I feel like I am in the throes of a mental shift.
Everything I seem to think about lately is thrifty, money saving ideas. Probably due to this past year when the financial tsunami began and now here I am in clean-up aftermath mode. I'm planning to be cost effective- to reuse things, repurpose items- see things as they can be or could be. My kitchen cabinets are even now starting to fill with empty glass jars and containers that I'm sure will have some re-purpose.
I can't help but visit DIY blogs and find ideas about how to use things, or make them funky and fun in some new and interesting way. Even mason jars, baby food jars, pebbles, string, rope... it's all really about what you can create.
As a kid my mom canned and preserved a lot. We had jams and jellies for literally years in the pantry with a nice thick layer of wax sealer on them all, marked in black felt on the label or the lid when they were made. We had hand me downs from the neighbours, both clothes and toys. Most of my Barbies (and our Barbie motorhome) were from the neighbour girls. We had a Barbie "hot tub" that was just an ice cream bucket buried in the dirt. Barbie didn't mind and neither did we!
There's certainly nothing wrong with living smaller, regardless of whether you can "afford" new things or not. You truly will help yourself most if you live well within your means if not cushion yourself against those pitfalls and variables in life that we can't plan for. Hedge your bets. Trim the fat. Pull in the reigns. Slow it down. Most of all - reduce the stress and ENJOY it.