Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Hump Day Poll: Habit Out of Hardship

See that peanut butter jar?  That's what it looks like when I'm done with it.  Actually, I'm disappointed in myself for leaving those bits I can see behind.  When I get to the end of a jar, tube, box, whatever, I try to get every last bit of it.  After the divorce in 1983, we had to make everything stretch and if that meant cutting open the end of the toothpaste tube, so be it.  (Dang, sure could've used these back in the day!)  I don't even remember if my mom actually told me to do that or if the peril of "will we or won't we get dad's child support check this week" prompted me to do those things.  On stuff like that, the Mr will leave enough for a serving left, consider it empty and fill it with water to 'soak' while I come upon it and about have a heart attack.  It brings up every food security issue I ever had until I got married.  We never starved but almost 40 years later I remember like it was yesterday being blown up at for eating a whole can of tuna instead of half of one after dad left.  I wasn't sure at the time if she didn't want me getting fatter or if she was worried about making food stretch.  I'd like to think it was the latter but obviously, she should've worried about the former as well.  *pokes belly*  

So despite the fact that we can "afford" to leave a little behind instead of grabbing the small rubber spatula to get as much as possible, I will always scrape them clean.  The 9-year- old in me won't allow me to waste food if I am able to catch it in time.  (Like the tuber laden potatoes I cut around and boiled up yesterday for dinner sides.)  

Did you form any habits out of hardship?

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  1. For some reason the first thing that came to mind for me on this was when I was a kid and I was in a very awkward size phase. I needed taller pants for my age so I had to get like adult sized pants but then regular sized shirts. My Mom had the hardest time finding pants to fit me that also were in line with the school uniform. I think we could only buy pants in JC Penny's "husky" section for like 2 or 3 years. Anyway, a couple months into the school year I would inevitably have holes starting to form between the thighs and since it was already so hard to find pants we had to resort to patching them up like all the time. I am amazed that she did a good enough job to keep it so that nobody ever noticed enough to make fun of me for it. Some pants would have 2 or 3 patches of different colors so you can imagine this would be embarassing. Honestly the patches held up way better than the regular material -especially those hateful corduroy pants that I loathe to this day! Thankfully we eventually got a big and tall store in town and I never had a problem finding clothes to fit my weird growth spurts after that.

  2. Always shopping sales. I make more money by myself than my parents made together when I was growing up, and we always looked for the best bargains/sales when buying anything. Today, I still 99% of the time will not pay full price for something, and will only buy it if it's marked down/on sale. My significant other thinks I am cheap, but it's a habit I have had since I was a child.

  3. I was raised by a child of the depression (Dad born 1935 to dirt poor parents on a homestead with no running water or electricity) so even though we just squeaked into the middle class when I was growing up I still adopted all those frugal habits. Most of my clothes are from the thrift store, shop sales, get every little bit out of peanut butter jars, tubes of sunscreen, shampoo bottles, etc. I would grow more of my own food if I could but I'm outnumbered by squirrels and they eat everything!

  4. I was raised with "waste not, want not, there are starving kids in Africa", and even "God gave us that food, to waste it is a sin." (My parents both grew up poor, so they were frugal, I had half a hamburger at McDonalds once, when I was in third grade. Sometimes candy bars were on sale for 13 for a dollar at Kmart, it was like Christmas, seven of us kids, choosing a WHOLE candy bar.) I also scrape every bit, put water in the dishwashing liquid bottles and swirl around, a few extra ounces!

  5. I too put a bit of water in my shampoo bottle, face wash, shower gel, etc. to get out every drop. I'll even do that with spaghetti sauces and canned soup. I scrape out every little bit out of the jar of moisturizer, sunscreen, peanut butter. I have to think hard before buying a snack or eating fast food. I'll always first look to see what the special is in a restaurant, even if it isn't what I want but it is cheaper. I bring in my own snacks to the movie theater. My partner thinks I'm strange and very cheap.

  6. I'm a ziploc bag (generic brand) re-user. If I've stored lettuce or something that isn't super-oily I'll wash that bag out and hang it to dry. Sometimes I'll have these bags all over the kitchen hanging on the spoon rack, utensil holder, etc. For the cube boxes of kleenex/tissues I cut out the tops where the openings are when the box is empty and have a stack of those to use as mats for picture frames because I'm too cheap to buy mats that cost more than the frames. Movie theaters always had me bringing my own candy, as well as any sporting event. When they started checking bags at hockey games, I'd put bottles of water down the sleeves of my bulky coat so get through the line. And we live off of coupons. I clip them every Sunday from the paper and any grocery store that has "perk" coupons I'm constantly using those. My husband is now to the point where he's excited to tell me when he finds a good deal on something because I've told him never pay full price for a gift for me because there's ALWAYS a coupon or a sale somewhere. LOL


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