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Make It, Make Due, or Do Without

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Make it, make do, or do without. Go ahead and say it, and then say it again. Maybe even repeat it a few more times. When we really became committed to living a frugal lifestyle because we had to, this became my mantra, and it has been my lifeline.

This mantra is much of the reason that my husband and I are looking at becoming completely debt-free within a matter of months. This mantra is also the reason that I am sitting on my couch with duct-taped cushions, the reasons, that I make my own all purpose cleaner, fabric softener, and mixes of all kinds, and it is also the reason that we say “no” to countless things we’d like to have each year.

The truth is, we are in a season of life when we just can’t afford these luxuries (at least they are luxuries to us at this point), so it is out of necessity that we are living by this motto at this point. There are other times that this is our motto simply because it is our choice.

make it, make due

When truly embracing a frugal lifestyle, there is a total mind shift that is necessary, and although there are times when living by this principle is so tiring because it takes effort, it takes, time, and it takes commitment.

In all honesty, we could afford to buy new couches since ours now have holes, we could afford more convenience items at the grocery store, and goodness knows that it is so much more fun to say “yes” to things than it is to say “no” to things what seems to be all.the.time.

However, living by this principle really isn’t that bad, and, it is because we spend much of our lives living by this motto that we haven’t had to pay with credit when the unexpected expenses land on our doorstep.

If you’re looking to save a little (or a lot!) of money, you can adopt this mantra as your own. Here’s what it’s all about.

  • IMG_2765Make it.  There are countless things that can be made rather than bought.  Mixes for cookies, cakes, and brownies, salad dressings, beans (rather than canned beans), hot chocolate mix, granola bars, oatmeal packets, and hummus. Pinterest is a great source, this is also how I found out how to remove crayon from walls, marker from the face of an American Girl doll, and how to change the printer head in my printer in addition to learning how to make so many things from scratch. You can follow my clever finds on Pinterest by following me on Pinterest. My DIY board or any of my frugal living boards will be of particular interest for these things.
  • Make due.  This means fixing things that are broken, worn out, faded, or in some other way past their prime.  This may even mean covering your couch with a blanket to hide the enormous hole in the cushion.  This could also mean layering more clothes to stay warm rather than buying something new and warmer, and repurposing something like shower curtain rings to hold scarves. Falling into this category would also be repairing things.  I am proud to say that my husband and I can officially add “washer repair” to our list of accomplishments.  We are fortunate to live in a world with youtube, and there is a video out there for nearly anything you need to know. You can read more about how we save on appliance repair.
  • Do without.  This list really could be endless.  It includes things like a coffee house coffee, dinners out, and new clothes, but it also means staying away from influences that encourage you to buy what you don’t need.  I can speak from experience that it is very easy to buy something because it is the deal of a lifetime, but if you can live without it, it is not a deal, unless of course it is free :)

Living frugally means so many different things, and my blog is a wealth of information on how to do just that.  But something that I found to be of great value is just to repeat the above mantra when I am *thinking* of doing something that is a bit less than frugal.  Somehow just repeating it helps me keep my head in the game.

Do you have a frugal mantra or game plan? I’d love for you to share it in the comments!

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  1. I really need to adopt this line in my household. I’m currently creating my daughter’s homework station accessories from things around the house. Instead of using plastic boxes to organize, I’m creating storage from cereal boxes. Some of this is also from Pinterest, but most is necessity. And necessity is the mother of invention. 🙂

    1. That’s great – “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I couldn’t agree more! Good for you. It truly is all about repurposing, and Pinterest is the vehicle to get us there most times!

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