had a lot of vegetable/sauce left over and I just wasn’t going to waste it, but neither was anyone very eager to eat them plain.  We tossed around the idea of putting it over cooked rice, but I didn’t have any.  Instead, I put together a pizza crust.  While that was preparing, I tossed the vegetables/sauce into the food processor and pulsed until they were VERY finely diced.  I cooked off some of the water and then once the crust was ready I spread it onto the crust.  The flavor was a bit sweeter and smokey than normal pizza sauce, but my husband and I liked it and have been able to make good use of the extras that way.  The kids didn’t care for it, but they did try it.

I am trying to look around the filled spaces of our home with fresh perspective.  What is sitting around that could get used?  Sure, sometimes things just need to GO.  I am not good about letting things go, and could get better at it.  But, for now, my main goal is to use what we have already acquired.  It is a fun challenge which keeps me from focusing on what we don’t have.

I had several used supplies of lanolin from nursing four babies over the years.  I never thought about what else they could be used for.  They get hard and are difficult to get out of the container after a while…but I realized that they are good for moistening dry skin, although very thick and greasy.  They feel great on the feet this time of year, and I plan to use them up that way this winter.

I was so excited to find a pair of Columbia snow pants at Goodwill for $3.99.  They’re way too big for any of my kids, but probably would fit me!  I love to take the kids sledding, so how fun will it be that I too can stay dry and warm.  In my online searching, it seems like the snow pants probably cost anywhere from $50-$150 brand new.  The condition of them SEEMED brand new, however.  I love being resourceful by buying second-hand!

Our daughter really wanted a Barbie house for her birthday.  I took 6 plastic crates that hadn’t been getting used well for a while and we decided to turn them into her Barbie dream house.  Sure, they have holes that Barbie could fall through, but we’re finding flooring and will have a blast putting together some furniture and accessories.  We’ve started making a bed so far using wood scraps, fabric scraps, and foam scraps that we have on hand.

I love it!

What are some ideas you have to share?


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