Cheapskate’s Guide

Some friends of mine occasionally make fun of my…thrifty habits. But you know what? Despite what Gordon Gecko thinks, cheapskatery is good. And I don’t just mean good for your bank balance, it can also be good for the environment and the community.

We human folk use a lot of energy and resources manufacturing goods to make our lives easier or more enjoyable. When they break or we no longer have use for them we get rid of them and replace them with something new. I do it all the time myself so I’m not going to try and shame you for it. But it does add up to being kinda wasteful, not to mention expensive.

There are some alternatives to needless consumerism (note I say needless, some is still necessary these days for our individual and community survival) that reduce our dependence using more energy and other resources, which in turn benefits the environment. And that is what this little section is about.

Purchasing clothes, books, homewares and furniture from Op Shops is a great way to re-use unwanted stuff that might otherwise go to landfill. As an extra benefit, the money you spend helps fund the work of many charities doing great work in your local community. If like me you live in Western Australia, check out the guide Op Shops in the Perth metro region. Sometime soon I will try to add one for regional WA as well.

Personally, however, I’d rather not buy furniture at all, especially when you go verge shopping and get stuff for free. Yes, browsing the streets on bulk rubbish collection days are wonderful proof that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’ll soon be adding a list of dates of verge collection days for each of the councils in the metro region, along with my tips for successful scrounging.

Those are the main two guides for cheapskate living that I have in mind at the moment, and I have to finish those before I come up with any more. If you have a good idea for cheap and environmentally/socially useful living, make a suggestion in the comments.



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