Possessed By Thrifty Granny Spirits

16 Aug


Confession:  I am possessed by thrifty Granny spirits.  It began within the past few months.  Seriously.  Not just any Grannies.  My Grannies.

So, no need for exorcism.  I quite enjoy them.  And, it’s probably no surprise then, when I tell you that seeing the WWII propaganda slogan: “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” (on Craigslist, painted on the side of someone’s stolen RV of all places) made me giddy. That, I credit to the granny possession. Not because the war or the historical reference are exciting but because the meaningfully revived slogan is freaking rad.

I’m pretty sure that both of my grandmothers have formed a peace treaty with each other and converged in my brain since my birthday back in June.

There’s Viola, the pie baking, flower and squirrel loving, sewing grandma–stylish because she made all of her own clothes and had bra and underwear repair kits in her sewing box. And, she was a little crazy, but then, who isn’t?

And Josie, the Maltese, bourbon and 7 on the rocks drinking grandma that made use of every scrap of food in soups, pastas, salads–you name it–fed you from the moment you walked in the door until you walked out (even then sending you home with more food) and had brand new back-up flannel pajama sets hanging in her closet until the day she died…but never wore them because she just kept repairing the old.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was second nature to my grandmas and is easily becoming my manifesto these days as well.  During WWII, it was a suggestion that spurred U.S. citizens to actively care about community by doing. By doing what was within their power to do.  Everyday people created social change and positive economic impact through everyday actions.

In this process of thought to action to support the war effort, people also preserved their environment by not overusing, wasting, or taking more than their share of food, materials and resources. People not only became self-reliant by growing and canning their own foods from their “Victory Gardens” but they also created community and relationships through giving and sharing with neighbors, friends, and family. The acts of growing food, redistributing, reusing, repairing and repurposing was simply, smart and friendly.

Now, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t get warm and fuzzy because of the patriotism. No, what I take from it is the idea that  people worked together for the greater good. And greater good, however inadvertently, also encompassed the benefit of the environment.  There was no reference point for labels like “hippie”, “liberal”, or “tree hugger” as those social labels weren’t coined until later in history.  People were just doing what was “right” by way of their actions being practical and making sense for everybody. Since the Granny possession I have been looking closely at my habits and beliefs and here are some changes I’ve made so far:

  • Saving tons of money by cooking at home (of course there is the occasional Chinese, Thai, or super burrito outing) and bringing home food leftovers or perfectly good, lightly blemished fruit and vegetables from work…for free!!!
  • A garden is in the works…our summer never really arrived, so it will be a winter garden.
  • My wardrobe has been about 99.7% thrift store for several years now. The change? I won’t buy something unless I absolutely adore it…
  • ***Most importantly***I’ve ditched driving (99.9%) in favor of riding my bike for transportation because it’s fun! And healthy! Yes, I’m obsessed.  And possessed. It is one less car on the road and one healthier human…it clears my mind, keeps me positive, and provides the physical challenge I need from day to day.  And did I mention how it makes my legs, heart, and lungs, healthy and beautiful?! Yes. It’s fun! And healthy!
  • Or, I walk

Realizing that spirit possession and thrifty living cannot be covered in but one post, imparted wisdom from here on out will be on Thrifty Granny Spirit Possession Mondays or Wednesdays, I think. My commitment issues prohibit me right now from deciding on the specific day. But I’ll give you a heads up: It’ll probably be Mondays.

Many people are affected by economic change…and environmental change.  Are you affected? How? Are you not affected? Why? Have any ideas you’d like to share? Love to hear your stories and comments!


6 Responses to “Possessed By Thrifty Granny Spirits”

  1. Posky August 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Thrift shopping and second-hand has worked for me and saves me a fortune in clothes. Garden’s are great but I’m always ending up disappointed when I get 900 monster cucumbers that I didn’t even really want and then like one sick looking tomato.

    Toughing out the heat is also a good way to save money. If you have AC, it’s probably best to turn it on early in the morning when you know it’s going to be unbearably hot. It’s actually pretty easy to stay cool if you close curtains depending on where the sun is and let your body adjust to normal outdoor temp.

    I think you already gave some of the best advice on not being wasteful and using what you already have.

    • heatherfrendo August 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

      What is it about the monster cucumbers and, you’re right…the one sickly tomato?! Great money saving tips as well. Thank you. I’m going to make a list of all the feedback I receive and post it a bit at a time. Thrift stores rock, glad to hear you are enjoying their bounty too! take care. ~Heather

  2. bendedspoon August 24, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    how i wish plastics won’t reach the ground or harm us in the end. please check one of our DIY. my kiddos love it 🙂


    • Heather Frendo August 24, 2010 at 7:58 am #

      Such a cool earring idea. Thanks for the link! So glad you checked out my blog. ~Heather

  3. Chloe September 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Wow – what an amazing post. I really enjoyed reading this. Love the way you write 😀

    Both of your grandmothers sound absolutley fantastic. Love the sound of both of them. They remind me of my grandmother (I only knew one) – and she was usually covered in flour from baking or attached to one end of a piece of thread that she was busy stitching into another project (or my grandfather by accident). I think I would have been better off being born in HER day than in mine because I am quite old fashioned in a modern kinda way. We do live in a society that wastes SOooo much and I think a lot of people (including me) could do to take heed of your post.

    I can totally relate to your love of your bike and the freedom of mind it gives you. For me, it’s one of the few things that I feel in CONTROL of – ya know? Like I used to know my old bike SOoooo well…I loved zipping around Edinburgh city at 100 miles an hour, striving to give cyclists a GOOD name….rather than the bad one they seem to have over here.

    Hope you have a GREAT weekend xx

    • Heather Frendo September 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

      Chloe! Thank you, thank you, thank you. We “old fashioned in a modern kinda way” chicas are rad. So glad you enjoyed the thrifty granny post. I look forward to perusing your blog when I am off work!

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