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Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2017

Keeping up

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at 1:48 PM

Everything keeps going up and I am wondering where it will stop. I realize we make more money than we did in the good old days, but it is getting more difficult to keep up. I went to work for $1 an hour in 1970. I worked part-time, two-and-a-half to three days a week. I paid for babysitting and still had some left over for a little spending money.

I have a friend who says when he was growing up sodas were only five cents -- but no one had five cents.

I got so excited last Saturday when I found gloves on sale for 75 percent off. The little two-pack of one-size-fits-all gloves was marked down to 60 cents. I really got into the bargain mode and I purchased 10 sets in various colors. Now I have 20 pairs of gloves to wear and share next year -- if I can only remember where I put them.

I don't like to spend much on gloves because I am really bad to wear them once and never find them again. Thirty cents a pair is old-time prices in today's world.

Growing up we never thought we would someday pay $1 or more for a soft drink and another $1 or more for a candy bar.

In the early 1960s my Grandpa would pick up me, my siblings and our cousins when we got off the school bus to take us to the cotton fields during the fall harvest. He would always stop by the country store and tell us "a quarter each." We could get a large drink in a bottle and a candy bar, or ice cream and candy for 25 cents. It would take us forever to decide what we wanted, because the 25 cent combinations seemed endless. As I look back, I hope he was having a good cotton crop because it was quite an extravagance considering he would have 12 or 15 grandchildren in the back of his pickup truck and he would stop by the store on most days through the fall.

Like I said before, people did not make as much and naturally things did not cost as much. I am not an expert on the economy, but I do remember people getting paid three cents a pound for cotton picking. Even at a young age I knew that was not much money for the work. I found out it takes a lot of cotton to make a pound.

I personally could only make about $2 a day. Some people could pick 300 pounds a day. They were the big money makers. I preferred chopping cotton to picking. At least I could make as much as everyone else in the field. I was only about 11 or 12 when Dad brought home the one row cotton picker. It was beautiful. I have watched the cotton pickers get bigger and bigger and I still think they are beautiful.

I read where groceries went up 11 percent last year. We are living with the threat of gasoline going up to $5 a gallon. Those are the items that get our attention the most because we like to eat and we like to go.

It is probably a good time for all of us to start thinking of ways to cut back. I have never been very good at coupon shopping, but I may have to take a few lessons. When I do clip coupons, I never seem to have them with me when I am in the stores. I am amazed to watch someone in front of me in the checkout line save $10 or even more when they start ringing up the coupons.

My husband, Dale, is retired now, so I may just have him start clipping the coupons. I have to remember it is only a bargain if it is something we will use. I am always on the lookout for a bargain, like the gloves. Even if we have to watch our pennies, watch our gas consumption, and spend more time in the kitchen, I think we are probably better off financially than our grandparents and great-grandparents were. They survived the Depression, and we would do well to follow their example. They did not waste anything.

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Revis Blaylock has been on staff with the Manila Town Crier for over 35 years. She has enjoyed making friends in all the areas that the Town Crier covers. This blog contains her general ramblings about events throughout Buffalo Island. She welcomes your comments and ideas for future stories.
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