Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: When I was young and poor....

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,488
    I had 3 children ages 5 and under by the age of 23... we were young and dumb at the time. I worked nights off and on between babies and my husband was a carpenter. I used to take the kids to the thrift stores for clothes and I discovered that there can be some really nice fabrics if you look for them. When I was on the hunt for fabric I didn't care what the clothing was, the style or anythiing, I just looked at what it was made of.

    Like a long floral skirt that no one would actually wear anymore but the cotton fabric is in great shape. Could buy the skirt for a dollar, cut the seams and cut off the waist, wash it... and you have a nice amount of fabric. Formal dresses that were worn once and donated, etc.

    Every little bit helped and I sure couldn't afford to be spending money on unnecessary things.

    (still poor but not so young anymore :wink: )

  2. #2
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    South Puget Sound, Wa. State
    Posts
    2,176
    When I was young and poor, I split my can of beans with my dog. I heated my house with the burners on my stove. I used an electric blanket because we couldn't afford oil for the house.
    My Dad offered me "relief" and I was too proud to take cash help but sure apprecieated the box of groceries of "extras" he had for me...
    I learned or vowed never to be in those straights again and haven't been...god bless...but have helped many who have been.
    K

  3. #3
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    N61 6.1839', W149 52.0138'
    Posts
    1,220
    I've done a lot of that throughout the years, mostly for rug making. Just today I went into the thrift store, and was shocked at the prices! I could not find a pair of jeans (ladies) for under $15! So, I'm thinking thrift stores aren't such a good deal, but garage sales might be!

    M

  4. #4
    Lisa T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Menominee, Michigan
    Posts
    918
    I do this! Every Sunday our Goodwill has one color tag on sale for 99 cents and I go every week and scour the store. I have gotten some really cute fabric this way, and I just started a button jar. I wash it right away and then cut it up sometime during the week and put the buttons in the jar.
    I also look through the special occasion clothes because I like to embellish and it's a good way to get cheap, nice beads or sequins.

  5. #5
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    I got can food and other food items from the dollar general.
    I used candles to read at night instead of watching tv.
    I set my heat on 60 and covered up in blankets. I had older blankets as window curtains to keep the cold air from seeping in through the windows and around the doors. I only cooked with electric or did laundry with electric. I also used fans during the summer unless it was above 90 and then I would run the air conditioner just during the hottest part of the day and then turn it back off when the temp fell back to around 75-80 and ran the fans again.

    I did this from 1995 to 2000. Ages 19-23 because I couldn't get help from my parents(they said sink or swim) and I wasn't going to take charity or food stamps. Too much pride and I didn't want my parents to think I was a failure.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    323
    Were getting older and we still live like we did in the earlier years. Had we not watched every dime over the years we would not have what we have now. Like some of the others here I could not accept help from my family or from the system, I did try to get food stamps one time and I was denied, I was so frustrated that I have made sure that I have never had to be in the position to have to apply again.

    Even when things got better financially and hubby and I both had really good jobs people knew what we were making, because they were making the same kind of money. They would ask us why we shopped second hand, and why we shopped in bulk, why we used coupons. Financially we did not need to, but every dime that we saved helped us to get ahead. We did then and still do now figure up what we saved and put the saved amount towards our house payment. A lot of people do not realize that even a few extra dollars a month towards the principal will shorten the loan and knock a lot off the interest.

    I get coupons in the mail, online and in the newspaper and magazines. We only get what we have coupons for or what is on sale. Becuase I do not work outside the home anymore I only leave my house once a week and that is to go to a meeting at the church, the day I have to go to it I do whatever else needs done like banking, dollar store grabs, post office, whatever it may be, so I only have one trip out a week.

    We do not buy very many meats at all in the stores unless I want to make something with a specialty meat. We buy a half a beef or half a hog from the local butcher at a time, and he delivers it to me so I do not evn have to leave to get the meats. We grow, can and freeze a lot of veggies in the gardening months. It is an hour to the nearest Wal Mart or Sam's so we only go once a month and we make a day of it and get everything we need for a month at a time.

    When I buy online I look for free shipping, coupon codes, and places that will match someone elses prices if they are lower.

    My husband drives a truck and he loads a lot of things like potato's and onions and beans, when he is at a produce shed he has the opportunity to buy things by the case or sack and does so at a much lower price than the stores charge. Sometimes they even give him the stuff for free.


  7. #7
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Mount Vernon, Oh
    Posts
    707
    I had my son when I was young and poor, I hand washed our clothing at night, I couldn't afford the laundry mat. I still wash my nice blouses by hand, they last and look nicer. I cooked macaroni a lot, you can make a lot of food stretch with it. I raised my kids on garage sale clothes, and still love going to them. now I look for material, and such.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alturas, CA
    Posts
    8,403
    I've been known to do the same thing. You can find a lot of nice clothes at thrift stores, especially for the price you can't beat them. I had to stop doing that, since I have enough fabric that I haven't cut up and sewn and was running out of room.LOL

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I was divorced with two babies and applied for food stamps and was so embarrassed to use them I didn't go back to re register for more after the first month. :oops: I love thrift stores and find many nice things there.

  10. #10
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    6,895
    I did without! Walked instead of drove, and that was back when gas was really cheap $0.35 a gallon!
    I re discovered thrift stores after I retired! And libraries! And cooking! and walking again! Life is good! I am fortunate that I live near everything I need, except the fabric stores and LQS are not within walking distance! I am glad for that because I don't go JUST for that, I make a circuit and live more fugally than I need to, but I am happy with the extra at the end of the month for "good stuff"! :lol:

  11. #11
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Okeechobee, Florida
    Posts
    1,069
    When we were married in 1961 I didn't really realize we were poor. But after our Girls were born in 63 and 64 Boy did I realize what it meant. Wash clothes in the bath tub and I used a small rub board. Anyone remember them. Family kinda iqnored us both sides. I didn't ask for help and neither did he. No TV we did have a radio and HIFi set,Mine the last Christmas I was at my Parents. WE read a lot and played board games with our best friends,who were in the same boat. Have gone without supper so my babies had formula,baby food. WE always have lived when I was pregnant where we had citrus Trees. Oranges,Grapfruit,Tangerines,lemons and lady finger bananas. Living in southern Fla. Citrus was everywhere. I have seen days when that was what I would have to eat all day.. But it all paid off, We did it all by ourselves without help. We have 2 Beautiful Daughters who had piano lessons,horses,a lot of things we never had. We spoiled them,but in a good way. They had to work for what they wanted. I mean at home and to take care of what they did get, responsibilty is a wonderful thing to learn at an early age. It has paid off for them also. Both girls are hard workers and don't expect anything to be given to them. I used to make my daughters play clothes out of feed sacks my stepfather gave me. Boy do I wish I had them today. :D Any ways those times were hard but Here we are April 7,1961 To April 7,2009 that is 48 yrs. :shock: and everyone said We couldnt do it. :lol: :lol: :lol:
    BillsBonBon

  12. #12
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    blink and you've missed it
    Posts
    2,612
    I grew up poor, married too young, 2 girls and divorced. Got into a relationship, had my son, lost my job, done it all.

    I learned after my marriage- no one was going to take care of me or my girls. It was up to me. So I left being shy and the lack of confidence behind and started over. Best thing that happened to me.

    The old- pick yourself up by the bootstraps and move on- or suck it up and move on, don't sweat the small stuff. Yepper- been there, done that.

    Now I tell someone who may be down on their luck and are looking for the easy way out- if I was down to my last dollar, it's up to me to earn the next 2. I didn't take handouts but learned coupons, thrift stores, etc. were the way to go.

    Now, I can afford some things easier than others. Yes, I have a big house, a new car and lots of "stuff" but I earned it by working hard and I don't apologize for having it. I am still sympathetic to other's needs. Sometimes someone needs a little pick-me-up for a bad situation they have no control over. I send a little something their way because I know how it feels to be scraping to makes ends meet. I prefer to do it quietly and just knowing I bring a smile is good enough.

    But, with the real estate market suffering and jobs disappearing, I may have to tighten the belt even more. I did try exchanging name brand Oreos for generic, but it was a bad experience, so I guess I will have to bite the bullet and save the 50 cents somewhere else. Can't mess with the Oreos. :)

    barb

  13. #13
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    2,282
    When we were first married, almost everything we had was given to us or purchased second hand (or third, or fourth, etc). We had a floor model tv (belonged to MIL) and put up an antenna for reception. I applied for a SEARS credit card and purchased a new gas cooking stove because the old electric one in the used trailer we lived in had all the coating eaten off the wires by mice and would shock you if you touched any part of the metal while you were using it! The oven didn't work, so I had a little toaster oven we'd gotten an at estate sale (same place we got most of our stuff). We could bake 1/2 pizza at at time, or was it 1/4? LOL! I baked my DH a chocolate birthday cake in it one time, one cake at a time, in small, round pans. It took over 2 hours to bake one cake in it. It was 2 or 3 layers because the pans were small.

    Remember those bag cell phones, with the external antenna? My husband had one of those when I met him. He worked, still lived at home, and could afford it. When we got married, he still was under contract with that, so we had to keep it, but we couldn't afford a land line AND the cell phone. We bought a converter to plug the car adapter into, and that box plugged into electric. We put the antenna on the roof and used that as our house phone! We had to watch our minutes pretty closely. Back then, you really didn't get many minutes.

    My MIL is one of those types that saves everything, or so it seems. So, she had many, many boxes of dishes and everything else to give us.
    Hubby worked full-time at a pallet mill, and I worked full-time as a medical billing specialist, so we had food. I eventually quit my job because the business was located in a home...and what went on with the family, went on in the business. The owners went through a divorce, and I never wanna go through another divorce. :roll: Hubby got a different job, also, and things kept getting better.

    My best friend had a Bridal Shower for me, and we really got a lot of nice things. We still use a lot of those things! Some of the towels are even still around.

    I didn't have a washer and dryer for a long time...I took the laundry to my Mom and Dad's and did it after work, but she usually had it ready. Sweet. ;) SOmeone finally gave us an old dryer they didn't want anymore, and it worked pretty good. I'd wash clothes at Mom's or MIL's and bring them home and dry them.

    I grew up on clothes from Thrift stores, yard sales, and hand me downs. I still wear them. Hey, why not? My kids wear a lot of thrift store, yard sale, and hand-me-downs, too. I won't buy a shirt for the kids at GoodWill for $2.50 or $3.00 when I can get them a brand new at Wal-Mart or the dollar store for $3-$4.


    It is so ...I can't think of a word... wonderful, I guess (in a sad sense) to look around me and think of the things that have been replaced over the years....to remember those things that used to be here, not really "here", as we don't live in our little trailer these days. Sunday made us 4 years in our new home.

    When we get something new that will replace something, we try to give it to someone else that can really use it. I know I sure appreciated it when we got things like that when we really needed them.


  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Angeles, WA
    Posts
    12,753
    Oh gosh I could write a book.... :D I was pregnant when we got married in 1981... I lucked out and had wonderful parents and mil who helped us, but we never bought anything new til my son was 1 and my hubby bought me my sewing machine from Sears... Kenmore. still have....I made all my sons clothes til he got to Jr high.... We ate alot of mac and cheese, big pot of spegehtti or other dinners to last for days......We always shopped at yard sales and thrift stores.... I bought mens corderoy pants cuz i could get 2-3 pants out of it for my son. I still like to shop thrift stores.. My aunt made this most gorgeous hawaiin quilt made with mens shirts from thrift stores.. I buy just about everything generic. When I became disabled it was rough. But we made do..... I'm glad I make quilts cuz I'm keeping my family warm.. I get depressed easy (head injuries do that) so sewing keeps me busy .. I know theres so much more i could write about, but you'll have to wait til the book gets published :wink: :wink: :wink: :lol:

  15. #15
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,488
    When you go through the hard times you appreciate so much more what you have. We lived on hamburger and pasta and not even the jars of spaghetti sauce. That was too expensive so it was cans of tomatoe sauce with some spices thrown in. Those huge tubs of oatmeal went a lot further for the same or less than packaged cereal. We once sold my junker of a car to a junk yard in order to get the money for rent.

    I don't like debt and the stories I read at a couple of credit boards are scary and I think how do those people sleep at night who have so much debt hanging over them? Living within your means isn't always fun.

    I've come a long way too but I still save everything I can and it's tough sometimes but being single there is no one else to share the load and no one is going to take care of my retirement but me.

    The simple pleasure of sewing and creating something with my own hands is as satisfying and makes me as happy as more expensive persuits.

  16. #16
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    3,029
    I'm proud of ALL of you. Your stories of the harder times in our lives sure jog my memory of tougher times but I feel these times made me the strong, independent and self sufficient person I have become. I married in 1966 and became a military wife. We lived on a $90 monthly allotment that I got and my hushband got $ 89. a month. We bought everything at the Commissary and that was cheaper but we didn't have money for any extras at all. One time in 4 months we splurged on a movie that cost us 50 cents each to get in.....The Naked Prey was the movie! Being young and not being a very good cook but had interest in learning I bought STEAK for dinner for our 1st month anniversary... ...didn't realize OX TAIL isn't STEAK! I''ve learned. Now we can afford a REAL steak but brand X husband has someone else cooking for him and my wonderful DH and I don't do too much red meat anymore for health sake so in 43 years we've kinda come full circle only with different partners.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Odessa, Texas
    Posts
    884
    golly, i've read all your posts about being poor and had to smile and have sympathy for all. the reason for the smile is that i can relate all too well to the poor days. I was born in 1936 so grew up during World War II, when we had to have government issued rationing stamps in order to buy most anything. Reminds me of the poor old rattlesnake who was so poor he didn't have a pit to hiss in! One thing I vowed to never have when I grew up was an outdoor crapper. And never did again after I got married in 1954. Then after 22 years of marriage and 2 kids later, my dear husband died at the ripe old age of 44 from heart problems and I was left a widow at 40 to finish raising a 13 year old daughter. I still live in the same house as husband and I bought in 1965. I still work part time (i'm a barber). And I thank God every day for good enough health that I still can work. And I'm still thankful every day for an indoor crapper, lol.

  18. #18
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2,540
    Like the rest of you I too shopped garage sales when our kids were younger. I either got it at a garage sale or I made it.

    Our oldest daughter (when she was little) told everyone at church that I made her shoes. We all got a good laugh at that.

    Now she has her own children. She walked in on her girls fighting and asked what was going on. Her youngest was trying to convince the older one that I had made her shoes. I don't think she every heard us tell that story either.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    central Oklahoma
    Posts
    74
    Have been there and done that and don't regret a minute. It sure makes one appreciate the better times and I never forget to thank the ONE who is responible for getting us through those years. ( PS. I had 4 children under 4 when I was 21 and don't regret that either) Have a Happy Day :)

  20. #20
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    What inspiring stories! I'm from Yorkshire stock where they have an expression that sometimes you have to 'cut currants in half'!

    Here in rural France, the locals are much more in touch with the countryside and nature and nothing is wasted. They all grow their own veggies, keep chickens for eggs and meat etc and we do a bit ourselves as well. I'm lucky now that my OH got a good job last year, although this means he is away from home a few nights a week; up until then, it was a struggle (he was an estate agent here and the market crashed - like everywhere! No sales=no commission!); there were times when we were glad of the home reared eggs and veggies!

    But all this really makes you appreciate things more. I feel really sorry for kids who get everything on a plate - computer games, fashion clothes etc - they never seem happy with anything; now when I see the first spring veggies starting to sprout in my veg patch - that makes me happy!

    This was part of my reason for staying in France rather than the UK - I want my kids to grow up not doing without, but knowing what's important.

    K x

  21. #21
    Scottie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY
    Posts
    30
    I remember the first few months when I first moved out of "Mom and Pop's" place and I had my very first apartment by myself. Money was incredibly tight and I was determined that I would be ok on my own. Some weeks, I would have 25 cents left over after paying bills and living expenses...and I would go to the local Woolworth's store and buy two skeins of embroidery floss for 10 cents a skein! After 10 weeks I had 20 different colors!

    I also remember that I drew my own designs on muslin and would take hours to decide which colors of embroidery floss that I would use in the design....then I would enjoy sewing on that design with my "treasure" of embroidery floss.

    After all of these years, I still really really enjoy embroidering activities, and I will never forget standing in Woolworth's wondering which 2 colors of floss that I would buy that week.


  22. #22
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    blink and you've missed it
    Posts
    2,612
    Woolworth's- I loved that place. When I started to work (earning the grand minimum wage of $3.35 per hour) after losing my very well paid job, I used to go to Woolworth's to "window shop"- they always had such cool stuff. I usually didn't have any money but it was fun to walk through the store.

  23. #23
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    3,029
    I loved Woolworths, too. We had some elderly ladies (3 sisters) who lived neighbor to us and one of them taught me the fine art of "shopping til you drop" at Woolworths...I was about 6 and we'd walk to town and she'd always let me chose what kind of candy I wanted from the bin after bin of bulk cookies, nuts and candy Woolworths had. I loved those shopping trips.

    My first REAL job was working at the lunch counter of J.J. Newberry's store. I was barely 16 yrs old and thought the job at Newberry's was the best job in the whole world. I can still remember the wonderful food at the lunch counter and the turkey dinner with all the trimmings wasn't lost on me as it was my favorite. I, too, remember getting yards and iron on embroidery patterns to put on dish towels and pillow cases for my "hope chest." Fond, fond memories. Thanks for reminding me of them.

  24. #24
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bay area CA
    Posts
    879
    I was just in a Woolworth's in December...

    in Aachen Germany.

    Strange world where the stores you grow up in don't exist here, but you find them overseas.

    As for the Goodwill stores? I don't need no stinkin Goodwill store. I just go up to my closet and pull out clothes that don't fit me no more. Dang things shrunk or something. *L*

    tim in san jose

  25. #25
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    2,282
    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter
    I was just in a Woolworth's in December...

    in Aachen Germany.

    Strange world where the stores you grow up in don't exist here, but you find them overseas.

    As for the Goodwill stores? I don't need no stinkin Goodwill store. I just go up to my closet and pull out clothes that don't fit me no more. Dang things shrunk or something. *L*

    tim in san jose
    Yes. I think someone should invent some NON-SHRINK spray for the closets! Crazy how things just hang in there and shrink. Maybe there is a shrink monster like the sock monster that takes socks in the laudry that you never see again??!! Must buy monster repellent!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.