Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

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Heloise
Posts: 838
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:25 pm

itspennyc wrote:Cooking for one is very different from cooking for a family.

Penny
It sure is.

ohjodi
Posts: 924
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:57 pm

Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by ohjodi » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:43 pm

I did learn frugal skills growing up, many from my grandmother......but I have to say that almost all of my frugality is due to both the consequences of growing up poor, and my mother making bad decisions.

I paid my rent on time to keep the landlord away. I paid my utilities to keep the lights and heat on. Often my mother could not, or sometimes would not, do either. If she got too far behind, we moved. A few years ago I realized she had also been sleeping with several of our landlords....

Aside from a few years, I never had a roommate, because I did not want to feel reliant on others to pay their part of the bills. Having said that, when I did have a roommate, I made sure I was able to pay all the rent and utilities myself, in case the roommate skipped out. And that is what happened. Twice. But I was prepared.

Likewise, when I lived with a boyfriend for four years in Pittsburgh, very recently, our rent and bills I could afford myself, should need be. He wanted to move to a better apartment (we really lived in a dump, lol) and I dragged my feet forever, because if either one of us was not working, or left, a more expensive apartment would be detrimental. And when I decided to leave him and move back home to Illinois, I didn't feel bad leaving him with the apartment, because he could afford it, himself, as we earned about the same amount of money. So living cheap bought me freedom.

My mother, who had four kids with four different men, and several boyfriends, would either keep a jerk around too long for financial reasons, or we'd be thrown into deeper financial hardship when a guy would leave.

I learned from my mom that if you spend your money on one thing, it means you might not have money for things you really need. I needed a winter coat, and she bought me a big $40 stuffed Koala bear for Christmas. The coat I wanted was $25.

She would clean house once a week for a lady who would pay her $35 cash (this was mid 80's, so that was quite a bit of money, especially when you're poor). But this lady also sold Home Interiors home decor, and my mom decided that rather than be paid in cash, she'd rather be paid with stuff to put on the walls. Our apartment in a government housing project was actually beautiful because of this. But my sister and I were sharing two pairs of jeans and three pairs of shoes. Not to mention, groceries were very, very tight.

We never had a car, so I was used to living without one, and walking everywhere. I didn't buy a car until I was 24, and it was $200. I've never had a car payment. I've had four cars over 24 years, paid $2200 for them, not including repairs, though, maybe $3500 for that.. I only had a few apartments when I was younger, but I always made sure they were near a bus line, in case my car died. And that did happen many times.

I never borrowed money from ANYONE because my mom borrowed all the time and never paid back. It's a horrible feeling to have to hear "Where is your mother......" all the time, and not answer the phone (if we had one), and not answer the door. She owed the butcher shop grocery $600.....in 1982. Never paid it. She lost a lot of friends over the years. She'd also bad-mouth people who were incredibly generous to us. But I also learned not to lend money to people because of that. I have helped people, certainly. But it was never money that I could not afford to lose. I never asked to be paid back. Most of the time I was paid back. My attitude was that it is a gift, and most relationships aren't worth ruining for owing a little money.

I could go on forever, but this is long enough! LOL I do want to brag that my three sisters and I ARE NOTHING LIKE MY MOTHER AT ALL. We are not abusive, we did not date a bunch of guys or have a bunch of kids. We work hard and keep our jobs. We're educated. My three sisters have wonderful husbands. I am the oldest, and I said over and over and over "DON'T BE LIKE MOM! DON'T DO WHAT MOM WOULD DO!" lol

Oh, all the above.......and add rice to everything, Or corn. Or both. And read the Tightwad Gazette.
ohjodi

BeckyO
Posts: 927
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:32 am

Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by BeckyO » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:54 pm

I am very fortunate, I came from a long line of stable families, who lived in the same home for generations, or the same area, had good work ethics and practiced frugality. No they weren't saints but they did have those characteristics, LOL.

I remember my greatgrandmother cooking from scratch. Her sugar cookies.. Oh yeah.. she kept a tea towel lined drawer in the kitchen full at all times. All the neighborhood kids knew it, and my great aunts and uncles said their friends knew about them as kids, too, LOL. She taught me to crochet. She taught me to be a lady.

Her DD, my grandmother, canned hundreds of jars of fruits, vegetables and meats. She sewed their clothes. Her friends donated sewing scraps, and she made yoyo quilts, string quilts and others, using newspaper to piece quilt. She crocheted, but didn't teach me, said she didn't have the patience. Told me to get her mother to teach me, LOL.

The toys I played with when I spent summers with them were things he or she made or things she saved because she thought we would like them, ie catalogs to cut up, scrapbooks to paste, with flour paste, those pics into, clean tobacco cans or bags to put our 'treasures' in etc, cloth babydolls with clothes, she made dolls and clothes.

She worked on my Sis and I becoming ladies. She read a lot, was always up on the current news in many areas, not just politics. She didn't finish college. One day she called and said,"Poppa, this place gives me a headache." he told her to come home. Her younger siblings all finished. (Maybe he learned something, LOL)

Her DH, my DGF did all the cooking. Everything from scratch. He did all the laundry with a wringer washer, at 3 am,during the summer, to "keep from heating the house". He was disabled in his mid thirties. He made furniture, except the antiques they collected, and farm necessities from anything and everything from empty thread spools to tire rims, and bed headboards. He was a perfectionist. His creations never looked shoddy. He always had a large garden and traded with friends and neighbors. They ate from the garden, then canned from it. He hunted, fished, raised turkeys, chickens, cows etc.

My father, hunted, fished, wasn't too good at farming, so he went to work, worked 12 hr days, weekends and holidays and always said, "Be the best at whatever you do." He was and he was always able to get a job. My siblings and I tried to emulate him and always had good luck getting a job. He became an excellent mechanic, washing machines to cars. He operated big construction equipment, draglines, etc. . He was a very generous man to family and friends.

A very loving father who was always there if you needed him. (I remember, even on the job if he walked past something he could sell (recycle) like bottles or cans, he picked it up and tossed it into the back of his truck). He was always frugal. He converted his vehicles from gasoline to Diesel when gasoline went up. He put 100 gal tanks on them.

My DM sewed all our clothes. I remember her sewing into the 'wee hours' to finish holiday clothing. We always had something new. She wasn't into quilts. Said she made one and said Never again, LOL. But she made curtains, bedspreads, tea towels (embroidered them) tablecloths (embroidered and did cut work and pulled work) pot holders, you name it, she made it.

I remember her washing clothes in a black cast iron pot over a fire in the side yard. She used a broom handle to stir them and to dip them out of the boiling water to put them in the tin tub with rinse water. She washed everything. She couldn't stand dirt. She scrubbed floors, windows, walls, kids, everything, LOL. She darned everything, too.

She cooked, really good meals, from scratch. She like variety. She canned everything. I loved her canned steaks and gravy with biscuits for breakfast : ) She raised chickens.. eggs, got a cow (and chickens) as a wedding present.. milk, churned butter. Loved to horseback ride, read voraciously. Believed "Idle hands are the Devil's playhouse".

Went back to school to become a nurse. She was a lady who loved flowers, grew flowers and wanted cut flowers throughout the house, warmed the plates before serving a meal on them, and was never discourteous.

I went to work at the hospital at age 16. I started volunteering, fulltime when I was 13. I was in school on the honor list the whole time, in the clubs (pres or vice pres) on student counsel, year book asst editor, art classes, marching band, college prep courses, active in church and Girl Scouts (They got me started as a volunteer). Four H club started me on my sewing and wiring, repairing small appliances.

I walked about 1 1/2 mile to school most days (to save the bus fee and parking fees and parking tickets they loved to give highschool students). I walked past the bank so I stopped in and started a savings account. I used part of that to go to Monterrey, Mexico, with my 12th grade Spanish class. I drove my car (Daddy gave me the car when I turned 16 but I had to pay all expenses for it, gas, tires, everything) and took some class mates. The teacher went and we had 3 cars. We stayed a week. That reinforced my savings habit : )

Later, when I married I still put some aside, walked a lot, even with my three children. I sewed, cooked from scratch, reupholsterd my furniture, made curtains etc, repaired small appliances, rewiring them etc. worked my yard, cutting it, growing flowers, vegetables, etc, I canned, washed by hand when necessary, line dried, even some things when I had a drier.

Of course my DC wore cloth diapers and rubber pants. There were no disposables at that time, LOL. The first ones were almost useless. They leaked, tore, etc.
BeckyO

Heloise
Posts: 838
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:38 pm

ohjodi wrote:I did learn frugal skills growing up, many from my grandmother......but I have to say that almost all of my frugality is due to both the consequences of growing up poor, and my mother making bad decisions.

I paid my rent on time to keep the landlord away. I paid my utilities to keep the lights and heat on. Often my mother could not, or sometimes would not, do either. If she got too far behind, we moved. A few years ago I realized she had also been sleeping with several of our landlords....

Aside from a few years, I never had a roommate, because I did not want to feel reliant on others to pay their part of the bills. Having said that, when I did have a roommate, I made sure I was able to pay all the rent and utilities myself, in case the roommate skipped out. And that is what happened. Twice. But I was prepared.

Likewise, when I lived with a boyfriend for four years in Pittsburgh, very recently, our rent and bills I could afford myself, should need be. He wanted to move to a better apartment (we really lived in a dump, lol) and I dragged my feet forever, because if either one of us was not working, or left, a more expensive apartment would be detrimental. And when I decided to leave him and move back home to Illinois, I didn't feel bad leaving him with the apartment, because he could afford it, himself, as we earned about the same amount of money. So living cheap bought me freedom.

My mother, who had four kids with four different men, and several boyfriends, would either keep a jerk around too long for financial reasons, or we'd be thrown into deeper financial hardship when a guy would leave.

I learned from my mom that if you spend your money on one thing, it means you might not have money for things you really need. I needed a winter coat, and she bought me a big $40 stuffed Koala bear for Christmas. The coat I wanted was $25.

She would clean house once a week for a lady who would pay her $35 cash (this was mid 80's, so that was quite a bit of money, especially when you're poor). But this lady also sold Home Interiors home decor, and my mom decided that rather than be paid in cash, she'd rather be paid with stuff to put on the walls. Our apartment in a government housing project was actually beautiful because of this. But my sister and I were sharing two pairs of jeans and three pairs of shoes. Not to mention, groceries were very, very tight.

We never had a car, so I was used to living without one, and walking everywhere. I didn't buy a car until I was 24, and it was $200. I've never had a car payment. I've had four cars over 24 years, paid $2200 for them, not including repairs, though, maybe $3500 for that.. I only had a few apartments when I was younger, but I always made sure they were near a bus line, in case my car died. And that did happen many times.

I never borrowed money from ANYONE because my mom borrowed all the time and never paid back. It's a horrible feeling to have to hear "Where is your mother......" all the time, and not answer the phone (if we had one), and not answer the door. She owed the butcher shop grocery $600.....in 1982. Never paid it. She lost a lot of friends over the years. She'd also bad-mouth people who were incredibly generous to us. But I also learned not to lend money to people because of that. I have helped people, certainly. But it was never money that I could not afford to lose. I never asked to be paid back. Most of the time I was paid back. My attitude was that it is a gift, and most relationships aren't worth ruining for owing a little money.

I could go on forever, but this is long enough! LOL I do want to brag that my three sisters and I ARE NOTHING LIKE MY MOTHER AT ALL. We are not abusive, we did not date a bunch of guys or have a bunch of kids. We work hard and keep our jobs. We're educated. My three sisters have wonderful husbands. I am the oldest, and I said over and over and over "DON'T BE LIKE MOM! DON'T DO WHAT MOM WOULD DO!" lol

Oh, all the above.......and add rice to everything, Or corn. Or both. And read the Tightwad Gazette.
A hug to you and the others here who chimed in on this thread. I'm always so humbled when I read stories like yours, knowing you turned out so well in the face of what almost certainly would have sunk so many others. I love your morals, too, and may I say I hope I can one day learn to write as well as so many here do, yourself included. Thank you for the walk down memory lane of a slip of time in your frugal life.

Heloise
Posts: 838
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:12 pm

BeckyO wrote:I am very fortunate, I came from a long line of stable families, who lived in the same home for generations, or the same area, had good work ethics and practiced frugality. No they weren't saints but they did have those characteristics, LOL.

I remember my greatgrandmother cooking from scratch. Her sugar cookies.. Oh yeah.. she kept a tea towel lined drawer in the kitchen full at all times. All the neighborhood kids knew it, and my great aunts and uncles said their friends knew about them as kids, too, LOL. She taught me to crochet. She taught me to be a lady.

Her DD, my grandmother, canned hundreds of jars of fruits, vegetables and meats. She sewed their clothes. Her friends donated sewing scraps, and she made yoyo quilts, string quilts and others, using newspaper to piece quilt. She crocheted, but didn't teach me, said she didn't have the patience. Told me to get her mother to teach me, LOL.

The toys I played with when I spent summers with them were things he or she made or things she saved because she thought we would like them, ie catalogs to cut up, scrapbooks to paste, with flour paste, those pics into, clean tobacco cans or bags to put our 'treasures' in etc, cloth babydolls with clothes, she made dolls and clothes.

She worked on my Sis and I becoming ladies. She read a lot, was always up on the current news in many areas, not just politics. She didn't finish college. One day she called and said,"Poppa, this place gives me a headache." he told her to come home. Her younger siblings all finished. (Maybe he learned something, LOL)

Her DH, my DGF did all the cooking. Everything from scratch. He did all the laundry with a wringer washer, at 3 am,during the summer, to "keep from heating the house". He was disabled in his mid thirties. He made furniture, except the antiques they collected, and farm necessities from anything and everything from empty thread spools to tire rims, and bed headboards. He was a perfectionist. His creations never looked shoddy. He always had a large garden and traded with friends and neighbors. They ate from the garden, then canned from it. He hunted, fished, raised turkeys, chickens, cows etc.

My father, hunted, fished, wasn't too good at farming, so he went to work, worked 12 hr days, weekends and holidays and always said, "Be the best at whatever you do." He was and he was always able to get a job. My siblings and I tried to emulate him and always had good luck getting a job. He became an excellent mechanic, washing machines to cars. He operated big construction equipment, draglines, etc. . He was a very generous man to family and friends.

A very loving father who was always there if you needed him. (I remember, even on the job if he walked past something he could sell (recycle) like bottles or cans, he picked it up and tossed it into the back of his truck). He was always frugal. He converted his vehicles from gasoline to Diesel when gasoline went up. He put 100 gal tanks on them.

My DM sewed all our clothes. I remember her sewing into the 'wee hours' to finish holiday clothing. We always had something new. She wasn't into quilts. Said she made one and said Never again, LOL. But she made curtains, bedspreads, tea towels (embroidered them) tablecloths (embroidered and did cut work and pulled work) pot holders, you name it, she made it.

I remember her washing clothes in a black cast iron pot over a fire in the side yard. She used a broom handle to stir them and to dip them out of the boiling water to put them in the tin tub with rinse water. She washed everything. She couldn't stand dirt. She scrubbed floors, windows, walls, kids, everything, LOL. She darned everything, too.

She cooked, really good meals, from scratch. She like variety. She canned everything. I loved her canned steaks and gravy with biscuits for breakfast : ) She raised chickens.. eggs, got a cow (and chickens) as a wedding present.. milk, churned butter. Loved to horseback ride, read voraciously. Believed "Idle hands are the Devil's playhouse".

Went back to school to become a nurse. She was a lady who loved flowers, grew flowers and wanted cut flowers throughout the house, warmed the plates before serving a meal on them, and was never discourteous.

I went to work at the hospital at age 16. I started volunteering, fulltime when I was 13. I was in school on the honor list the whole time, in the clubs (pres or vice pres) on student counsel, year book asst editor, art classes, marching band, college prep courses, active in church and Girl Scouts (They got me started as a volunteer). Four H club started me on my sewing and wiring, repairing small appliances.

I walked about 1 1/2 mile to school most days (to save the bus fee and parking fees and parking tickets they loved to give highschool students). I walked past the bank so I stopped in and started a savings account. I used part of that to go to Monterrey, Mexico, with my 12th grade Spanish class. I drove my car (Daddy gave me the car when I turned 16 but I had to pay all expenses for it, gas, tires, everything) and took some class mates. The teacher went and we had 3 cars. We stayed a week. That reinforced my savings habit : )

Later, when I married I still put some aside, walked a lot, even with my three children. I sewed, cooked from scratch, reupholsterd my furniture, made curtains etc, repaired small appliances, rewiring them etc. worked my yard, cutting it, growing flowers, vegetables, etc, I canned, washed by hand when necessary, line dried, even some things when I had a drier.

Of course my DC wore cloth diapers and rubber pants. There were no disposables at that time, LOL. The first ones were almost useless. They leaked, tore, etc.
BeckyO
Oh, finally, another member who calls them tea-towels! LOL! I was beginning to think I was the only one. :)

Your father sounded like a true homesteader, and you mom sounded just like mine, and real DIY kind of homemaker, where such things as kitchen drapes, clothing, and doilies and things were all handmade. I remember that so well when I was growing up, and I, too, remember the wringer washing machine!

I think one of the key things that a good number of us enjoyed back in the day that so many kids don't get to experience nowadays, is staying busy doing this and that. Sure, I had down time, but it seemed like there was always something I was doing or somewhere I was going which never failed to keep me busy. Happy times those were.

A lot of the frugal and dedicated drive that I lived by, that my children and husband enjoyed, came from watching my own mom hard at work. It definitely helped me be a better homemaker, wife, and mother. Always being at home was something I cherished. making soup, keeping the home in order, sewing, outdoor work, canning, baking, and just being at home to welcome everyone at the end of their days was a blessing to me. We could have used the extra money with me working, but being at home to raise my kids was more important to me, so that's what DH and I decided upon.

Surprisingly enough, disposable diapers had been around for some 30 plus years at the time I had my first child, yet I still opted to use old-fashioned cloth diapers and rubber pants. Out of necessity more than anything, but really it stemmed from having grown up changing baby siblings in the same. It just sticks with you... using things you're familiar with and grew up around.

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Jackielou
Posts: 5748
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Jackielou » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:18 am

Ahhh, I called them tea towels as well.

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