Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Gena Bigler: Pinterest can save money, and
it’s a flashback to grandma’s ‘keeping’ box
Pinterest is saving me money. It is costing me tons of time, but I’m saving money. If you haven’t used it, Pinterest is an internet based cross between an old fashioned pin board and a scrap book. Most anything you find on the internet you can “pin” to a board. You can also “re-pin” items from other user’s boards. You can “follow” other people as well.
It reminds me of a box my grandmother used to keep. She would stash patterns, magazine clips of crafts and photos of things she planned to make someday. That box was almost as much fun as her box of lace or her jar of buttons.
Pinterest isn’t quite as cool as grandma’s boxes but it is easy to sort. Anything you pin, you can sort onto different boards by topic. There is a plethora of interesting and beautiful items on Pinterest. From do it yourself laundry detergent to amazing travel locations, you can find it on Pinterest. The crafts for children are amazing.
One of my favorite things about the site is trading recipes with a friend who lives over 500 miles away. I am also sharing kid party ideas with two other friends. We pin items whenever we have time. So when I am up with the baby in the middle of the night, I pin cool ideas for my friends to view when they have time.
You can also upload your own photos. I haven’t done it yet, but you could plan a great trip by creating a travel board to add links to hotels, tours and sights you plan to see. Pinterest is great for party or wedding planning. You can share a page with friends and share ideas from venues to dress options. Thrifty party decorations are plentiful, so are party theme ideas.
I’ve seen some “wish list” pages with links to artistic jewelry from Etsy and one of a kind purses from online stores. Fashion boards are plentiful and creative; from Vogue to Rockabilly, the creative clothing is stunning. Amazing reworking of t-shirts alone could keep you busy for weeks.
One of the coolest, I mean most useful, things about the site is the huge amount of do it yourself (DIY) recipes and craft ideas. Over the next few months, I plan to go through some of my favorite DIY recipes. I expect most of them to be real money savers. Pinterest has already reminded me of the huge benefits of using dried beans and has given me some great ideas for brown bag lunches. I’ve tried several recipes found there and they have been fantastic.
One of the most intriguing things on the site is the extreme DIY recipes for household detergents and cleaners. I consider myself pretty crafty, but never considered making my own laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent. I prefer ‘green’ cleaning products when possible but most of them are considerably more expensive than the chemical based mainstream cleaners. These DIY recipes aren’t very complicated and I’m looking forward to testing them. Some are so incredibly affordable it’s hard to believe they’ll be effective. If they are, I will mourn the large amount I’ve spent on cleaning solutions over the years.
There is a lovely irony to using such a technological tool to reach back to homesteading recipes and methods. I can’t wait to get started and share the results.
Gena Bigler is passionate about public service and credits her time serving non-profits in AmeriCorps and Volunteers in Service to America (V.I.S.T.A.) with teaching her extreme budgeting and bargain shopping. Gena is now CFO of a Kentucky business and serves on the board of the Kentucky RiverKeeper. Gena would be happy to hear from you at email@example.com