Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that, probably during the Depression or some wartime crunch. But I love its sentiment: the idea that what we have is enough. "Making do" is not really something you see advertised alongside Big Gulps and $35,000 handbags. Last weekend in the Times
' opinion section, I saw this piece
about a divorced Brooklyn mother of two who fell on hard times and resorted to starting a victory garden and baking her own bread to get by. (A former Bergdorf Goodman shopper and unwilling to give up perfume, she now makes her own from fragrant herbs!) It was very inspiring, and it gave me serious pause when I went to write "mint tea" on the grocery list that's posted on the door of our fridge. Instead, I went out to the garden and harvested huge armfuls of fresh mint. I had cut the unruly plants back a month ago—and frozen and preserved some leaves then—but they had grown in more vigorously than ever. While I was out there, I also snipped lots of other things to dry and use over the coming winter months.