Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

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NoisyPorkchop
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: In the middle of the Willamette Valley, Oregon.

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

Post by NoisyPorkchop » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:25 am

My growing-up years were rather difficult and my home life was very frugal as my Dad was the breadwinner and Mom stayed home. Money was very tight. Unfortunately I think money was tighter than it had to be as both of my parents had some pretty expensive cigarette and alcohol habits that, looking back, really ate up any extra money that could have been used for other things. They always seemed to have their booze and cigs no matter what. Mom used a lot of coupons and double coupons when she could and we ALWAYS ate at home and restaurant dining was an extremely rare experience. Once every few years from what I remember and only if it was something special like my Mom's birthday or something. But my Mom could cook good standard food and nothing was wasted and you sure didn't get to be a picky eater at my house! You ate what Mom cooked or you starved. I will never forget my four-year old sister fighting my Mom over eating canned peas that was served with dinner one night. She cried and cried and my Mom wouldn't relent. My sister finally was soooo exhausted she fell asleep at the table, those peas still on her plate. My Mom told my sister to go to bed. By the look on my sister's face I think she thought she got out of eating those canned peas. Come morning my sister and I sat at the kitchen table waiting for our breakfast. I was served a bowl of Peaches-N-Cream oatmeal and my Mom plopped down that dinner plate of canned peas in front of my sister. You should have seen the look on my sister's face! LOL! My Mom told her she could cry all she wanted but she wasn't getting up from that table without eating those peas. She ate them. With tears in her eyes, but she ate them, lol. Neither of us fought with her ever again over what was served at meals :lol:

We always had some pretty dilapidated cars. Our 1970 Ford van was a sight as the rear doors had been smashed in an accident so my Dad took them off and replaced them with two plywood "doors" stuck to the hinges. Peeling blue paint and some crappy plywood rear doors and you could hear that van a mile away, oh boy! At one point we had 6 cars but only one *sort of* ran; the rest were in various states of decay laying around our yard. It seemed like my folks didn't care what the cars looked like, as long as it ran. One of our cars they drove hadn't been washed in so long that it actually had moss growing on it. :shock:

My younger sister and I always wore hand-me-down clothes from garage sales. Never had any trendy clothes, usually outdated or out of style as that is what you would only find at a garage sale. My sister and I would come home from school and just find a huge pile of clothes laying on our beds and Mom would tell us to sort them out and find what fits and that is what we wore. It created a lot of squabbles between me and sis as we would fight over a piece of clothing that we both coveted. The only times we ever got nice new clothes when we were kids was at Christmas and that was because my Aunt and Grandmother would send us new spiffy clothes. My sister and I thought we were in heaven! We finally got Mom to give us a clothes allowance once we were in junior high/high school so we were able to go to the mall and use our tiny stipend (only once a year so make it last) to buy some new stylish clothes. We really thought we were something once we were able to do that, lol.

Basically we always had a roof over our head, bills were minimally paid, parents always paid cash for any cars, pretty much paid cash for everything. I remember having big gardens as a kid and my Mom canning and preserving everything, her attempts at sewing our clothes from hand, she cut all our hair, used coupons at the grocery store, she either used a laundromat when we were kids or hung the clothes on a clothesline; we didn't get a washer/dryer until I was in my late teens as my grandfather (Mom's dad) passed away and she got a tiny amount in inheritance and she bought the set and a few other things. There just wasn't the easy credit to get into like today so I don't think they had horrid debt, just not a lot of money to go around.

I just wish both parents were still around today (can't drink/smoke heavily every day and expect to live a long life) because I would love to pick Mom's brain for her frugal cooking recipes I remember eating as a kid and how she managed to squeeze a penny as long as she could. Sorry to be so long winded, lol, but all in all I am a better person for having lived a lean life as a kid because it has given me some resilience as an adult. I look at my very *spoiled* 19 year old stepdaughter and listen to her whine over trivial things (she was already 12 when her Dad and I met) and she really thinks she has it hard when, honestly, quite nearly everything has been handed to her. *Sigh*

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

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

Post by Heloise » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:46 am

Jackielou wrote:Ahhh, I called them tea towels as well.
I'm feeling better now knowing I'm not the only one! I was beginning to get a complex! LOL!

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

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

Post by Heloise » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:09 pm

NoisyPorkchop wrote:My growing-up years were rather difficult and my home life was very frugal as my Dad was the breadwinner and Mom stayed home. Money was very tight. Unfortunately I think money was tighter than it had to be as both of my parents had some pretty expensive cigarette and alcohol habits that, looking back, really ate up any extra money that could have been used for other things. They always seemed to have their booze and cigs no matter what. Mom used a lot of coupons and double coupons when she could and we ALWAYS ate at home and restaurant dining was an extremely rare experience. Once every few years from what I remember and only if it was something special like my Mom's birthday or something. But my Mom could cook good standard food and nothing was wasted and you sure didn't get to be a picky eater at my house! You ate what Mom cooked or you starved. I will never forget my four-year old sister fighting my Mom over eating canned peas that was served with dinner one night. She cried and cried and my Mom wouldn't relent. My sister finally was soooo exhausted she fell asleep at the table, those peas still on her plate. My Mom told my sister to go to bed. By the look on my sister's face I think she thought she got out of eating those canned peas. Come morning my sister and I sat at the kitchen table waiting for our breakfast. I was served a bowl of Peaches-N-Cream oatmeal and my Mom plopped down that dinner plate of canned peas in front of my sister. You should have seen the look on my sister's face! LOL! My Mom told her she could cry all she wanted but she wasn't getting up from that table without eating those peas. She ate them. With tears in her eyes, but she ate them, lol. Neither of us fought with her ever again over what was served at meals :lol:

We always had some pretty dilapidated cars. Our 1970 Ford van was a sight as the rear doors had been smashed in an accident so my Dad took them off and replaced them with two plywood "doors" stuck to the hinges. Peeling blue paint and some crappy plywood rear doors and you could hear that van a mile away, oh boy! At one point we had 6 cars but only one *sort of* ran; the rest were in various states of decay laying around our yard. It seemed like my folks didn't care what the cars looked like, as long as it ran. One of our cars they drove hadn't been washed in so long that it actually had moss growing on it. :shock:

My younger sister and I always wore hand-me-down clothes from garage sales. Never had any trendy clothes, usually outdated or out of style as that is what you would only find at a garage sale. My sister and I would come home from school and just find a huge pile of clothes laying on our beds and Mom would tell us to sort them out and find what fits and that is what we wore. It created a lot of squabbles between me and sis as we would fight over a piece of clothing that we both coveted. The only times we ever got nice new clothes when we were kids was at Christmas and that was because my Aunt and Grandmother would send us new spiffy clothes. My sister and I thought we were in heaven! We finally got Mom to give us a clothes allowance once we were in junior high/high school so we were able to go to the mall and use our tiny stipend (only once a year so make it last) to buy some new stylish clothes. We really thought we were something once we were able to do that, lol.

Basically we always had a roof over our head, bills were minimally paid, parents always paid cash for any cars, pretty much paid cash for everything. I remember having big gardens as a kid and my Mom canning and preserving everything, her attempts at sewing our clothes from hand, she cut all our hair, used coupons at the grocery store, she either used a laundromat when we were kids or hung the clothes on a clothesline; we didn't get a washer/dryer until I was in my late teens as my grandfather (Mom's dad) passed away and she got a tiny amount in inheritance and she bought the set and a few other things. There just wasn't the easy credit to get into like today so I don't think they had horrid debt, just not a lot of money to go around.

I just wish both parents were still around today (can't drink/smoke heavily every day and expect to live a long life) because I would love to pick Mom's brain for her frugal cooking recipes I remember eating as a kid and how she managed to squeeze a penny as long as she could. Sorry to be so long winded, lol, but all in all I am a better person for having lived a lean life as a kid because it has given me some resilience as an adult. I look at my very *spoiled* 19 year old stepdaughter and listen to her whine over trivial things (she was already 12 when her Dad and I met) and she really thinks she has it hard when, honestly, quite nearly everything has been handed to her. *Sigh*
The peas for breakfast story reminds me as to how strict some parents were. I remember a few like that, and lots of spankings to go along with.

Gosh, old worn out, used cars, that was us, too, when I was growing up. Never once did we have a new car in all the time I was younger. Mind you, thinking back on those old days, few families drove brand new vehicles that I remember.

I, too, remember getting allowance money to buy what I wanted, and being reminded by mom to save for a rainy day. Between allowance money and babysitting money, I did fairly well and always had money for clothes, a movie, etc.

As a young child I recall going to the Laundromat regularly with mom. Diapers, clothing, towels, you name it, mom laundered it at the Laundromat! I remember always being infatuated with the lost-and-found section, where something or another could be found pinned-up on the wall and baskets full of things sat on a small table. Great memories.

Speaking of cigarette smoking, I remember my mom rolling her own cigarettes using those filter-tipped paper cigarette tubes and cut tobacco in a can. She had one of those nifty cigarette rolling machines where you put loose tobacco in, then slipped a cigarette tube over a small pointed hollow opening, then pushed the slide across the top of the machine, and ta-da, a homemade cigarette! Always thought that thing was one of the neatest things! When mom had the extra money she'd buy store-bought cigarettes.

This thread has been such fun... so many memories.

ChristmasTrees
Posts: 1265
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:53 am

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

Post by ChristmasTrees » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:26 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.
You amaze me my friend.

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

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

Post by BeckyO » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:11 pm

Jackie, I had not thought about 'tea towels', but it comes naturally. I do understand 'dish towels' and other names, but I like tea towels : )

Heloise, I think you could have called my Grandfather a 'homesteader'. Never thought of it. Definitely not my Father, his son. He had to start work at 13 because his father, my DGF, became disabled. He started driving trucks at that age! and never sucessfuly went back to farming, altho he bought a farm and personally, while on a 'pegleg' (He broke his ankle while working on the railroad as a brakeman) built a house on the farm. He kept that farm til he died, but was never a farmer. Moved back to the city.

One thing some posters emphasised was generosity and having fun. We had lots of fun. fish fries, swimming in the creek or the pond, watermelon cuttings, boiled peanuts, chewing sugar cane, and remember the old crank ice cream freezer? Daddy and the Uncle and any cousin or friend who wanted to play softball, Sundays, weekends, all the cousins and an adult or two piled in the back of the farm truck with lots of quilts (homemade) and a container of food (usually fried chicken, biscuits, pimento cheese sandwiches, PBJs, homemade cookies, fruit from the farm, blackberries, plums, muscadines, pears) , driving 100+ miles to see family in the big city of New Orleans.. going to Lake Ponchatrain (salt water) to swim and gawk at the carnival : )

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

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

Post by Heloise » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:49 am

BeckyO wrote:Jackie, I had not thought about 'tea towels', but it comes naturally. I do understand 'dish towels' and other names, but I like tea towels : )
Add me to the list, too! :)
BeckyO wrote:Heloise, I think you could have called my Grandfather a 'homesteader'. Never thought of it. Definitely not my Father, his son. He had to start work at 13 because his father, my DGF, became disabled. He started driving trucks at that age! and never sucessfuly went back to farming, altho he bought a farm and personally, while on a 'pegleg' (He broke his ankle while working on the railroad as a brakeman) built a house on the farm. He kept that farm til he died, but was never a farmer. Moved back to the city.
What I loved about those older days, Becky, was how everybody worked so hard. People were healthier and happier IMO.
BeckyO wrote:One thing some posters emphasised was generosity and having fun. We had lots of fun. fish fries, swimming in the creek or the pond, watermelon cuttings, boiled peanuts, chewing sugar cane, and remember the old crank ice cream freezer? Daddy and the Uncle and any cousin or friend who wanted to play softball, Sundays, weekends, all the cousins and an adult or two piled in the back of the farm truck with lots of quilts (homemade) and a container of food (usually fried chicken, biscuits, pimento cheese sandwiches, PBJs, homemade cookies, fruit from the farm, blackberries, plums, muscadines, pears) , driving 100+ miles to see family in the big city of New Orleans.. going to Lake Ponchatrain (salt water) to swim and gawk at the carnival : )
The stuff kids lives should be made of and filled with! The goodness of home...

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