In the past when we've needed or wanted something, we've run out to the store and purchased it. This year, however, hubby and I have made an effort to make do with what we already have.
The best way to do this is to KNOW what you have. And the best way to know is to get organized. So you know where you're storing what you have. So not only does organizing save your sanity when you're looking for something you need, it can also save you money.
Let me confess right now that I'm not the organizer in the family. Charles is. And he does a great job of it! If I want to know where something is, I ask him. The kitchen is the only room in the house that I keep track of. And that works well for us.
For instance, when I wanted to paint the schoolroom after Christmas, I decided to paint it yellow. It's such a cheerful color. But a gallon of paint would cost $15-$20. When I mentioned to Charles that I wanted to paint the room yellow, he said he had some yellow paint in the storage area. He took me right to it. There was about 3/4 of the can left, plenty to paint the room. The paint had been purchased in 2001 when we were decorating Mr. Lego's room. So we basically painted the schoolroom for free!
If you need a storage container, do you look around the house first and see what you can use instead of buying a new one? Do you check your pantry to see if you have ingredients shoved to the back that you can use in recipes instead of purchasing more? Do you need to buy a new pack of pens or can you round up the dozens of pens in all the nooks and crannies of your house and put them in one central location for everyone to find?
Organize a little, find a place for things...then go shopping at home!
For more money-saving tips, go to Life as Mom's Frugal Friday