Using What We Have

They other day I rounded up a stack of books (that I already own) and made a to be read pile. I don't do the library because that just means more errands with kids - no thank you!

Shopping my own books is my attempt to curb my temptation to buy new books. The exception is this cookbook I read over the weekend. I was desperate for dinner inspiration, and after reading it I'm totally inspired. Worth it.

I always buy used books on Amazon to save a few dollars.


One day last week I did a big FIFO on steroids session. I turned out...

pumpkin muffins
orange slices
homemade granola bars
blueberry oven French toast - My kids loved this!

I cut back on the sugar and added the blueberries.

Those are end pieces of bread I'd been saving in the freezer. I get such a rush from not wasting food! We got 2 breakfasts out of that French toast.

Using what we have, frugality, thriftiness, resourcefulness....whatever you want to call it - these qualities are not generally ingrained in my generation. But I believe they are so valuable because they breed contentment. What do y'all think?

I'm trying to explore some of these traits and get in the habit of doing things in our home that foster better stewardship of our resources.

(bonus: baby pic)

I love this quote.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. - Boyd K. Packer


It's not my nature. My nature is throw it away, we'll buy another one...a bigger and better one! That may be fun in the moment, but it is much more satisfying to use what we have.

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  1. I love that quote, too! Never knew who said it.

    Inspiring post, especially the part where you say that thriftiness is not really your first instinct. I love the idea of saving crusts for French toast!

  2. That photo of Caroline makes me feel happy. And your post - again - shows that you are a wise woman!

  3. I always love reading your posts! Thank you for sharing! Also, you should totally reconsider the library! It's one of my kids' favorite places! We usually go at least once or twice a week! Many libraries have play areas now and multiple storytimes geared at different age groups (for instance, my library has storytimes for babies, younger toddlers, older toddlers, preschoolers, and families). Picking books out for myself isn't always easy while I'm at the library with kids in tow, so I just put books on hold ahead of time and they're ready for me at check-out. But if storytimes aren't your thing, most libraries are synced with Kindle and you can check out e-books from the comfort of your home computer or phone app. It's worth looking into!! :)

  4. I'm coming back to say that the library is not an onerous errand for us! I love being able to explore subjects with my kids without needing to buy books. We do own books, but we can explore passing interests and see if those interests "stick" and then buy books. I go through the kids' nonfiction section and grab anything that might be interesting - weather, biographies, specific parts of history, how things work, etc. etc. And also, for Phoebe, I don't have a ton of board books because we just check them out at the library. Our library also has movies, board games, American Girl Dolls, museum passes, and magazines to check out!

  5. Oh Sarah, as a reader who is a librarian in real life, I must encourage you to visit your public library! Public libraries have changed so much in the last 20 years! (Heck, even 10 years). They aren't the stiff, still, shhhhh, places they used to be. All libraries I have managed have been lively, noisy, vibrant places. And for the most part, that is how librarians want their libraries to be! We love big families to visit and expect meltdowns and loud kids and all of that is OOOOKAAAAY!

    As Margo said, most public libraries have puzzles, games, coloring pages, crafts - things for kids to explore while they are looking. And I also use the library as book preview mechanism and only buy the books I already know I can't live without! As a thrifty person - I just really think you MUST try it out again. If saving bread for French toast makes you happy, the library will make you really really happy! Over the years I have talked several friends into visiting the library even though they were hesitant - most felt like their kids would be too loud or it would be hard to keep tabs on them from pulling 100 books off the shelf. But almost always they have found the atmosphere to be welcoming and happy and their kids have adapted well and found a free "space" to be, to explore, to enjoy....You must go! I understand being anti-errand. We live in the country and errands, no matter what, are 30 min. one way and we haven't even shopped yet! xoxo, Sarah Mc

  6. One more thing - audio books! they have them on CD or downloadable. Wasn't that a 2017 goal? And new books - the latest stuff! You may have to get on a list for them, but when they come, it is like a present!


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