Monday, May 23, 2011

Frugal living

With the way the world is going economically, we need to look back to when our grandmothers, and even our great grandmothers, were moms. They were not able to just go to the shop and buy everything that we have available now. Most of the clothes people wore were handmade by mom. If a garment got torn it was put in the repair basket for the evenings when people still sat around, speaking about their day and the things they dreamed of doing, instead of being glued to the TV every evening.

When we tear a garment we throw it away and buy a new one! Realistically, the clothes we are buying are such bad quality that it is the only thing to do. We need to realise that the media has made it a new trend to buy, buy, buy. If I look at my Oma she has very good quality clothes that she has been wearing for forty years or more. When something finally wears out she will replace it with a new one of good quality.

How can we go back a generation or more? Well, how I am starting, is by knitting jerseys and socks for my family. I choose pure wool over acrylic as it is a better product. It does not stretch out of proportion. In general, I use an Aran tweed wool. My sock wool is 95 percent wool and 5 percent nylon. This gives it strength so that I do not ever have to darn socks. Yes, it is more expensive, but it is warmer, stronger and lasts much longer.

My eldest son passes his jerseys and socks down to his younger brother who pass them down to a friend or family member, and then it is still passed on further. The garments can go through five kids or more!

Every year we are blessed with pajamas from our cousins in England. Wow, it is good quality! Marie buys it on special as our seasons are different. When they get too short for the kids I crochet around the arms and legs of the pajamas and they get another season out of it. You can also add a nice cotton lace to it if you can not crochet.

When Hannah's nightie got too small she did not want to pass it on as she loved the fabric. I thought about it for a while and then made panties out of the fabric for her. She was well pleased with them. I also keep old t-shirts to make undies with.
Last month my hubby bought me some everyday panties from a clothing store that are meant to be good quality. Well, three of the five pairs are broken! As I said, sometimes making it ourselves may take a bit longer and cost a bit more, but in the long run it will cost less and last longer.

What are some of the things we could all do?

1. We could buy vegetables on special and deep freeze them, ready chopped, sliced or diced.
2. We could grow our own veg. Everyone could have spinach in their garden!
3. Buy good quality things and look after them. Yes, it will cost more initially, but in the long run it will be much more cost effective.
4. Repair things when they get broken. Do not throw them away! They probably has a few more years life in them.

If we do more and more of the things our great grandmothers did, we would realise that more moms could stay home with their children. There would be less rubbish on the earth, and a lot less wastage.

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