Thursday, October 7, 2010

Use It Up or Save It?


What type of personality are you? Do you like to use things up, or do you save things in case you just might need them some day?

Most of the time, I tend to save things. My pantry and freezer are well stocked with things I may need someday. My fabric stash is abundant--including my scrap drawers. My craft closet is full of this and that. And I don't discard shoes or clothing until I'm absolutely certain I'm never going to wear them again, no matter how nicely they pair up with other items in my wardrobe.

Hubby is a user-upper. If he sees some kind of food item in the cupboard or freezer (like the tri tip he defrosts and grills at every opportunity he can), and he knows it's been there for a little while, he thinks it needs to be used up. And sometimes he's right. But sometimes he isn't, and I'll find he's used up whatever the key ingredient is in some special recipe I've planned.

The other night, when I'd decided to make Sandy Gervais' sister's apple dumpling recipe, I was giddy to find we actually had a can of Mountain Dew in the refrigerator. I'm not sure how it came to be there because none of us--me, Hubby, or the Wild Child--drinks Mountain Dew, but there it was. I'm surprised Hubby didn't throw it out or feed it to the dog just so he could use it up and get it out of the fridge! But the story has a happy ending because it was there when I needed it--and I didn't have to send HIM to the store for a can of Mountain Dew.

On the other hand, we trade roles when it comes to our bank accounts (yes, we each maintain separate accounts). Hubby's the one who saves. I'm more inclined to use up any "extra" cash that might be in my account. All in all, I guess that makes Hubby a frugal person and me a hording spendthrift. But it works for us--maybe we just balance each other out.

How about you? If you have a tendency to buy fabric just because you like it, does that tendency carry through the rest of your life--for instance, do you do the same thing with food, clothing, etc? Or, if you only buy fabric you need for a specific project, are you also that way with food, clothing, etc.? I'd love to hear about your "use it up" or "save it" habits!

11 comments:

Suzan said...

I buy fabric based on need and based on desire. If I am planning a quilt with specific colors I generally purchase for that quilt. If I am shopping and a fabric catches my eye, I buy it and save it for something. (That MUST explain my stash!)

I am a terrible saver (thank goodness for 401K & pension plans) and tend to spend money like there is no tomorrow. I have two savings accounts that I save money in until I NEED something and then I spend it.

I am sentimental and save a fair number of cards, photos, etc. but I am also a purger. Periodically I go through things and determine whether or not it really is worthy of keeping. Those are emotional days but I have to do it or that kind of saving could get totally out of control...and I don't want to end up on a television show!

Wilma NC said...

Good question. We mostly use up food, keeping just a few staples "just in case". But as far as fabric goes, I have been buying as much as I can so when I retire in December I won't ever run short, lol.

CaraQuilts said...

I'm a super saver when it comes to things, I hate using it up to the end.
I spend money but have automatic savings and always want there to be some in the chequing, maybe a bit of both?

Pat Shipp said...

Very interesting question Kim! I'm exactly like your husband. I'd rather have to run to the store for something I need than to have to work around it. I live in a small house so this works for me. I'm a constant purger.

My stash got overwhelming and I wasn't using it up fast enough to suit me. So, my husband came up with the solution to put much of it in a tiny storage unit and now I go there to "shop"...lol.

I'm a minimalist...but liek him, I'm the saver when it comes to money also.

Nancy said...

Great Question!!
I tend to be very frugal with clothing. Since I don't work outside the home, I have one "nice" outfit for weddings and funerals and I have one pair of jeans. I buy fabric for projects already planned, except for Kona solids. I will buy a yard or two every week with my Hobby Lobby coupon...cause it's 40% off and I use a LOT of it...
Food is frugal...making menus and pretty much sticking with them..
hm...you would think we would have lots of leftover money...but hubby takes care of that. lol

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh my Kim, you are opening up a can of worms. I tend to be the saver, and my hubby is the user upper. Even with the bank account ;-) When we started moving this summer it was almost (ALMOST) funny because we kept finding tubs of my fabric here and there. You know, in the kids closets, under the bed, out in the shed........ wherever there was a little bit of free space. I have to say one thing, it sure did keep the house warm with all that insulation :-D

PunkiePie said...

If I like it, I buy it. Even if I don't have a project in mind for it. I'm trying to break that habit because every time I open a fabric tote, one treasure or another jumps out at me but I still can't bare to cut it!

Lady of the Cloth said...

I have a large fabric and scrap stash and tend to stock up on groceries as well. Sometimes I stock up so well that I don't use things as soon as I should and they go past date. I have to get better at that one. My monthly focus is using things from the freezer so I can see what is in there hiding in the back. I'm sure there is no Mountain Dew though.

Jean said...

My husband is the user, oh man should I say it ok I am the hoarder. Nothing huge like the tv shows but I need my stuff to be their if I need it and if I don't feel good I need not to have to go to the store. I have fibromyalgia so there are days that it does seem to take alot of talking and thinking for me to go somewhere. So yes my husband and I make a good pair because he gets rid of stuff not my fabric but other things and I try to hang on to them. So our house is pretty unstuffed and I do like it like that. Love your blog.

Judy in Michigan said...

I just have to share this story - my husband loves to buy the large economy size of everything possible (even tho there are just the 2 of us). We have rolls and rolls of toilet tissue, paper towels, etc. When we moved a few years ago, my neighbor came over to help me pack up the basement (aka the pantry). We had to use boxes and boxes to pack up all the paper products (they were going into the moving van and they have certain rules you have to follow). We probably could have given all that paper stuff away and still be money ahead compared to what we had to pay for packing boxes!! I only save fabric - that was only 12 cartons!!

Dena said...

I'm definitely a stasher. My fabric resources are always overflowing as well as my pantry and freezer. I'm prepared for any 'blackout' we might have! LOL