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How To Be A Frugal Engineer

Updated on November 19, 2016

You're Not Going To Throw That Out Are You?

This handy garden plow used to be a discarded bike tire and other found items.
This handy garden plow used to be a discarded bike tire and other found items. | Source

When Cheap is Chic

If necessity is the mother of invention, then frugality surely must be the father.

What's a person to do when trash heaps are the size of mountains, the world's population bulges much like American waistlines, and even scraping a living seems harder?

Don't agonize, my friend. Economize.

If you believe that cheap is chic and think it's cool to be creative, then Frugal Engineering is for you. Impact your little corner of the world by saving money and the planet at the same time.

Frugality has been heralded as a virtue by kings, ancient philosophers, American founding fathers, presidents, and industrialists. Learn and apply five basic principles of Frugal Engineering to change your little corner of the world.

Come on now -- you've got this!

Apple Picking At Its Finest

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My dad, a Frugal Engineer, displays his apple picker made out of a leg of jogging pants that had a hole in them.  And he is wearing the pants as cut-offs.Apples at the highest branches are no match for the Apple Picker.  They fall right in.
My dad, a Frugal Engineer, displays his apple picker made out of a leg of jogging pants that had a hole in them.  And he is wearing the pants as cut-offs.
My dad, a Frugal Engineer, displays his apple picker made out of a leg of jogging pants that had a hole in them. And he is wearing the pants as cut-offs. | Source
Apples at the highest branches are no match for the Apple Picker.  They fall right in.
Apples at the highest branches are no match for the Apple Picker. They fall right in. | Source

Principle 1: Stop Throwing Things Out

Americans produce 250 million tons of trash each year, an average of 4.3 pounds of garbage per person each day.1 On a per capita basis, we produce double the amount of garbage of Mexico or Japan -- and more than any other nation except Canada.2,3

But you, my friend, are no ordinary American.

No, you keep stuff. Plenty of it. You have the foresight to know that one day you are going to need that broken rake, those mismatched socks, or that electrical cord that does not work.

If there's one thing the Frugal Engineer is schooled in, it's the art of reusing and upcycling. He (or she) can take something that is broken, faded, rusted, mismatched, or just plain ugly and find a new use for it.

Before you can let your creativity take hold, however, you must stop throwing things out. Even if you cannot currently imagine another use for that unwanted item, just keep it. Stash it in a safe place, as you never know what need might arise later.

It could take years, or it could be week. One day you are going to need it, and you will be so thankful you saved it -- provided, of course, that you can still find it. (But hey, we're not going to go there.)

The Frugal Electric Fence

A Frugal Engineer, my dad saved this section of fence from going to the dump.  If you look closely, you can see the band of wire on top.  That's his homemade "electric fence."  Yep, it's actually electrified.  Don't touch it.
A Frugal Engineer, my dad saved this section of fence from going to the dump. If you look closely, you can see the band of wire on top. That's his homemade "electric fence." Yep, it's actually electrified. Don't touch it. | Source

My dad is my favorite Frugal Engineer. He has perfected the art of keeping stuff, having devoted an entire garage and a spare bedroom to storing assorted items with potential future use. Some might say it borders on hoarding, but no worry. Just let 'em talk. He's got plans for his stuff.

Our family refers to Dad's overstocked extra bedroom as "the Walmart room" because there's a little bit of everything in there, including homemade weightlifting equipment, a refurbished table, office supplies, books, computers, and gardening items.

If you cannot find what you need in the Walmart room, you probably don't need it. My daughter once needed a centimeter ruler for a class activity, and she didn't tell me until I was driving her to school. Rather than fretting, we simply swung by my parents' house and found what she needed in the Walmart room.

Be warned, however. Walmart rooms do not happen overnight. Think ahead by starting yours today. You'll be glad you did.

The Frugal Snowplow

Homemade snowplow, made with Frugal Engineering and discarded treasures.
Homemade snowplow, made with Frugal Engineering and discarded treasures. | Source

Quotes on Frugality

"Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship."

- Benjamin Franklin, scientist, author, American founding father

"He who does not economize will have to agonize."

- Confucius, ancient Chinese teacher and philosopher

"I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living."

- John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist

"There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else."

- Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist

"Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character."

- Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. President

"Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor."

- Samuel Johnson, English writer

"By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest."

- Agesilaus, king of Sparta

Principle 2: Discover the Value of Found Items

Not everybody understands the potential of their broken or surplus stuff. No, they just toss out whole sections of surplus fence. They discard rusty wheelbarrows and old encyclopedias. They toss mismatched dishes and utensils as well as out-of-date suitcases.

You, however, see the potential in other people's cast-offs. You can breathe new life into someone else's junk.

Put on your thinking cap and cruise the neighborhood on trash day before the garbage truck comes. Better yet, cruise a highfalutin neighborhood where they toss out really nice stuff. It'll be like going treasure hunting. The rule of thumb is that if it's at the curb, it's finders keepers. (Someone pinch me!)

My dad has salvaged items ranging from sun bleached lawn furniture to a broken table to a neon highway worker's vest to a prison uniform. Yep, a prison uniform. Isn't it intriguing to consider how that ended up in someone's trash?

Although I am merely a Frugal Engineer in training -- a mere babe in the woods -- one thing I have learned is that everyone wins when you're thrifty. When my neighbor's son outgrew his bike, they simply set it at the curb with the rest of the household garbage. Even though we had no use for it, I couldn't stand to see a nice bike go to waste. There are so many kids who would love to have their gently used junk.

I followed my dad's lead and salvaged it, looking over my shoulder to be sure no one saw who was taking it off the garbage man's hands. The bike worked perfectly, and I donated it to charity in exchange for a useful tax deduction.

What kind of treasures can you find?

Weightlifting, anyone?

Homemade weights have a frugal flair.  Thanks to spray paint, they can also be fashionable.
Homemade weights have a frugal flair. Thanks to spray paint, they can also be fashionable. | Source

Principle 3: Learn to LOVE Duct Tape and Spray Paint

There is bound to be some wear and tear on those treasures you are rescuing from the trash heap. In such case, a Frugal Engineer relies on the sacrosanct tools of the trade: duct tape and spray paint. The Frugal Engineer knows that if it's ugly, try spray paint, and if it's broken, duct tape will do the job.

Duct Tape Awesomeness

Duck Brand 280831 Hello Kitty Printed Duct Tape, 1.88 Inches x 10 Yards, Single Roll
Duck Brand 280831 Hello Kitty Printed Duct Tape, 1.88 Inches x 10 Yards, Single Roll

Every Frugal Engineer knows that if you can't fix it with duct tape, you haven't used enough. And if you're going to use duct tape, you might as well make it cute, too, right?

 

Duct Tape

Duct (or "Duck") tape is strong, flexible and sticks like a charm. It is made of three layered materials -- cotton mesh that allows it to be torn in both directions, a polyethylene coating, and a thick adhesive.4 It even comes in attractive patterns and colors, from hot pink to zebra stripe to camouflage.

This fix-it godsend was invented during World War II by Johnson & Johnson as a waterproof sealing tape for ammunition cases.5 Since then, it's been used for purposes as diverse as:

  • helping to repair in-flight mishaps on board NASA spaceflights (it helped save Apollo 13 from disaster)6
  • fixing the iPhone4's dropped call issue7
  • subduing unruly airline passengers8 and
  • as a deterrent for inchworm infestations, when used around tree trunks.

What other product is quite this versatile? Following terrorist threats in 2003, duct tape was even recommended by the federal government for inclusion in every American's emergency survival kit.9

In addition, you can use duct tape for everyday purposes as varied as car repair, hemming your pants in a hurry, and crafts galore (e.g., duct tape roses, purses, wallets, and prom dresses). It's even used as a medical home remedy for blister prevention and the removal of plantar warts. I have used it to stabilize a sore ankle.

True devotees of duct tape can even attend the annual Duck Tape Festival in Avon, OH, the home of Duck Tape® brand duct tape.

Resources For the Frugal Engineer

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cashing In On Your Inventions, 2nd Edition
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cashing In On Your Inventions, 2nd Edition

You know you've got inventions in you. From concept to market, this guide with tell you how to turn all those marvelous ideas into something tangible.

 

Spray Paint

Spray paint, or aerosol paint in a can, is another staple in the Frugal Engineering toolkit. It was invented in 1949 by Edward Seymour, an Illinois paint company salesman who wanted to demonstrate his product, an aluminum paint coating for radiators.10

Seymour's innovative wife suggested that he make a handheld, self-contained spray gun similar to spray deodorant. As a result, Seymour founded a company to manufacture the popular product. It is still in business today.

Spray paint offers the benefits of uniform application and portability, as it provides both paint and applicator in one product. It is quick drying, inexpensive, and comes in weather resistant varieties. Consequently, it has been successfully used by graffiti artists, hobby enthusiasts, and Frugal Engineers alike. If you want to give that sun bleached lawn furniture a new life, try spray paint. My dad has spray painted everything from motorcycle fenders to discarded barbeque grills to homemade weights.

What new life can you breathe into old objects with a can of spray paint and a roll of duct tape?

Upcycled Craftsmanship

My dad made this trivet from wooden stakes taken from signs directing guests to my wedding.  We still enjoy it 20 years later.
My dad made this trivet from wooden stakes taken from signs directing guests to my wedding. We still enjoy it 20 years later. | Source

Principle 4: Dude, Perfect Is For Dummies

Chances are, if you're working with duct tape and someone else's trash, you aren't too worried about perfection. That's good, because perfect is over-rated. Perfectionism involves setting unrealistic or unachievable personal standards. It is maladaptive and is linked with depression, anxiety, anorexia, and even suicide.11

That's not you, however.

You are committed to creativity and the science of "good enough." After all, why toil and fret over making something perfect when you can make it good enough -- good enough to keep and good enough to justify your investment of time?

Have fun with your treasure hunting and inventions, knowing that your handiwork is useful, creative, and beneficial for both the human spirit and the world we live in.

Behind Every Frugal Engineer ...

Short lady, long-handled yard tools.  My mom is not a Frugal Engineer herself, but she plays along.  These refurbished yard tools are a bit tall and heavy for her.
Short lady, long-handled yard tools. My mom is not a Frugal Engineer herself, but she plays along. These refurbished yard tools are a bit tall and heavy for her. | Source

Principle 5: Proudly Display Your Work

A Frugal Engineer knows that he or she was a duty to spread the love of recycling, upcycling, and repurposing.

Reader Poll

If you saw something really interesting in someone else's trash, would you salvage it?

See results

Point out to friends and family how you have transformed old, ugly, and broken junk into items they cannot find anywhere else. Show them the potential value of items they regularly sentence to the junkyard. Inspire them to salvage and create.

Also rethink gift giving by presenting loved ones with a sample your handiwork for special occasions. Not only will this approach save you money, but you can be sure that you are giving a one-of-a-kind gift they won't (and can't) return!

My dad, for example, no longer bothers with giving gifts unless they are one of his Frugal Engineering masterpieces. One of the gifts I prize most is the trivet he designed (see photo above). When I got married nearly 20 years ago, we used wooden stakes for signage directing guests to our wedding venue. Rather than trash the scrap wood, he upcycled it into something I still use today -- an apple-shaped trivet for protecting my kitchen table from hot dishes. Now that is a sentimental, frugal treasure!

Frugal Birdfeeder

Even the bird feeder is a piece of Frugal Engineering.  Its post is crafted from discarded fencing and a piece of metal.  Smart!
Even the bird feeder is a piece of Frugal Engineering. Its post is crafted from discarded fencing and a piece of metal. Smart! | Source

He has also turned problems into opportunities, including the following:

Apple Picker - Dad faced the challenge of how to pick apples at the top of his apple trees without the use of a ladder. Sometimes the apples hang on far branches, only to be eaten by birds before the apples finally fall.

Faced with this problem, he found a solution in an unusual place: a pair of jogging pants with a rip in the rear end. The Frugal Engineer thus cut one of his pants legs off below the knee and attached it to the end of an old pole. Ripe apples now can be coaxed to fall right into a small net made out of his jogging pants leg. Best of all, there was no sewing required thanks to safety pins and Velcro.

Euchre Scorekeeper - How do you keep score when playing the card game of euchre? If you're a Frugal Engineer, rather than use paper and pen, you recycle golf tees and an old block of wood by crafting a euchre counter. He's even sold a few of these ingenious and practical works of art.

Self-powered Snowplow - Using a salvaged wheel hoe, Dad designed a contraption that pushes snow out of the way. We don't live in a region where there is a lot of snow, but when the snow comes, he will be ready for it! Why put old tools in the dumpster when you can find new uses for them?

Homemade Weightlifting Equipment - Weightlifters pay way too much money for free weights and weight sets when they can make their own. My Frugal Engineer father used concrete and a homemade metal mold to produce his own weights, then he got really fancy by spray painting them. Purty!

Telescopic Extendable Branch Trimmer - Faced with the challenge of trimming high branches, Dad duct taped an old handsaw onto the end of a long pole. He can now trim small branches without reaching or climbing on a ladder.

Euchre Scorekeeper

This euchre scorekeeper is crafted out of a block of scrap wood.  Golf tees are counters.
This euchre scorekeeper is crafted out of a block of scrap wood. Golf tees are counters. | Source

Share Your Frugal Engineering Success

Now that you understand the five basic principles of Frugal Engineering, it's time to get busy. You've got the ingenuity and can easily find the materials. What treasures can you create with found items? If you have a clever, homemade invention you are especially proud of, tell us about it in the Comments Section below!

What's In A Name? Locations With Names Associated With Frugality and Inventing Things

show route and directions
A markerClever, Missouri, USA -
Clever, MO, USA
get directions

B markerEconomy, Pennsylvania, USA -
Economy, PA, USA
get directions

C markerFrugal Peak, Canada -
Frugal Peak, East Kootenay F, British Columbia, Canada
get directions

D markerGreenback, Tennessee, USA -
Greenback, TN, USA
get directions

E markerHandy, North Carolina, USA -
Handy, NC 27239, USA
get directions

F markerNickel, Texas -
Nickel, TX, USA
get directions

G markerJunk, Arizona, USA -
Junk, AZ, USA
get directions

H markerThrifty, Texas, USA -
Thrifty, TX, USA
get directions

I markerTreasure County, Montana, USA -
Treasure County, MT, USA
get directions

J markerWise, Virginia, USA -
Wise, VA, USA
get directions

Notes

1EPA. "Municipal Solid Waste." US Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed April 30, 2013. http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/.

2OECD. "Municipal waste - OECD Factbook 2013: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics." Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Accessed April 30, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/factbook-2013-71-en.

3The Conference Board of Canada. "Municipal waste generation." The Conference Board of Canada. Accessed April 30, 2013. http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/environment/municipal-waste-generation.aspx.

4BuyTape.com. "What is Duct Tape made of?" Accessed April 30, 2013. http://www.buytape.com/what_is_duct_tape_made_of.shtml.

5Gurowitz, Margaret. "Duct Tape: Invented Here!" Kilmer House. Last modified August 11, 2009. http://www.kilmerhouse.com/2009/08/duct-tape-invented-here/.

6Easton, Pam. "Group honors engineers who saved Apollo 13." Houston Chronicle. Last modified April 17, 2005. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Group-honors-engineers-who-saved-Apollo-13-1490754.php.

7Sutter, John D. "Got an iPhone 4? You may need duct tape." CNN.com. Last modified July 14, 2010. http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/07/13/iphone.4.duct.tape/index.html.

8Newcomb, Alyssa. "Raging Airplane Passenger Duct Taped to Seat." ABC News. Last modified January 5, 2013. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/01/raging-airplane-passenger-duct-taped-to-seat/.

9Meserve, Jeanne. "Duct tape sales rise amid terror fears." CNN.com. Last modified February 11, 2003. http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/11/emergency.supplies/index.html?_s=PM:US.

10Greenbaum, Hilary, and Dana Rubenstein. "The Origin of Spray Paint." The New York Times. Last modified November 14, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/who-made-spray-paint.html?_r=2&scp=22&sq=Ohio&st=nyt.

11Benson, Etienne. "The many faces of perfectionism." American Psychological Association (APA). Last modified November, 2003.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 17 months ago from USA

      Peggy - Good for you! It's not beyond me to "save" something from someone's wastefulness so I can donate it. Great way to get a tax deduction.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 17 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I was a volunteer counselor at an assistance ministry for many years that also had a thrift shop. Many items can be reused and put to good purpose. One day I saw an old grocery cart out at the curb in our neighborhood on garbage day. I checked and found out that it worked perfectly fine. The store that had its name on it had closed. So I rolled that cart all the way home while my hubby walked the dogs. It squeaked a bit but that was all remedied at the ministry and it was used to take groceries out to people's cars for many years. I have also picked up perfectly fine items and then donated them. People can be so wasteful! It is a shame!!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      electronician - My dad can sure stretch a dollar further than anyone I know. Glad you liked the hub. Have a happy, healthy & prosperous new year!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      susi10 - Thanks for stopping by and for the kind compliments. My dad gets more of a kick from upcycling than most people do from buying new stuff. Have a terrific new year.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      This is awesome, I love upcycling and the idea of a 'frugal engineer' is brilliant.

    • susi10 profile image

      Susan W 3 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Great hub, Flourish Anyway and is highly interesting! It just goes to show that everything can be recycled and reused again no matter what it is. Your father seems to be a very creative frugal engineer and with a brilliant mind too. I love the bird feeder, it's a great idea.

      I love your addition of the quotes as well, they are very inspiring. You have researched this topic very well and it is excellently formatted, well done. Voted up, interesting and shared.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Purpose Embraced - Thank you for reading and commenting. My dad is truly the master at upcycling, recrafting, recycling, and reusing. If only we use our imagination, we can breathe new life into old stuff.

    • Purpose Embraced profile image

      Yvette Stupart PhD 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Wow! This is really a great hub. To think how much we could save, and the satisfaction we can get, through the art of reusing and upcycling. Thanks for sharing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - He'll love your feedback! Thanks for the comment etc.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      Your Dad is very talented. Voted up, shared and pinned.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      phdast7 - Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It's good to know there are so many other "frugals" out there.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Rose-the-planner - Thank you for the comment and votes. My mother stopped fighting my dad's wackiness years ago. We all have talents, and his is inventing things. She learned that it's easiest to just let him do his thing. Sounds like your dad is similar with his gadgetry and inventions.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - Thanks for reading and sharing. It's amazing the inventions you can generate out of the stuff you already have (or what others toss away)!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Victoria - Thanks for the comment, votes and for sharing. One person's trash is certainly another's treasure. There are certainly upsides of hoarding!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Fabulous Hub!!! This was so meant for my family. Thank you. :)

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      First of all, your parents are such a cute couple and your dad is an amazing guy! I think it's wonderful to re-invent something the way he does. I love all of your images they really tell the story. By the way, love the garden plow. He reminds me a bit of my dad, he was always building gadgets from stuff in his garage. Honestly, his garage was like a hardware store. Thanks for sharing your dad's story with us. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Necessity is the mother or invention, and this is just great! Voted up and shared!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love this hub, and I love your dad! I guess once you get used to re-using, maybe you start seeing things more easily? I'm excited. I can now defend my "hoarding room." It does need to be organized, though. Maybe I'll be fired up to create my own "Wal-Mart room." Loved this hub. Gave it every vote I could find. So funny, too. I like your style. Sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      CZCZCZ - Thank you for the read. My dad always has something inventive!

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Great tips in being frugal. I liked all of the pictures you have included.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      @rust - Thanks for the read. I loved your Frugal Engineering flair!

    • rust profile image

      rust 4 years ago from East Texas Woods

      Check out my pepper planter. Pics at this hub:

      https://hubpages.com/travel/An-East-Texas-Notebook...

      Got a great kick out of your article! I save things and repurpose them all the time.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Your husband sounds like he is cut of the same cloth as my father. I like how your husband is trying to teach the kids a lesson but also keeping safety in mind. Sounds like it's working! Perhaps he can peddle his homemade inventions to neighbors. Thank you for the vote, read and comment. I appreciate the time you took to read the hub.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Your dad sounds just like my husband. He has a "scrap heap" of metal objects and lumber behind his shop. Not to mention all the "good stuff" that he keeps in the shop. He recently built our new mailbox. Kids were bashing mailboxes along our road and after replacing our mailbox the 2nd time, he built one out of a piece of large metal pipe, a little cement and spray paint. It will fall over if hit hard enough, (to keep anyone from breaking an arm when bashing,) but itself is "unbreakable". Apparently the kids tried bashing it only once since it was put in place. Now he has had to make another one for one of our kids that live in the country also. I think your dad and my hubby are a dying breed. Frugality and imagination, put together, can accomplish so much! Great hub, kudos to your dad! Voted up, useful and interesting! :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Dolores! There's an inventor in many of us just struggling to get out! Glad you enjoyed the hub, and I appreciate your comment and share!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Your father is some creative guy. That's what it takes to be thrifty and to reuse. I love the apple picker! Funny, I was just browsing through a Restoration Hardware catalog full of furniture remade from salvaged wood and metal. The stuff costs a fortune!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, bac2basics! So many people throw away items that others could use. Giving other people's junk a second life becomes a creative challenge as well as a "green" action! My dad proves it can be really fun.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Flourishaway. I loved this hub and the messages it sends. Your dad is really inventive and has the skills to make someone elses trash look classy. I don´t have his skills but if a recycled item does the job you wanted it to, then it doesn´t have to look perfect, and I´m pleased you made this point too. Great hub , voted up and sharing :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the read and comment, Pandula77. It's fun (and sometimes funny) to recycle and reinvent. Hope you rediscover it. We have a blast looking at my father's inventions. Some of them are diamonds, others diamonds in the rough.

    • pandula77 profile image

      pandula77 4 years ago from Norway

      When I read this hub it reminds me of my younger days where I always want to invent my own tools and toys. Those days have passed but after reading this, I believe that I can re-live the past with little effort and innovation.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Suzanne! We call it "the fence to nowhere" because it goes only halfway around the garden. Maybe he can find another half (or suitable match) sometime soon. Ha! Glad to know there are Frugal Engineers everywhere!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      Excellent! My uncle and I are frugal engineers (he more than I). I cannot stand to see perfectly good stuff being hauled off to the dump. I can't believe your dad was able to snag that great fencing! I wish I'd been there! :D

      Voted up, awesome and shared! :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      DREAM ON, he will love your endorsement! Thanks so much for the read and the kind sentiments. Frugal Engineers unite!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      I thought I was the only one that likes to be creative.I hate to throw away things when they still have use.Sometimes I am not sure but I will give it a try.Now if I get stuck I will have to ask your Dad for some suggestions.I was thrilled with your hub.Send a big hello to your dad who fixes old things to made them extra- ordinary things.I know your following in his footsteps and I can't wait to see your great inventions.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the read and the vote, rajan.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is really smart and creaive and I certainlt enjoyed reading.

      voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Agusfani, you are a Frugal Engineer in your own right the way you craft beautiful art structures out of plastic bottles! Thanks for the read.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      It really is a motivating hub for everyone to be a frugal engineer. I always try to be one by making use of potential wastes around me to be useful like fixing old broken fan then change its function as a grilling fan, empty containers for making compost, etc. I also do some crafting from biscuit cans too which prevent those empty cans from becoming mosquito nests. Thank you for sharing this useful hub.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, kidscrafts! It really works! He demonstrated it for me. Thanks for the read.

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      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very interesting hub! I love the garden plow with the discarded bike tire and other items.... just brilliant! I will share that idea with one of my sons who has a small farm and tries to extend slowly the space he uses for his vegetables.

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      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you, bdegiulio! I appreciate the read and comment. He'll love the kudos.

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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting, your dad's a creative guy. Love the snowplow. One man's trash really is some else's treasure. Great job.