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Ways I Save Money – More About Being Resourceful (with pics this time!)

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Back in December of 2006, I mentioned that one of the ways that I save money is to be resourceful. I described a swing that I made for our son.

I don’t have enough pics on here, so I decided to show you how I am resourceful. Prepare yourself – I love using duct tape!!

First of all, the problem that needed to be solved…

We are fortunate to have cherry trees in our yard. We were also fortunate to have been left a decent ladder by those we purchased our house from. With that ladder, we can pick a lot of cherries. The problem lies with the last 1/4 of the tree. We cannot get to those cherries. The birds eat some, but as soon as the cherries get dark purple, they seem to stop by less often and if we don’t pick them they go bad.

The dark ones are the real juicy and sweet ones. It’s hard to see them go to waste. Sure, we could buy a higher ladder or a fancy gadget that could help us pick the high ones. We could even buy a cherry picker truck (which would thrill our son), but there’s no way we should be spending money right now. Money is tight.

What’s left? Making something new from things we already have.

I sat down the other night and started brainstorming ideas of how to make our very own cherry picker. While I won’t be rushing to patent this idea (it definitely has its flaws), it is working as I had hoped and my son cannot quit talking about how neat it is. He wants to use it every chance he can get.

Here it is (you can click on the smaller pics to see the full picture).

Here’s what I used to make it:

  • The handle from a Swiffer Sweeper (which can be put back after cherry season)
  • Cardboard to make the box
  • One rubber band
  • Two shoelaces (which also can be put back after cherry season)
  • And the best thing of all…duct tape

How does it work?

The rubber band on the back of the cherry picker keeps the lid semi-open. I find a cherry, get it inside the box, then pull the shoelace to close the lid. Pulling on the entire picker causes the cherry to come off the stem and stay in the box. The box is lowered to an anxious hand and a lovely cherry rolls out.

I totally impressed my son, we didn’t spend any money, I stretched my imagination a little and we have more cherries to eat this year. It may not be the prettiest cherry picker, but it works πŸ˜‰


17 Comments

  • Reply Letha James |

    That is too funny! lol You go girl…..see women make good engineers too!

  • Reply Kim L. |

    That’s fantastic!! Having a 5-yr old son myself, I know just how cool that would be for him! I’m also incredibly jealous of your cherries. My daughter and I have a new found love of them but they are not cheap.

  • Reply Justine |

    That’s awesome!! We all need to first think about being resourceful and creative rather than just running out and buying more stuff to solve ever problem/want that comes along.

  • Reply Chris |

    Thats a neat little invention you have there. Duct tape has a lot of uses. I once saw a show on TV about a couple in High School that made their outfits for Prom 100% out of duct tape.

  • Reply Patrick |

    This is wonderful. Money has been choking up my neck ever since I started working and somehow I haven’t manage to have a debt free life..

  • Reply Kate |

    Wow! That is great to read; I love hearing about creativity and inventiveness driven by frugality. That’s what frugality is all about. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Frugal Babe |

    Love it! Years ago, I was in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, and several of us got together to take a group of students up Mt. Kilimanjaro. The kids wore donated gear, and some of it was on its last legs. One boy showed us the sole of his boot on day one (of a six day trek) and it was flapping all over, only attached at the heel. Out came the duct tape, and he hiked all the way to the top and back with his boot held together with duct tape.
    I love your creativity here – and what a great lesson you’re teaching your son!

  • Reply Amber Jones |

    It’s always great to see someone use some imagination instead of running to the store to get the latest and greatest. If it does what you need it to do, then there ya go. No need to spend money. Use what you have. After all, you are helping the enviroment by being green and reusing things with a new purpose. Kudos to you!

So, what do you think ?