The Frugal Catholic: “Depression Era Sayings and the 21st Century” by Martha Wild King&#

My favorite frugal sayings have lived on my tongue for 20 plus years.  I began saying them to myself when we made the decision to live below our means to fulfill a goal.  We wanted to go to England for a two-week vacation since Michael was going to be over there with the military.  We had our sets of parents to watch our two small children, but what we didn’t have were the funds.  In order to save up, I began cutting food costs and and investigating in the library on how to best reduce spending

It was during this research that “The Depression Era Sayings” surfaced, and they became my mantra.  Even today, they are ever on the tip of my tongue to gauge my spending.  These four sentences give boundaries to our consumption and force me to pause, regroup, and often not spend.  As I’ve heard it said, “The leach has two sisters: give and give me more.”  That is the problem most of us in America face, a consumption mentality.  Proverbs 13:18 states,”Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but he who heeds reproof is honored.” (RSV)  Proverbs 27:23 elaborates, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds; for the riches do not last for ever; and does a crown endure to all generations?” (RSV)

So what are these four “Depression Era Sayings?”  They are as follows:

  1. MAKE IT DO.  How can you use what you have for what you need now?

  2. DO WITHOUT.  Do I really need this item I am coveting?  Would something else work that I already own?

  3. USE IT UP.  Have I used my resources wisely?  Did I finish what I have before buying more?

  4. WEAR IT OUT.  Before I buy something new, have I worn out what I wish to replace?  Do I really NEED to replace it or NEED more “stuff”?

By applying these four phrases, by memorizing them and teaching them to your children, wonderful events will occur. Try putting these sayings into your family living, and watch your savings go up and your budget stay better on track.

Making a Frugal Dinner--Family Style