Monday, April 20, 2009

in the beginning (because you've got to start somewhere!)

Both my husband and I come from frugal families. When I first met my husband's parents - my future in-laws - one of the first things his father showed me was a pantry closet, stocked full (literally top to bottom) of olive oil and Dial bar soap that he had bought in MASS quantity. Because it was on sale - and he couldn't pass up a great sale on something he used so much of.

My own grandparents were also never ones to pass up a good deal. My father's parents would get multiple copies of the Sunday paper to make sure they had a bunch of coupons and all the grocery ads. They retired early, and spent many years chasing grocery store sales and sharing their finds with everyone who visited their home. On the weekends, they never missed the chance to go to all the yard sales they could find, and even now that they're gone, I still have many of the "treasures" they collected here decorating my own home.

My mother's parents took a different route - my grandfather loved the town dump. He couldn't believe all the perfectly good and usable things people would throw away, and he spent his weekends collecting other folks' castaways from the dump, repairing them or sprucing them up if needed, and passing them along to his grandchildren, neighbors, kids at the school where he worked part time, or anyone else in need of a bicycle, bookshelf, desk lamp, or other fabulous find. Whenever one of the grandchildren needed something - like when we were going off to college - someone in the family would always say "have you been to Grandpa's basement yet?" - and more often than not, if we went over to the house, we could get what we needed.

I think of my grandparents alot, in this age of growing eco-consciousness and diminishing conpicuous consumption. My grandparents (and probably yours too) didn't over-consume - and they made due with things that were "used" - bought things when they were on sale - used coupons - and did all they could to live as debt-free as possible. My husband and I do our best to live that way too - and we look forward to sharing our money-saving and green-living adventures with you, and to hearing about your adventures too! Together, we can save a lot of pennies!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I grew up with parents who were children in the Depression, so we lived the frugal life always. It just made sense. Now the gov't is giving us ideas to save $, but we've done them for 30 years!