What’s Your Definition Of Thrift?

save-in-spainI’m always saying that this website isn’t about thrift, and yet I’ve been thinking that what could be classed as thrift for one person is just another person’s definition of being careful with money. Also taking the old adage that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and that, apparently, we live in a throwaway society, I thought I’d go over these ideas and see if anyone else would like to add their comments.

Does anyone else get annoyed by how creams, lotions, shampoos, etc seem to have finished but you know there’s still some left inside? Just take the scissors to the tube or otherwise destroy the container to get at what’s left (I sometimes find enough for another 4 or 5 uses!) Or how about that nice jam that I buy that must have the longest, fanciest glass jar in the store, which just makes it impossible to get at those last bits inside! I could go on, but you get the idea – a conspiracy theory that major manufacturers actively design product containers so we end up throwing part of a product away and buy another one.

What about school textbooks in Spain? For years there has been a law stating that textbooks should last for four years, however it’s taken a major recession for schools to actually follow this. Of course, I wouldn’t like to suggest that many schools were on to a nice little earner by changing textbooks every year… Most subjects don’t change (2+2 still equals 4, even after all these years) and even though teaching methods do evolve this is hardly on a yearly basis.

Spain hasn’t traditionally had a strong second hand market, but the recession has changed this – whether the trend will survive the recession will have to be seen. Now there are websites to buy and sell everything from baby clothes to used Ikea furniture and second hand stores such as Cash Converters have increased the number of stores in Spain by 50% over the last few years.

Have your habits changed during the recession or have you always been thrifty? What do you consider to be thrift vs being careful? We’d love to hear from you!