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It's What You Do With What You've Got

Write your post here. It's What You Do With What You've Got
by Marilou Jacob

Every few years, we in the U.S. find ourselves in a sagging economy and we start to cry "How can we possible afford the wonderful life style we have become accustomed to?"  We don't want to give up a thing but, somehow, the budget gets smaller and the bills get bigger.

Perhaps one idea is to make better use of the things we do spend our money on. During the 'great depression' of the 1930's people raised this idea to an art form.  They could get more use out of leftover roast beef, old clothes, transportation and children than any one, now-a-days, can even imagine.

For example; that Sunday roast beef dinner served four, one serving of meat each.  Then it made sandwiches for dinner on Monday, mixed up with gravy and noodles for dinner on Tuesday and finally the last of it went into the vegetable soup. 

If son wanted to go to the library, he walked there and home, made a quick stop at the store for a loaf of bread and took some cookies to old Mrs Mabry on the corner.  All done without one penny spent on gasoline.  

Clothes were a special way to save money.  If the elder daughter got a new dress (which was made by mom or gramma, most likely) the next two younger daughters knew they would inherit it in time.  It would be in good wearing condition, too, because mom saw to it that it was taken off after church and hung up immediately.  It was washed only every two or three wearings 'to save it.' When the youngest outgrew it, it went on to a new life in the rummage sale at church or was given to the next family.  If son needed a suit for a special occasion, mom could 'cut down one of dad's.'

When I learned to sew, I was blessed with a very frugal teacher who said "You don't need a new pattern for every skirt you make, just change parts of the pattern you have and make it look different."  I learned to mix and match pattern pieces to make my creation all my own.

Many, many people used old clothes, worn out sheets, tired towels, and anything else to be found to make warm and much loved quilts.  It is still a joy to look over a quilt and say "There's a piece of my prom dress."  An old, shabby blanket saw new service as the inside of a quilt. 

Rag rugs became the ultimate use for old textiles of any kind.  Cold floors (with the heat turned down to save money) were covered with hooked, crocheted or braided rugs made from all the pieces of fabric in the 'rag bag'.  If there wasn't enough there, the call went out to friends far and near for donations.  I have just petitioned my friends (and some strangers) for old, worn out jeans which I will cut into strips and braid into a beautiful country rug for my living room.  (The Needle Arts Center.com has a class for you to learn how to make your ownrug)

So, frugality is really just another word for creativity.  An exciting way to make something for yourself or a loved one and save money at the same time.

Remember, Benjamin Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned."  That's what I'm talkin' about!
Use It Up
Wear It Out
Make It Do
Do Without

Until next Month, this is Marilou saying, "Thanks for visiting"




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