I never earned over $30,000 per year, but was fortunate to marry a gal who fervently believes the old adage, "waste not, want not!" From our first year with me teaching for $3000 per annum and her pregnant, we have never been without money for necessities.
What follows is a list of some of the things that have kept us solvent. I do not exaggerate. There is no need to do so.
At every sink in the house you will find a tiny piece of soap that was once called a bar maybe 7 years ago. That bit of Ivory will not be replaced until it disappears into someone's skin.
My first wife (I call her that to keep her on her toes) owns one bra. It is quite tattered and elderly, but serviceable.
50 years later she can and does wear her high school clothes.
No pheasant, grouse or rabbit slain by the tires on her Audi remains on the highway. The road kill is brought home, skinned and eaten.
When the kids were young she mixed thousands of gallons of dry milk. To this day, none of them can abide regular milk.
Each of the zillions of eggs she has cracked has been carefully wiped out inside with her finger. (shells then go to the compost pile)
She can find more creative ways to use left-overs than you can imagine. It is not odd to find 2 peas and a bean in a Pyrex dish in the refrigerator.
Too, our zip lock bags and Saran wrap are washed and re-used until useless. One of my daughters reminded me of the baggy marked 1986 still in service.
Her pigeon holed desk always holds many envelopes of cash money, each marked for a specific thing. i.e. "shoes" . Well, if you need socks you better not be borrowing from "shoes"!! Wait until you get the sock money saved.
She has clipped ads since we could afford a newspaper and will walk into a market, buy only the special and leave looking neither right nor left.
She knows to the penny, the price of gasoline at every station within 50 mi.
We garden like fools and she freezes or cans everything not eaten.
Deer hunting is not a sport it is a MISSION! We do not come home unless we are dragging relative of Bambi.
When there in nothing left in a given bottle, you will find it standing upside down and damn if there isn't always a little more to use.
She washes and waxes her car in snowstorms. She drives each one well over 200,000 miles and has never had a spot of rust.
She never used anything but cloth diapers, using the same pile for all four kids and now the remnants are used to dry the car in the snowstorm.
She shops sales, buy a bunch and keeps it frozen long after prices rise.
She never has served a frozen dinner. Everything from scratch.
She loves hand me down clothes.
Many of the woolen hand me downs have been woven into two huge oval rugs in the kitchen and dining rooms.
She lives by the rubber scraper! She wears them out.
Never lets water run while brushing teeth.
Has cut my hair for 45 years and all of the kids until adulthood.
Never over-indulges family or friends with needless cards or gifts.
Buys good quality clothes and wears them forever. ( an LL Beaner)
Has made all of our curtains and drapes.
Great painter. Can cut windows (edge them) and not touch the glass.
Darns socks until there is more darning than original material.
Feels that if you throw it out, you'll need it tomorrow. (check our attic)
Has no need or time for cosmetics.
Can put more verbiage on a post card than a typewriter.
Keeps our wood burner glowing from first frost until late Spring. Oil man hates her!
All Christmas wrapping and ribbons are care removed from gifts. (DON'T TEAR THAT!!) They are then stored in the attic until next December.
THIS IS JUST A SMATTERING OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD AS TO WHY WE ARE AT LEAST MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE. YOU MUST ADMIT, I REALLY GOT LUCKY 45 YEARS AGO!