I certainly learned how to be a frugal shopper through experience. When I first lived on my own in the autumn of 1972, I discovered that corner grocery stores had higher prices than large chain stores such as Safeway. Then came the attack of “The Wild Inflation Bunch.”
A CBC radio show called Inside From the Outside performed a wild west parody where Prime Minister Trudeau was the sheriff of a town. He swore that he would stop the marauding gang who planned to shoot up the main street. Instead of firing at them as they road through town, he just shrugged his shoulders.
As with any comedy routine, there’s always a grain of truth. Canada experienced rapid inflation in March of 1973. Whereas the money Dad gave me for groceries was adequate, I suddenly found that prices skyrocketed to the point where I had to scrimp. At one point, I bought mint jelly because it was only 39 cents where as strawberry jam was 59 cents for the same-sized bottle.
When I applied for Social assistance in the autumn of 1974, it was like a windfall. I purchased the groceries I wanted rather than whatever was cheapest. I began buying clothing as well because I finally had more than enough money.
Those financial lessons I learned during my teenage years have benefited me throughout my life. The hard times I experienced during the rampage of “The Wild Inflation Bunch” have formed habits of frugality and thriftiness in me. What a shame these lessons aren’t part of government spending policies. Our nations would be far better off with bargain-hunting bureaucrats in charge.
I included stories of my economizing in my three memoirs. In How I Was Razed, I focused on the right level of donations to one’s church and other organizations. Read more about my latest e-book and paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.