I grew up with that motto. When I wanted a pair of sandals Dad cut the toes out of a pair of tennis shoes I had almost outgrown.
When I grew up I abandoned that conserver mentality. Like those around me I would look to purchase solutions, or hire things done. "Wasn't that how other people did it?" I would reason.
I still catch myself in the grip of that consumer mentality, but it is starting to get easier.
When my van started missing, I tuned it up myself instead of taking it to a shop.
When I ripped my jeans, I sewed a patch underneath the hole from the remains of a doll's hat my daughter threw away.
When the keyboard acted up on daughter's laptop I had her use it with an external keyboard until I could diagnose it. Last night I determined that the keyboard had failed and shopped around for a replacement.
I ordered one on eBay and to my surprise had to update my address. It had been over a year since my last eBay purchase. I used to buy quite regularly on that website--it was nice to discover that my spending has reduced so much that I could go over a year before buying something on what used to be my favorite place to shop online.
We've been battling flies in the house. When I located the source (the guinea pigs bedding and mess catcher cloth) I first tried changing the bedding more frequently. When they still tormented the little fellow I switched his bedding from chips to cloths I had around the house. Not only "problem solved," but I may have discovered a way to avoid purchasing yet another item (wood chips). With daily changes and removal of the top cloth layers I should have a cleaner guinea pig cage. The cloths can be shaken out, placed in the sanitizer solution with the family cloths and laundered with them. No place for the flies, a cleaner home for the pig, and less expense (and stuff) as well.
When I needed more space to dry my laundry in inclement weather, instead of purchasing a clothes rack I took some string and made another clothesline in my hallway.
I think I'm starting to get the hang of this.
I am still working on food purchases and stocking up unnessarily, but I'm getting there. Just the other day I had a candelabra-sized lightbulb fail in a lamp. I bought a single florescent bulb to replace the one that blowed instead of buying the 3-pack for $10.
Last year I would have bought the 3-pack, even though I only needed a single bulb and the others are either LED or Florescent.
It feels good to know that I am actually making progress on changing my purchasing habits, to know that I am actively looking for solutions that use what I already have instead of requiring a purchase.