Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Netherlands is poor. The recession has hit us so hard, we couldn’t withstand it. And now we are all broke, poor beggars. Newspapers dedicate whole chapters to poverty and poor people. Second hand and thrift shops keep on popping up around the town. Food banks scream for help because they are not able to feed the ever-growing number of clients. Even big shops try to give tips on saving and doing things on a tight budget.

I don’t know how the latest issue of AH Wathandig found its way to our kitchen table. I came down for a super late brunch today and saw it there. I never pick up this magazine at the supermarket because it contains literally nothing but advertising. I must have opened it on a wrong page, but the first thing I saw: “Nowadays I cut open the seemingly empty tubes of toothpaste and cream. I still get quite a lot of product out of them this way.” Dûh!

Never mind, I turn a couple of pages. It’s time to budget-decorate the house. Take a large sheet of coloured cardboard; collects all kinds of (s)craps: dry tree leaves, postcards, cut-outs of cute cats and Bambies from magazines (in short: stuff that belongs in the dustbin); tape all that to the cardboard. For that you will only need to buy a set of three rolls of decorative tape for €2.59 and probably a large sheet of coloured cardboard. And maybe some foam to strengthen the cardboard. Ok maybe a cute postcard or two. Voilà! (Euh, why would you want to do this?) The magazine also gives tips on how to uselessly deploy the leftovers of the decorative tape.

Here's a how-to
If you are poor, you don’t throw things away. You repurpose. Here’s how to repurpose old little toys once your kid stopped playing with them. Collect some glass jars with a lid; glue the toy to the lid; spray the lid and the toy with paint = done! You just need to buy some suitable glue (from €2.29). And a spray can of paint or several spray cans if you want your jars in different colours. Now all you have to do is to find some crap to keep in those jars. Of course you can always buy something.

I think the recession did not hit us hard enough. There’s still room to go until we have no useless stuff around the house to repurpose and no money to buy supplies for useless ‘home decorations’. Then we’ll be closer to poor. We might also become much happier then.

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