Frugality In Action

wealthymattersThese are words written by my friend Sunita,to her baby grandson,on Earth Day.I was struck by the frugality of her family and of the older generations.

 In families like ours clothes were passed down from child to child including the nappies which were made of cloth. They were washed and left to dry in the sun – naturally disinfected with the warm sunshine. I remember we children not only handed down clothes but also school text books because we all went to the same school. And we went by school bus with all our other class mates. We also went walking to the park, often on our own because the roads were safe enough for little kids to walk. As for the car, our family had one car which we happily shared with other people sometimes fitting in 8 people in a car meant only for 4! And over the holidays when we had cousins and aunts pouring in, we would roll out mattresses on the floor and manage to squeeze in – sometimes 10 in one bed!  We also managed to share one bathroom among 8 and we never knew what a bath under the shower was because we bathed in half a bucket of water each. No – we were not poor nor did we live in a village. We lived in a lovely apartment in Bombay and our families’ income was much higher than the national median. We had a refrigerator at home, cooking gas but no telephone. Still we managed to keep in touch with everyone that mattered.

My granny would collect the wax paper the bread was wrapped in to pack up my biscuits for school. She would also collect the string that were used to tie up paper parcels and re-use it. She would re-cycle old envelopes and share our magazines, books and comics with our friends and neighbours.

Plastic was something unheard of . We went shopping with cloth bags made from old curtains or homemade rafia bags. We used cloth napkins on the table and the only things we really disposed off was garbage.

Benjamin Franklin Quote

The Grace Groner Story


Grace Groner was born in the year 1909, in a small farming community, in Lake County-Illinois.She had a twin sister, Gladys. They were orphaned at age 12.The twins were then taken in by George Anderson, one of the prominent members of the community,who later adopted them.He paid for both of them to attend boarding school and later the nearby Lake Forest College. They were always considered “family” by the Anderson family.

Grace  graduated in 1931.At the time, it meant a great deal more than it does today to be a lady and a college graduate.After graduation Grace took up a job nearby as a secretary,an accomplishment for working women of her generation.She stayed on at Abbott Laboratories for 43 years,till her retirement.For many years Grace lived with Ann Findlay, an elderly relative of George Anderson, in a small apartment in the building that housed the Lake Forest movie theater, which was owned by the Anderson family. Lake Forest,a town just north of Chicago, is one of its richest  suburbs. Read more of this post

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