Food, Prom and Gifts

My Mother was raised during the depression so being Frugal is a way of life for me. Mother would never go anywhere unless it was to work, she did all her shopping on the way. If a store was more than a block or two off her route she didn't shop there.

Our gifts were either from Gold Stamps or she rebuilt, repainted, and remade finds. To this day, I can't remember ever having a birthday party, they were a waste of money. Now that I have raised my family, I thank her. My husband and I have raised 9 children, 5 lived with us full time, without my having to work outside the home.

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Here are some frugal things I do...

For gifts I rebuild, repaint, and remake finds. This includes children's birthday parties. I just can't make myself give them up. My youngest daughter has been planning for prom all her high school life. She has 3 dresses to chose from without costing me anything. The dress she is going to wear she got from our church. Our church had a barn full of clothes for any member that has a need and she fell in love with a dress they had. She has volunteered her time in exchange for the dress. I actually have 2 two children going to prom this year and have spent less than $100.

For My Son

I got his clothes at a thrift store:

  • Tuxedo... $20
  • Shirt... $4
  • Shoes... $7
  • His (Senior) ticket... free
  • Date's ticket... $35
  • Date's corsage... $12.50

For My Daughter

  • Dress... Free
  • Shoes... Free
  • Senior (Senior)
  • Her Ticket... Free
  • Corsage 12.50

That's a total of $91.00 and both kids look great.

When they were younger I could feed us all on $50 a week. A 5 pound roll of hamburger made 4 meals. We would eat 2 pound roast for Sunday night. A 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters for the remaining meals. For just $16 we had meat for every evening. I would also buy 10 pounds of potatoes, some noodles, and 14 cans of vegetables. Any extra money went for soaps. shampoo, and snacks. They ate lunch at school and I ate leftovers for lunch.

Randa from Martindale, TX

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May 2, 20060 found this helpful

I am very interested in some of your frugal ideas. Can you tell me how you only spent $50 per week for groceries? I have 2 older sons and a sister that live with me. I seem to spend a LOT of money on groceries every week and can't seem to find a way to do it any cheaper. I use coupons whenever I can.

I would also like to hear some of your ideas on remaking and rebuilding gifts. I am not very good at creating ideas.....once I see them done, I am on my way. You can reach me at Lmm3880 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Thanks

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May 2, 20060 found this helpful

ALWAYS MAKE A MEAL PLAN SO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'LL NEED AT THE STORE. I SHOP AT ALDI'S MOST OF THE TIME AND BUY AS MUCH MEAT WHEN IT'S MARKED DOWN AND MAKE A LOT OF MEALS FROM SCRATCH THAT GO FAR. LIKE SPAGETTI,GOULOSH,HAM AND BEANS,ETC YOU GET THE IDEA. I MAKE HOMEMADE CAKES AND COOKIES ETC FOR SNACKS. FRENCH FRIES AND MASHED POTATOES ARE MADE FROM THE REAL MCCOY I DON'T BUY FROZEN THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD RECIPES AND IDEAS FROM ALL THE FOLKS THAT COME TO THIS SITE

GOOD LUCK

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May 2, 20060 found this helpful

CHECK OUT THE CRAFT FORUM HERE REAL COOL AND INEXPENSIVE GIFTS

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October 9, 20060 found this helpful

I too have 9 children. I have a deadbeat husband who refuses to help us. He has moved on with his life leaving us behind to deal with life on our own. I am not bitter nor are my daughters. I was interested in your free prom dress since my oldest daughter is going to Junior prom this year. How did you get it for your daughter, so I can do the same for my daughter. I am on rental assistance. I rent a two bedroom mobile home now. Our rent is $198.00 a month on assistance. There is no money for a dress. Any help would be good. Did someone give her the dress and shoes. Thank you. PS I do have a sofa sleeper and bunk beds. This is where the money that is extra went too.

from tanyarj_2006@peoplepc.com

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October 19, 20060 found this helpful

try www.freecycle.org. This site is awesome. People are always giving stuff away.

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September 5, 20080 found this helpful

It would help to know in each case, where you live, how many stores (names, types) within 1 mile. Do you have to take small children with you? Do you have regular access to internet (use craigslist.com for requests, free)? What are your cooking skill levels? Can you have chickens where you live?Can you or your mom sew or knit...As much info as possible helps in the advice. Are you on bus or foot or do you have car? Are you in apartment or own house? Do you have a yard? How are you at math...can you break down a recipe to half or fourths if that's all the ingredients you have?

EG..Once my son and his girl were totally broke with 3 kids at the time at home. I gave them a recipe for cookies of 2 kinds in cups...they went to winco, which has bins and bought enough flour, sugar,chips, oatmeal, etc, just for the recipes. It can be done that close if you can buy out of bins. When I was expecting, I figured out our family's entire nutritional needs to the serving and shopped like that, until my husband got a better job.

One of the best buys you can make is a one pound package of quick rise yeast. It's about $2.50 .Keep in refridgerator, sealed in jar or plastic bag. 2 teaspoons makes one recipe of rolls, or one loaf of bread, or one recipe of cinnamon buns. The pound contains about a years worth of baking, if you make a couple of things a week, whereas the individual packets are spendy. Keep Knorr brand bouillon cubes in chicken and beef around. Extremely flavorful. In the mexican section and soup section at walmarts, about 65 cents for a box of about 6-8 large cubes. Use 1/2 to 1 cube for most recipes. You can make a pot of stew from left over roast or chicken soup from second day roast chicken and a dozen dinner rolls and I assure you people will be full. If you know what it is, get a pound of nutritional yeast flakes and add up to one tablespoon to bread or soups for extra vitamins. Lasts a long time. With the leftover chicken carcass, simmer a bit, take off the meat for the soup, and collect the tiny scraps for your cats, put them in a left over cat food can, with a spoon or two of broth (do not salt broth or use bouillon until you've taken out carcass for animals, they don't always like salt. Freeze the kitty food for times when you don't have money for their food and thaw when needed.

Start serving controls and fix plates as needed instead of letting kids dish up until they get what's going on. Let them fill up on bread. If it's warm and just out of the oven, what a treat.

There are a zillion ideas out there, and kids can be taught to knit and make things, even if just for house. It gives them something to do, and they can make slippers to keep their own feet warm in winter. Garage, but especially estate sales often have knitting needles for 10 cents, and on the last day of the sale, stuff is often given away for almost nothing or for free.

My sis in law had some old womens magazines from early 1960's when I was 18 and newly married. Most of the readers of those magazines lived very, very frugally. I had thought it was just my family, no it was very common. Women sent scraps to each other for quilts, etc, and listed the postage they could afford...I was shocked to realize how many were

living so carefully.

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In This Article
Depression Era Bank
Frugal Living Lessons from the Great Depression
Categories
Better Living Frugal Living My Frugal LifeMay 1, 2006
Guides
Closet full of prom dresses.
Planning a Prom Dress Re-Sale Event
Three girls wearing prom dresses.
Saving Money on Prom Dresses
Couple Going to Prom
Saying Yes to a Prom Invitation
A couple opening wedding gifts.
Registering for Wedding Gifts
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