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Old 04-05-2024, 07:37 PM
Location: State of Denial
2,496 posts, read 1,875,360 times
Reputation: 13552


Originally Posted by RocketSci View Post
  • Saving old newspapers to sell them to recyclers, sometimes as part of a "paper drive" for charity.
  • Selling old cloth and rags to recyclers (or giving to the "rag man" who sells them)
  • Turning shirt collars on old shirts, darning socks, turning torn long-sleeve shirts to short sleeve, turning torn long pants to shorts, etc
  • Patching torn knees and worn crotches of pants, and keep wearing them
    [*]Buying children's clothing way oversized to grow into, and wearing them until way too small
  • Saving elastic from old pantyhose and underwear to use elsewhere
  • Saving buttons in a button jar for use on other clothes
  • Every piece of clothing and cloth is re-used or a hand-me down (sheets became pillowcases, socks became pocket liners, old jeans became patches, etc) to the point they became used as cleaning rags, and eventually to the rag man
  • Re-using plastic bread bags for schools lunches multiple times
  • Closing off part of the house in the winter to save heating costs
  • Hanging clothes to dry in the basement during winter (no clothes dryer)
  • Drinking powdered milk, or mixing real milk with powdered milk to make it last longer
  • Re-soling everyday shoes, and/or using inserts or cardboard inside show if there was a hole in them
  • Wear 2 pairs of pants, and put newspapers under you jacket, to keep warm in winter (instead of new warmer clothes)
  • Growing and canning any and every type of food you can grow in your own yard
  • Painting and fixing yourself the rust holes, scratches, and dents in your old car
  • Walk and/or take the bus (functionally obsolete in much of the country by necessity or choice)
We usually got new winter coats about every three years.

The first year, the coat was too big but MAN! was it nice to have a new coat.

The second year, the coat fit but it was getting a little worn.

The third year, the sleeves were too short and the coat was rather tight, but Mom would sew knitted cuffs on the sleeves to lengthen them and move the buttons over to make the coat bigger.

But, y'know, just about everybody was in the same shape. Our dads had come home from the war, the parents had started propagating....rapidly....and money was tight. Oh, of course, there were always a few kids from more affluent families who seemed to always have the new clothes and the latest toys but I don't remember much envy; we just accepted that that was the way it was.

As the oldest kid, I didn't usually have to wear hand-me-downs because there was nobody above me in the family hierarchy to hand down to me.
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Old 04-05-2024, 09:04 PM
Location: Forests of Maine
37,477 posts, read 61,444,537 times
Reputation: 30450
Originally Posted by katharsis View Post
... Women setting hair with curlers, slips and bobby pins, and cutting their kids' hair instead of taking them to a salon.
I cut our children's hair. I cut my own hair and I cut my Dw's hair.

Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
return pop bottles
All drink cans and bottles are required to have a 5c return in this state.

Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
... Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking still happens around here.

I see hitchhikers every summer, and I always give them rides. In our township only a small portion of the land is owned for residential homes, most land here is 'forest' and used for recreational use [hunting, fishing, camping, etc]. As a result most parcels are owned by people who do not live here, so it is common to see children or grandchildren hiking to these properties to camp all summer long.

... Re-soling shoes
My best boots have been re-soled.

... Canning garden produce
We freeze food, home can, dehydrate, pickle, lacto-ferment, freeze-dry, salt-corn, hot-water-bath, and pressure-can foods.

... Darning socks
I darn socks.
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Old 04-08-2024, 08:36 AM
Location: Chicago
3,927 posts, read 6,845,033 times
Reputation: 5510
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
When I was young, poor, and starving in the 1980s, we used to go to Kentucky Fried chicken 10 minutes before closing. They sold everything half price and would often toss in free stuff like desserts that were meant for the garbage can. We discovered this accidentally but then used it regularly.
My uncle worked there in his teens. His step dad would call in a huge order and abandon it 30 mins before closing. Any leftover chicken was free dibs for the employees so my uncle would go home with a huge meal of chicken for free.
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Old 04-09-2024, 10:34 AM
Location: Silicon Valley
7,651 posts, read 4,612,045 times
Reputation: 12734
Rocketsci, what's great about all Americans no longer knowing how to deal with their own clothes is that my wife now makes a killing on alterations.
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Old 04-16-2024, 09:51 AM
Location: Philaburbia
41,984 posts, read 75,252,667 times
Reputation: 66990
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Kool-aid, Chef Boy-ar-dee pizza and boxed mac-n-cheese
Re-soling shoes, re-treading tires
Canning garden produce
Paper bag book covers, sack lunches
Darning socks
Camping "vacations."
I don't see how any of these are obsolete ways of saving money. Kool-Aid, Chef Boyardee, and macaroni and cheese still exist, and are still inexpensive compared to pop, pizza from a pizzeria, or making mac and cheese from scratch. Home canning saves money by preserving in-season produce. Sack lunches certainly are less expensive than takeout. A tent and several nights' worth of campground fees are cheaper than a few nights in a hotel. Etc.
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
Some grocery stores would do the same thing. They would have a set of China (it was cheap but still China), and every so much shopping would get you a free item. I got 4 settings that way.
In the 70s, my mom collected an entire set of encyclopedias from a grocery store.
Originally Posted by Bayarea4 View Post
Calling your parents free long-distance to let them know you've arrived safely at your destination. This is how it worked: you'd ask the operator to place a person-to-person call. You only had to pay for the call if you reached the person you named. So when your parents answered, they would say "So-and-so is not here." Then you'd say thank you and end the call. It didn't cost you anything, and your parents would know that you're OK.
Did this all the time! And when I wanted to talk to my parents (on their dime, of course), I'd do the same thing. I hung up and 10 seconds later Mom and Dad were calling.
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
we used to go to a local bakery before closing and ask for any left overs
We'd go to the local Dairy Queen and ask for "flubs" - any product that someone had messed up. Their existence was hit or miss, but occasionally you'd get lucky.
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Old 04-20-2024, 01:51 AM
6,775 posts, read 5,495,892 times
Reputation: 17669
"Attention, K-Mart shoppers!
There's a Blue Light special over in sporting goods! Hurry because when it gone....'

Whatever it was mother would send me over there to get one.

If it was a mystery blue light special..I'd be sent to bring one back..even if it was a porta potty near camping goods.

How many know what the "K" in K-Mart stood for?
(Yes, I do, my aunt knew personally what)
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Old 04-20-2024, 07:46 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
5,899 posts, read 6,968,982 times
Reputation: 10310
Originally Posted by galaxyhi View Post
"Attention, K-Mart shoppers!

How many know what the "K" in K-Mart stood for?
(Yes, I do, my aunt knew personally what)
This guy ?
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Old 04-20-2024, 09:11 AM
Location: northern New England
5,455 posts, read 4,062,845 times
Reputation: 21334
has anyone mentioned rebates? Remember as you went into the store, there would be a display of mail-in rebate forms for all kinds of products. I knew a guy who would grab one of each form, not buy anything, wait 3 months or so, and call up the company and say he sent in the form and never got his rebate. Nine out of ten times they would just send a check anyway.
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Old 04-20-2024, 10:23 AM
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
14,198 posts, read 9,098,917 times
Reputation: 10556
Originally Posted by don6170 View Post
No, that was his competitor.

This guy was the K in Kmart:

S.S. Kresge | Wikipedia
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Old 04-20-2024, 11:51 AM
3,975 posts, read 4,266,751 times
Reputation: 8703
Mom bought a lot of our clothing at rummage sales and the Salvation Army, in addition to sewing clothing. I miss church-sponsored rummage sales! They are a rarity around here now.

Buying "day old" bread. (There were no outlets back then.)

My Dad used to go to the bakery and ask if they had any burnt cookies. We ate around the burnt parts. LOL
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