So how are we meshing with "Now" and the "Past?" The more I research the more I try to resemble how they did things but it is difficult when today looks different.
We are a blend of today and yesteryear but I am taking the important things that will help the budget, our health and the things that make more sense to make changes to our home.
We have eliminated processed snacks and make homemade but that started when we started the 1940's study. We are human and get off track occasionally but now we are more focused and diligent in what and how we do things.
In the 1940's study we made big changes and honestly we started wondering if we would find anything else in ways of saving and living more responsible. We found that the small changes that we make, added together make big changes. Now in this new study we are finding ways to dispose of our trash, to have less trash. We are composting more and bringing in less. Above the junk mail can make small receptacles for kitchen waste when scraping the dishes.
Instead of plastic bags we are reusing paper. We have a family member that still takes the newspaper and she gives them to us so we can re-purpose them for many uses. I use them in the bird cage, make paper bags out of them and potting cups for the garden and simple containers for the kitchen.
We are more satisfied with our simple meals.
We skip the isles in the grocery store which we used to buy products from and stay more to the outside areas. Homemade tortillas.
Potato pancakes, a family favorite from the past made with leftover potatoes. We are working on a menu and setting it up where we can make another meal from the food the day before. Such as mashed potatoes was the day before we made the potato pancakes. These potato pancakes are more on the hash brown side other than a pancake. It is a good side dish with supper or could be a breakfast dish with eggs.
But we are also trying new old recipes that might just replace some of our more modern recipes and I will do a post on the many recipes I have found from long ago.
We keep a few leftovers such as biscuits on the stove. This helps us to not purchase snacks.
Long ago when we lived rural we burned our trash, now we live in the city with garbage and trash pick up. Lately we have been amazed at how little there is in our garbage can when it is time to take it to the curb. This past week we took a hobo stove we had made out of a can long ago and put it to work.
We are shopping less often now and planning ahead the use of each item. This is a small head of cabbage that we halved for two different meals that were planned before we went shopping.
An old ad shows that even though it was long ago there was still good choices of food that we recognize today.
We have very little plastic compared to what we did have. We use mostly glass, waxed paper or beeswax wraps. We don't have many tins like they did in the past. The glass jar has cheese cut into the size pieces we often use.
I feel that compared to Albert and Gladys journal that I did a post on January 4th called Beginning study, we are doing a little better than they did when it comes to spending, at least so far.
It truly is more difficult to dry the laundry in the winter. It has been cold, then warm, no sun then a little sun so I have been trying to follow the sun wherever I can with the laundry. Many times I just hang it inside overnight when it is rainy.
Or if it does not dry due to humidity I just move it inside.
The cardboard dish scrapers are doing well, I find I am using them regularly now.
I don't know if I will ever be 100 percent sure about which is the best way to wash dishes and with which soap. But I will keep trying.
All the small changes I have shown in this post add up more than you may realize. By using newspaper we don't have to buy a box of plastic garbage bags, and we have used the plastic bags we bring home groceries in for a long time we are trying to remember to bring our own bags to the store so we reduce plastic in our world because it is the right thing to do.
Hanging our laundry outside or inside can save us from using the clothes dryer which saves on the electric bill. People use different kinds of heating in the winter and some fuels will cause moisture in the house so I would not recommend drying the clothes in a house that is already humid. But there are many that have heating that does not cause humidity and actually reduces the moisture and the the laundry will dry and help with adding a little moisture.
Making meals at home is always a good thing for our health and we can control the amount of food we cook. By meal planning (buying the small cabbage) and knowing what we will "need" to purchase we save a lot of money on our grocery bill and that makes a big savings and making the same meals we like and having them over and over helps us establish a routine. In the past my memory of my mothers meals and my Grandmothers meals, there were about 5 meals we had routinely and we never complained because we were never tired of them. This made meal planning and shopping easier. By scraping our food can save us the cost of a plumber.
I will not go into all the things we have done in this post as there have been many. My point is look for the small things you can change that will help the budget, it all adds up to a surprising amount. There are so many things we have stopped purchasing I cannot even keep up now.
I had mentioned in one of the post I would be sharing real journals and a Diary.
So now that we are in the middle of the month, I will start the diary. The first of the Month we visited the journal of Albert and Gladys and we will continue that each month this year. Now we will visit the diary of Theodore and Nellie and their family. I will share with you this diary the middle of each month. So each month the first of the month is Albert's family budget journal and the middle of the month is Theodore's Diary.
I also have Arthur and Mellie but their journal is so old and so used that every time I touch it small pieces crumble and I am trying to take pictures as I can. I will share this as well.
Theodore and Nellie. 1905 Theodore is age 47 and Nellie is 44, they live on a farm in upstate N. Y., Potsdam which is just north west of Tupper Lake where many of my fathers side of the family lived. My Grandfather, Alexander was a logger in Tupper Lake. Theodore was a farmer, they logged and drew stone. They had horses and a wagon, cows and other farm animals.
This above starts Sunday Jan 1, 1905.
I will type what I can read, maybe some of you can figure out the ?'s.
Jan 1, We all went to S.S (Sunday School) It still ? ( weather related?) There was a good turnout to S.S.
Jan 2, It has thawed all day but is colder tonight. We worked in woods, in A.M. Gene (their son) carried Eva (their daughter) up to school in P.M.
Jan 3, We worked in woods all day.
Jan 4, Wednesday, Gene took the milk over to Corness this A.M. We worked in the woods till 2 P.M. then I went back and Gene went to Norwood after coal and ? for John Burnham.
Jan 5, We worked in woods till noon then I went back to woods and Gene went to Norwood after coal for himself.
Friday 6, We drew 8 loads of wood in A.M. This makes us 29 loads of sled length wood up here we call it done. Gene went after Eva and Forbes girls in P.M. Stormed hard most all day is awful cold.
January 7, It warmed up and thawed a while today but is freezing tonight. We were all down to Genes for supper the Forbes girls also. Allie M and Genny Baker were over in evening to Genes.
Jan 8, (Sunday) It stormed and blew all the A.M. We all went to S.S. and Gene took Eva and Forbes girls up at night. Henry Haywood has pneumonia has been sick since Tuesday.
Jan 9, I am sick I had 2 F This A.M. Gene done chores helped to wash etc.
Jan 10, I am still sick Gene done chores etc. drew a load of wood down home.
Wed, Jan 11, I am still sick. Gene done chores and drew a load of coal for Wilmarth.
Jan 12, It snowed hard all night and a little fine mist or rain most all day. Gene began to draw stone to fill piers for Sisson worked 3/4 day and did norm? chores
Jan 13, I did Chores went to the factory and Gene drew stones. Paid taxes on farm $24 ?9 Taxes on Gennies place $ 2.10
Sat Jan 14, Gene drew stone I did chores and went to town. Nell went too She got her a hat $1.98 Eva did not come home She has gone to Racket River with forges girls and hired $25? at citizens bank ? ? DW ? (Name) & to the Church building 15
Side of page written, Train brought the last new cow today.
Jan 15, It stormed hard all day N (Nellie) & I went to S.S. Lula is sick
Jan 16 Gene drew stone & did chores & went to the factory
Jan 17 Gene drew stone I did chores & C
Jan 18 Gene drew stone I did Chores
Jan 19, Gene drew stone in a.m. it rained and thawed some he did not work in P.M.
Jan 20 Gene drew stone and we all went up to the High School entertainment in Eve and brought Eva Home. She had a part in the play.
Sat 21, We G&I went down to uncles and got name? to work with Kit for Maud has a spavin coming and is lame We are trying Kendalls spavin cure. Carrol came all night I got me some rubbers (boots) at Norwood $2.50 They are to wear over my felts.
Sunday 22, We all went to S.S. and Carrol and Allie went too Mr Miller Preached. Sam Maxfield died very suddenly yesterday a.m. He was all right at bed time but died at 5 A.M.
Mon Jan 23, Genni drew stone I did the Chores
Jan 24, Genni drew stone, I did the chores
Jan 25, Gennie drew stone I went to Potsdam with Eva to take her Examination.
Jan 26, Genni drew stone Eva went to Potsdam I did the chores.
Fri Jan 27, Genni drew stone 1/3 of a day Walters son ill so he could not work. I done the chores it stormed most of the day.
Jan 28, Gennie drew stone and did the chores and went to Potsdam to bannons, the Hall was full.
Jan 29 Gene and L?? went to B??rock in A.M> brother miller and Brother Brigs came down there and spoke on temperence In the evening we all went to Potsdam to a mass meeting at the Hall it was good.
Jan 30 Gennie drew stone and I done chores and I done the chores It is a fine day.
I think you can read this above . We will pick up on this diary the middle of February and read the month of February.
I will have a lot of typing to do as this diary gets full starting February first.
The rags and cloths we use in place of paper towels is another way we save money. It is simple, just take old cloth from most anything or dishrags that are stained and use them instead of paper towels and keep a handy container and grab one instead of a paper towel. We have to wash laundry anyway.
The two journals we have teach us the importance of writing down the things we purchase and I think Diaries are a wonderful part of preserving history. There are diaries such as this one shown today that are of the historic nature, a year in the life of a family. Then there are diaries that should not be shared as they are of a personal nature. We must be accountable for our choices and I see today that our society has become too casual and often uncaring. We adults need to set better examples and bring back the clarity of right and wrong.
I hope you are enjoying our study of the early days in 1900 up to 1939. Grandma Donna