I Will Use Up All The Things (Use It Up, Wear It Out Part 2)

Author’s Note: I have been trying to finish this blog post for TWO. SOLID. WEEKS. Every time I sit down to make entries, I have succeeded in dashing off approximately 2.5 words before I get interrupted by day job/husband/kids/elderly mother’s nursing home/weather patterns/other assorted catastrophes. So my apologies for the long dormant periods on this blog. I’m tryin’, folks! Meanwhile, if you have benefitted from any of the advice/commentary on Cheap Yuppie Mom, consider leaving a tip!


Tip Jar: Cheap Yuppie Mom’s (Free) Advice

Tip Jar


Okay, so I have blogged a few times about How I Will Eat All The Things, pantry cooking, and the like. But there is another part to that strategy—using up ALL the consumables in your house (or even your relatives’ houses) before buying more. Things like:

  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap. Finally gonna use up that stash of borrowed (stolen) hotel shampoos and soaps. I keep them in a drawer for easy access. I also donate these to our church charity for the homeless from time to time (Double Bonus!)

    Behold the FREE hotel sample toiletry archive! (Including a hair bun foundation I got for FREE! Don’t ask….)
  • Makeup. A weakness of both mine and my daughter’s. My current solution to keeping our house from turning into a Dump of Makeup Hoarding Hell is to raid my daughter’s growing cosmetics stash instead of buying more of my own. (She has been borrowing/trashing my makeup for years now, so turnabout is fair frugal play). I recently followed my own Cheap Makeup Advice from last year and bought a super-awesome Mega Makeup Kit with a bazillion colors/products AND a carrying case at a January clearance sale—got $150 worth of makeup for—wait for it—-FOUR BUCKS.

    Most makeup I ever got for four bucks, EVAH.
  • Other beauty products (moisturizer, lotion, face wash, nail polish, nail polish remover, cotton balls, etc.). Below are some snapshots of my Assorted Beauty/Toiletries archive—all of the items in this archive were acquired for $1 or less! (Including a lot of free samples!) 

  • Perfume (This is a real weakness of mine. I actually collect/sample perfume as a hobby. Yes, perfume collecting is a thing. It will therefore take me approximately 10,000 years to use up all the perfume in my house. Sorry, not sorry.)
  • Pet supplies. (Did I mention we bought a pet recently? Oh, I didn’t? Get ready for a post on Frugal Pet Ownership soon then….) Suffice to say that our new pet was outfitted with a bunch of stuff from my sister-in-law’s house, left over from their former (now dearly departed across the Rainbow Bridge) pet.
  • Household cleaners/solvents. I don’t have a huge backlog of this stuff, but I did manage to find an alternative use for some unusual things (jewelry cleaner, furniture polish, spray starch) recently. I also discovered that I have canisters of powdered, scrub-based cleaners (Barkeeper’s Friend! Comet!) which work REALLY well! And they are CHEAP! (Well, they were free since I found them in the back of a closet left by a prior homeowner, probably 11+ years ago since we bought our house 10+ years ago, but if I ever need refills, apparently these things sell for less than a buck! BONUS!)
  • Office supplies. My husband is a total hoarder of office supplies as well as other useless office-related junk. We have paper clips and labeling tape from the 1970s. (No joke). The plastic and/or steel in some of his office supplies is chemically breaking down. Nevertheless, I shall find uses for it. (Failing that, I plan to go all Marie Kondo and toss the stuff out while he is on an upcoming business trip—and he will never know the difference, yet I will spark joy thanks to more clean and empty, Zen-like drawers!)
  • Food. I am continuing to plow through our pantry archive. Of late I have enjoyed such interesting meals as sardines with a side of peanuts, finding new uses for old spices, and rediscovering making my own powdered Gatorade from a (gasp) jar. Also, that great 1960s-era staple, Pineapple Jello! (Both came in handy for my 2-day fast prior to a colonoscopy last week!)

    Pantry food archive is thinning out, little by little….
  • Fixing/repairing. Over the past month I have sewn 3 items of my kids’ clothes rather than replacing them with new. I have done the same with 2 bedspreads, a broken doorknob, and a faucet. I have a long way to go before I DIY my own bathroom remodel, but it’s a start…

Lots more to add, but I have decided that if I just don’t bite the bullet and post something now, while I have a few minutes to spare, I will never get this post finished and it will be two more weeks before I post anything again. (Hey, if I get some contributions to my Tip Jar, I just might post more often!)

I remain your Cheap Yuppie Mom.


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