Making another trip to the store; that makes how many this week? Is it a want or a need? A little planning always is the better way of course, but sometimes things come up and we do run out of something we think we just have to have. The kids forget to tell you they need 4 dozen cookies this afternoon and you used the last of the sugar in that cake for your party at work last night. It happens!
How about calling that older neighbor down the street or next door? They might just have what it is you are going after and could save you the trip. One phone call, even to borrow a cup of sugar, could make them feel needed more than you can imagine. It doesn't take much to give a person that lives alone a lift. They might like to ride to the store with you, even if it is just to get out of the house. You can surely spare 10 minutes to make someone's day, right?
We tend to get so involved in our own lives we forget about those around us. By simply asking someone that lives alone for something, you think they might have, you could give them a tremendous lift. A feeling that someone needed them for a change. How about asking them to accompany you to a school function as a surrogate grandparent? Remember, we might be in their place someday.
Oh, and don't forget to take them a plate of the cookies.
By Ann from Loup City, NE
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I live in a medium size city. The apartment complex I live in is very anonymous and full of temporary residents. My favorite neighbors were three Canadian college students.
One day they knocked on the door and asked to borrow a 13x9 baking pan. Later they brought my husband and I some lasagna. Then I borrowed a can opener when mine suddenly broke. So I took them some homemade hummus and pita.
When they moved out a few months later, they gave us all the boxed, canned and frozen food they had left. Trading food and supplies was a great way to make friends with my temporary neighbors.
Being friendly as a neighbor is common courtesy! Even to the "unfriendly" ones who are Mz Crabapple; or Mz Cranky; I had to think of one who was this way as a cactus. I am a gardener, and thinking of her as "prickly" enabled me to tell the other neighbors as well; she is just a cactus; prickly; that is who she is; now we all get along great together as we realize that just as a cactus is prickly so is her personality! And yes, I take her to town and to doctor's appointments occasionally!
What kind thoughts! I have always tried to cultivate the children in my apartment building, as they are easier to approach & they bring goodwill home with them.
This is the best way to live and be and, sadly, it's begun to become a tradition of days gone by but we still must try to instill in the younger ones (even remind the older) and maybe, just maybe, there will be a revival of true caring and sharing. Thanks for sharing, Ann! :-)
It seems so simple, but what you suggest is really a huge blessing to those of who no longer drive or get around as easily as before. Even a 10-minute drive to the store provides a change of scene and, most importantly, the company of someone who thought of you that day. Thank you and bless you, Ann, for bringing this to mind by writing about it :-)
When I first moved to Tulsa with my husband and kids, it was lonely to be so far from my family. There was an older lady across the street who fell and broke her hip. She lived alone and her daughter was out of state. So I started going over to check on her and do things for her. She became my best friend (despite our over 45 year age difference) and part of our family--my kids got a grandma. We took care of each other and she was thrilled to have a baby around when my 3rd child was born. It was very painful and sad when we lost her.
I've taught all of my kids to be aware of the neighbors around us and do what they can to help when they see the need. The 2 older ones have continued the practice as they grew up and moved out on their own, and they now watch out for THEIR neighbors. I was so proud of my then 13 yr old son, winter before last when he decided on his own, to shovel the ice off 2 of our neighbors' driveways & sidewalks because they are both older and have health problems that prevent them from doing it! And both of my boys have taken it upon themselves to stop and visit "Bub" down the street on their way home from school sometimes because she lives alone now and they don't want her to be lonely!
I've always told my kids what goes around comes around. And you get back what you put out. I have been rewarded, I believe, because my mom has an absolutely wonderful neighbor/tenant who has taken it upon herself to 'adopt' my mom and keep an eye on her as she is getting older and having more problems. I am not there to help carry heavy things into the house, fix the roof if it leaks, take mom to the Dr. if she can't drive, fix her soup if she's sick, etc. But I know the Angel up the road is there for me!
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