My Frugal Life: Thinking About Thriftiness

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I've been thinking a lot about the world and the terrible state we are in. One thing I've been thinking is that we would all be a lot better off if we didn't say "someone ought to do something" and said "I'm going to do something" instead.


I think we have to stop leaving it to the government to help other people. Sure, there are a lot of people who could do more to help themselves, but an awful lot of people are trying really hard to just survive. Until I have walked in their shoes, I can't know enough to judge them.

I know one thing. If all of us decided that we were going to do whatever we could to help other people, and an awful lot of problems would be solved. I know that's never going to happen. But what if just 10% of us decided to do something?

I am crocheting warm, attractive winter hats and scarves to donate to the needy. It's a little thing. Most of us can do little things to help. Give time to a charity, visit old folks in a nursing home. Some of us can afford to give financially.

Maybe some people could afford to buy things at the thrift shop when they go. A nice white button down shirts for someone who has a job interview coming up. Good winter coats for needy kids. If one person bought a winter coat once a month, 12 kids will be warm enough to go to school. That's doing something!


Think about what churches could be doing. I live outside of Cleveland, Ohio, a very poor town. I am sure there are at least a few hundred churches around here. Here is my pet project for them; having worked for many years with delinquent, mentally ill teenage girls, I know that the foster care system is badly broken.

If a church would say; we have 3 families, an older couple, and a single man who will foster kids because all of us in this church are committed to helping them. We will babysit for them so they have time off. We will teach their fosters new life skills. We will be mentors. We will have them over to cook outs and dinners to teach them about family life and social skills. We will help out financially. No family will be unduly burdened. That church would help create responsible, capable citizens. Just a few kids, but that church is multiplied by a couple hundred, and suddenly something real is happening!


How is this thrifty? Everything we can do to help is something our government doesn't have to do. Every life we effect positively is one less burden. A few hundred kids helped is a few hundred criminals and thousands of crimes prevented.

If people are helping, maybe you will be getting some of that help. Maybe a kid kept off the streets will contribute something wonderful to the world. This isn't impossible. It could be real, but it has to start with us, with you and me. I think we can do it.

By Free2B from North Royalton, OH

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September 23, 20110 found this helpful

All great ideas.

When the grocery store has buy 1 get 1 ,I put the extra in a box in my kitchen. When it's full I take it to our local food bank. Around the holidays when turkeys are priced low I always buy 2 to donate with the fixings. I've also been down sizing and just donated 6 boxes of clothes, toys, books and kitchen stuff.


My yarn supply will outlive me so I've started making lapghans again and bring to the rest homes. Hats and scarfs are easy to do while watching TV in my comfortable home while so many are going without the bare necessities today.

By all means"pay it forward"anyway you can. Thanks for sharing.

September 23, 20110 found this helpful

Who said the world wasn't filled with good people, even the bad one's I feel were once good ones after all they were once little, sweet and full of life. What happened the way of the world is what happened.

I agree with both of you sure would be real nice if all the churches in our world would do what you suggested, how wonderful it would be.

I am always giving away to freecycle to homes that I think will need and use the items I give away.


I can't afford to give my buy one get one free away for I need them myself to get by.

I don't knit or crochet I am fairly good with a sewing machine if I could come up with a project that doesn't cost a lot to make maybe I can make something to give. Anyone have any ideas for me?

Giving is just as much pleasure as receiving and it's good for the heart and the soul.


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September 23, 20110 found this helpful

Wow, some really great ideas, Keeper! I love keeping my hands busy when I watch TV, and scarves and hats are super easy. I think lapghans would be really great too. Things are too tight for me to give food, but I have an awful lot of yarn too. It would be a lot of fun to arrive at a nursing home with some pretty/handsome lapghans.


*Jackie1226 - bless your heart! The first idea that comes to mind is to make walker bags for people in nursing home. They are just nice bags to carry things with you during the day that tie onto walkers. I'll bet that the people on Thriftyfun can come up with even better ideas.

September 24, 20110 found this helpful

Here is an interesting link for sewers who have leftover pieces of polarfleece:

This one has links to many free patterns, and includes a great "charity sewing" section:


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September 25, 20110 found this helpful

Very beautifully written!


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September 26, 20110 found this helpful

Amen to your ideas, Barb!


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September 26, 20110 found this helpful

What an inspiring post! You are right, we can all do a lot by doing a little! This has inspired me to make some hats for the needy because I can crochet quite well. (I live outside of Cleveland, Ohio too, on the East side.)


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September 26, 20110 found this helpful

Fantastic ideas Barb, and hopefully there are those who will listen and start doing these things wherever they are. Just to organize a few families in a neighborhood would be a great help in today's world.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.


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October 7, 20130 found this helpful

I just wrote a message to ThriftyFun. In it, I mentioned what a first class web site I thought it was. Heartwarming and very true submissions such as this just confirm that thought even more.


October 9, 20130 found this helpful

This is heartwarming but our government has a part to play. As much as we want to give there will be those who falls thru the cracks. If our government can feed the people of other countries surely to Goodness it can help take care of our own. Churches tend to only help those within their congregation. It's shameful a country as big as ours that children have to go hungry especially during the months school is out. This problem is so much bigger than a few people willing to donate food to a food bank or help out a neighbor.


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