Thursday, January 26, 2012

The $1 per use guideline

A few years ago I was at a papercrafts show with my sister.  We were doing a make-and-take and the girl at the booth was telling us about her friend (let's call her Jane, as I can't remember what her name was).  Before Jane would buy any new stamps, she would ask herself, "can I use this stamp at least three ways?"  Before we had finished at that booth, Jane herself arrived, and promptly began showing off the new stamps she had purchased from another vendor.  "ah yes" I said, "but can you use them three ways?"  You should have seen the look on her face as a complete stranger repeated her philosophy!

I think we all agree with Jane, at least in theory - we want good value from our purchases!  But sometimes we don't stop and think before we buy something new about how much we'll actually use it, or we have good intentions, but then our focus shifts to something else new before we've done justice to the first purchase.

So that's where the $1 per use guideline comes in.  For every dollar I spend on any given item, that's the number of times I need to use it before I buy a similar item.  So a $3 packet of flowers would need to be used 3 times before I bought any new flowers, for example.

Now, because I'm still a believer in the stash, (but in a controlled way) the other option is that the new item gets incorporated into the stash, but I need to use a similar item from the stash twice as many times.  In other words, if the $3 packet of flowers goes into the stash, I would need to use other flowers from my stash 6 times before I could buy more flowers.

At the moment I'm envisioning this applying this guideline to things like embellishments, stamps and other tools.

My first big purchase of the year is a stamp set I bought on Ebay for $17.  So, before I buy any more stamps this year, I will need to use those stamps 17 times, other stamps 34 times, or any combination of the two.

Bring on the challenge!

The set I purchased is a Stampin' Up accessory set, which matches their Family set of bodies, heads etc my sister gave me for Christmas a couple of years back.  This new set includes (among other things) a skateboard and tae kwon do uniform.  I've had this set on my Ebay "watch" list for ages now, but couldn't afford it last year.

Last night, when I dropped the kids off at Tae Kwon Do, we received the happy news that one of the women who trains there had her baby earlier this week.  So I raced home and made this card:

So that's one use down, 16 to go!

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