Getting as much use as possible out of consumer goods is a great way to save. The motto "Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" is something we can all do better. It's also a great thing to ask yourself before making a new purchase. Is there some way I could fix what I used to use to do this task? Is the item truly worn out or am I just frustrated trying to keep up with the Jones's Can I get by with what I have? Do I really need this item or is this an impulse buy? So below is a list of a few ways we can put this mentality to practical use!
Clothing: Clothes go through a life cycle that can be better utilized. First off we have our "Nice Clothes" that we wear when we are out and about. Either to work or other settings where we really want to look nice. My clothes almost always start in this category excluding some T-shirts or sporting wear that could never fit into this category. As they begin to wear out and fade I move them into my "Work" pile. Which I use when working around the house on projects. I don't mind if they get paint on them or if holes start to wear through. As items get too worn out to wear they can be used as rags for cleaning or changing the oil in the car. At which point I usually toss them.
Tools: Tools for me fall under the do without category. Only purchase tools you will use on a regular basis. Do not purchase a tile saw for one small tile job. Rent one for just a few bucks a day or borrow one from a friend or neighbor. This is one I actually struggle with, I am always tempted to buy because I think I will use it more than I really do.
Electronics: Anyone that knows me knows that I love electronics. However I have found great ways to make things do. My current laptop is almost 7 years old now. Every time apple releases a new Macbook I start frothing from the mouth. But in reality I use my laptop for a few small things. Writing papers, surfing the web, and watching movies. All of which my old Powerbook G4 can handle. Also it's always tempting to jump at the new flat screen TV. However our thrift store TV gets the job done. Try to make do with what you have rather then purchasing the newest hottest electronic.
I hope you can use this advice to better serve your needs and fulfil your true wants! Purchasing things we want is just fine, however waisting our money isn't. What is something you do to use the Motto "Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without'?