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Are mashed kidney beans really 'as good as pizza'?

Kids starving in China would be glad to get them! (Or so say the 'true money-savers.')

By Donna_Freedman Jun 11, 2010 12:43PM

Over at partner blog Wise Bread, writer Marla Walters warns of expected hikes in food prices in the U.S. She thinks this would be a good time to learn to garden and to bake.

And, maybe, to remember how our parents and grandparents made the most of their food budgets. Walters has made a list of "20 signs that you were raised by TRUE money-savers" that is by turns intriguing and horrifying -- and to me, strangely familiar.

 

For example:

4. They taught you that a plate of mashed-up kidney beans was "just as good as pizza."
20. You were regularly admonished about food with gems like: "Waste not, want not." "There are starving children in China." "Finish that so you can belong to The Clean Plate Club."

I'll see Walters those mashed kidney beans and raise her a "You don't need a whole aspirin -- cut that in half." (No dope fiends in our house.)

Maybe you'll be grossed out by people who "scoffed at the 'best by' or 'use by' dates." (I'm not, since I've already admitted in print to eating really old food.)

Perhaps a cup of bacon grease kept by the stove makes you feel queasy. (I store mine in the fridge. Then again, I don't fry as much food as some people.)

How about, it readers: Were you raised by the seriously frugal? Do you still wake up screaming? Or do you inflict some or all of these life lessons on your own family?

If you, too, were raised by true money-savers, please share some of your memories/frugal hacks in the comments section.

You don't necessarily have to do them yourself, incidentally. Just leave a message because, hey, it's cheaper than therapy.
I'll start:
  • A common summer supper was garden-fresh lima beans in milk.
  • One pound of ground beef fed six people.
  • Pickle or peanut butter jars were never thrown away -- they were reused for freezer jam, made with fruit we picked from farms in the area.
  • After the Easter ham was eaten, the Easter ham bone flavored a big pot of bean soup.
  • I never realized that some people bought fresh bread every few days. I thought everybody froze 10 or 12 loaves at a time from the bread outlet.
Does anyone else have tips -- or repressed memories -- to contribute?

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