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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As I stood in line at the grocery store yesterday, these wise words from Beatrice Vaughn reverberated in my mind.  The more things change, the more they stay the same!

In these days of soaring food prices, it's imperative that each homemaker keep a wary eye on her shopping cart, weeding out the non-essentials.  It is fun, as well as thrifty, to pass by glamorous ready-made food products in favor of materials that will better answer the same purpose, and with only a little more time spent in their preparation.

I recently stood at the checkout next to a young housewife who I knew was in fairly straitened circumstances.  Her one cart load totaled $48.30.  I could see why, when I noted the packaged cookies, the frozen meat pies, the refrigerator biscuits, the mixes of all kinds.  I'd rather have seen, in her basket, cuts of cheaper meat that could have been prepared to serve several delicious meals, instead of  the smaller and relatively more expensive pre-packs hardly large enough for one meal.  I'd like to have seen a sack of flour, yeast cakes, raisins and spices to make loaves of bread and dozens of cookies.  I'd like to have seen a bag of pie apples instead of a frozen pie or two.  I'd like to have seen a package of chicken wings  and backs -costing less than fifty cents- that would make many times as much good soup as  she could get from the cans of soup in her cart.

It seems to me that it's high time for women to free themselves from the bondage of standardization, rigid conformity and dependence on packaged , dried, or frozen  quick-and-easy cooking.  It's time to face the fact that what is gained in convenience they lose in individuality and in savings with good nutrition.

~Beatrice Vaughn , The Ladies  Aid Cookbook, published 1971

By the way, I did a bit of research and that $48 would be about $260 today.   Isn't the internet amazing?


  1. Preach it Beatrice!! Thanks Jane... :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  2. Dear Jane,

    Amen! :) How very true that it just takes a little thought to provide things from scratch that last SO much longer!



    p.s. I'll see what I can do to get Josh Groban over to your house to serenade you while you clean. . .

  3. Your welcome Debbie! Beatrice said it better than I ever could.

    Hi Marqueta! Plus when you make your food from scratch you are in control of the fats, salt and dyes. Guess I'll just have to settle for Josh's CD. (Wanted to type "album"! Guess that shows my age!)

  4. I can just picture the healthier cart! Much nicer looking. I crave things like that. (Probably due to my sweet baking, my body is crying out!) love,andrea

  5. Loved this! I love picking out my own ingredients for my own homemade meals - so much nicer. The Ladies Aid Cookbook sounds like a wonderful book- I love vintage cookbooks!

  6. I go through those times too, Andrea. When I eat too many sweets then my body starts to tell me to please eat a salad! Autumn is the worst time for me, all my favorites, apple and pumpkin pies, pumpkin donuts and apple cider. Oh my!

    Hi April! The Ladies Aid Cookbook is so much fun. Beatrice laces her recipes with lots of funny little anecdotes about old New England traditions and sayings that are quickly disappearing. Lots of wholesome, no=fuss recipes too.

  7. Hi Jane! I loved your quotation today, it is so true. This is a subject I care a lot about as well. I think half the problem is that many people have developed a taste for these processed foods and have never tried the home made varieties. And then sometimes, there are those who enjoy cooking but are intimidated, having been taught by television chefs that their food will not be "a good thing" if they don't have every gadget, pan or unusual spice in their cupboard. I think Beatrice was so right, it is very, very empowering as as a woman to know how to cook our own food and that we can make it from scratch. There are few things tastier or more satisfying and less expensive than a homemade biscuit or a plate of cookies! Loved your post today and I hope you have a restful evening ahead. Delisa :) P.S. Loved your cosmos pictures on the previous post, they are so bright and cheerful.

  8. Hi Delisa! I remember when my boys would invite their friends for dinner, often it was the first time they ever ate food prepared from scratch. They would often say it was bland because the were used to so much sodium in the pre-packaged foods. Sad how people are becoming so accustomed to artificial flavors and seasonings that they can't appreciate good old-fashioned wholesome food.

  9. Good Morning Jane...I have so enjoyed all that you have I have read through your postings! It is wise to choose the basics. We stock our cupboards and pantry with the basics and cook and bake from scratch. It certainly helps to stay within our budget and we feel that we are eating much healthier foods. With the certainly makes sense to change our ways in our shopping habits to make the most of what we have! Thank you for sharing! Simple Blessings ♥ Teri

  10. Hello Terri! Thank you! The simple life is the way to go. So less stressful. Never could figure out whether the economy was good or bad why people would want to squander money on non-nutritional food.Of course, I've always thought a grilled hamburger tastes as good as a steak, so I guess I'm not a gourmand!

  11. Thank you for your research...$48 to $260!!
    That is amazing. When my husband and I started out in 1979, we spent $35/week in groceries and we had a good amount. We didn't buy junk food, but we did eat a lot (I didn't know how to cook too well) of chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn and I made chocolate cake for desert. I think I packed my husband salads for his lunch. love,andrea

  12. Hi Jane, just thought I would stop by and say hello! I hope you had a nice weekend. We rested today, watched old movies and made a huge batch of pico de gallo. Our neighbor dropped off some fresh jalapenos and cilantro. Boy did that give it a kick! :) I also had some good quality "knitting time" today. Hope you have a lovely evening ahead. Delisa :)

  13. Jane,
    Hope you had a great weekend -I think I would have been the new housewife then -oh what I learned! We just went to shipshewana and stopped by their bulk food store. I do wish we had a grocery store like this here -where you can get flour, oatmeal, etc. cheap in bulk. That would be so nice. But I took advantage of it while I was there. Have a great week and enjoy the cool breezes

  14. Hi Andrea! We spent $35 every payday (2 weeks) when we married in 1978. On my old blog, I challenged myself to do it again. I managed to do it, but I don't know if I could today because groceries have gone up. This was two years ago. I love challenges like that!

    What movie did you watch Delisa? I can't wait for some free time this fall to watch old movies. I'm thinking about getting rid of the cable TV, and just purchasing a movie from time to time. Hope you were careful with those jalapenos! I canned roasted hot peppers today and my hands are still burning. They were hotter than I thought!

    Hi Vickie! Yeah a bulk food store would be nice. Remember about twenty years ago everybody was starting one? It was so nice to get just the amount you wanted. Shipshewana sounds like a nice trip. Are you enjoying the cooler weather?