Making do with what you have.


We are on a tight budget right now due to a little immigration situation.  I won’t go into it but let’s say that every nickel is precious right now.  I will get more into that later but for this write up I want to share some fun ideas on using what you have.

This photo up above was my tiny pantry section.  I had this empty space and I needed more counter.  I found a wicker stand outside and a basket that had missing handles.  I turned the stand into a microwave table and banana ripening station.  The basket we turned into our mini root cellar basket where we store potatoes, onions, and garlic.  Add a plant and wax burner and it is quite cozy.


Here we have a branch that I cut off a house plant and soaked in water in the kitchen window a couple weeks.  The minute it had roots I planted it in a clay pot.  I have all sorts of potting soil in my garden beds and I have stacks of clay pots I got for free from a previous neighbor.  I cut vines and root them all the time and I must have 6 indoor and some outdoor plants that I have done recently.  They are all lush and getting big.  I’m into the ivory types as they are so hardy.  You soak once a month and feed now and then.  That’s it.  All these free plants!  I’m going to do some more this weekend.


I found a big ottoman at a thrift store a year ago.  It seemed to be in the way in the living room but in the dining room it has been converted into a sweet window seat were Joette (our adopted grannie) sips her coffee and reads her iPad.  A quilt and a few pillows did the trick.  These pillows and this quilt needed a purpose as well.


This is my laundry room.  I needed an office space and we have a small house so this had to do.  We took out the dryer and stored it in the garage since I use a clothes line outdoors.  PG&E is so expensive here!  We had a coffee table that made our living room too busy, I decided to make a sort of Japanese style office complete with a little wooden stool.  I used an old window curtain on the closet opening.  The closet stores the cat and dog food and cleaning supplies but I’m going to find free shelving on craigslist and make it into a stock pile pantry as well.


It gets busy with my printer and writing books.  This is where I pay bills, copy, scan, write blogs, and books, and do my schedules.  It seems odd that it is so low to the floor but it’s actually very comfortable.

We have no extra money for anything right now but it is so fun to look about and find new uses for furniture and things that you have stored and are gathering dust.


12 thoughts on “Making do with what you have.

  1. Love your small office, I just recently redecorated with some things I had and my mother in law gave me some metal sunflowers so pretty! (I love sunflowers) and it really dressed up my kitchen! I love the ottoman to! It’s amazing how we can completely change the looks of our home with what we already have! Have a blessed day Kate! Praying for you and your family! Were in a spot with nothing to spend either and we need to try and do things to keep us happy!


  2. I’ve just been reading your books for the first time. I have read, Every Penny, Lazy and Cheap and getting ready to read Funky and Frugal. I am loving your books and decided to check out your website. I’m a Frugalite from way back, I am sixty three years old.😊 It is so nice to see things from your unique and fresh perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love being inspired in this life and if I can write books to inspire others that is my goal. You may really like The HomeMade Housewife, that one loaded with ALL my best stuff, however, if you read everything else, this will be a bit repetitive. I also just put out Every Penny, more of a story of a life of frugality from my childhood through married life. It’s a short read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s