A forgotten Golden Era virtue, Thrift

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Kahuna, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I bypass the whole "what's the best value" thing most of the time by simply repairing and reusing old things -- what modern washing machine is the best value today is irrelevant to me, because I think they're all junk. I use an eighty-year-old Easy wringer washer I was given for free by a friend who wanted to get it out of his cellar. I cleaned it off, oiled it up, figured out a way to resurface the wringer rollers, and it works perfectly fine.

    To me, thrift means *not buying at all* if I can possibly figure out a way not to. That, to me, is the most effective way of practicing "Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without."

    As far as cell phones go, never had one, never will. I don't *want* it to be easy to contact me.
     
  2. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

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    I do like having fun things. I don't NEED a 160G iPod, but I WANTED one so I saved up for it and bought one. I had an 8G one before it and it worked perfectly fine -- but I love music so much I need to "have it all." In no way did I feel "entitled" to an iPod. I saved up for both of them. If someone had bought me one for a gift I would probably have kindly refused. I just feel funny accepting expensive gifts.

    Re: SHOES! I couldn't agree more. I will spend $80-$100 on a pair of shoes and they will LAST. I used to buy all my shoes at PayLess and I replaced them every few months. I've had the same few pairs of shoes now for about 4 years.

    I like to sew my own dresses, but I don't do it to save money (because I don't!). I'm also one for better construction and quality. I *do* wear girl-t's and jeans from H&M -- I recently bought some Girl T's off ebay of various Munsters and Universal Monsters and some of them already have the serging unravelling. And tiny holes are beginning to appear in various places. Dresses I've made 2 years ago are still hole-free and the serging hasn't unravelled one bit.

    Re: CELL PHONES. I need one because my husband is at basic training right now and there is NO TELLING WHEN he will get phone privleges so I have to have a phone with me ALL THE TIME. I would hate to miss his call. Call me a loser, turn your nose down at me, but I am dependant on my cell phone right now.

    I got rid of cable, though. Total waste of money. I'd rather watch Hulu or DVDs. Or actually *do* something instead. lol I'm not a big TV watcher.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  3. I totally understand that Amy Jeanne and don't blame you one bit :)

    Like I said, I don't have one, but I know that some need it for work, emergencies etc. My husband has one for those reasons. I had one for a while, but it was a useless expense for me, so I got rid of it and haven't missed it at all. As far as using it in an emergency I've noticed that cell phones can stop working (had it happen during 9/11 when I lived in Virginia). We got rid of our cable phone and now have a land line, because if the electricity goes out.... no phone. It does that quite a bit here. That said, I don't care if anyone else has them, as long as I don't have to listen to them discuss all their family issues on it while we're out to dinner.
     
  4. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

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    To be honest, I don't really use my cell phone outside of this scenario. I HATE talking on the phone. I grew up watching my mom on the phone all the time -- it was more important for her to gossip with her friends than interact with me so I hate the phone. I'd rather converse in person.

    Oh wait -- I lied!! lol I use my cell phone to listen to relaxation audio at work on YouTube. lol
     
  5. Pompidou

    Pompidou One Too Many

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    I don't plan on ever getting a landline. It wouldn't surprise me - not any time too soon, but sometime - if cell phones become the only option.
     
  6. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    This brings back memories of Ft Polk, Louisiana.
    Saturday evening after chow the platoon would march over to
    a row of telephone booths standing atop an asphalt square.
    I always saw married men break down and cry then.
    Most of us were single, and there followed some good-humored razzing,
    which I joined, though I considered this a most marvelous testament
    to love. :eusa_clap
    I just called my Mom. :)
     
  7. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    A favorite site of mine had blog post on putting old pressure cookers into service and showed some tasty looking recipes you could make. Someone responded that if you have an older pressure cooker, you should run out and buy a new one because they had new gaskets and new safety features making them foolproof. Of course, I had to respond.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/beef-stew-and-chicken-soup-in-35-minutes-or-less/
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Not until they come up with a foolproof, invulnerable-to-power-failure system that's more reliable for emergency services than the traditional central-battery landline system.
     
  9. Lincsong

    Lincsong I'll Lock Up

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    I read a couple years ago that the average customer at Wal-Mart goes there THREE TIMES A WEEK! What the hell do you have to go to ANY store three times a week? Unless of course you have no car and have to carry the items home.
     
  10. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    My parents are always going shopping, too, even though they have a houseful of stuff and more cooking utensils than a restaurant. For all their having grown up during the Depression, they're two of the most wasteful people I know.
     
  11. :eusa_clap

    I've heard that French women shop daily, for fresh food, but I'm not French so I go once a week ;) Oh and good afternoon Oscar :p
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  12. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I was raised to despise debt, my grandparents (both sets) suffered during the depression. My maternal grandparents both were forced to leave home at 12. My grandfather worked two jobs all his adult life until his 70s, one in the mills and ran his own garage. My grandmother saved a huge amount of money by doing things like reusing sandwich bags and raising most of their food. My grandmother hated the house they lived in. When my grandmother died, my parents found out that my grandparents had enough money saved to buy a new house outright (not even having to sell what they lived in, no mortgage, enough money to fix the house up too). My grandmother worked so hard, and what did she get for it? Her daughter, my aunt (who has never worked), inherited most of my grandmother's money and lives in a brand-new house, paid for by my grandmother's estate and my grandfather's retirement.

    I'm not saying that my grandmother was not happy, but living in a different house was a DREAM of hers- I can remember her talking about it all the time. She didn't want a new house or a huge house- just a nice 3-bedroom with an eat-in-kitchen and real dining room. They had the money for it- more than enough. And they worked for it.

    It's one thing to be thrifty because you have to (such as trying to get out of or save oneself from getting into debt), or be thrifty because you enjoy doing something (like sewing your own clothes), or be thrifty because you have goals (saving for a new home or car; making sure you have a safety net; being environmentally friendly) or thrify because the price is outrageous. Being thrifty in of itself and being miserable is not something I want to do. Being thrifty is a means to an end, to make life better for myself and my family. I'm not going to make due to stuff it in the bank for no purpose and put my life on hold, I've only got one life.
     
  13. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

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    I skimp on groceries. I don't see the point in buying expensive food. It all turns to.....erm...waste. lol
     
  14. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

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    Most fabulous thing I ever heard!!! How I feel 100%!!
     
  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    *Exactly* my thought. A baloney sandwich and a filet mignon both end up in the same place.
     
  16. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    When I buy food, I think of it as buying nutrients. Ramen noodles and a pork chop end up in the same place, but they do very different things to your body on the way there.

    That said, I buy $2.69 per pound chicken livers instead of steak, and I drink two kinds of coffee: home-brewed and free.
     
  17. Lincsong

    Lincsong I'll Lock Up

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    Well said. I know plenty of people who all they care about is how much money they are going to leave their heirs when they die. I tell them; "what the hell are you worrying about that? They'll be driving a new Lexus when you are dead and gone and while you're alive you're sitting in the kitchen for heat because you're afraid to turn on the furnace???" Hey, the War ended, the Depression ended, time to get some spare parts for your head. These are the same people that will hide money in coffee cans behind the back stoop but moan and groan when it comes time to pay for their prescriptions. "oh the government should pay for that".

    When I was a kid the guy across the street was driving an 13 year old Monte Carlo (1971) and his wife was dying of cancer and wanted a Cadillac before she died. So he went and bought her a used Toyota Pick-up that had a shell over the bed with the carpet kit. She refused to get into it and the truck sat in front of the house until she died. She said she'd rather drive around in the Monte Carlo. When she died I used to go and clean his yard and he'd pay me in crisp brand new bills; and the bills were Series 1969!! When he finally kicked off they had no kids and left everything to a nephew and her sister. Those two vultures ripped the sheetrock out of that house, tore out every cabinet and scoured the attic and the crawl space underneath looking for cash. The nephew moved into the house, bought a new Jaguar and had everything remodeled inside and out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  18. How did you know that's where my money was :eeek: ;)

    Actually I agree that you shouldn't sit on every dime until you die, but I want to make sure that I can enjoy life for the rest of my life, so I'm careful, not stingy.
     
  19. Lincsong

    Lincsong I'll Lock Up

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    Very true. My grandmother worked until she was 86 so she could pay the $300 a month Blue Cross, but she always managed to buy Christmas gifts for 3 children, 3 in-laws, 9 grandkids and 6 great grandkids. Her house wasn't the Taj Mahal but it wasn't some migrant farm worker shack either. Us Grandkids used to get annoyed when she'd lecture us about money and not shopping at Macy's when JC Penny or Montgomery Wards was good enough. But when she finally had to go into a convalescent hospital she paid that $5,000 a month bill for three years without having to sell her house.
     
  20. That's exactly as it should be. Your grandmother was a smart woman and a beautiful one (I saw her picture on another thread, if it's the same one).
     

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