I'm taking my 95 year old father, who lives by himself, grocery shopping today. We go to Aldi, a generic type market (corn flakes cost $1.25, not $4.50).

Dad grew up in the 30's depression, scraping his way through college. I learned at an early age not to waste food or money, and not to spend money foolishly. In a sense, I'm a child of the depression. I, too, shop at Aldi for food, Goodwill for clothes. Frugality, parsimony, etc. are my "cheap" words.

My food shopping habits drive my daughter and husband crazy. They operate a "natural foods" (orgainic-like) farm (Silverthorn-farm.org), growing all kinds of locally produced veggies, eggs, meat, etc. Their customers spend the big bucks for fresh, home-grown food. 

Of course, I can get food from them any time. So why do I keep returning to Aldi, etc.? I can't help myself. It's in my blood to find the best price, even if the product is inferior. It doesn't mean my kids aren't careful with their money. It's just a different mindset, especially when it comes to food.

Don't know if it's a generation gap type difference or not. For this generation, the "great" depression is ancient history. So be it. I'm off to Aldi.

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Comment by Idaho Spud on March 8, 2013 at 10:44am

Thanks for the reminder Luara.  I often forget to check on Amazon for food, although in the past I've bought bulk chocolate and seasonings.

Comment by Luara on March 8, 2013 at 9:14am

You can also buy food in bulk cheap online, from Amazon.  I buy 25-pd bags of whole-grain amaranth and quinoa. 

Comment by Future on March 8, 2013 at 8:13am

One word - craigslist.  If you live near a large metropolitan center, craigslist is bursting with deals from private owners.  I rarely ever go looking for something in a store without looking on craigslist first.  We usually save about 75% off retail prices, many times for things more unique and/or well built than what is in the stores.

Comment by tom sarbeck on March 8, 2013 at 2:58am

I was born in 1930. My dad's parents were urban poor in Northern Kentucky; my mom's were blue collar in Cincinnati. They and five kids lived frugally. The GI Bill paid my way through college. At 82 I'm reminding myself it's okay to spend money.

I remember a letter my dad's mother wrote. After writing on one side, she turned the sheet 90 degrees and wrote across her first lines. It was readable.

Comment by Idaho Spud on March 7, 2013 at 1:28pm

I was raised to be frugal also.  Never cared about "style", "cool", "flashy", "in", or keeping-up with the dummies.

Comment by Daniel W on March 7, 2013 at 11:29am

There will always be generation gaps.  Also, some of us change with age too.  I am also a 2nd hand child of the depression.

I don't have to, but I shop at Goodwill too, yard sales, and estate sales.  There are several reasons.  Reuse/recycle is good.  Why buy a shoddy new item on impulse, if a solid looking old one is much cheaper.  It's environmentally friendly to reuse.  Sometimes, stuff is just better.

A couple of my cooking pans are top-quality.  Stainless steel, copper bottom.  They came from estate sales for a couple dollars.  To buy cheap shoddy ones at the local store, several times as expensive and won't last.

I also buy yardwork / home clothes - jeans, heavy shirts - the same way.  Not fashionable, but durable and comfortable.  For clothes to wear at work, I have to look professional so those are usually new but usually bought on sale.  Why throw away money?  Use it for something that's really wanted.

My house was a near-abandoned fixer upper that I thought was solidly built.  It took 10 years, but now i think it's a great house.  Very comfortable.   Last year we bought 2 acres in the country, also in need of work and was a bank sale, "take as is".  It's turning out to be a great place to grow stuff and get away from town, and we could not have bought it any other way.

I also like seed savers and cutting exchange for gardening.  Get a lot of interesting varieties to try.  Sometimes rare and not available any other way.  Makes life interesting.

If there is something I really want, and it's expensive, I might buy it.  They don't have Aldi in my area, wish they did - I like that place.  But there are other options.


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