Lots of blogs and magazines these days talk about thriftiness and all its benefits. Thrift stores abound, especially in big cities as people who choose shopping as recreation purge their homes of extra stuff and out-of-date decor. But what exactly is thriftiness? While thinking about how I was brought up by parents who each grew up in six-children homes on one income, and me in a one-income, blue-collar home with three siblings, I came up with some synonyms, scenarios, and serious definitions. (Wow, what a sentence!)
To be thrifty is to:
- Feed a husband and four children a once-a-week supper of ground beef and tortillas, allotting each child three tacos. Sometimes my mother let my brother have four because he was the boy.
|Us four children circa 1968. I am at the top right.|
- Unpack boxes of hand-me-downs from the cousins every spring and fall. Three girls in their family meant the clothes had already been worn three times before coming to our house to be worn three more times! Except I was the oldest cousin so sometimes I was too big already for some of the clothing.
- Buy Barbeque Fritos with my snack bar money, sneak them home, and hide the package under the couch to eat one by one while I watched TV. If my siblings discovered I had Fritos, they would have eaten them all! And no, I can’t find BBQ Fritos anymore, but Chili Cheese Fritos are very similar and still one of my favorites!
- Stand in line in the school cafeteria every Monday morning to pay for the week’s lunches for us four children. It was my assigned duty because I was the oldest and most trustworthy with Daddy’s check. It was always an anxious time for me because I worried about being late to class. But then, I worried about everything when I was little.
- Have Mama make my prom dresses. Hey, it was the 70’s. It wasn’t THAT bad.
- Have a grandma who modeled thriftiness by shopping at Goodwill and remaking dresses to fit herself. She proudly showed them off to us when we visited.
|My beautiful Grandma Nunn in the 70’s.|
- Eat out at Whataburger where my dad bought six hamburgers and six Cokes and had us sit outside at the picnic tables in the back. I didn’t taste fries until I was in junior high school. I didn’t eat in at a real restaurant until I was in high school!
I could go and on with many other definitions of thrifty, but I will save it for another day. To paraphrase the most interesting man in the world,
“Stay thrifty, my friends!”