Smart SpendingSmart Spending

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?

More from MSN Money
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.