Money Saving Monday: To Hoard
Hoarding gets a bad rap. Says the woman with way too many dogs. I realize I’m potentially both the pot and the kettle in this scenario. Nevertheless, I stand by the statement. Schadenfreude television shows aside, amassing crap can come in handy. And save you a significant amount of money.
Case in point: Canning jars. I’ve been amassing my mason army all year long. Through thrifting, freebies, and every other which way I can get my hands on the glass goods. Now that canning season is upon us, no problem. Fourteen jars of jam for a friend’s wedding? Sure! My pickling buddy who’s helped me score many of these beauties? She’s welcome to some of the stash. I’m pretty generous when the jars cost me well below retail, like 50% below. At the most. After over 3 dozen jars of jam and pulling aside enough for Pickles: Round One, my cupboards are still stocked. There will be no canning jar purchases in my future.
It doesn’t stop there. My frozen fruit lives in the bags from the house made tortillas we purchase at The Local Market. We save those too. Ziplock bags? Free, with tortilla purchase.
All my seeds this year? Started in scavenged containers, set aside from my own purchases and from friends. Now washed, put away, and waiting for next year. Since this was my first seed starting experience, I could have spent an oodle on supplies at the nursery. Tempting. But, no.
Gallon jugs of many kinds were filled with water to warm my plants once they moved outside. That or the bottoms were cut off to be used as mini-cloches on the tender seedlings. Or the tops were cut off to make handy scoops and buckets for fertilizer spreading, chicken feed saving, or, or, or. Oh, the possibilities. Jugs are worth keeping.
You saw what I did with coffee cans for my birthday party. Since we don’t drink coffee that comes in cans, those were collected from a friend’s work over the course of months. Who needs the party store for decorations?
The list goes on:
Boxes and shipping materials. I have no idea the last time I bought a manilla envelope. A very, very long time ago I’ll guarantee. Why would I when they keep showing up in my mailbox.
Egg cartons, no good for seed starting, but will hopefully be of use any second now. Any. Second. I’ve seen these at many a farm supply for $1 a carton. With all the eggs we eat, that is a buck I’m unlikely to spend.
If I save enough actual buckets (much harder to come by than jugs), someday I’ll make self watering planters. True, I could buy buckets, and bypass the someday. Where’s the fun in that though?
Yeah, sure these things could threaten to over run your house. In this case, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Nobody wants an intervention. I’ve seen that show too. Awkward. You’ve gotta know your limit. I stopped actively seeking jars a couple months ago. If they cross my path, I’m not going to turn them down, but acquisition has slowed considerably. I’ve recycled most of my stash of gallon jugs. They break down over time, and I’m confident in an on going supply. Sometimes I even return my egg cartons to the farmers from wist they came. Sometimes.
I have designated areas for my troves of treasure; on top of the auxiliary freezer, the hall cupboard, my office closet. Out of the way. And once the stockpile out grows its home, it either needs to be used up or shipped out.
In this way, I hone the craft of hoarding. It’s very similar to my dog philosophy actually. Enough to enhance my life, with the crazy joy of owning a pack (or saving money and having readily available resources as it were). But, not so many as to land me on the evening news.
What do you hoard? How does it save you money without overtaking your life?