Friday, April 11, 2008

Gleaning Ideas from Unexpected Sources

When I look at my parents' (and other relatives around me) relative affluence today, its easy to forget where they may have been 15, even 20 years ago. The other day I was talking to my mom about my frugal (mis)adventures and she was telling me about when she and my dad were first married. Their budget was so tight in those days they literally counted pennies. An extravagant date for them was to do to a local diner and order coffee (plan ole lattes then!!) and split a piece of pie. But even that was a rarity. I was telling her about our previous mold problem and how it was exaserbated by our keeping our apt. temp to 60* or below and she said they kept the heat so low that when they had guests, their guests would keep jackets on and don extra blankets for warmth sometimes.

All this to say that previously I would never have thought to ask certain people for frugal advice based on their current situation. But that doesn't always mean they haven't been there and don't have great advice to impart! For example, my mom knew how to make some mean casseroles and how to get super cheap kid's clothes at garage sales back when I was a wee one. We've been able to swap tips even though she doesn't need to use most of them these days.

Sometimes conversations on thrift even come back to benefit us in ways we never thought they would. After discussing our preferences and needs for baby clothes, I've emphasized my desire that not a lot of $$ be spent on something that will be worn for such a short period of time. This has opened the doors for relatives and friends to give us hand me downs and to shop garage sales and thrift shops without worrying what we might think. Its been a win-win. We often end up with better quality clothes for our girlie (and more to choose from) and those around us don't spend needless cash.

Visit Biblical Womanhood to see other Frugal Friday offerings!


BarbaraLee said...

My m/i/l is a great resource for frugal times. With 9 children she really needed to watch the pennies too. It didn't help that her hubby at the time would drink. But she has taught me a lot.

Candace said...

Hi Rachel,
You're right. If you're lucky enough to have grandparents around, they probably have great ideas too!