Thrift, described in the dictionary as "wise economic management" or "frugality" may soon become a frequent topic of conversation. Yet, if I think about it, I've been engaged in some household thrift practices over the years. Take women's tights; one can get a ladder or hole in one leg and retain a perfect second leg. Cut off the imperfect one at thigh level and discard; you're left with a one legged tight and waistband top. It might raise a few eyebrows when hanging out on the line but persevere till the same scenario happens again and you match up your two one legged tights! For this to work, you must buy the same colour tights each time.The downside is that you have two waistband tops on the tights, but in Wintertime, this gives extra warmth. If you are of a very thrifty nature, the old discarded leg can be successfully used for storing tulip bulbs which will hang in the garden shed! Other ideas for "wise economic management" are, saving the elastic bands from bunches of flowers and tweeking out the corners of Tetra packs of milk, juice or yogurt drinks. I estimate that you can save approx 0.5 ml extra per week per pack. This is a staggering 26 mls per annum. Just consider the savings you make here! Christmas time brings unique opportunities for clawing back some of the overspent cash. Scrutinise the stamps on your post carefully. You will be amazed at the amount of stamps without a postmark.Steep the stamps in cold water, remove the backing paper, dry out on a tissue and re-apply using glue stick. (Hope there are no An Post employees reading this!) Try to use your stash of stamps up in the Springtime as people will guess what you've been up to if Baby Jesus is on your post during the Summer. Christmas cards can be recycled by making clever cut outs, punching a hole in the corner and using the following year as gift tags. If you're into a combination of thrift and time saving, remove all the gift tags from the discarded paper each year and store in a corner of the desk till next Christmas Eve. It saves a half an hour for stressed out Mothers and is a God send. I guarantee you, no one will notice! Hold on to those Jiffy padded envelopes; paste a piece of paper over the address and re-use! The Dutch nation have a name for being thrifty and this is reflected in some of their household gadgets. While living in the Netherlands I came across an ingenious kitchen utensil; a small plastic rod with a flexible half moon shaped attachment on the end. I'd call it a "scraper-outer." When a jar or bottle is almost empty, this gadget will
scrape it clean. These are small examples of thriftiness but they give great satisfaction.Who knows, some readers may regard tights, tetra packs and Christmas post in a different light from now on and be converted to the art of thrift!