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- Frugal Living
Are You A Savvy Shopper?
Cheap, Frugal, Tightwad or Thrifty?
My Grandmother, with a hard life, reared her family through the Great Depression. Her mantra was, use it up or do without. She could squeeze a nickel until the buffalo cried for mercy!
She taught me by example, no lectures were needed. Reroute your wash water to the garden, carry it by the bucketful if you need too. Shovel the chicken waste into the wheelbarrow and empty it among the peas and beand. Carry the corn stalks to the pig pens, and the cobs to the cattle barn. No need to walk around the block! Work was our exercise.
Seal your dried out envelopes with the egg white that was left in the shell, crumble the shell and feed them to the chickens and birds for the needed grit.
Scoop the ashes after the fire and use them for lye in soap making, which would in turn be used to wash our clothes. She never heard the term "recylce"......she just knew what to do. To her, 'green' would have meant something to cook.........fiber anyone?
Plant that sprouted potato.
Tailor those jeans to fit another person.
Put a lace on that skirt and extend the hem.
My Grandmother did these things , and others, because she wanted her family to survive.
My Children Shunned The Lessons
Frugality has followed me as I reared my own family. There was no longer a depression. Many Americans, my own family, were living in excess. We could now " afford" to waste! Or so, we thought. It went against my grain. It was a struggle to teach my children the same values of thrift that I had known. They knew so little of hardships. They were the protected generation.
One daughter had good taste and fashion sense. You could say, she had a champagne taste on a beer budget. She did not like my car, because it was much older than what the parents of her friends drove. At one point she remarked to me, " you could drive a new car if you wanted to". My simple answer was, " yes, I could, but you would not have a new dress with matching shoes and handbags for every dance that comes down the pike". She would come to appreciate that some years later.
I continue to drive an older model vehicle. I expect I always will. Paying cash is my mantra.
It Is Not " Cheap"
If my hubby needs a pair of work boots, I have no problem with the cost of a well made boot He needs to stand firm and steady. He needs the protection of well made footwear. I will ask him to drive across the street to prevent spending an unnecessary $25.00. It is not worth the trip of an additional 250 miles and the time it takes to make the trip to save the same 25$. I would pay any price for secure footing on his physically demanding job.
I will pay more for the dress that I do not have to alter , rather than detroy the cut or fall of the design and ruin it all. It is wise to pay for quality when quality matters.
It is wise to count your pennies, when it does not cost you dimes to do it. My time and trouble are worth something. So is the price of quality work that I can not do.
You are invited to read more of my hubs!
- onegoodwoman on HubPages
A small town southern girl, trying to learn from everyone I meet along the way, those who teach me about myself become my true friends. Some...
Many women do not like to grocery shop. While I do not enjoy a hurried trip or a crowded store, grocery shopping is a game to me! One, that I seldom win.
My hubby suggested years ago that I plan menus. My (presentable) reply was, " I don't know on Tuesday, what I want to eat, much less cook on Saturday". I still take that stand!
Progress has been made. There is always something that can be cooked or eaten in the house. There are always plenty of choices, both in meats, and vegetables. Staples are always in the cupboard. My planning has gotten better, but winging it is still my style.
What I have learned to do, is to clip coupons, being aware of the products that I normally buy and those I do not.
Reading the various grocery store circulars has become an adventure! Keep in mind, I will drive across the street to save a dollar, but not across town.
The shopping list has become an art-form. My most recent ones looked somthing like this:
milk---25 Cents off on 1/2 gallon
cheese---15 cents off on Kraft selects-----compare to store brand
toothpaste----25 cents off on Colgate---compare to Crest
dog food---------get at dollar store
trash bags----dollar store
batteries for smoke alarm-----shop around, check dates
ham for sandwiches---compare price per pkg-vs- slicing your own ( its so hard to pull out the knife!)
dried beans or peas-----look at store specials
fruit----look at store specials...no more bananas
laundry and dish soap-----dollar store----coupons----check against other brands
You should get the idea by now........
On my last shopping trip, I gathered the coupons, the reusable bags and headed out, well armed. My list, with notes, remained in the seat on the other side of me.
Sometimes, it is left on the kitchen table. So much for the effort!
Do be wise.....it is YOUR money. You traded a skill, a knowledge or your labor for it.
Be aware, even when you have no coupon to entice you. Know how to cook what you purchase. If your family will not eat it, it has no value among your grocery shopping.
A Brief Timeline of Coupons
Coupons first saw widespread use in the United States in 1909 when Mr. C.W. Post conceived the idea to help sell breakfast cereals and other products. Today, more than 2,800 consumer packaged goods companies offer coupons for discounts on products. In 2010, coupons for consumer packaged goods generated more than 3.5 billion dollars in transactions within the U.S. alone.
There are many different types of online coupons such as discounts, free shipping, first-time customer coupons, and free giveaways .A time line for the history of coupons:
1887 - Asa Candler used paper tickets for free glasses of Coke to help market his new soda
1909 - C.W. Post used 1 cent coupons to start marketing Grape Nuts breakfast
1930 - Coupon usage grows dramatically during the great depression
1940 - Big chain grocery stores begin to use coupons to attract consumers away from purchasing at local markets
1957 - Nielsen coupon Clearing House was created to be devoted entirely to coupon redemption
1965 - Half of all the families in the United States begin cutting coupons
1990 - The invention of the internet leads to the downloaded printable coupon and online coupons
1992 - The last year coupon usage is on the rise for the next 17 years
2002 - Americans saved $3.8 billion shopping with coupons
2009 - The government uses coupons to promote converter box sales for the digital transition