The Thrift Life

Thrift – the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully

Thrift is one of the core principles by which I live my life. I’m not hardcore thrift, but here are a few examples of thriftiness that I do practice.


When a sock is beyond repair, its partner doesn’t need to be thrown out. Here I paired a lonely sock with one I picked up at the Really, Really Free Market. I may never buy socks again. And as for the holey sock, it may still have some use for the elastic–a hair band or cushy rubber band replacement. Or at worst just a rag.


(You may also notice the DIY insoles that should help these shoes to last longer.)


I reuse all my old t-shirts by making them into tshirt yarn and transforming them into rugs, bowls, and more. I’ve even stockpiled extra shirts from the RRFM when I needed more to complete a project.

Braided Tshirt Rag Rug #3

Buying Bulk

Rice. Lentils. Laundry detergent. Eggs. Spinach. I make the best use of resources by reusing the containers that I already have instead of disposable packaging. (This is a work in progress.)


Cooking Food

By cooking dried beans or making my own bread, I can avoid both single-use packaging and food waste, plus save money.


Growing Food From Seed

Getting food right from my backyard? I need to do more of this.

Small carrot fresh-picked in the backyard garden


Want something to read? Something to watch or listen to? Looking for an air-conditioned free place to hang out in the summer? I use my library for all these things.



Furniture shouldn’t be disposable. I buy second-hand and am not afraid to reupholster furniture that I already have to make it last longer.


Personal Care Products

The deodorant recipe below may not have worked out for me, but a simple deodorant powder works for me just fine. I’ve been doing the baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse as a replacement for conventional shampoo and vinegar. For some products like eye shadow and blush, I’ve found that it’s just as easy to do without.


And More

These are just a few of many examples of thrift. How does thrift surface in your life?

Sidenote: although “thrift” is in the name, it’s no accident that I didn’t mention thrift shopping. Thrift isn’t about shopping. That’s just a fallback for when I can’t make do without, repurpose something else to fill the need, and can’t or am too lazy to make it myself.

7 thoughts on “The Thrift Life

  1. Kathryn With Going Zero Waste April 5, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    This is great! I love the rug you’re making. I’ve used a couple of socks for heating pads. I fill them with rice and sew them all the way up!


    • Deborah Ray April 11, 2016 / 3:19 am

      Thanks for the suggestion, Kathryn! I rarely use heating pads, but I bet these would make great beanbags too.


  2. Home and Horizon April 10, 2016 / 7:35 am

    Some unique ideas… I use odd socks as dusters – they do the trick well!


  3. Nadia Jade April 11, 2016 / 12:54 am

    I love the t-shirt thread! I like to cut up old towels to use as sponges too, and when they go bad I chuck em in the compost.


    • Deborah Ray April 11, 2016 / 3:20 am

      I’ve been meaning to crochet up a couple of dish cloths but haven’t gotten around to it. Cutting up old towels and composting then when done sounds much easier. Thanks!


  4. swampyankeestyle May 3, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    I wear mis match socks too. No one sees your socks anyway and I am too busy to try to match them all up after washing…love your post

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Going Nomad May 26, 2016 / 2:05 am

    I have an ongoing problem with odd socks. My drawer is full of them…. but when I put them in the wash basket they were matching pairs! It seems the sock fairy deliberately targets our house. I had 4 matching pairs once which had a logo on the outside of the leg. I ended up with 4 right feet and still couldn’t make a pair. What are the chances of that? My partner swears she puts them in the washing machine in pairs 😉


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