Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

FYI read this

I am NOT a nutritionist nor a dietitian. I am NOT a financialist nor an economist. I am NOT vegetarian nor vegan.  I am NOT a doctor nor a nurse.  I am NOT  professional writer nor do I earn money from my blog.  I wish I could but I don’t.

What I am is simply a little old lady who has lived a lifetime being poor and learned a few survival things along the way.  The only skills I come remotely close to being an expert at is making quilts and being poor.

Quilts - My own 2015 001I prefer to say “frugal” instead of “poor” because it sounds better.  It sounds better to be living with less by choice than it does from circumstances.

I write about living my frugal life, in a food desert, in the poorest part of a large city, and being happy despite being forced by circumstances to live with less.  The title does say “Na Na pinches her pennies.” The information box at the top of my blog does say I’m poor.

Art journey 2014 015I write this blog to explain how I make do with the scraps that life hands me.  I share my make do and mend attitude with anyone who happens upon my blog.  I am not writing to say anyone should do as I do or to give expert advice about diets or health or money or anything like that.  I merely write about how I make do with what I have.

I hear the news reports saying the economy is getting better but what I actually SEE is the gap between the have and the have not growing larger.  After all, I’m surrounded by lots of those have nots in my neighborhood.  I write to help those who are “newly poor” and searching for ways to survive.  Newly poor being anyone who loses a job or has a sudden major illness clean out the bank account or anyone who is asked to take early retirement.  If you are not used to being poor it can be very traumatic.  You need people like me to show what is possible.

Food etc 005The cost of everything keeps going up and up.  One by one I’ve had to give up simple luxuries because the raises in cost have priced them right out of my budget. Anyone on a fixed income will understand what I mean.  The cost of things like clothing, car, cable, cell phone, food, and so forth.  I’m barely hanging onto internet because its my entertainment and my encyclopedia.  One more raise in the cost may put that out of my budget too.  Instead of getting angry about my situation I simply find a way around it by either making stuff for myself or finding something else that will do.

t-shirtpanties0371I don’t get food stamps but I do get food from the mobile food banks.  Not many folks know what to do with the food bank food after they get it.  I do. Which is why I write about using the food in different ways just to give new ideas.  Again, I am NOT writing as an expert telling others what to do.  I’m writing as a person actually living this way.  Yes, I really do stand in those food lines.  It kind of reminds me of what it must have been like standing in a food line during the depression or during WW1 and WW2.

Art ideas 2014 014

I write about ways I save money on things like clothing or utilities or entertainment.  Sometimes I write about my feeble attempts to organize and rid my home of STUFF because being poor tends to make me a hoarder.  When I figure out a new way to do something cheaply I tell the whole world by blogging about it.  Geeze, I just can’t keep a secret.

Organizing 2014 051When I learned to cook and sew and mend from my Grandma Mama the whole world was poor.  The war was over but WW2 rationing was still being used and many items simply were not available to purchase yet.  Everyone had to make do and mend.  It wasn’t a fashion statement, it was survival.

I could be wrong but I see troubling times ahead of us.  I simply want to do my part to help the “have not” learn to make do and mend before a SHTF situation happens or someone loses a job or someone retires.  Its all the same, the person becomes suddenly poor and will need to know how to make do and mend in order to survive.

Note to the evil commenters I’ve had lately:

If you don’t like what I write or how I write it then STOP READING and go someplace else.  Its as simple as that.  No one is forcing you to read this blog.  Sending me a nasty comment is NOT going to change me or my attitude.  Any cruel or extremely critical comments regarding my writing style and my attitude will be marked as spam and deleted.

32 comments on “FYI read this

  1. nursehelpblog
    January 8, 2017

    Excellent blog. Thank you for sharing, I value your wisdom and daily living examples. I will share w my wiser co-workers. Please keep writing.

    • Anita
      January 8, 2017

      Sure, I plan to keep writing. I’ve had a little dry spell the last few days. I’ll get back to it this week. Thanks for reading.

  2. Sarah
    December 29, 2016

    I’m so sad that you have had unpleasant comments. I often remind myself that people that pick at others are just unhappy people. Thanks for all you do.

    • Anita
      December 30, 2016

      You’re right Sarah people who make unkind comments are usually very unhappy themselves. I encounter them everywhere and have learned to ignore them.

  3. Lisa
    August 24, 2016

    I for one love your blog. Please don’t stop writing.

    • Anita
      August 25, 2016

      Thank you. I’ll keep writing as long as I’m able.

  4. Susie Foltz
    August 18, 2016

    I am in the same “boat” that you are: longstanding poor. I love your blog. So many times I think that you have explained the complications of poverty so very clearly and well. I have learned from your tips about frugality and diabetes. Just keep posting!

    • Anita
      August 21, 2016

      Thank you Susie, I will as long as I’m able. The posts are kind of far apart right now because I’m really busy with life stuff. The state fair is going right now and I always spend my days there. Life should settle into a routine after that and I can do more regular posts again.

  5. Julie
    August 8, 2016

    I just found your blog today and I love it. I was raised in rural Ohio in the 60s and we had a garden, sometimes raised livestock, and did a lot of freezing and canning to get ourselves through the winter months. Now I’m a single mom living in a big city, lucky enough to have a large yard for gardening, but I’m not so talented at that 😦 I’m cooking from scratch, baking bread, pickling and freezing my veggies. I’m lucky not to be living in a food desert but many in my city do. Money is tight and I’m discovering the food deals at the Dollar Store–when I was married I swore I’d never shop there.

    I hope I learn some good frugal tricks from you! I’d love it if you could post some of those old fashioned World War 2 era recipes!

    • Anita
      August 9, 2016

      I’ll try but mostly I cook without actual recipes. I just put things I like together to make meals. You might try this link to free reading of old books. Gutenberg project.org Do a search for ww2 cooking or something similar.

    • Anita
      August 9, 2016

      I just looked at project Gutenberg and their site has changed since I last went there. I found many old cookbooks listed under the “cookery bookshelf” I loose track of time when I visit the site so be fore warned. (smile)

  6. Olivia
    July 23, 2016

    Hi Na Na. My parents were born in Hungary during WW2 and emigrated to Canada in the seventies. As a child in the eighties I once asked my father if we were rich, and he replied with “No, we are the working poor.” I felt so ashamed and reacted by consuming MORE and being wasteful to rebel against my father’s proclamation. My parents passed away before I was 20 and I inherited a good chunk of money. I could have invested it or done so much more than I did, and now, as a 36 year old regret so many of my silly consumerist ways. But! It’s never too late to change. I vow to make the next 36 years productive and frugal.

    Na Na, I love this blog. I love your honesty. I’m a reader for life!

    • Anita
      July 26, 2016

      Thanks Olivia. Yes, never too late to start. If nothing else living frugal gives a sense of contentment. Being happy with what you have instead of stressing about what you don’t.

  7. Meg
    March 26, 2016

    Na Na I live in the countryside in N.Ireland and have always tried to live a frugal life
    I have just found your site and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading all about what you have to say.
    Thankyou Meg

    • Anita
      March 26, 2016

      I’m glad you have found me. I’m always happy to know others think what I have to say has value. Its a blessing for me to share.

  8. Kaycarole Day
    February 10, 2016

    I live the kind of life you do. I can really relate to your posts. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

    • Anita
      February 11, 2016

      your welcome glad to have you reading

  9. Clara
    December 20, 2015

    Greetings from Chile! I´ve just chanced upon your blog. I come from a frugal family and love learning new tips. You´re doing a wonderful job helping people with your ideas. I intend to visit frequently.Thank you so much for sharing!!! Blessings, Clara.

    • Na Na
      December 21, 2015

      You sure are visiting from a long way away. I hope I can keep it interesting.

  10. Kimberly
    November 14, 2015

    Hi Nana, I am a frugal girl, always love learning ways to stretch a dollar. Your blog is a great resource, and I appreciate your efforts to share what you know…

    • Na Na
      November 15, 2015

      Thank you. Glad to have you here.

  11. Donna
    September 11, 2015

    Nana, you have such good information to impart – ignore the naysayers and keep up the good information you share with us. We need it. Times are tough and getting tougher and we all need your good advice.

    • Na Na
      September 13, 2015

      Thank you Donna. I’ll do my best.

  12. Faye
    August 6, 2015

    Thanks I love your blog….delete the awful comments from the “haters” and continue blogging…

  13. mea
    July 3, 2015

    I think if lot more people were frugal and ditched the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses”, they would be living a better life: no money stress, better sleep, better health and feeling empowered as they would know how to do without (it is a mind set) and make do with what they already have. It also increases creativity.
    Working fulltime I have to be mindful of how I spend time too, to leave enough time for the brain to recuperate as in just being still – which is frugal.
    I don’t come from a wealthy family,but don’t know what hunger is, but thenagain, we did not smoke or drink, pop was not on the dinner table, mom was not a fashionista which probably saved me a lot of money as the apple does not fall far from the tree.
    Yeayy for frugal. And I am looking for frugal ideas all the time, beat the system, sistaa! 🙂

    • Na Na
      July 6, 2015

      I believe more people are realizing that being frugal is better because they see what frugal people are doing. The more of us who educate others the more who will join us. As the gap between the have and have not grows wider there will be many more searching for alternatives. That’s why I post about my life.
      Thanks for the words of encouragement. 😉

  14. Donna
    July 2, 2015

    Nana I think you are great! Just discovered you and enjoy your outlook. You are very knowledgeable and very interesting with good info.

    • Na Na
      July 3, 2015

      Thank you Donna, glad you stopped by.

      • mildred lane
        January 11, 2016

        just found your site and lovin’ it. Have been frugal all my life and now I am 77.

        • Anita
          January 12, 2016

          Thank you for joining us. I think several people reading here are older and ready to share our fugal ways. I always like reading what others do.

  15. Jojo
    June 29, 2015

    Nana. I happened upon you recently and can tell, I love you. Thanks for the blog

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