I thought it would be appropriate to mention this tiny tip this month, since February's Alternative Action Item is to bake bread. And many people out there are getting rid of credit cards or having the accounts close on them. That little piece of plastic may have been the bane of your existence, a temptation as potent as a drug, that has gotten you into a financial mess. It's a good thing to retire a credit card or two. But that doesn't mean the card itself is worthless to you. It need not end up in a landfill.
Instead, you can repurpose that stiff little piece of plastic into a baking tool. Bakers often need something to scrape dough off a wooden work surface, or off the inside of a container. The tool is called, appropriately enough, a dough scraper. Baker's supply catalogs will sell you specially made ones with extra features for $10. But really, all that's needed is a stiff, but somewhat flexible piece of plastic, curved on one side and straight on the other. The ones you can buy are bigger than a credit card, but there's no reason you can't work with a smaller version that fits neatly in your hand. And because you can make as many as you want from old membership cards and credit cards, it's possible to have a very large supply of them for baking day. An ordinary but sharp pair of scissors is all that's needed to make these hacked scrapers.
Using a homemade dough scraper made from retired spending enablers to bake your own bread is a great way to triple up your savings while increasing your self-sufficiency. It's a nice feeling to know that I can be a proficient baker without needing to spend money on specialized equipment. And it's feels good to keep another piece of plastic out of the landfill too.
Got any other tool hacks or repurposing stories you'd like to share?
I live on a 2/3 acre homestead in a residential neighborhood. A major goal is to demonstrate how much food a non-expert can produce in my particular climate and hardiness zone, with the soils native to my immediate area. We have gardens of annual and perennial plants, keep laying hens and honey bees, and regularly bite off more than we can chew. Another major goal is to pay off our mortgage as fast as possible. Here I blog about frugality, self-reliance, gardening, cooking and baking, food preservation, practical skills, half-baked experiments, and preparing to thrive in a lower-energy future.