July 1, 2009


I love this picture although it's an interesting statement. Once when I stayed with friends at their (totally luxurious) cabin I discovered a huge stack of Better Homes and Gardens dating back to the 1920s. Whoa. I spent most of that weekend time traveling.

The post-war articles in the 20s (I forget which war) were all about frugality. Frugal was chic. I read an article explaining how the good housewife has pride in frugality, uses breadcrumbs to make muffins or oatmeal, that sort of thing.

The 50s were quite different. There were big color advertisements for enormous cars - would you believe in all those years average MPG hasn't improved at all? - and disposable utensils being thrown away by laughing, attractive people.

Today in the new millenium frugality may be making a comeback. Not like the 20s or anything but modest inroads.

What do you think?


  1. I agree. I think that everything goes through cycles. We are in a huge recession, and things will get better again, people will forget, and start spending again, and then be in the poor house again. It's awesome!

  2. Yes - frugality is the new luxury, as it were. At least - I hope so!

  3. I never knew "frugal" went out. Show's you how "hip" I am.

  4. I dunno...

    I'm afraid it might just show in the circles of people you/I/we run with. I have a disturbing feeling that there are still too many people that don't give a shiz. Hope I'm wrong.

  5. The simple movement is definitely taking off. The students where I work are shunning overpriced clothes.

  6. I've been frugal all my life and have never been fasionable. I am so hoping my day has come!

  7. Hi there,
    I have always been frugal.
    Now to be off-topic, I have just scrolled my way all around your blog and have enjoyed reading everything. I too grew up in Cali, and am blond, and btw my good friend in high school actually did date Michael Damian and I don't know the whole story but I do not think he was always a gentleman.
    Another topic: am loving your book reviews.
    I will be back to explore more!

  8. Frugal has always been in. In school, the second and third generation wealthy were wearing their grandparents' clothes and the nouveau riche were wearing designer clothing. The children of those are now frugal (if still riche).

  9. Frugal is definitely the new sexy.

    Remember Hints from Helouise? One, I especially remember: Glue sparkling glitter on the styrofoam used to package hamburger meat and use them as coasters.

    Then there was my old babysitter who knitted a purse out of pieces of a clorox bottle.

    Think we'll get there again?

  10. I definitely think that frugality is "in." The problem I see is that my generation has not really mastered the art of frugality. I grew up on easy credit and instant gratification. I'm doing all I can to change my ways, but it's not easy.

  11. I sure hope so! It is shameful how much we waste.

  12. I don't know if it's being frugal or just cheap, but I know we're eating at home more often. I love the time around the table with my family.

  13. We pretty much get our rocks off on being frugal. And calling Walmart 'The Devil.'
    I still have much to learn though. I wish I could make little rugs out of old bread bags like my great-grandma. Is that frugal? Or just weird.


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