Saturday, June 8, 2013

Before Costco - There Was Daddy

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Long before there were the big box stores
Daddy bought in bulk.
He was the careful shopper and loved every minute of it.
(one of my boys is like this)

Mom did not drive, so, weekly we went down to the corner grocery store.
They did not ask you "paper or plastic".
Instead, purchases were loaded into cardboard boxes,
the flaps turned up to make more room and then when it was all packed in,
the "boy" would tied string around the top to hold the flaps and the groceries in.

Sometimes prices were marked on the items in a purple ink and
the checker would call out the price as he punched it into the register.
It was amazing to me that he knew every price without even looking for it.

It was not unlikely that if string beans were on sale that Daddy would
buy a case. Or tomato sauce, or crackers, or toilet paper and so on.

After he retired from bus driving at the age of 51, he scoured
grocery ads to get the very best deal on canned goods.
He was on a "fixed income" (I wish I had a nickle for every time I heard that)
and he made every cent count.
He also put in a very large garden and learned to operate a pressure
canner to "put up" the produce this huge garden produced.
Trips to the day-old bread store had us bring home bread and sometimes
a treat such as cupcakes (which we had to split in half to share)
Canning jars lines the shelves in the garage, and our home was always open to unexpected guests.
We were prepared in the food category anyway.

Our lunch sandwiches for school were usually Bologna.
Large slabs were bought and meticulously sliced. They
turned out about 1/4" thick. Nothing like those sandwiches.
There was always peanut butter if you preferred, but whatever you fixed,
it was the rule that you ate it - finished it down.

Beef was bought by the side or whole cow and we learned how to cook unlikely cuts by trial and error.

The newspaper was read from cover to cover and sometimes the "want ads" had him calling
to trade an item he had for something another was offering.
How about a 12 gauge shotgun for a 4 place set of sterling silverware?
(wish I had that silverware now)
Or a vehicle that needed just a little fixing up and sold for a profit?

I learned much from Daddy and a full "pantry" makes me smile.

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