My grandmother is perhaps the most frugal person I have had as a guiding hand in my life. She is absolutely amazing at cooking, making it an easy decision for her to stay home and make a delicious home cooked meal, as opposed to spending her hard earned money at the local diner.
“There is nothing better than enjoying the fruits of your labor.” seemed to be my grandmothers catchphrase. She would come home and spend her lunch breaks tending to a medium sized garden filled with ripe strawberries, carrots, corn, pumpkins, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, muskmelon, and watermelon. I remember coming home from school to her first batch of beef stew with freshly mashed potatoes smothered in a brown gravy. She was right.
Making a habit of reupholstering her couches and chairs makes it so that she doesn’t have to go and spend that nice income tax check like so many other families do. To be able to go visit for the weekend and see all of the original furniture, makes me feel like I’m home again.
I’ll never forget going into my old bedroom and seeing the old dresser I used to use as a child. No more ugly green paint. No more missing handles. Instead in front of me sat a work of art and a lesson in patience. The old rickety dresser has been transformed into something fresh and modern. With a beautiful cherry finish, new brushed nickel pull knobs, and replacement drawer tracks, this was no longer the seemingly “junk” dresser that I thought it was.
Opening up the dresser I notice a lot of patches and many different sewing accessories. Since I left it appears that her hobby has grown a bit. “Can you see the patch?” she said while pointing at her blue jeans. I couldn’t tell. Looking closer I then notice the masterfully done patch. Every stitch perfect. Every seam as straight as can be. She is proud of being able to keep wearing her favorite blue jeans. One day they will be beyond repair, but no matter what, she will get whatever life she can out of them.
“Goodwill!” That’s the response when I ask my grandmother where she gets her “like-new” name brand clothes that she is reluctantly pulling from a plastic bag to show me. As she is going through the seemingly endless bag of clothes, she stops. “These are for you.” I stand up curious to see what it was that she had gotten me. Looking into the bag that she was previously going through I notice something. A coach handbag. Nearly identical to the one I already own, albeit in better shape. I couldn’t have been happier with the gift my grandmother picked out just for me. It just goes to show that maybe, you don’t always have to go to Hollister or Buckle to own nice clothes.