SuperScrimping – Patching It Up And Polishing It Out

This post was originally planned for yesterday but I’m glad I delayed it, as last night I watched SuperScrimpers on Channel 4.

It would appear that the subject of this post is becoming popular once more.

Patching it up, polishing it out, making do and mending. And of course reducing what we waste, be that food, cloth or just items that we would once have disposed of, that we can breath new life into.

Repair rather than replace.

The comments made by you Guys to my post last Wednesday were amazing. Thank you all. I immediately located some denim patches to resurrect my favourite jeans (boy! I wish I hadn’t ragged the last two pairs of that cut/style). Then as fate would have it, Dan’s jean’s developed a hole also. Two pairs of jeans are about to be repaired at a total cost of less than £1.

Whilst I’m in the ‘make do and mend’ groove I’m going to polish my favourite boots.

These boots arrived at Chez Wright, with one previous owner, about 3 years ago. They cost £35, second-hand. They get worn day in, day out, apart from the summer when they get replaced by a pair of flip flops. We almost parted company early last year when I developed very wet feet on one rainy school run. Temptation called, and a pair of Dune boots I had seen many months before were delivered. And then they were returned and refunded. I couldn’t do it. My trusty riding boots were repaired at the local cobblers for £12.50 (10% off the cost of the new pair). A simple thing like polishing them should delay significant aging and deterioration.

I really enjoyed SuperScrimpers. Not because it taught me anything I don’t already know (metal skewer through jacket potatoes for more efficient cooking? I’ve been doing it years!), but because it’s promoting a culture I believe in. I don’t want a disposable, consumable life to be the norm and any help in spreading the word if so welcomed.

The highlight of the program for me was watching Gem show ladies how to ‘superscrimp’ on their nail art. Demystifying the techniques of applying polish so that the added value prices of nail boutiques can be avoided. I love a bit of creativity! She’s a real DIY girl! Go Gem!

(The shock of the show was the family wasting £50 worth of food a week – but more on that on Friday as part of No Waste Tastes Great)

What ‘make do and mend tips’ do you have? Have you salvaged something that was headed for the bin, or are there some things that just need to go?

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Don’t forget I am now posting daily on Facebook! There’s some good conversation going, so if Facebook’s your thing why not head on over?

(there’ll be a photo of my freshly polished boots later – what a glamorous life I lead? haha!)

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • faraway2112 January 25, 2012, 2:49 am

    On the topic of mending… I have a problem where I pop the elbows on my left sleeve,, (I get bored at work and rest my chin on my left hand while my right works the computers mouse). Needless to say, I have busted out some really cool shirts. Some were a little too small to continue in service and have been ‘assigned other duties’. But the ones that are still fine otherwise I have taken to a local tailor and he’s fixed them on the cheap! I saved more shirts from the rag bag and extended their life. Also, saved money buying more shirts!

    Can’t wait to see the boots!

    • simplybeingmum January 25, 2012, 3:57 pm

      Hey Mike – Like the blue shirt on your ‘about’ photo! Still having an outta body experience with the comments, everyone’s talking about stuff I’ve been up to these last 24 hours! So glad a tailor can fix them up for you, it makes sense all round. You’re reducing waste, saving money (and time shopping) and also giving a skilled person some work rather than consuming. Makes sense to me. I popped into a tailors yesterday to see whether I could have my jeans replicated, but it is rather expensive plus the material so I need to give it some thought. However I really like the idea of having my own unique pair of jeans, that may even be made out of part recycled fabrics etc…
      Sorry no photo yet of the boots on Facebook, I’m a little behind on a few things today… getting round to it! Will be heading on over to your blog when I get 5 to sit with a coffee!

      • faraway2112 January 25, 2012, 11:11 pm

        That is my oldest and favorite shirt that I needed to have mended. I thought, no body looks at my elbow, so why not fit it. So many others would have just tossed it away. I think, we need to be more pratical with our things and try to have them fixed before we dispose of them.

        Take it easy!

  • faraway2112 January 25, 2012, 2:49 am

    On the topic of mending… I have a problem where I pop the elbows on my left sleeve,, (I get bored at work and rest my chin on my left hand while my right works the computers mouse). Needless to say, I have busted out some really cool shirts. Some were a little too small to continue in service and have been ‘assigned other duties’. But the ones that are still fine otherwise I have taken to a local tailor and he’s fixed them on the cheap! I saved more shirts from the rag bag and extended their life. Also, saved money buying more shirts!

    Can’t wait to see the boots!

    • simplybeingmum January 25, 2012, 3:57 pm

      Hey Mike – Like the blue shirt on your ‘about’ photo! Still having an outta body experience with the comments, everyone’s talking about stuff I’ve been up to these last 24 hours! So glad a tailor can fix them up for you, it makes sense all round. You’re reducing waste, saving money (and time shopping) and also giving a skilled person some work rather than consuming. Makes sense to me. I popped into a tailors yesterday to see whether I could have my jeans replicated, but it is rather expensive plus the material so I need to give it some thought. However I really like the idea of having my own unique pair of jeans, that may even be made out of part recycled fabrics etc…
      Sorry no photo yet of the boots on Facebook, I’m a little behind on a few things today… getting round to it! Will be heading on over to your blog when I get 5 to sit with a coffee!

      • faraway2112 January 25, 2012, 11:11 pm

        That is my oldest and favorite shirt that I needed to have mended. I thought, no body looks at my elbow, so why not fit it. So many others would have just tossed it away. I think, we need to be more pratical with our things and try to have them fixed before we dispose of them.

        Take it easy!

  • Slackerjo January 25, 2012, 12:48 pm

    My entire apartment is a shrine to recycled goods. I put up quite a few shelves to display things (I have enough stuff for a 2 bedroom apt but live in a 1 bedroom which saves me quite a bit of money) and all but 4 of the shelves are made from recycled materials from the garbage. I made a video about it and you can see it here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkej9YoarE0&feature=player_embedded

    I have no more room for any garbage finds so now I load up my car and drop them off at various thrift stores. So far since December, I have filled my car with 7 loads of stuff. Sadly, if unclaimed in the free cycle section of our building, the staff has no choice but to put it curbside to go to the landfill 🙁

    • simplybeingmum January 25, 2012, 3:50 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your video! Fantastic! Hurrah indeed for shelves!
      I’m having a bit of an out of body experience today. Sharron below is talking spag bol which is what I was photographing for a post and you’re talking about going up! I had an idea earlier about ‘going up’ – my Son has a castle in his bedroom and it’s taking up loads of floor space. I was thinking of getting a pulley system going so we can raise the castle off the floor (safely of course!)…
      I’ll be heading on over to your blog to check it out!
      Loving the music (and of course Bo!)

  • Slackerjo January 25, 2012, 12:48 pm

    My entire apartment is a shrine to recycled goods. I put up quite a few shelves to display things (I have enough stuff for a 2 bedroom apt but live in a 1 bedroom which saves me quite a bit of money) and all but 4 of the shelves are made from recycled materials from the garbage. I made a video about it and you can see it here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkej9YoarE0&feature=player_embedded

    I have no more room for any garbage finds so now I load up my car and drop them off at various thrift stores. So far since December, I have filled my car with 7 loads of stuff. Sadly, if unclaimed in the free cycle section of our building, the staff has no choice but to put it curbside to go to the landfill 🙁

    • simplybeingmum January 25, 2012, 3:50 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your video! Fantastic! Hurrah indeed for shelves!
      I’m having a bit of an out of body experience today. Sharron below is talking spag bol which is what I was photographing for a post and you’re talking about going up! I had an idea earlier about ‘going up’ – my Son has a castle in his bedroom and it’s taking up loads of floor space. I was thinking of getting a pulley system going so we can raise the castle off the floor (safely of course!)…
      I’ll be heading on over to your blog to check it out!
      Loving the music (and of course Bo!)

  • sharron January 25, 2012, 3:06 pm

    Jo, i could write a book on making do and mend, i’ve been doing it most of my life!! It comes so naturally to me i wonder how i ever got in debt!! (all gone now) I have a very similar pair of boots from duo, i bought them on the hottest day in July 3 years ago on Ebay, i paid £15 including postage (they retail at £150-£175) and had only been worn once. I love them and they get better with wear. Once the sole goes i know i will be replacing it.

    Now superscrimpers had me screaming at the telly, i am the queen of convnience and even i couldn’t spend £200 on food a week. But did you see when she did go shopping, she bought Dolmio!? And that was her scrimping pff!!

    The lovely lady with the radtior has a blog that i enjoy reading and the cooking lady is marvelous. Got to say i’m so glad being thrifty is cool again, might get ‘enuf respecto’ of my kiddos for the way i am (Although i should let you all know, i spent many years in the darkness, largely ignoring thriftyness and being spend a holic)

    Good job on the jeans jo!

    Sharron x

    P.s i bought a slow cooker !!

    • simplybeingmum January 25, 2012, 3:45 pm

      Firstly so glad you got a slow cooker! Yay!
      I didn’t catch the Dolmio bit, I must have been doing something (as was pottering in kitchen). I do keep a jar in for emergencies from time to time, but only for emergency lasagne not spag bol (I keep a jar of white sauce also). In fact this is rather weird but this PM I’ve made a spag bol from scratch and photographed it. I’m going to post my simple spag bol recipe tonight.
      I’m with you on thrifty being cool! Long may it last, it’s no longer a taboo subject we can rejoice in our frugality! Hurrah 🙂

      • Jo H. January 26, 2012, 7:09 pm

        Chiming in to say I am so glad it’s no longer shameful to be frugal! – Jo H.

        • simplybeingmum January 27, 2012, 10:44 am

          I know! We’re ‘bang on trend’ as Gok Wan would say! Great to see you here Jo! Hope all good!

  • sharron January 25, 2012, 3:06 pm

    Jo, i could write a book on making do and mend, i’ve been doing it most of my life!! It comes so naturally to me i wonder how i ever got in debt!! (all gone now) I have a very similar pair of boots from duo, i bought them on the hottest day in July 3 years ago on Ebay, i paid £15 including postage (they retail at £150-£175) and had only been worn once. I love them and they get better with wear. Once the sole goes i know i will be replacing it.

    Now superscrimpers had me screaming at the telly, i am the queen of convnience and even i couldn’t spend £200 on food a week. But did you see when she did go shopping, she bought Dolmio!? And that was her scrimping pff!!

    The lovely lady with the radtior has a blog that i enjoy reading and the cooking lady is marvelous. Got to say i’m so glad being thrifty is cool again, might get ‘enuf respecto’ of my kiddos for the way i am (Although i should let you all know, i spent many years in the darkness, largely ignoring thriftyness and being spend a holic)

    Good job on the jeans jo!

    Sharron x

    P.s i bought a slow cooker !!

    • simplybeingmum January 25, 2012, 3:45 pm

      Firstly so glad you got a slow cooker! Yay!
      I didn’t catch the Dolmio bit, I must have been doing something (as was pottering in kitchen). I do keep a jar in for emergencies from time to time, but only for emergency lasagne not spag bol (I keep a jar of white sauce also). In fact this is rather weird but this PM I’ve made a spag bol from scratch and photographed it. I’m going to post my simple spag bol recipe tonight.
      I’m with you on thrifty being cool! Long may it last, it’s no longer a taboo subject we can rejoice in our frugality! Hurrah 🙂

      • Jo H. January 26, 2012, 7:09 pm

        Chiming in to say I am so glad it’s no longer shameful to be frugal! – Jo H.

        • simplybeingmum January 27, 2012, 10:44 am

          I know! We’re ‘bang on trend’ as Gok Wan would say! Great to see you here Jo! Hope all good!

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