Na Na pinches her pennies

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.

Who is Grandma Mama?

My mother was mentally ill for all her life.  She was schizophrenic and had never really been able to care for her children for more than a few months at a time.  Long before the age of pills to control mental illness the patients would be locked away in institutions.  I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents while my mother was away.  My father was a life long military man and gone most of the time.  I remember we saw him about once a year.  He was one of the original Army Air Corps before it split off to become the Air Force.

Dad and his dog during WW2. I believe it was in Britain.

When I was just an infant my mother went away for a rest.  When I was learning to talk I heard my aunts and uncles calling my grandmother Mama so I did too.  My grandfather was Papa.  Both of them  were born in the late 1800s.  My grandparents lived deep in the backwoods as we called it.  That merely means we were isolated far from a town or city and quite a distance from neighbors.

Grandma Mama and Papa and their two boys. I don’t know where the two girls were.

I used to talk about my mother and her mental illness on my blog.  For clarity I used Grandma Mama so the reader can tell which is which when I’m type-talking.  Grandma Mama was extremely frugal.  She had to be.  My grandparents went through several economic crisis times starting with an 1800s rural life and then WW1, the great depression, WW2, and the rationing years.

I believe my grandparents were an early version of doomsday preppers.  Having been through several economic tough times they were convinced it would happen again and again so they stayed prepared for it.  I learned most of my frugal knowledge from Grandma Mama but I’ve also picked up knowledge of my own over the years.  I guess you could say I’ve been frugal my whole life.


I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents.  I also spent quite a bit of time in orphanages or with other relatives too.  My fondest memories are of my Grandma Mama and learning her frugal ways.  When I was young I remember using ration stamps to purchase things at the general store.  I also remember selling our eggs there to get store credit.  Both Grandma Mama and Grandpa Papa would decide on a needed big ticket item.  An example would be perhaps a wood stove or a new plow.  Then they would start building up store credit along with saving cash intended to purchase that item.  The whole family worked as a team.

If you want to get a better mental picture of what life was like with my Grandma Mama and Grandpa Papa then watch an old episode of THE WALTONS on TV.  Their life was very much like the Walton family.  There were cars and movies and department stores and other such things but we didn’t have them where we lived.  In order to go to a movie or shop a big store we had to go to “the big city” which was a long trip.  We had a car but often not enough money for gas to drive it.  Or so I was told.

Now days it’s become quite fashionable to live frugal again.  it’s called “living green” to give it a more up to date name.  I am writing posts about the frugal things I remember learning from my Grandma Mama.  It’s my hope what I write will be useful for anyone facing a financial crisis or simply wants to learn the old ways.

Well now you know who was Grandma Mama and a little more about me.  I don’t mind sharing what I know with any visitor who stops by to visit my blog.  However, this blog and my quilting blog are first and foremost written for my descendants so they may know more about me.  If blogs survive that long.  Please enjoy your visit.


10 comments on “Who is Grandma Mama?

  1. Anita
    March 13, 2020

    Hi my name is Anita and I live in New Jersey. I happen to be on disability and my birthday is tomorrow 3/14. I’ll never forget this birthday being that the Coronavirus is part of it!! Love your Blog so far!!


    • Anita
      March 13, 2020

      Thank you Anita and Happy Birthday.


  2. Ressa Waller
    May 26, 2017

    I really enjoy your blog and appreciate that you aren’t trying to sell me things 🙂
    The glimpse into your daily life enriches mine. I’m learning how to quilt, too, so enjoy those posts also.


    • Anita
      May 26, 2017

      Glad to have you here Ressa. I hate visiting blogs full of ads and sales pitches too which is why I want to keep mine ad free. Except for the one required by wordpress.


  3. Karron Joy
    January 2, 2017

    So glad i stumbled upon your blog. I have been financially challenged most of my adult life. Now that retirement is quickly approaching and facing living on $850 a month, I am learning all I can to not just survive but to thrive.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.


    • Anita
      January 3, 2017

      Welcome Karron, I hope you find something useful here. Comments are welcome. Readers often share great ideas too.


  4. Erma
    November 25, 2016

    Some mentioned your site on another frugal site i follow and since i only have ss as income i pinch every penny plus only able to get by.I try tell some of the younger generation they need to be more saving but it falls on deft ears


    • Anita
      November 25, 2016

      Hi Emma, glad to have you here. Yes, the young do become hard of hearing when it comes to frugal living ideas. We can only tell them, its up to them to listen or fail. What site was it you read about me? I’m curious.


  5. Sara
    April 13, 2014

    found you over at the wordpress support forum..i was wondering about the strange blog followers too. thought i’d say hi so u’d know i was a genuine blogger dropping by:)
    i love family stories of the days before i was born..and sadly i feel like i haven’t heard enough.
    Keep it coming, Anita 🙂 I’m sure you’re full of life stories I’d love to read.


    • Na Na
      April 17, 2014

      Thank you Sara. If you find out anything about the strange followers please let me know.


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