Make-Do, Do Without Or, Why Don't I Own A Funnel?

Funnels are cheap, readily available, and satisfyingly timeless (at least the Tin Man-style metal ones are), but I've yet to buy one. Cones of scrap paper, parchment, and aluminum foil work fine, but am I being thrifty or just silly?

I can think of so many similar examples over the years: a strainer, a real can opener (I used a tiny camping one from my grandpa), ice cube trays, things that seemed so boring and unnecessary to buy. Things I avoided buying until...


  • I found the most perfect one ever made, beautiful, built-to-last, within my budget, and, ideally, used.

  • Someone was getting rid of one and offered it to me. For free.

  • It got ridiculous. Rinsing brown rice or salad greens, straining pasta or beans- you need a strainer! Doing without ended up an absurd amount of time and energy, and made an absurd amount of mess and waste. But I really, really appreciated that strainer once I finally bought it!

What have you done without, with great success or great disaster? Did you finally break buy one, and what was the breaking point?

Image: Tess Wilson

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After many happy years living in tiny apartments in big cities, Tess has found herself in a little house on the prairie. For real.