Monday, February 16, 2009

Cheap Can Be Creative

One of my favorite shows growing up was "That Girl," starring Marlo Thomas. She played a struggling actress who never really experienced economic hardship as she could rely on her doting parents and her reliable boyfriend, but one scene has stayed with me for more than 40 years:

Ann has run out of money; so when she goes to a restaurant with a friend, she orders hot water into which she dumps a liberal amount of ketchup. Voila! Tomato soup.

Well, it might be the little things that get some people by, but I have never been tempted by hot, watery ketchup.

However, I am getting into saving a little bit here and there:

I use both sides of paper at work. A lot of what I print is for people within the office and doesn't have to look wonderful, so I just put a big x on the side that I don't want them to be concerned about. Only then do the sheets go into the recycling bin.

If I have an incredibly big copy project, I use the time minding the copy machine practically. There is some weird science that even though the copy time may be a few minutes during which you think you can go do something else, the machine is guaranteed to JAM, so you have to stand there, almost daring it not to jam. Instead of mindlessly standing there, I cut the reams-of-paper wrapping into pieces that I can use for note paper (our paper cutter is next to the copier). Pretty extreme, but it beats simply staring at the copier.

During the summer I try to remember to put a container in the shower to collect the water as it is heating up. Our water heater is not near our shower, so there are some moments before it is ready. However, one deck is right outside our bedroom, and I can use the water for the plants (In July, they can ALWAYS use the water). By the way, kudos to you who use gray water for watering non-edibles. I'm not that efficient. (Wikipedia defines greywater as non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as dish washing, laundry and bathing. )

Speaking of plants, I am seriously looking into a water collection/irrigation system for our big deck on the roof of our building, maybe even with a drip system. My husband is the gardener, and he spent a significant amount of time and a lot of KUB-processed water to make both our decks look spectacular last year. I think those plants will be just as happy with collected rainwater; and I'll be happier not feeling guilty about my husband up there watering while I'm stretched out on the couch in the air conditioning watching Jeopardy.

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