The other day, I had one of those moments when you just know — you can feel it, you don’t have to look — that your big toe just busted a hole though your sock. It’s uncomfortable, of course, so I took my shoe off, and sure enough, my big ole toe was sticking through a big ole hole.
Then I thought, dang, I really cannot afford to buy new socks. Yeah, we’re down to that kind of penny pinching.
But hey, I’m a knitter. I know how to darn a sock, right?
Who darns socks anymore? It takes five minutes or less, and a modicum of skill. But who has those skills anymore? I was reading in a knitting magazine recently about Eleanor Roosevelt, whose nanny cut holes in socks so Eleanor could learn how to darn them. I mean, we’re talking about one of the topmost families in the nation, and they made sure the girls knew how to darn socks. If anyone could afford to throw away socks and buy new ones, the Roosevelts could.
Instead, they taught their daughter to fix them.
We live in a culture where this is no longer ordinary.We live in a culture wherein most of the time, it’s cheaper and easier to throw a thing away and replace it than it is to fix it.
But since the economy tanked, most of us have been learning to do with less, to mend and carry on, to cobble together solutions. It’s encouraging, in a way. It reduces waste.
Sometimes I find it a bit silly, though. I’ve seen elaborate recipes online for making homemade versions of products like dryer sheets. Here’s a radical thought—maybe you don’t need dryer sheets. Maybe you could just pull your staticy clinging clothes out of the dryer and wrench them apart by brute force. Yes, it’s a terrible effort, I know. But it works. And it’s frugal.
If any good is to come out of this, I hope it’s that we have learned to be more frugal and less wasteful.
What are your favorite frugal lifestyle tips?