Monday, February 10, 2014

HOW I STRETCH A DOLLAR; Nancy Ann; West Virginia; 1931

Dear Editor:

It used to puzzle me how some folks got ahead so fast and others who worked just as hard never had more than the shirt on their backs.

The only answer I can give is that these folks have never learned to stretch their dollars. While I have not accumulated enough to crow over, I do believe I've learned pretty thoroughly how to make one dollar do the work of two.

Shortly after my marriage, I bought for $25.00 a dandy sewing machine which cost when new $65.00. How proud I was of my $40.00 saving and a machine that no one could have told from new! Later, needing some rockers, I bought three used ones for what one would have cost me. We have from time to time bought other articles for about one-half less than the new article would have cost. I buy only what is in first class condition and what suits me exactly.

Then I purchase clothing in the "off" season, thereby effecting a great saving. My two ten-year-olds both needed new coats last winter. By waiting till after the first of the year, I got them both for a few cents less than one would have cost earlier in the season. Worth while? I should say so.

Living on the farm of course we produce much of our food. By watching the corners one can, however, save on those groceries which must be purchased. We use about five pounds of sugar a week. Buying it in 25 pound bags I find I can save 46 cents. In most instances large packages are a more economical purchase than small ones.

Two pairs of hose of the same shade will give almost as much wear as three pairs of different colors. Usually one stocking is worn out and the other quite good. The good stocking from each pair can then be worn together. Where there are several girls, this one saving amounts to quite a bit in the course of a year.

Our income is not great. It is only by such economies as these that we can keep out of debt and have enough left to meet the payments on the farm. I am not a tightwad, but I believe it is as much the homemaker's job to spend wisely as it is her husband's job to earn. It requires thought and careful management to "stretch" the family dollars but it is a fascinating game. Try it and see.