Over 70 years ago Americans were encouraged to be frugal to help the war effort.
"Use it Up, Wear it Out Make it Do or Do Without" was used as a rallying cry for frugality.
The motto is used once again by frugal people to help their families and country.
Use what up?
Anything we consume from food to toiletries can be used completely.
Finish a bottle of ketchup before buying another one.
Don't buy a new bottle of shampoo until your current bottle is empty.
This Just in time approach reduces costs because we tend to stretch each product for more value before replacing it.
Wear it out
Buy high quality goods that will wear out at a much slower pace than poor quality merchandise.
Years ago a man driving a Mercedes told me why he bought the car.
He explained that he was able to drive his Mercedes over 500,000 miles!
He was wearing out his old car.
He would have paid more buying brand new cars every 7 years than buying a high quality durable car.
While living in Europe I purchased a pair of gloves and a jacket.
Eighteen years later I still have both the jacket and the gloves.
Just recently a friend borrowed my gloves and exclaimed, "these are warm!"
High quality goods tend to endure for many, many years as we try to wear them out.
Make It do
This is good to remember when we think we need to replace instead of repair.
In The Millionaire Next Door we learn that wealthy people "make it do" by resoling their shoes and reupholstering their furniture.
They "make it do" by fixing and repairing.
If a button falls off of your outfit, do you sew a button on or buy a new outfit?
Your child has holes in his jeans.
Do you iron a patch on or throw them away?
The key to doing without is gratitude.
Gratitude for the blessings we have creates a feeling of contentment which allows us to do without many luxuries.
A few really nice outfits provides greater joy than two dozen average outfits.
Foregoing the latest electronic gadget (or at least waiting a few months after the newest version is released) not only saves money but allows us to control things instead of things to controlling us.
"Use it Up, Wear it Out Make it Do or Do Without” is one of the great mantras of frugality.
Want to love people more than things and not be controlled by consumption or materialism?
Memorize this mantra and use it often.
(Photograph courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)