Random Saturdays – Depression Era Mentality

Do you remember going to your grandparents’ house and seeing stacks of food everywhere?  My grandparents would have 12-packs of soda stashed under the counter in the kitchen.  There would be boxes of dried goods packed in the pantries.  The freezer was always filled with a combination of vegetables, fruits, TV dinners, and ice cream.  Their fridge always had fresh milk and eggs, along with things like bologna and American cheese-filled hot dogs that I never got to eat at home. (As a kid, I felt deprived, but as an adult, I’m thankful.  There were always stacks of paper towel and toilet paper rolls tucked away somewhere.  My grandparents never ran out of anything.  Ever.  It amazed me that my grandparents’ house was always so well stocked since it was just the two of them in that house and they didn’t seem to consume much of anything that they had.

At one point during my teenage years, someone told me that the type of “hoarding” that people of my grandparents’ generation did was “Depression Era Mentality”.  Since then, the word “hoarding” has taken on an entirely new meaning, but Depression Era Mentality remains the same.  Even though I was born decades after The Great Depression, I inherited Depression Era Mentality from my grandparents, primarily because we ran out of everything all of the time when I was growing up, so I don’t enjoy dealing with that.  I am also a nice combination of poor, cheap, and Asian.  So, when things are on sale that I use, I stock up like it’s going out of style.  To add insult to injury, the stuff I need almost always goes on sale and has double coupons right after I ran out and had to buy more.

For example, I like Method hand soap.  I have eczema, so I’m really only supposed to use Cetaphil.  I used to keep Cetaphil in my bathroom and Method in the guest bathroom.  When I moved in with Ben, he had three kids and three bathrooms.  Putting Cetaphil in all of the bathrooms in case I had to wash my hands in any of them is too expensive.  Method hand soap doesn’t seem to bother my skin as much as cheaper hand soaps (i.e. Softsoap) or more expensive hand soaps (i.e. Bath and Body Works).  Plus, the scents of Method hand soaps don’t bother my allergies/headaches as much as the other kinds of soap.  So, we went to Target and stocked up (3 for $8).  The perfect amount of soaps for a reasonable price.  Months later, we start running out of soap in two of the bathrooms.  I didn’t think about how much faster five people would go through soap than one person, so we ran out of Method hand soap.  We bought some other soap to tide us over, but then it started running out in the bathroom downstairs.  I finally gave in and stopped at Target to buy some Method hand soap at full price on the way home from work on a Friday.  The next day, Method hand soap went on sale 3 for $8.

What’s a gal in my dire state supposed to do?  I revenge buy the soaps on sale to teach someone (not sure who) a lesson about being prepared.  While at Target, we also partook in the four 12-packs of soda for $10 deal.  I normally go through a six-pack of soda in two or three months because I mostly drink water.  After some stomach bug I had recently, water irritates my stomach, especially if I drink it within two hours of going to bed.  So, I have upped my consumption of coffee, tea, and soda.  Even though we had just bought a 12-pack of Canada Dry ginger ale at Kroger three days earlier for around $4, I had to revenge by the four packs of soda at Target so that it’d be a good month before we had to spend $4 on soda at Kroger again.

I slept very well after our trip to Target because I knew that if WWIII breaks out in the Ukraine, I could comfort myself with pleasant soaps and delicious carbonated beverages for at least a month.  I’m just hoping that the war doesn’t break out before I can get the Costco membership that I have requested for my birthday.  I mean, we’re making due on buying eight rolls of paper towels or 12 rolls of toilet paper at a time, but what if we need a gallon of ketchup or 80 packages of fruit snacks?  Whether it’s a war or the Zombie Apocalypse, I don’t want to be the idiot that shames my grandparents’ ghosts by not staying true to Depression Era Mentality.

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One thought on “Random Saturdays – Depression Era Mentality

  1. My parents are the same way and have taught us to be the same. They have a cold room filled to the door with foodstuffs. Their pantry’s always full as well. We’re doing the same, too. Every once in a while my wife would bring home more food than needed and fill our cold room and pantry. Now we’re also depression era folks with tons of food in our home. I don’t know if there’s a lesson in there, but we’re never hungry, for sure!

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