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Waste Not, Want Not

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Some people (my husband included) might think that I like clutter, but keeping things that I may not need is a surefire way of saving money when I do need them later.

woman holding dollar bills
Michele Ashamalla: My husband is reffing our son's soccer games on Saturdays. At 6 PM on Friday night, he told me he needed a stopwatch and whistle for his duties in the morning. This was actually a fair amount of notice -- I've gotten same-day requests for Sunday School class snacks and an appropriate gift on Administrative Professionals' Day. He was ready to go to Target, but I remembered that a couple of years ago, I had received a stopwatch from Weekly Reader as a free gift for placing an order. Come to think of it, I had also gotten a metal whistle from S & S Worldwide, an Oriental Trading-type company, for placing an order with them. After checking a couple of places, I located both in one of my desk drawers. I remembered that when I got them, I had no use for them at the time and thought about giving them away. They didn't take up much room, though, and since I thought they were essentially useful items, I decided to keep them.

The key, of course, is actually being able to find the items you save. I know it's the antithesis of the organizing experts' credo of "purge, purge," but I kind of feel that until my children are older, I never really know what I'll need. Yes, I could just buy it when I do need it, but it would kill me to know that I once HAD the item I was now buying. One of the first arguments I had with my husband after we were married happened because he threw away all the packing peanuts that came with our wedding gifts, and then, three months later, I had to buy a big bag so I could ship something. (This was back when we would have to take our horse and buggy to the post office to mail something.)

In any case, I handed the stopwatch and whistle to my husband and he mentioned that we could use a sports strap for my youngest, who just started wearing glasses. I reminded him that we had one -- and I had given it to him to use in a race. He responded, "That was a YEAR ago! I'm sure I got rid of that ..."

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous September 22, 2009, 8:24 AM

good idea

Golf Clubs September 14, 2010, 10:38 AM

In related news, Tiger changed his name to Cheetah.

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