Thursday, March 19, 2009

19 March 1955 "Advertising, Savings, Interiors, Bulk Buying, and Fashion"

ADVERTISING spending is still climbing at a rapid pace, reports Advertising Age. In 1954 the 60 top ($10 million or better) U.S. and Canadian agencies billed $2.2 billion in ads, a 10% increase over 1953. Four U.S. advertising agencies cracked the $100 million mark. [And so it begins. The money pours into the propaganda machine, hold on tight 20th century, your in for a long and controlling ride!]

ROBERT R. YOUNG won his fight to keep Allegheny Corp. out of reach of the Securities & Exchange Commission's strict regulations. The Interstate Commerce Commission ruled that Alleghany, which controls the New York Central railroad, is a railroad carrier coming under its more flexible rules, thus overriding SEC, which had contended that Alleghany was an investment company. [Here we begin to see the game being played by the growing corporation. Through a loop-hole in that the corp. controls the entire NYC railroad system, it is able to not be guided under the stricter guidelines of the S.E.C.]
I promised to scan the whole of the 1950's childrens book on savings, so here it is:










































They say "familiarity breeds contempt", but in my yearning for vintage design, I am finding it quite the opposite. Out of all the various trials I have had in trying to stay 'true' to 1955, the one constant has been magazines. I have had slip ups of course: Thousand dollar microwave use, swiffer etc, and so on and then in the realization, corrected it and also learned my modern dependency on the item. The one aspect that has been purely 100% (so far) 1950s for me has been magazines and books.
I have not, even once yet, touched a book or magazine later than the 50s (sometimes a magazine from 56-59 slips in but never even 1960). So, by having only seen these magazines about interiors and the home (the type of modern magazine I enjoyed reading before my trip to 1955) it has begun to affect my taste. My esthetic has changed somewhat, in regards to 1950s interiors.

I have always collected vintage magazines. The last couple of years I had really begun to find myself "into" the 1950s, where before I had adored the early magazines of pre WWI. Perhaps it was the precurser to this project. I naturally am drawn to magazines on the home, decorating and gardening and their ilk. However, I never really had much but disdain or a passing apalled gasp when vieweing mid-century interiors. However, I am finding myself (especially with my current pile of 1951-54 House Beautifuls) to find things I may have otherwise considered horrendous, "normal" or even somthing to aspire to or that I might try in my own interiors. While I had every intention of trying various 1950's deocrating ideas, it was mostly for the project. Now, I am actually finding myself drawn to the design esthetic.

This, of course, has got me thinking. Again I am finding another element of my personality (my esthetic taste) being questioned.
Taste. What we are drawn too, obviously, is highly affected by what we are shown. I no longer can, nor do I, watch modern design shows. I read no modern magazines. My continuing 'taste' in decor and design now can only be formed from the 1950s. Now I am finding when I see a wallpaper or a even, yes, wood panelling, from this era in my magazines, I no longer recoil. It, like ads for girdles, have just become 'normal' to my viewing.
This brought up two points for me:
The first: I am beginning to see a certain beauty and element to which I am drawn in these 1950s interiors. It is really enticing me to redo the whole house and furnishings.
The second: Oh, my god! The same thing is happening to me in 1955! I am succumbing to advertising. Is this because the 1950s is really when this is beginning? Or, is it because, as a modern woman, I am transferring my modern desire to covet and want what I see in a magazine simply now being transferred to these new 'tastes'? (Perhaps I just thing to much, but I am a homemaker and I am training my mind to a razor sharp decision maker and evaluator.)

I want to make over this house. I want to make it feel the way I wish it to feel. But, is my wanting to change and have a 'new style' to go along with the project for the project, or is it just another aspect of the old me wanting to spend and redo?

It is becoming harder to separate my conditioning from the real me. Who IS the real me? I also don't want to get bogged down in the other thing I fear: that sort of delusion of phsychotherapy where you are left evaluating yourself so much you just end up obsessed with YOU and only thinking about how YOU feel or what makes YOU happy.

It is at this point that I channel my 1955 self.

I tell myself, "alright, you made it thru WWII and the Depression, don't worry about YOU so much. If you want to change the house to make you feel more 'connected' to your work place AND to make it more efficeint to live frugally, then just do it! Don't over-analyize! If you can't afford something, take somthing you have and repaint it or decopage it. Make your life happy and comfortable within the reason of your funds and move on. This will give you time to worry more about what you can do to become more a part of your neighborhood rather than wasting time on if you can find wallpaper to match the drapes!"
This IS important to me: my home and my interior and how I decorate and live. But, don't make it become an excuse to fall into the habit of the 21st. century. Do what a 1955 housewife could ONLY do. Live within your means. I know you could 'charge' things back then, but it was not really common. Take what you have and make it different and better and only buy here and there to supplement it. Also, try to buy actual vintage that is sturdy and worth more in that if it is still around, it is probably fairly well made.
This is the balance I am beginning to strike.

I am beginning to see my 1955 personna as a sort of 'symbol' I can call upon. Let us hope I don't end up with multiple personalities! Really she has become more of a Jimminy Cricket character for me, or the angel on my shoulder. After all she has been through a war and a depression, so she knows hardship!
So, with that said, I thought I would share some of the images of different designs in my magazines. You may find them hideous due to your own living in the modern world. Maybe they look like 'grandmas' house. Any way, I am responding to them, either good or bad, and thought you might like to see them.

This is an ad for Heywood-wakefield furniture which was actually quite well made and I somtimes come across such pieces at sales and antique shops. It often is rather inexpensive, as most people don't consider it worth collecting. I love the almost 'doll house' like quality of the line. It has a rustic simplicity mingled with a modern esthetic that seemed unique to this time. What once looked like a bad hotel to me, now seems to have charm and warmth. If you saw the post I did where I found the top of a china cabinet, you will see how similiar it is to the bottom picture in the dinning room. Mine will end up in the breakfast room, either in its orignal wood or painted.

I like the daring of this room. I am also, since 1955, beginning to view pink as an actual choice for interiors. I used to loathe it and found it to twee. Here I think it is treated in a nice way and I like how the pattern on the ceiling is carried into the draperies. There is a sort of calm organized maturity to these rooms. There is never too many 'things' and each item seem well thought out. I find this 'decorating' less 'overdone' than many modern ways of decorating (21st century I mean)

Though I don't, myself, really respond to this green (having live in the 1980's I am still shell shock from all the Forest Green) the concept of the design is good. I like that the fabric on the sofas is bold and that the series of paintings over the mantle share not frame styles but the color. I think that grey-white painted frame is quintessential 1950s. I am really growing to love it and I am sure by the end of the year, some of my non-antique frames will be recieving some such paint affect.

I really like this room. I like the color. I like that the calm of the room is the result of minimal amounts of color. I think a room can be too matchy, but here, for me it works. Another thing I now like that I used to make fun of, is that froth of sheer curtain at the window. You often see it in movies of the 40s and 50s. I really think I want some. This is a great example of taking a bunch of disparedged garage sale finds, giving them all a lick of paint, and suddenly you have a pleasing set of furntiure. I would use more artwork on the wall, but again, less seems to be more in these instances.
This is one of my latest acquistions. It cost me the whopping amount of $5.00. I bought it at my favorite little antique shop. The woman said, "well the frame is really nice and worth more than that" to which I replied, "oh, the picture is staying in there."
This blue is the perfect color to my bedroom which is this blue and deep brown. She will hang in my corner next my dressing table. I will post a photo when she is in her new home. Isn't she adorable. I might have thought this too sweet once, but now find it the perfect boudoir pic. When I see it, it just makes me smile. Perhaps I see myself at my own dressing table, waiting for a big evening in the city.
Now, onto cooking.
I thought I would share a little experiment I made yesterday. I keep coming across various recipes with advertising for pie crust. Each claims the recipe ONLY works with their particular brand, which of course I do not believe. Yesterday I made a pie with this recipe. I have cut out and enlareged the directions as well as leaving the whole ad in tact. I do not think they make this type of shortening any longer, so I just used my store brand.
It was a very quick and easy recipe.
The result was really nice. (that is cinnamon on the crust not burnt) It does not compare with my homemade pastry that uses lard and ice cold water, but it was fast and delicious. I explained the flavor as having a definite homemade taste, but more like the 50's diner we go to, where I know they make their own pie. It was flaky and nice, but not like my old fashioned recipe. I would recommend it and it is great in a pinch for homemade taste and feel ( I mean it is homemade) but when you don't want to take the time to properly cut the flour into the lard. It rolled out quickly and was much like sugar cookie dough.
To make it more of a 'quick busy day' recipe, I used a can of canned cherries (which I would never use, but someone had given me a can for some reason.) I added to this a can of whole canned cranberries. It was easy and made a nice tart/sweet pie. It served beautifully and hubby enjoyed it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There is a piece in his lunch today as well.



I found an interesting article in my 1954 House Beautiful entitled: "What is a woman's time worth?" At first I thought it would be an article pointing out the hard work and efforts of a homemaker. But, on further reading, I found it to fit with my ongoing look into the subtle manipulation that is to become the modern consumming we endulge in today.

The article is pointing out the positive of doing all your grocery shopping in one day for the whole month. They compare your spending $300 to $500 a month as an investment kin to the ease of owning a washing machine! You only buy the machine once, but they go on with various ways to 'persuade' you to this type of shopping.

They point out the following:

"Any good domestic worker knows she can get from $50 to $60 for her 40-hour work week. [that is $350-$420 a week now] 40 hours doesn't begin to suffice for all we have to do around the home. SO, if we can save eight hours a week why wouldn't we?"

This is article the goes on to say:

"Having a variety of food on hand gives us freedom to do the kind of imaginative cooking we have always wanted to try.
Having a lot of food on hand in all stages of readiness is also very calming. For you can provide for any unexpected situation, whatever it may be."

I really think they are beginning to really prey on that feeling many would still have remembering the shortages of the war. And the idea that doing a large shop all at once for the month with every sort of food 'just in case'. Just in case, what? And also to give you a 'calming effect'. Very subtle. They call this type of freedom of choice in your own food pantry and meal making 'chain cooking'. This image I thought was crazy. The heading to this cartoon reads:

"Here's an artist's drawing of Mrs. Wiley's dream:"in our next house I want a whole room of open shelves and freezer space for storing all the supplies I need for chain-cooking"



If you look at the drawing, what she basically wants, and what they are illustrating, is your own grocery store! You would spend so much more than you would need. You also need to use more electricity to keep the freezer running and you have to have more space and maitenance on this much prodcut. This is the mentality that has lead to such places as BJ's in the modern world. Those places often result in people shopping in 'bulk' thinking they are saving, when they are in fact spending more and buying more!
What is so wrong with going to the grocery store once a week? The french housewife often goes daily to the market to get what she needs for the evening meal. This concept of hoarding, consumming, and endless quantity is becoming to me almost vile. Who would need that wall of food and products? Click on the image, you can see there is one shelf for endless Soaps!

The cost they expect as well, which is equivalent to $3500 a month! Perhaps those of you who have children spend this, but there is no way I would now spend even half that on a months worth of groceries. In fact, since I am trying to really budget and control all the aspects of my home, my shopping is in a very tight budget, which I never vary too greatly.
What do any of you spend per month on food?

It is all very interesting and now that I am more aware of it, I can see the subtle beginnings which have formulated and lead to our current spending. Certainly, I could imagine a room of shelves filled with canned good, you yourself have canned. You grew your food and you need to preserve it, but to go to the store, where they keep it anyway, and then buy it up as if there is an impending food shortage?

They almost try to address food buying as you would savings in a bank:

"The term 'Chain-Cooking' is based on the freezer, the refrigerator, and ample shelf space for canned and packaged foods. It means Wuantity buying, quantity cooking, and quantity storing, instead of hand-to-mouth buying and cooking."
Now, not to seem that I am always now on some anti-buying or having nice things tirade, I thought I would end with this image someone set me. It is from Michael Kors Fall 2008 collection. Now tell me that isn't 1950s. I guess his line was inspired by MadMen, which is the early 1960's but that is still a very 1950's time in style. This coat actually looks alot like my fur, though I am sure mine was not even 1/8 the price this would go for. So, true classic style will always be around. Even in two years when the vintage look may be considered dated, I will still wear it. Because, what better way to have nice quality things that you can care for, then dressing a particular way and NOT changing it. Then you can care for your wardrobe instead of needing to constantly shed your clothes every year to remain on the fashion hamster wheel. Go vintage! Also, there is somthing about a dress at the natural waist, a full or a nice pencil skirt and tweed that just makes a gal feel good. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

49 comments:

  1. I think I'm going to have to try that pie recipe! Actually, it is more like my fiance will have to try preparing that recipe and I'll try by eating it.

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  2. Family of 6 here, 3 hungry men among them. We eat virtually every meal at home. Our budget for food and all else you get at Costco/grocery store (detergent, tp, paper towels, cold medicines, napkins, etc.) is never more than $1000/month. I aim for $800/month and sometimes make it.

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  3. i spend about $50 a week on food just for me. But I'm trying to bring that down by meal planing and making as much as I can at home.

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  4. Laughter here from a recovering bulk buyer! I did my shopping once a month, and wasted so much food, 'lost' in the depths of the freezer, and inevitably had to go back shopping during the month to stock up on items I forgot first time around. I now shop once a week at the supermarket, and also visit the dairy, butcher and farmers' market every week. We spend about $1000 a month for 6 people including 2 teenagers, buying all organic. Hoping to reduce that a little as I get more efficient...

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  5. Wow, really interesting to see what people spend. I know that many people today get lulled into the bulk stores. I once (and it will never be more than that once, believe me!) went to a bulk store. It was BJ's (which I think is a pretty appropriate name for that store) and we had to have a 'card or memebership'. I thought,'Really? I have to be a member of your store to give you money?' It was horrible. The tall ceilings, the endless items, the barrage of unhappy faces with carts piled to the brim towing sad faced children. I would rather pay more and shop in a small friendly place. Also, I looked at a lot of the deals ( I was there with someone who wanted to shop there and thought it would be a good idea, I went to 'check it out') Really their prices were not cheaper than MY local grocery store and I couldnt just buy like one item you had to buy enormous amounts. I really thought, this scene right here is EXACTLY what most other countries think of when they think of Americans. This and the "All you can eat" place that serves crappy food, but hey , you can eat all you want! How did we get like this? Why are we the nation that says quantity over quality? Why is it better to have an overstuffed pantry of canned goods or a bottomless plate of fried chicken, than a few fresh things for that meal that day, and a small meal of really well prepared nice food? Somebody help us! Get us of this consummer hamster wheel, please!
    I did notice one odd thing that my husband showed me yesterday. In Finland, I believe, they are running ads showing an evil piggy bank telling people to not save but to spend. It seems a very american tactic (like the stimulus check that we were suppose to spend and not save, not that I got one, anyway!)
    The economy is really tanking all over.

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  6. Oh, and I budge 50 a week for my hubby and myself and try to stay under. When I am under ( I now only use cash to buy groceries and my debit card stays home, too tempting!) I take the extra cash and put it in my 'kitchen money jar'. Last week I saved exactly five dollars and I got a thrill droppig that baby in the jar, I tell you. It then becomes like a game to try and beat.

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  7. I agree: vintage forever! Michael Kors is one of my favorite designers.

    You make so many profound points in this post. Excessive self-analysis, living within one's means, bulk buying and eating (which is really bulk waste), decorating, advertising - great points that I'm reflecting on today.

    I'm a huge Dave Ramsey fan, and he makes many of these points all the time. It's about learning to be content, something we in the 21st century find difficult. I've found that when I quit shopping and looking all the time, and just enjoying what I do have, it makes a difference in my lifestyle and outlook.

    Oh! I love your idea of a kitchen money jar. I save all my change and one dollar bills. Sometimes, I'll also slip in my fives or an occasional twenty. It just makes me feel good!

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  8. Keturah-if you want to see where I got my idea for a kitchen money jar, look at the top of my post. I learned it from the children's book I scanned. Isn't that great! I mean, these really are important things that should be taught to a young child.
    I have never heard of Dave Ramsey and will check him out (after 1955 of course!)

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  9. I'm so going to print off the book and put it into my keep file.

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  10. Yes, lard pie crusts are the best! That's how my grandmother taught me to make pie, with lard and ice water. She was born in the 1880s.

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  11. We spend about $450 per month on food (organic meats, some organic fruits and veggies, specialty foods to accommodate food allergies). I do buy in bulk, either from our food buying club or from the grocery store when it's on sale. I don't consider it a modern consumerism idea for us to buy and store in bulk. We live a long way from the nearest town, so trips to town add up in the cost of gas and wear and tear on vehicles. To me it's living more as my ancestors did--storing supplies while they are available and inexpensive to last through the next few weeks/months.

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  12. anonymous-that is true and in your case it makes sense and is well thought out, I am talking about people around me who live literally minutes from a store and who warehouse food, forget what they have and overbuy. I think storing food you grow and can yourself (which I am sure your ancestors did)makes sense, my only point was why have 20 boxes of detergent if you live close to the store? Often it leads to people thinking, Oh i will buy this now and save in the future, but then they buy again or spend more in the future anyway. You are a person, obviously, who really THINKS about how and what she is buying. I think that is all any of the things I am discovering are saying, just think it through. I know on my trip to BJ's I saw cartloads full of things I am sure people were just buying because the mad rush of 'its cheaper by the dozen'was upon them. I am not saying it is bad, per say. I still would rather see a local mom and pop than a BJ's and I am not going to lie about that. I think in the end we may all pay for the decrease in local stores until only a few chains remain. Then they have no one to compete against and can charge whatever they like. That is all I am saying. Please no one ever think I am attacking anyones way of doing something, I am just questioning, myself, and therefore put it out to you to also think about it. You live far away, but maybe there used to be a local mad who had or delivered groceries in your area and they are now gone due to a chain, I don't know, that is all I am saying. Good job on only spending 450 a month and organic, by the way!

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  13. I meant to say a local man, by the way ;)

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  14. "This concept of hoarding, consumming, and endless quantity is becoming to me almost vile. Who would need that wall of food and products? Click on the image, you can see there is one shelf for endless Soaps!

    What do any of you spend per month on food?"

    I'm not sure what I spend per month, if it's just items (food & paper goods, cleaning supplies & tolietries) purchased at the store & not eating in a restaurant, then probably around $200 per month at the most, for the 2 of us. DS2 "shops" at Mom's house too, so 2.5 of us. lol

    I worked in a grocery store for several years. I know for a fact that a typical store (not big box/bulk buying stores) only has enough in stock for maybe 2 weeks. I'm sure we've all gone to the store for a sale item to find the shelf empty "until the truck comes in."
    Store rely on the trucking industry and central warehouses. If there is a break-down in that chain, the customer is left wanting.

    I have a very-well stocked pantry and freezer. In the event of a weather emergency, illness or other calamity, I want to be able to provide for my family & help my neighbors.
    I also live in the country. Going to the store sometimes means an extra trip to town (using fuel unnecessarily).
    I watch the sales and stock up. It helps my budget in the long run, to buy a few extra of an item on sale, than to buy it full-price the next few times I need to replace that item.

    And at the same time, I go to our local thrift store. Reusing rather than buying new.

    My blog post for today expands on my stocking up, if you are interested.

    Maybe it's just the difference in life-styles between the rural and urban areas?

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  15. I lost my post, grr!

    I shop a lot like Kay does and because of that I also have a well-stocked pantry and freezer. I was raised in the country where you had to make a special trip to "town". I live in town these days but, I still try to limit my shopping to one day a week.

    I buy some items like a hunk of decent Parmesan cheese, nuts, olive oil, milk, etc... at the wholesale club.

    We spend $310 a month on food, HBAs, cleaning/laundry supplies, and household needs like light bulbs. I'd need to dig up some old receipts to see what food alone is since I have all of the above categorized as "groceries" in the household budget.

    Here's the boring details you need so you can really compare one budget to another.
    We go out to dinner once a month and that is a separate budget category. Pet food is a separate budget category. I pack a lunch for DH almost every single day. If either of us goes out for lunch, that is paid for out of our 'spending money' that we both get every month.

    **Don't forget that some people stockpile to donate to their local food bank, church, or other charities. If your area has good sales and coupon policies, it's pretty easy to end up with a lot of free or almost free non-perishable food items and HBAs you can donate to support such organizations!**

    HBAs are Health and Beauty Aids like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc...

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  16. I live in Europe and I actually do shopping every day, except Sunday, because the stores are closed on Sunday. We are a family of two grown-ups, with two cats and 2 guinea pigs and my weekly budget is 60 euros, which must cover everything necesary to run the household. I usually save about 5 euros every week which I can spend on lunching in the city, buying magazines, craft and luxury items. I can do weekly shopping on less, as there was time when we had money problems and my budget was 50 euros a week and I still managed to save, but now lean times are over and my husbands likes nice food:)I do have some supplies as my 1961 housekeeping manual suggests that you store some supplies at home " for unexpected visitors". There were times when we were both down with flu and we lived on our supplies as we both were unable to leave the house, but I can't imagine go to the store once a month. It must be really an American thing since I know of no one doing it over here.

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  17. This is all so interesting. I did not know these things. That is what I love about blogging! I can put out there what I find and what I do and then learn so much more from all of you. Of course, as I said, if you live in the country you have to stockpile. I do wonder, when you were fairly poor and there were no BJ's what the people in your area did. Do any of you in rural areas know what they did in the 1950s? Did they just drive to town and stock up at the local store? Were some groceries available for deliver back then? Did it not matter as much because fuel costs were so low? Just curious.
    You, see. I just came from the city where I lived was endless restaurants and I probably cooked once a month, if that. WE pretty much ate out as it was sometimes cheaper to do so. The only grocery store we had was rather small, and I would get some things there, but mostly our fridge held liquor and nibbles. We were definitely the cocktail set, nibbles and cocktails at home, eating out. Even breakfast during the week was often me going to my favorite little bookstore that also was a restaurant and lounging over breakfast with magazines. SO, coming back to our 'suburbia' is also different. We are in basically a country setting. There is ocean everywhere and many small towns dot this little 'island' (with a bridge to the mainland of course) but there are stop and shops everywhere. I, myself, would not stock up on those things as it would be silly for me, because I am so close to stores. I do stock up on baking things, but not for more than two weeks at a time.
    I also lived in Paris for awhile when I was younger, and European cities are just set up to be more walking freindly. The French housewife really shops everyday for her meal. I did, though I was not a wife at the time. It was easy to stroll down to a great sidewalk stand and get your veg and then over to a butchers grab some cheese and bread and go home and cook and eat. It was a new experience to the way we are in the usa. NOW, I am not saying we are bad they are good, so please don't think that, it is just a different way.
    Now, for me, I set a budget for that week. I do not go over but can go under. If somthing I need is 2 for whatever I will still only get the one I originally needed and think, 'hey great, it was cheaper'. I just spend less this way. I am also trying to get to the place where I only use cash to buy things. THis is the hardest. I have been able to do it with groceries, but I am trying to get to a point where I leave my debit card (we do NOT use credit cards any longer, haven't for years!)at home and only take cash that way I CANNOT overspend.
    It is really interesting to see how different areas and regions shop. I think I do not have the skill (YET!) to be able to bulk shop. I would feel overwhelmed and know I would forget things, or overspend etc. To each their own. I do think, however, that the stockpiling is a very AMerican thing, I don't know any of you readers from other countries, do you have large Bulk stores and if so, is it normal to shop for a month's supply of food?
    I do know I am excited to fill my larder this fall with canned good from my garden and root vegetables in the cellar!

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  18. I see anonymous commented at the same time as me, so I see that she said in her area of Europe they do not do this type or shopping. It is interesting to see how we all live differently. What a great tool the internet is.

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  19. "I can't imagine go to the store once a month. It must be really an American thing since I know of no one doing it over here."

    Some people in the USA practice what is called Once A Month Cooking or OAMC. I don't practice it myself but, the idea of say making an extra pan of uncooked lasagna and freezing it for use on a busy day makes a lot of sense to me.

    "The French housewife really shops everyday for her meal."
    I've read about this! See, for *me* the more often I shop, the more I spend so for *me* this would be a disaster. French housewives must be very disciplined when they do their marketing! :)

    I was a real walking disaster when I first started out. The funny thing is that during my last two years of high school, one of my jobs was to do the grocery shopping!! My folks were pretty comfortable financially so my mom would just send me to the store with a list and a blank check and didn't really care what else I got as long as I got what was on the list. I just threw stuff in the cart and never looked at what anything cost, didn't know what the sale paper was or anything. So that's exactly how I did my shopping after I left home. I learned the hard way that not caring what things cost would quickly send me to the poorhouse! Today, I spend less for what is called "groceries" in our budget than I did back in the mid-nineties so that tells you what a complete mess I was! LOL

    "I do know I am excited to fill my larder this fall with canned good from my garden and root vegetables in the cellar!"

    Sounds good!

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  20. That blue room is heavenly!

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  21. What a strange concept Hairball, the once a month cooking is soo odd. It would be the worse for me because I do not have a large freezer and I am not going to get one as I hate to increase my electric bill. I also really enjoy cooking now and the idea of taking out frozen food and cooking it sounds bad for me personally. I really want to continue to learn to make nicer meals and making fresh food with nice ingredients means to us it is just as good if not better than going to a restaurant. I am determined to learn to use my boston cooking school book from the 1950s and to learn some 'gourmet cooking' because I enjoy it and I want us to eat good variety. Perhaps if I had children to attend to such frozen meals would be a lifesend. In fact, I do make homemade soups and freeze them for later use in the week or for a stock in a casserole. Isn't it exciting to see all the different approaches we all have! What fun!

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  22. Anonymous,

    The reason shopping can be so weird here is that most of America lives in a living arrangement where they have to go everywhere by car, often for quite a few miles, to get where they're going to shop. Since traditional neighborhoods such as those in Europe or in some pre-World War II American cities aren't allowed in most of the US anymore, few people have a corner store they can walk a few minutes to.

    Hopefully, that will change in the future, and we'll go back to building places as they were built in the past in this country (and still are in much of Europe).

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  23. Kevin- that would be so wonderful, wouldn't it. What is funny, is in the area I now live there is an 'upscale outdoor shopping village' that is built just like a small town with sidewalks etc and it looks like a real honest to goodness town, except it is owned by one corporation. It is a scary idea to me that the return to what we in our hearts crave, a town center, is now in the hands of a conglmoerate. You cannot own your storefront there ( I once ran a flower shop in this marketplace) so the business will never truly be in the hands of the town and people. Combine this with Walmarts 5% sales increase in the past 8 mos of the recession and I fear we have the real future of our country. WE are going to have to work hard, get out there in our communities and shop local and go to town meetings to keep towns true to the individual owner. I am truly scared for the future of a country I honestly do love.

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  24. Speaking of books, I believe sometime in 1955 was when The Mouse That Roared was published. You have GOT to read it if you haven't already - it is HILARIOUS and absolutely brilliant. We love that book and then one time we got to see a high school play of it - best play I ever saw!

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  25. Hairball, I heard about once a month cooking, and I don't think it's a good idea at all.

    First, it would demand a huge freezer which we typically don't have over here. Such a freezer is expensive in operation, since electricity costs a lot of money over here, because energy consumption is heavily taxed.

    Second, I do freeze leftovers sometimes and I find the taste of these meals when reheated to deteriorate considerably. From nutritional point of view, it's better to try and eat more food cooked from fresh ingredients as opposed to frozen (though it's not always possible, and I do buy deep freeze and canned stuff as well, mostly due to high prices).

    Kevin, you are right about stores. I live in a city and we have a store within 5 minutes walking dinstance and a corner shop and in 10 minutes walking I'll be in a shopping centre with 2 other big supermarkets plus we have a market twice a week. But I also don't have kids and need to be out of the house and don't have a car (my husband uses it to drive to work).

    My friends who are at home mothers mostly do shopping once or twice a week, using their husband's car in the evening. I go on foot so I can't carry much, either. My husband has to help on Saturdays to carry heavy stuff or I use my bike.

    I think such life must be very strange for people in USA as you all have 2 cars, I think:) Here, if the wife doesn't work, the family will typically have one vehicle which the husband uses to go to work. If he works in the city, he may give the car to her, using a bike, a scooter or public transportation. It is more often double income families which have 2 cars.

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  26. Anonymous-it is true that typical american families do not live this way. I, myself, have lived with one care and hubby and I even lived without cars only bikes to go anywhere including the grocery store. This would have seemed not that odd were we in the city, but we were living in a very remote summer place town out near the beach. It was a two mile trek into town without sidewalks. We used saddlebags on our bikes and could only buy as much as we could comfortably carry. We did not buy much at once, as you can imgaine. And I have lived the other extreme, with two cars (we now currently have two cars as my husband has to drive to the city an hour away and my having the car for the day would not be feasible) what makes me angry is where we now live they used to have a train service that ran from every town to Boston. My husband could take the train, but back in the late 80's suddenly all the trains stopped and all the rails were turned into bike paths. This may have seemed a nice idea at the time, but it only promoted the need to have more cars in this area. They took away a service that was affordable for all and saved on energy and gas consumption and replaced it with an occasional recreation facility. Sometimes our prioities seem rather askew (americans I mean) and I can say this as I am an american. But, I have lived in Europe, been to canada often and obviously lived in my own country, so I have a perspective that is different. Our country is so vast and large and isolated that the development we under went seems to have lead to our current way of living which I think has taken alot of our community away. Obviously, living in Boston, as I have done, is much more akin to Europe. It is the city in the USA that is probably most like a European city in that it is very old and very much laid out like an old English city. Yet, if you cannot afford to live in the heart of the city, you must go to the various suburbs, but there is a great subway system and bus system that connects everything. This is a long winded rambling post!
    My point is, I wish we had back our train system. When I watch my favorite movie, Mr. Blandings builds a dream house, the wife, once moved to the country in CT, drives her husband to the train and he takes that to work. That could have happened where I now live, but they stopped the train service and destroyed the tracks. WHY? I am not really sure.
    My husband is considering trying to find work locally, and when he does, I think we may go back to one car. There are many days I don't need to really even leave the house, or if I do, I can take my bike in the nice weather. I could drop him off on days I need to do marketing and etc. This could save money on gas, insurance, excise tax, inspections, repairs and money I may have spent had I the ability to just 'hop down to the shops'and also decrease my carbon footprint.
    Not sure where I was going with this comment, but yes, most people in the usa probably have more than two cars if they have older children. I think it is normal to have a car per parent as well as per teenager. We are the car industry country, but now, with the economic failings in that department, I do wonder what will happen.
    What does gas cost per gallon in your country?

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  27. Thank you for scanning in the children's book. I read it with my son this morning. It was fun having something colorful and geared toward his age to reinforce what we've been teaching him.

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  28. Congratulations, 50s Gal! You won my giveaway book, the 1952 "Etiquette for Everybody."

    I just need your mailing address!

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  29. I'm really trying to keep my grocery budget to $50 as well for myself and my beau. It is really working out well because it makes you realize that you don't need that bag of "quick snack" to get you through the week. Also I've realized that it's help us to eat healthier instead of spending $7 on a pre-made pizza, we can spend $7 to get the toppings for a homemade pizza (which taste better), have left over toppings to make subs, salads, calzones, the options are limitless, well until you run out of toppings. It's amazing how much you can stretch $50 when you really put your mind to it. The other night, I made an amazing homemade chicken parm with angel hair for my man and I and in total it cost us about $5. I used the rest of the chicken from the package the next night to make chicken cordon bleu which also cost about $5 for the both of us. I couldn't believe it. So anyway it can be done. Also that pie was really great, Donna! And Congratulations on 113 followers!!!

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  30. I have to point this out because it is too appropriate to let go: Just after the scan of the children's book, you went on to talk about your tastes changing through advertising. You meant to type (I assume) "Perhaps I just think too much..." But, instead typed "thing." Could that be a slip up of the 50's consumerism battling the thrifty, 50's housewife; trying so hard to budget correctly, but seeing all of the lovely, shiney, new things you, yes, you! could own? Hmmm...I wonder.

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  31. Scary freudian slip up, huh, renee? I am so excited I won that book! 1952 daily etiquette, here I come!

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  32. 1950s gal, I don't know exactly how much gallon is. Our gasoline costs 1.25 euro per liter. It used to be more expensive, but got cheaper because of recession.

    We have trains and we have buses and trams, but the train costs a lot. It's actually cheaper to go by car if you are with a family and safer, too. There is a lot of crime happening in the trains. The same is true about buses, they aren't always safe, so I prefer using my bike.

    Bike here is not for recreation, it's a means of transportation. Women do shopping on the bike and bring their children to school, too. It's not only about saving, we do have a real problem with parking lots over here. Our cities were built in medieval times, we have narrow streets and not that much space. Sometimes it's easier to park a bike than a car.

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  33. 50's gal, I love your blog! I have been reading it since the beginning and am really enjoying your reports of your experiment and discoveries.

    I am also from Boston but now live slightly north of you (before the bridge) but did live in Wareham when I first got married. My hubby also works in Boston and used to take the bus to work when we lived in Wareham. You can get the bus just over the Borne bridge.

    My mom is a child of the 50's (born in 1940). She grew up blue collar as did I. From reading your blog and many others I feel lucky that I was taught how to pinch a penny, stick to a budget, cook from scratch and manage a household. It seems some people were never taught that and I find that amazing! We did it because we had to and now, even though I am much better off financially than my grandparents or parents, I still run my home the way my mom did. Because I was taught the value of a buck and hard work. I'm not putting down those who weren't taught these things, I just wonder if it is a class thing? You didn't have to economize or had outside help, so you never learned how to do these things.

    I never food shop without a list and I stick to my list. I make a menu plan for the week and then make my list from that. If something that I always use is on sale, I will stock up. If Tide is $4 off, I will buy 2 ,as I use this all the time and I have saved myself $8. I do shop occasionally at BJ's. I go with a list and buy what is on the list, nothing else, usually canned goods that I use all the time. For me, shopping at BJ's is a time saver, not a money saver. I hate to food shop. It is the one chore that I dread, I would rather clean 50 toilets than to food shop. So if I am stocked up on stuff I use often, then my weekly food shopping is easier and quicker and I can sometimes avoid it altogether! I never go to the frocery store more than once a week, I plan and therefore do not run out of things I need. If we do, then we do without until the next shopping trip, but it is rare that I run out of things.

    I cook almost every night, I would say we eat out maybe once every couple of weeks. Not because we can't afford to eat out, but because my husband prefers my cooking. And even though I do like to eat out, to never eat a meal at home seems so strange. Even when I was single I cooked for myself.

    I chuckled when I read the talking to you gave yourself about redecorating. When I was a kid my mom could redecprate the whole house woth a few boxes of Rit dye, paint and contact paper! Redying the bedspreads and curtains were something that happened at least once a year. I remember a cannister set we had. It started out stainless with black tops, then were painted beige with chocolate brown tops and little owls cut from contact paper on them, then next they were avacado green with yellow tops and yellow, white and orange mushrooms on them (all very seventies!). My mom could paint and wallpaper and she and my dad would do rooms over themselves. In my first apartment I had a metal cart on whells with 3 shelves that was given to me by my mom. My dad had rescued it from someones trash and my mom painted it many toms to match her kitchen decor, as did I when I used it.

    The more I read on blogs the more I really tend to think that knowing how to manage a house as a "50's" housewife may really be about how affluent you were raised.

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  34. Re: 50's room colors: I'm re-do a 1954 house, and painting the master bedroom peachy pink , guest room light blue and bath pink, living room a deep green color. So far people have been cheering for the use of "happy" colors!

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  35. We spend very little, but I think food prices are less here in SE Virginia, and I cook from scratch. We shop about once a week, and spend about $100.00 a week for a family of four. My three year old barely eats, and my husband does a lot of his eating at the Fire Station.

    A $6.98 bag of frozen boneless chicken breasts from Walmart last us about three days, and bean casseroles - way too long(giggle).

    We go through a bag of frozen veggies a day, and use just a bit of a side carb, like rice or noodles. We don't seem to eat that much for breakfast or lunch...just small short order meals like eggs and toast for breakfast or homemade oatmeal, and some cheese toast and an apple for lunch.

    One thing about weekly shopping is it forces you to use it up and be creative. I am not a super planner, so I can only speak for myself when I say that I agree that bulk shopping could be wasteful. It would for me! I need the challenge of making do to get my creativity going. Cooking(and resourcefulness for that matter) is about creatively. Like any art you need inspiration coming from necessity, and in this case a hungry family!

    Thanks so much for the book scans!

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  36. That child book is adorable! I wish son was still a boy then I would have printed it for him. :)

    The decoration photos are lovely too, but there are too much draperies in the first photo for my taste. I love the idea of wallpaper at the ceiling though. Perhaps I could convince DH to do that one day.

    I'm not quite sure what we spend on food and ordinary necessities a month here in Denmark, but not much compared to most other Danes. We go to a discount store once a week and buy most of what we need and try to think of some dinners too. I have a saying that "bulk-saving" often ends up in non-saving, since you don't eat it as the amount of food is too large for you or it gets bad before you have eaten all of it. Buy what you need and no more. A nice bargain can end up in the freezer though, but have a plan what to do with it.

    A handwritten letter was posted for you two days ago. I was in the mood for writing, perhaps your project opens my eyes for the joy of writing old-fashioned letters and postcards again. Have a lovely Sunday, I'll go practice English with son, he's not that good. :)

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  37. anonymous, I think that would make gas around 5-6 us dollars a gallon, as I think the us dollar is close to equal to the euro. Our gas priced this summer climbed rather clost to that and then went down and now are around 2 a gallon.Interesting.
    Tracy-I think, really, I am finding that just the class "middle class" has many subsections. Perhpas though we share that moniker, your rearing was different than mine. Certainly, yours prepared you for self-sufficiency more than mine did. My mother was very creative and could cook wonderfully, but really, I was just not taught the same. I don't know. Perhaps the time, my interest in nothing domestic at the time, just left me not caring and then, not doing. Who knows, What I do know now, is that I want to learn more and do more. I am definitely still not going to be a bulk shopper, just because of the way I am approaching my food making. I really enjoy it and I really enjoy eating (too bad for my waistline!) I just don't think I am the 'freezer type' personally. I think the idea of not getting to make the meal I am about to eat would not be as fun or delicious. Believe you me, I have eaten plenty of frozen prepared foods, as I said when we lived in Boston, my 'cooking' was few and far between and would most likely be heatin up some frozen packaged meal. But, really, eating out was our main form of nourishment.
    Yes, I have heard of the bus, but we live near Cotuit on the Cape, so by the time hubby would get there and the time he would have to leave etc etc, the bus/train would not work out. We are trying to reconsider a paycut in exchange for living closer to home and making up for it in my new 'homemaking'skills, which don't require as much money to eat and entertain ourselves ;) I think what is nice, however, is no matter what your class or your background, homemaking can be the great equalizer. certianly someone may afford a maid a few days a week and someone else may have to make all their clothes, but in both cases, the women are making do with what they have to make it stretch and provide a lovely home, happy and safe, with warm meals and an escape from the outside world.
    THoughts on life-those sound such lovely color schemes, great job! I am trying to decide the wall color and material for my dinning room.
    ALexandra-that sounds like a good budget for four. As I said I am doing about 50 with the two of us. Believe me it is MUCH less than we used to spend. I am deteremined to get it down. I think this summers veg garden and also shopping at our local co-op farm, I am going to go into the fall and winter well stocked but with things I have made and not from a bulk shop. Also, I still will not shop at wal-mart;) (I just have seen how they have basically run mom and pops out of business in towns too sad for me.
    Sanne-Yes, I am not in love with all the images I put up of the interiors, it was mostly to show a concept I was beginning to view differently. Don't you love that book. I don't even think you have to be a child to use it's advice. I now have a 'money jar' in my kitchen like the mother in the story.
    I am so excited to get antoher letter. I feel bad having not written back to some of you, as I am just SO busy, but I am going to make one part of one day a week for written coorespondence. I certainly think my 1955 self would have done so. So, if you have sent me a letter, don't worry there will be one on its way soon.
    Again, thanks everyone for comments and I love learning and reading all of your opnions and ideas. We really are spreading the love and knowledge!

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  38. I know what you mean about not being interested in learning when you are younger. As I commneted in your gardening post, my mom was a gardener and that just did not interest me, so I have no idea now what I am doing-lol!

    My mom was divorce when i was 11 though so I think learning how to run a house, cook, budeget etc came a lot from that. I have 2 sisters and we had to help out--money and time were tight and we really had no choice. We couldn't afford toeat out or to eat frozen dinners, and sometimes my mom worked long hours, someone had to cook. And my mom taught her girls to be self sufficient, to rely on ourselves. That came , I'm sure, from her raising us alone after my dad took off.

    I love to cook too, just hate to shop. I also work, have a child and my elderly mil living with us, as well as a disables sis and mom who has been ill, so I do rely on time saving methods such as some bulk shopping and some prep work for my meals done ahead of time. That is what managing a home is all about I think. We all have different lives and have to learn what works for our families.

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  39. I think you should consider the position of those who stockpile, not to horde or because they are materialistic and consumer driven but because they are frugal!

    Check out these resources:

    http://sharonastyk.com/

    http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/

    Both have many posts dedicated the subject of stockpiling for thrift.

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  40. Jess-I am not saying stockpiling is bad, per se, just not me. I see, for myself, no reason to have that much food on hand. I don't mind shopping and I have the time to make it part of my job of homemkaing. I want a very full stocked pantry once I get a larger one, but really for me having that much food piled up would lead to spoilage and money waste for me. I like getting it as I need it and it is not as if some great storm is going to put me locked in the house for months. I don't want anyone to think I am telling them how to live, only what I have discovered and what works for me. So, for me, hoarding is the opposite of thrift, it makes me waste, spend more, and not be in control of my meal planning. For others, certainly it must work. I do think it is interesting (not bad, now just interesting) that it does seem to be mostly an American thing, though don't you think that interesting?

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  41. Hi, 50'sgal! I love this post. So much to think about.

    A few thoughts:

    First, I love Costco, a warehouse bulk store similar to BJ's, for it's customer service. Yes, paying for a membership is weird but in these modern times helpful and friendly employees aren't the norm. It's sad to feel like you have to pay extra for it but it's just not a job requirement anymore. I've been in stores where I've wanted to yell, "Hey, I'm a customer!!!".. But I didn't. Just left.

    Another note: From what I've read, many local stores used to provide delivery services. So the lady of the house could have a standing order at her local market and have it delivered. No need to stock up because groceries and pharmacy products were just a phone call away. And the merchandise was charged to your house account, so keeping track of your spending was pretty simple.

    There's a very interesting book called More Work for Mother (written in the 1980's so after your "time") that explains how all advances in the Industrial Revolution made more of the "womens" work but took away a lot of the work of men, freeing them to take on jobs outside the home. It's very interesting.

    A question: Where do you get all of your vintage magazines? I just adore them but they're hard to come by. Here in the Midwest we have "estate" sales that are a fun treasure hunt of antiques typical garage sale itms but that are more interesting. They're held inside the home so you get a feel for the owners and some of them seem like a trip back in time. I found a December 1955 copy of Women's Day this week but generally the magazines are circa 1980.

    Thanks. Keep sharing your thoughts and feel free to rant. I love it!

    S

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  42. The book you scanned is so sweet!

    That picture of the kitchen with floor to ceiling groceries made my eyes pop. I see what you mean when you said it looks like a mini grocery store. I understand that some people need to stock up for various reasons, but without the need to, I would never stock up like that; just looking at the picture overwhelmed me.

    I can appreciate frugalness, as I am frugal by nature, but here again it depends on how a person looks at what frugalness means. A person can be frugal in their use of things by stretching items, reusing, buying used, making things for themselves with stuff they already have, etc. The problem I have shopping frugally, to the point that I'm looking at simply how much money I can save, is that that's not taking into account who I am supporting in my efforts to save money. If my saving more money means I am helping to grow big businesses, then I would rather put the money I would save into a Mom and Pop store. It's not just about money, and it's not just about me. I look at that as part of my charitable donation to my local community. The money we give to our community doesn't have to be given through an organization or fundraising event for it to count as charity. Sometimes these things are just a matter of looking at things differently. This doesn't mean (as I said before) that I never shop at big stores. We have a Costco card that we find very useful for some things that our family needs, but that is balanced by the majority of our shopping being done at smaller stores. In the end, to me, it's all about balance. Big stores, that treat the workers and customers good, are fine to shop at as long as our money also goes to support smaller, local businesses to help keep them open as well. If the majority of our money goes to bigger businesses so that we save more money for ourselves, then I don't think it's worth the money saved because we end up losing something that is more important than money.

    Obviously, it is assumed that what I say does not apply to everyone. I know there are exceptions to everything, but the general concept still applies.

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  43. S-I am always on the lookout for the magazines an just seem to have luck with it.
    Again, and this is just for me, I would not shop at costco myself, because it would feel overwhelming and particularly now (not just because costco wasn't invented though that is sort of why this shop local sort of started) I am starting to see how a large chain sells for less due to where they buy their products and to lose some money to close down local places. I also think shopping locally some and then still giving the big stores some is nice, but it almost then seems like it is charity and I really want (and I know it wont ever happen, but I can still dream, right?)the local businesses to get ALL the business so they can grow to a moderate amount in the community etc. But, I am sure that they would just eventually grow and if there were no walmart all of a sudden, another big business would move into take its place. I guess, really, it is just the american thing, the big chain. I have to just accept it, I guess and move on. It does hurt my heart a little, because when I see articles in my magazines about towns, I know we cannot have that because we would really rather save a buck than try to rebuild it they way it used to be and I am not pointing fingers, as it has been hard for me. We have a store here called Christmas Tree Shops and they used to be a local store. They grew fairly large and then just recently were bought out by Bed Bath and beyond or somebody, I forget who, anyway, even before that, they purchased almost exclusively from china. So, I thought nothing of it, I would go there instead of local to save money. And I would always say,'How do they sell this so cheap?" put it in my cart and walk on. I just feel like, as homemakers, we need to really think beyond just that point of purchase. We need to trace it back to how it got in our hot little hands. When I think of China as a country and how it treats its people, it sort of makes me stop. I also think it is sort of ironic, as China is one of the leading Communist nations. And, even today, many americans are very scared of communism ( I know I would never want it) but buy supporting big box stores that purchase the majority of items from this communist country we are, in fact, supporting their way of life. I guess we are just too far removed from 1950s to worry about what is going on in our back yard. We sort of had to face that fact after WWI and WWII, that we aren't isolated and that the world is becoming a global community. We can shut our eyes, but it doens't stop the cycle going forward.
    Again, don't think I am being mean or that I am a conspiracy theroist, it is just that I KNOW if we took 1950 people and immediately transported them here and told them we were buying cheap from China they would be apalled and scared. Yes, it costs more to shop local, that is also because they have to buy local or cannot buy in the amounts the chains can. Chain stores will do what they call 'loss leaders' which they sell a product BELOW what it cost them to get u in and not another store. It saves you money on that product at that time, but at what final cost? If we knew a local merchant that was trying to cheat out the other stores, we would be apalled and not shop there and he would be run our of business and not respected in our community, but because we do not live with nor ever see the owners of big stores we just stroll in and buy and not think.
    Again, PLEASE do not think I am being mean or picking on anyone etc, but this is how I feel and I just really need to say it. It makes me sad for my own country because I do long for the sense of community we used to have and it seems we will never have again, when really it is all in our hands.
    Thanks for listening to yet ANOTHER rant'

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  44. 50sgal- I agree that the demise of "mom and pop" stores is a sad fact of modern American life. I guess I'm lucky in that in my small suburb we have a number of those stores left (some of which will still deliver, for a fee) so my Costco runs are infrequent. Even the chain grocery store is a small one and has been in our town since the 60's. Some employees have been there since the opening so it feels like a local establishment, despite their big ads.

    The products from China are alarming. Not only for the atrocities of humanity but the lack of quality were buying. The melamine in the milk supply last summer was disturbing, to say the least. If this is what's allowed for their own people who knows what they're making to sell to us. I look more carefully at what I buy and while I don't avoid all products from China I buy with skepticism.

    I wish our government would ban products from China until they're safe and the people are treated humanely. But instead we ask for a loan and are indebted to this country. What is wrong with people?? ...sigh...

    Lots to think about.

    S

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  45. 50s gal- I don't think it is just an American thing to stockpile. When I say stockpile I don't mean a year's worth of food, I mean finding really good buys and buying in bulk to save trips to the store. One of the links I posted in an earlier comment is for a blog of a woman who lives in Australia. The people I know who stockpile do it for longterm sustainability, many live off the beaten track in rural areas and have fairly self-sustaining homesites on which they grow and produce a lot of their own food, they can, they have some animals like laying hens for eggs, etc. Some of this can be achieved in suburbia too. pathtofreedom.com is a great example of this. A lot of people have been shifted away from the over-consumptive, materialistic lifestyle for many years now - not just during this new economic downturn! They are finally getting the press and attention that they deserve for their hard work and experience.

    You may also be interested in this blog, as you are now trying to make, create and create a home that is from your own efforts from scratch goods rather than premade:

    http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/

    Happy gardening to you, it is such a joy to eat things you've grown yourself. :-)

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  46. Jess,

    I'm so glad to see more people living simple, self sustaining lives, although it does irritate me somewhat, as someone who has lived this way for a long while now, to see that it is the "hip" thing to do now. I just wonder how many people are doing it because they are followers and don't want to be left out of what's "in". Is it truly a change of life for them, or will we see a large percentage of people drift with the tide of change as this surge settles into a normal pattern of living and the idea is no longer "new" to those just discovering it? I wonder... As the "dust" settles, we will see how much of a hold it really had on people. It's all somewhat comical to me.

    There are people I know who thought we were weird living like we do, and now that it is the "thing to do", they are proud as peacocks of themselves and love to get praise for how they are now living their life. And, of course, not a word to us about any of it, or conversations about ideas and tips that we could share with them now that they realize we were actually ahead of the times, not weird. I'm assuming they are just embarrassed about the way they looked down on us before...oh well, I don't expect them to ever give us a pat on the back. It wouldn't make a difference anyhow, we are who we are, then and now, and acknowledgement from them wouldn't change a thing. I must admit though, it's annoying to see their self rightousness and pride about it. It's one of those moments in life when you raise a confused, annoyed eyebrow, shrug your shoulders, and continue doing what you do.

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  47. you will find the ad about the piggy bank is regarding recession the only way to prevent it from happening is for people to spend money instead of saving until the economy gets back on track otherwise we will hit recession twice as fast and stay in it 3 times as long only problem is 75% of the population don't understand this

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  48. I don't know I still feel like overspending has got us into this mess and if we spend more now to save an economy based on overspending than any jobs saved during that time and any increase will only be a false as when we continue to run out of money to keep spending then we are even in a bigger hole. I think it is crazy that we are bailing out big business if it is about to fail, I think doing so makes us government run corporation and I do think that is bad. We need to accept that fact that our current structure for our economy is based not on actuality but on the concept of better so 'just spending to help' only continues that structure. WE need to return to actual goods for actual money, not idealized ideas of earning through inflated houseswapping and real estate bubbles, market speculation etc. I stick by my, don't spend what you have now, cuz the gov WONT bail you out like they are GM and the BANKS. Don't fall into the lie. The original Depression also started due to 'idealized spending' through stock market speculation. Start thinking you spend actual money in your hand (not debit cards or online) for products you can hold (not just overinflated stocks and inflated real estate, though you can sort of touch that, if you are not living in it, you are hoping for soemthing that may or may not pan out) So, we can agree to disagree on that one. The result now of overspending in THIS economy, will be a worse fall down the road, we need to start thinking about the future not just right now or two weeks from now.

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