It’s an ugly, jargon-y word, I know — but it’s exactly the word for my purpose. I want to incentivize making over buying in my rationing experiment. I’ve mentioned before that the yarn for a sweater is a massive coupon eater, and I’ve noticed purchasing fabric is almost just as many coupons as buying a finished garment. My goal is of course to mind my coupons, but I also want clothing infused with creativity, stories, time, energy, careful thought — and the way I know how to do that is to make.

Here is my attempt at a rationing scheme based on the system I was using, but the coupons for things I make are halved then rounded up to a whole number if necessary. For example, a purchased sweater is 5 coupons, so a hand knit sweater is 3 coupons (5 halved = 2.5, which gets rounded up to 3). Remember, the yarn I bought for my last sweater cost 18 (!) coupons — a disincentive if I ever saw one.

I made a little chart for posterity:


I had to make a handmade scribbly looking thing after using the word incentivize, you know! I switched Make and Buy by accident — ooops. I blame Sharpie fumes. It’s ok. I’m not wasting paper to do it again. πŸ™‚

Second tweaking of the rationing plan this year, but I do want to make it my own, and sustainable. Yes, I plan to keep this up for yet another year!

That being said, I realized that I didn’t yet record my coupons for the most recent top I sewed.


Since it was made, it costs 3 coupons.

I’m not going to go back and change the coupons for anything recorded in the past. I will take one for the team with my 18 coupon sweater yarn purchase (still smarting from that one)!


Clothing: 12 out of 66
Soap: 7 out of 12
Tea: 25 out of 30


  1. I don’t know how to do the symbol handclap thing but big round of applause here!!!! That makes complete sense.

    PS – I love your rebellious instinct: a fun hand-scribbled note to record your home economics (i.e. real economics) decision after reluctantly using a management-speak word.

    1. He hee πŸ™‚ I was going to make an excel spreadsheet but then I said to myself, I’ve got my note here! I’ll just take a photo of it!

      I got the idea because at work, when people want to request their academic transcript, we require a handwritten signature on the form to release it. If they email the request and don’t have a scanner, we tell them to take a photo of it and attach it to an email.

      I suspect even this will change because digital signatures are becoming more widespread. Digital signature seems like an oxymoron to me but …

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