Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thrify Thursday: Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

Anyone who has ever moved understands "box obsession".

I believe it was Jerry Seinfeld who found the humor in one's aimless pursuit of boxes during the packing phase of relocating. I get this.

But not necessarily for the obvious reason you may thinking. For yes, I'm moving in June, but I've not yet begun the process of hunting down empty corrugated cardboard prisms in every grocery store and business in town. Not yet.

However, I am still obsessed with boxes and packing materials.

I keep every single box that I receive via MK Corporate. I hold on to all envelopes (padded or flat) that I receive from PaperbackSwap deliveries. I hoard packing materials from gifts that we have been sent.

I keep them all in my closet.

Why? Because I turn around and ship product to my customers - and do you realize how much boxes cost? Now, when I move, and my shipments become more frequent, I may need to invest in more packaging, but right now, I have the supplies to ship at least 15 orders.

Why? Because I turn around and ship books via PaperBackSwap. A well placed label and packing tape can cover all rips on a used padded envelope. And when I don't have an envelope handy, I place the book in plastic (unfortunately some MK products come in plastic bags - so I just reuse them), and then wrap the order in brown paper from a grocery bag.

Why? Because I refuse to pay extra for materials that will be thrown away.

I have the same issue with wrapping paper. I equate wrapping paper with taking one's cash and throwing it in the trashcan. I cringe when I see a gift wrapped in expensive paper, only to see it ripped to shreds and thrown away. You won't find me on the school fundraising committee for Sally Foster. Sorry. If a store offers free gift wrap - then, perhaps, I will think about it.

During the pregnancy years of my circle of friends, there was one particular "new baby" gift bag that must have made the rounds at least 3 or 4 times. I have continued the tradition of keeping gift bags. Another new tradition is that of saving the cover of Christmas cards, cutting them into shapes, and reusing them as gift labels.




Oh! And how can I forget to mention that Timber Creek Farms has been sending "green bags" with my produce order! I've accumulated three of these bags which keep the produce fresher for a longer period of time. No extra charge! Sa-weet.

On a side note, I had a friend ask me recently why I use PaperbackSwap when I can just get a book from the library for free.
  • I do frequent the library. Between myself and the kids, we take out about 25 books a week. However, I am TERRIBLE at getting things back on time. I end up paying fines. Fines that cost more than PaperbackSwap.
  • Two: at the rate that I read, it is at times difficult to get the particular book that I would like from the library. With the library, you can only put a book on hold that is currently checked out. You can't just create a shopping cart, have someone pull your choices, and go pick up those books in the morning, or have them delivered. With PaperbackSwap, I can order what I want, when I want, and have them sent to my front door.
  • Three: I have books in my home that I don't care to keep, and rather than just bringing them to the thrift store, it is way more fun to send them off to someone who may want that title, (thus getting rid of clutter in my house), and then turning around and choosing a title that I DO want.
  • Four: shopping from home. I rarely get to the library by myself. Ever lost a kid in the stacks? I have.
  • Five: I can't afford to buy books and yet there are titles that I would like to own. So, now I can own them for $2.00.


Debbie said...

My mom always wrapped birthday presents in the Sunday Comics. Always a hit with the guest of honor. :)

Stace said...

GREAT PBS explanation! The bottom line is that when you are a reader...having books that you OWN is a good thing. I'm usually so frugal that I only use PBS credits for books I've read and are "keepers".
I don't save wrapping paper but bags are a big YES! Why spend more money AND just throw them away?