Saturday, November 1, 2008

Frugal? Cheapskate? Poor?

Image from this site which has a divine sounding recipe for H.C.

What will it be?

I grew up "poor." We could never afford anything.

I hated it with a passion. I had sandwiches made with Baloney--or Spam. (And we never fried the Spam--slicing it would be a "waste"--actually--we didn't even have "Spam"--we had some cheaper Spam knock-off called "Kam") It was mashed, mixed with relish and mayo, spread on brown bread (no butter) and wrapped in waxed paper. Add an apple (oranges were too expensive) and that was lunch. Oh--and I used the same paper bag over and over until I inevitably forgot to bring it home.

Supper, because my Mom had no time to cook (and doesn't cook anyway) was canned soup and sandwiches. I don't remember breakfast. Usually Mom wasn't home (working the early shift) or sleeping (from working the late shift).

I was reminded of all this one day when I recently read a recipe for hot chocolate in The Tightwad Gazette.

The recipe:
1 teaspoon cocoa,
1 teaspoon sugar,
1/3c skim milk powder
6 oz boiling water.

And I suddenly remembered--for years and years I had had skim milk and whatever was the bulk foods cheap equivalent of Nestle's Quick as my hot chocolate mix. I never knew how much of anything I was supposed to use--so for years I skimmed globs of undissolved skim milk from the top of my mug.

I was telling my Mom recently about finding this recipe and as I was thinking out loud about trying it on my kids (who have only ever had Carnation their whole spoiled lives) she quickly interjected, "Make sure you pick up the cocoa from the bulk food bin."

And all the old anger came back.

1 comment :

drwende said...

And THAT is why "frugal" tends to be a middle-class affectation. It's not fun to cut corners if you're actually poor and expect to stay that way.

If you want a more positive slant on a better future, The Millionaire Next Door isn't a bad book.

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