I love my grandparents more than anyone the whole world. They are hard-working, “salt of the earth” folks who raised my mother and I in a small fishing village on the coast of Maine. My grandfather was drafted to Korea after high school and when he returned he started dating my grandmother. They got married in 1955 and had my mother the same year.
My grandmother stayed at home with my mother and didn’t begin working outside of the home, or driving a car until she was in her 40’s. Because they didn’t have a lot of money, grammy had to be really resourceful and super frugal. Her 80th birthday is today!
So in honor of her, birthday, here are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned from her about frugality and finances:
Keeping grocery bills low-Grammy was on the beans and rice diet before Dave Ramsey was born. But because we’re of Scotch/Irish descent, “beans and rice” in our household was cheap meat and potatoes. She’d buy a tough piece of meat and some potatoes and onions and boil them all together until they were soft. She’s serve with yellow mustard mixed with sugar and milk (sauce for the meat) and cider vinegar for the cabbage and carrots. She turn the left overs into hash, or soup that we’d eat for another meal. Nothing ever went to waste
Beauty products-Grandma says you don’t have to use expensive skincare or cosmetic products to look good. Grammy has been using Noxzema as a face wash and face cream for over 60 years. She refuses to buy expensive cosmetics and has been using compacts of Cover Girl pressed powder and Aqua Net hair spray for the same amount of time.
Pull out the, “good stuff” for company-I’m not really brand specific about food or drinks in my day to day life, but I do like to splurge when company is coming over. I’m sure I learned this from my grammy. She doesn’t splurge on the, “good stuff” for everyday use either. If company is coming over she’ll bust out the Pepsi, but if she and papa are just chilling at home, they’re probably drinking milk or tea. It’s cheaper and healthier.
Save for a rainy day-Grammy is a consummate saver. From growing vegetables and fruits in the garden and canning them for winter, to putting away extra money under the mattress for emergencies. Grammy has always delayed gratification and saved for tomorrow. She and papa paid for their house with one salary and never borrowed money for frivolous, “extras”.
Don’t be afraid of hard work-Grandma went to work for the first time in her 40s. When my mom went away to college she took a job at the local sardine cannery. For 20+ years she woke up at 4am and drove to the local factory where she stood on her feet for 8 hours a day cutting the heads off little fish with metal scissors and operating canning machines. Talk about hard work! Grammy is my hero.
So here’s my my beautiful, charming and adorable grandmother on her 80th birthday! I love you so much, I’ve learned so much from you and I’m so proud to be your granddaughter!
What have you learned about finances from your grandmother, mother, dad?
Image: Tax Credits