8 - 2009

Were You Raised By TRUE Money-Savers? – UPDATED With Recipe!

I got a huge kick out of this article this morning: 20 Signs That You Were Raised By TRUE Money-Savers | Wise Bread.

My family didn’t do all of their signs, but we did do some of them. I often say that I come by my innate cheapness honestly. I commented on the Wise Bread site about a couple of examples:

I was just thrilled last night to fry up some bacon for dinner so we could put the leftover grease in my special container in the fridge — we were out! And now I know why my dad puts ketchup on EVERYTHING.

A meal that still makes me cringe is my dad’s old “john-ben-getti.” (No, I have no idea what that means.) We wouldn’t BUY Hamburger Helper – way too pricey! Just throw together some ground beef, spaghetti, ketchup and frozen peas & corn and you got yourself a meal.

My favorite stylish sweater in 3rd grade (ca. 1980) was one of those off white, button-front fake Irish sweaters with a sailor-type collar. Mom and Dad wouldn’t buy me one. But luckily, Grandpa, with his eagle eyes, pulled over on the side of the highway and dashed across three lanes of traffic to retrieve the sweater someone had lost from the inside shoulder. A wash and it was good as new! And luckily, Grandpa survived.

Do you have these kinds of memories? Or are you making your own uber-cheap memories now?

UPDATE: My mom read this post and called to correct me on the John Ben Getty. She allowed that my dad might have used ketchup, but she used a recipe like this one, if you feel like recreating it:


1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (1/2 pork if desired)
2 med. size onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1 (#300) can peas, drained or 1 pkg. frozen peas
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
7 oz. pkg. noodles
1 sm. jar pimentos
Salt, pepper, paprika to season
Brown meat in skillet with onions and pepper. Boil noodles in salted water until almost tender. Mix all ingredients; but save 1/2 of cheese for top of casserole. Bake in covered dish 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover and brown slightly. Will serve 6 to 8 adults in 3 quart casserole. May be prepared and divided into 1/2 and freeze 1/2 for later use. The whole recipe fills 1 (10 x 13 inch) pan well.

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