Grandma’s Green Quest

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Ahhh, the quest to save money. My parents taught me well. I didn’t retain it at the time, but they taught me well. I became aware that I didn’t need to buy books on how to save money or cut costs because after the first one I read, I realized I know more than these people. I simply channel my Grandma (who used the elastic from my uncle’s Fruit of the Looms to hold the garbage bag up in the can) and hear my father’s voice, “We DO NOT cool the outdoors!” secretly wishing we could. I sweat a particularly abnormal amount.

The “Going Green” lesson was adapted to my dad unscrewing each of our lightbulbs if we left them on, leaving us to wonder each time we returned, “Did the power go off AGAIN?” Intelligent as my brother and I were, I must admit it took a few times, but it stuck. Recently I decided enough is enough: I don’t want to be paying for my education when my offspring is looking into retirement villages for me. (Picture it: My child sits down with the lawyer after I’m dancin’ with Jesus and he lets her know, not only did I leave her nada, but she also still owes the interest on my student loans. *Shudder.)

So, here I go on a green quest so to speak. As Larry Burkett says, I will be a “utilizer of resources” instead of a “consumer.” I plan to spend money on necessities (does anyone know what those are anymore?) not wants and desires. The cute outfit will have to wait, especially since my daughter is not even old enough to know cute, she just is. I’m going to save my pennies for the day when she simply MUST have the Hypercolor Tshirt from the mall. (Where did those go? I’m convinced they’ll be back one day and I pray I live to see it.)
The plan as of now is to use up what I have in my cabinets and freezer and fridge instead of buying new. I will be spending as much as a family of 3 will be on food stamps.

It wasn’t until I got older, got married, and got with it that I realized my parents were geniuses. The amount of money they must have saved by simply not wasting their resources would be unbelievable. They were green before green was cool. Country living is green living.

Just this morning, I thought, “I need new kitchen towels.” Instead of robotically (is that a word?) writing it on the WalMart list *hiss* I grabbed one of my daughter’s receiving blankets as we are no longer using them and cut it in two. Voila! 2 new towels. I couldn’t be prouder. In the words of my Grandmother, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

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