Sunday, January 22, 2012

Practical Wisdom From Yesterday's Women: The Price Of Convenience

Welcome to the new series I'm doing called Practical Wisdom from Yesterday's Women  (read the intro here).

So far I've shared with you great tidbits about not wasting,  having a budgetliving within your means,  and being generous.   All of that wonderful wisdom came from a few introductory chapters of the book I'm currently reading through, The American Frugal Housewife.

Now, I'm delving deeper into the text, and am finding some specific things that should be done as opposed to the broader ideas I've already shared.  Since this book was written in 1832, obviously there will be some things that do not hold true for today, but I am still finding plenty that do!

Take this one for example:

"...those who are under the necessity of being economical, should make convenience a secondary object."
Child, Lydia Maria Francis (2009-10-04). The American Frugal Housewife (Kindle Locations 173-174). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

The passage was speaking specifically about purchasing baked goods from a bakery as opposed to making them at home.  This is not news to most of us!  I see cute pictures floating all over facebook from my friends making their kids own birthday cakes and such...and the kids are just as happy, if not more happy with them because of the time and dedication and love that goes into them.

The book also made a point about the types of ingredients used by the baker as opposed to the ones you might use at home.  It is a very valid point she makes, but that is another topic entirely!

The passage got me thinking 1832, they certainly didn't have nearly as many "conveniences" as we have these days, and you really do pay for these conveniences!

  • Single serving bags of snacks or drinks  Have you ever stopped to think why a 20oz drink always costs as much if not more than a 2L??
  • Bagged ready to eat salads.  A $1 or less head of lettuce contains more than you get in one of those bags, and it takes very little time to cut and wash it.
  • Frozen, ready to pop into the microwave items, especially breakfast.  You can buy a box of pancake mix and make 4 times the amount of pancakes that come in that box of pre-made ones for less money, and then freeze them yourself!  I've also made my own hot pockets, breakfast burritos,  and uncrustables.
These are a few kitchen specific ideas, and I'm sure the list could go on, and on.    

What are some conveniences that you choose not to spend extra for?


Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM  

I realized after reading this post, that there is very little that I don't just go the convient route. There area a few though, I don't buy like hamburger helper, cause I make what we call poor man's casserole which is just macaroni and cheese with ground meat in it. I also don't buy bags of salad cause Blaine likes just heads of lettuce. Blaine did point out that even though it doesn't pertain to cooking and the kitchen, we do all our own repairs on our trailer, and I do all the remodeling myself. So I guess that could be a way of saving a little convience money. Lol Thank you for this post it has given me something to think about. -Ruby

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