No Discount

I love a discount, when it means money off, don't you?  What I don't care for is the sort of discount that  occurs when someone takes a snooty attitude towards an opinion or action that others might be taking part in.  Not politics, but money saving is still the topic.

Not long ago, as I tooled around on Pinterest looking for new to me ideas or reminders of old ones for saving funds, I came across one of those bullet point type blog posts "Ten Things I Won't Do to Save Money."   Do you know how many of those things I do?  At least 8.  And it sort of riled me a little that this blogger would discount the efforts others make!

One of her points was that she would not wash zippered baggies.  That's fine.  It's not something I'd do either if I was short on time.  It is a savings but it's not necessarily the most time effective method of savings and I acknowledge that.  Her reason?  She wasn't sure they were really clean...uhm ever hear of HOT water and soap?  And she didn't think a baggie could be gotten completely dry.  Well you can completely dry a baggie but that's where the time and effort come in. 

I wash my baggies in very hot water and with plenty of soap in clean dishwater first before I do any other washing up.  I turn them wrong side out and wash the outer part of the bag well (now inside), rinse in hot water and stand it on the drying mat.  When the outside is completely dry and free of water, I turn it right side in once more and stand it on the drying mat and let that dry thoroughly as well.  THEN when it's dry in and out, I flatten it and put it in the drawer to reuse.  It generally takes a couple of days to get a baggie air dry.  I've never stored a wet baggie to date.   

In the truly difficult days, I sometimes had to use a zippered bag for meat storage and I washed those, too, and reused them but I reserved them for meat and meat only even though I knew without a doubt they were clean.   Mostly I used bread sacks or cereal bags for meat storage which I still do today.

I noted one blogger who had, after a long stretch of struggle with a budget that simply could not stretch further, decided it was in her family's best interest to not purchase organic meats until they could re-establish their former living standard. Sometimes the hardships make things really tough.  Sometimes a person does things to stretch dollars that even they don't care to do but it sees them through a season of necessity. I read her post with interest but within an hour of posting the item had disappeared from blogdom and never again was seen.  I'll warrant it drew a lot of criticism and the help it might have been to someone else who was struggling hard was completely obliterated by that criticism that caused it to be removed.

A few years ago Brandy of Prudent Homemaker came very near stopping her blog entirely...all because she posted a shopping list that mentioned a sale on margarine.  Oh the horrors!   We used margarine for years ourselves, until we were in a position where we could afford to buy butter for our family, so I wasn't horrified.  But the criticism and backlash that went on from others got downright nasty.  How do I know she came near quitting blogging?  Because it happened I sent her a message of encouragement privately and she wrote right back telling me she was sure she ought to quit.  I told her that she had a powerful ministry that had done a world of good for many and stopping would be a major loss.  I reminded her how many more women who were struggling and hadn't discovered her blog yet would miss out on the good she might do.  In the end, she kept on blogging. I am not by any means saying I am solely responsible for her continuation.  I'm sure I was just ONE of many who did encourage her in what became a rather viscous moment of attack upon her budget needs. 

At one point, my eldest daughter and her family used family cloths.  Not something I wanted to do but with a family of five and growing I could see her viewpoint.  Money was doggone tight and buying paper products was not high on her list of necessities to cover.  When we went to visit we often took paper products with us and left it with her, but in between they continued to use family cloths.  Did I discount her efforts?  No, I didn't, but another family member did.  I applauded her decision!  It made me proud to see that she'd do whatever was necessary to take care of her family needs. 

Don't discount what others do to save money!  Take the things you can use.  What isn't for you might very well be the very things that turns the tides for someone else.  All those methods of saving money are out there because someone needed to employ them at some point.  Don't be snooty about it.  Thank the Good Lord it's not something you have to do just now...but tuck the information back for future reference if you should ever need it.


Anonymous said...

Oh Terri, this hits so close to home and you did a nice job of writing about it. It isn't only in saving money but also in diets and other areas of life. I do get so tired of people telling me not to eat bread, it's bad for you. How can it be??? Jesus is the Bread of Life! If bread is bad for us, well, God didn't use a very good analogy and hmmm, doesn't He know everything?! Grin. I was sitting in a ladies Christmas party last year and a mother told her daughter that no wonder she couldn't lose weight, look at her plate! I was horrified. It was a once a year Christmas party! Oh yes, this hits very close to home. And to be honest, I can be party to it too. What is it with us humans that we think we know best when we really know very little. Grin. Keep up the good work. Pam

Lana said...

Well said!

Rhonda said...

We are living in a time when it seems most everyone needs to voice their opinion because they know best and need to set the rest of us straight, hmmpf!
Well, I grew up being told that if I didn't have something nice to say, don't say anything, I don't think most people are taught this anymore.
Anyway, my budget is not as tight as it used to be but I remember reading every money stretching tip available. Sometimes they didn't apply to me but I was always willing to try about anything.
I even made all our soap from saved hamburger and bacon grease and lye for several lean years. It was not pleasant soap but it was effective and almost free.
I never plan to use family cloths but I've read several tutorials on how to make them, store them, etc, just in case I ever do need to use them,

Like Pam said, keep up the good work Terri, I am so glad bloggers like you and Brandy write on, even with snarky comments,

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri, Very well said. .thank you so much.. This is definitely my pet peeve in life..[smile]. Any thing we do to help our families/home is worth the effort.. And people should understand that discouraging words do hurt.

My children/grandchildren are grown.. We are retired and in better shape than we have been in our past.. I have tried to save and take care of our every penny. Some seem to think I am "stingy, silly, wasting time,etc'.. But, why waste.. I feel our country is in the shape its in, because of a lot of waste by us.

Baggies. oh my, I have always reused my baggies [zip lock, bread sacks, cereal sacks,et]. I do throw away the raw meat sacks now , but wash all others.. same as you, I wash them in hot soapy water, turning them inside out, rinsing well.. I do get them dry.. I put them on the drying mat, if I need to get them dry faster, I will take a paper towel and dry the inside and then sit on the drying mat.. It dries a little quicker.. [just a hint]

I comp ad a good bit of my groceries at Wal mart. [because I am a hour away from most big chain grocery stores]. There are some really nice /sweet cashiers. But, there are some who act as though I am trying to steal groceries. But, I do not let this discourage me. I mark my ads in the paper.. And I show them the papers. I explain that each $ we save, helps with other needs. We should never look down on anyone, that tries to save and help their families.

We all have different ways to try and save.. And me for one.. look so forward to your blog [and Brandy's], to teach me things I didn't think of. All the little things we do, and all the encouragment from the blogs are so very appreciated.

patsi @ a working pantry said...

Very well said!

Anonymous said...

I wrote my comment quickly but as I was making supper I realized I need to preface my comments with the fact that if someone is allergic to a food or has a problem with it, like gluten, they do need to stay away from it. I realize this. My grandson needs to be both gluten and dairy free. In First or Second Timothy, Paul says give thanks for what you eat and don't let anyone tell you what you can or can't. Smile. Pam

Anonymous said...

Please call me a cheapskate! I am proud of the fact that because I do what i can to save and always have dven before i was married we are living, not high on the hog but comfortable in our retirement years, and can afford to be generous to others who are truly in need. Last night i skipped going out to dinner with gal friends and would have spent at least $15. Instead Gramps and i went to KFC and have their $5 special, got our senior discount and spent less than $10. I use cereal liners, cleaning rags instead of paper towels, shop Aldi and dont get excited about organic, and a whole list of other cheapie shortcuts and am proud of it. Not sure what has happened that it's not great to be a saver. Gramma D

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with allRhonda said. And if people would not talk till they were asked they might learn something too. You need to be quiet to listen. :-)
We were cleaning out a relatives home after they died. Now they were frugal and my mentor for years. Those other relatives were laughing that she had a 10 lb. bag of sugar and let it go bad. Bad?? It was hardish from sitting in one place only. It had never been wet. They thought I was crazy for asking to see it. I wacked it on the side and it loosened...they still wanted to throw it out!! They wanted nothing to do with 'old' sugar!!! I could't believe all the stuff they had already thrown out. I gladly took it home. I know they think of me as too frugal but what they think is too frugal is just common sense savings. They also struggle to pay their bills and wonder why when they make so much money. :(
People can be so cruel to others. There is quite a difference from running around in clothes with holes in it and half way dirty and uncombed hair even if those clothes were almost new. Then you see another with you know has older clothes but they take pride and everything is always washed and ironed and mended. It makes the second group look so much better than the ones who spent their paycheck at the mall. Take some pride in your appearance and the way you conduct yourself. If they had a movie of how they talk of others maybe they would see and mend their ways. ..well I hope they would. Brandy is one busy women. Really busy and always no doubt has more she wishes she could get to. Yet she and all you bloggers take their own time to sit down and think out posts and write them publish them and all. Lots of work and some blogs near even get one comment on it!! Whew! That is dedication!! When I find myself on one of these I comment and thank them. Why do some people just seem like they try to make problems?? We all need a large dose of kindness for each other. Sarah

Debbie said...

Very well written post and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this with all of us who really do appreciate your sharing your thoughts, ideas and time with us.

I too get tired of the hurtful comments by people about the personal (and often very wise) things that others do to save stretch their family income. Being very frugal allowed us to live on one income and also kept us from losing our home several times due to job losses or when my husband broke his leg and was unable to work for 2 months and he was the sole source of income for our family since I was homeschooling our children. The most hurtful comments came from some family members who not only thought we were "cheap" for buying reduced priced produce and meats, for baking our own bread and for having a garden and hanging our laundry out to dry, but also said I was "lazy" because I was homeschooling our children so they would get the best education possible to fit their needs since our schools were not able to do that for them. These same people spend like there is no tomorrow and have filed bankruptcy several times while still going out and spending money for fancy dinners, motorcycles, jewelry, designer purses etc. and mooch off anyone that they can and have for years. We both work hard to make our budget work and we try to help others out as well because we do know, from personal experience, how hard it is when you have a family to feed and there is no money and very little food in the house and have to ask for help. Something else I learned in the hardest of times for us is that despite what some people may believe, sometimes it is the poorest among us who are the most generous, caring and giving.

Kathy said...

Thank you for your post!
I don't know why the internet seems to bring out the worst in some people. They say things on facebook or on blogs that they would never say to someone in person.
Thank you for sharing your frugal ideas with us.

Crystal Hankey said...

I really wish women would build up other women instead of trying to tear them down. The blogs I follow have wonderful women who share their time and expertise to build us all up. It's usually the unfrugal family members and friends (not for long) who think we are crazy to follow this lifestyle. We are just following in the footsteps of generations of strong women who have kept their families afloat with food / housing / love and so much more over the years. Funny thing - I didn't know how poor we truely were until I grew up. Mom just did what needed to be done, just like her mom did!
Take care.

Debby in KS said...

I'm hopping on the "what the heck?" bandwagon. I really don't understand why some people have to be so negative. Especially about saving money. As a tightwad and tree hugger, I think it's awesome when someone can save both a buck and keep something out of the landfill.

Like everyone else, I've often been told, "I could never do that" for things that are second nature now. I don't think picking up something curbside is bad. It's FREE! I have friends that are quite financially comfortable and others who struggle. I'm sure you can guess who is more supportive. Yup, the ones with money that clean their own homes and cut their own grass! The ones that are struggling NEED a gardener, NEED a manicure, and just couldn't dye their own hair...even though it's a common brown. Yet, they're tens of thousands of dollars in debt and have no equity in a home they bought in 1980.

Viva las Tightwads!

PatsyL said...

I am a faithful reader of your blog, and I appreciate all of the time and effort you put into it. My husband and I are comfortably retired, but I really enjoy being frugal and learning new ways to save. I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and now live in Western Maryland, where most people tend to be fiscally conservative. I guess it's just in my blood. I don't believe in waste, whether it is time, money, or other resources. I enjoy reading about your days and the comments of your readers. It's like spending time with friends who share common interests and goals. Please don't get discouraged and stop writing. I would miss you.

Lana said...

I wanted to email you this response but cannot find your contact info but I am just stopping in here to say that I view that episode with Brandy and the margarine much differently. The person who responded and asked why she did not buy butter for her family was obviously foreign to our country. My husband sponsored a woman from Muldova several years ago and she became like a member of our family. She often asked questions or commented in the same way and it was just that she wanted to know. I was quite shocked at the rude response to her question and the following temper tantrum that threatened to shut down the blog. I posted a reply to that effect and pointed out the the person was just asking a question and wanted to know and which time I was under fire. I cannot bring myself to visit that blog to this day since I continued to see rude responses to those who commented. The kindness must go both ways in the blog world. This is not meant to say that you are unkind.

Colleen Gold said...

That is the main reason I dislike Social Media.Everyone feels like they can judge everyone else. I may not wash my baggies but may use plastic containers or save in some other extreme way. It only matters to me & my family. I do what works for us. I leave negative blogs quickly

Debby in KS said...

Oh Teri......I'm missing your weekly review! I look forward to it. :)

Deanna said...

About 20 years ago I quit my job as a registered nurse and homeschooled our kids. This meant giving up half of our family income and learning to be more frugal. At this stage in our lives money isn't a big issue yet I still try to avoid waste. I'm very concerned about the environment and I've found that many things are both frugal *and* green. Besides, even if money isn't terribly tight, being frugal allows one to have more to share with those in need. As a Christian, I just can't feel comfortable giving up frugal habits simply because we personally have enough.

I've been working on plans for my Life With Dee blog for 2017 and am going to have a theme for each month. February is going to be about frugal living (and "going green"). I plan to share lots of resources and your blog will definitely be on the list.

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