Bob Franks has a wonderful post regarding frugality over at his blog, Itawamba History Review. Please link on over and read his article for a trip down memory lane. The mention of "tin foil" particularly hit a nerve with me. My mother and grandmother and aunts used aluminum foil to pat out their homemade biscuits each day, and afterwards they would carefully clean, fold and store the foil for use another day. The biscuits themselves were often cut out with a clean "tin can" that used to hold vienna sausages. After I got married and started making homemade biscuits of my own (not a regular occurrence, let me tell you!), I too would fold and save the aluminum foil without really thinking about why I was doing it. I was merely mimicking what I saw and later, after a few years, it dawned on me that I didn't need to save that small piece of foil for use later, that I could just get a new one each time. How liberating! And luxurious! Nowadays, my biscuits come from the frozen food section of the grocery store and taste better than any biscuit I ever made, and I surmise that this is where many other former biscuit-makers are getting their biscuits. The consistency is there but what I wouldn't give for one of my Mamaw's biscuits covered with Golden Eagle syrup.
Bob, I also loved the reference you made to saving old mayonnaise and pickle jars. Those empty jars had many uses. Once, my husband's grandmother accompanied him out of town on a trip. She climbed in his car that morning with a brown paper bag, recycled of course, full of homemade biscuits with sausage and other treats, along with a mayonnaise jar full of iced tea. No need to stop to eat!
After my grandmother died, we found all sorts of items that she had carefully put away for re-use. In her closet was a wad of rubber bands that she had saved from the daily newspaper along with a collection of the plastic bags that covered newspapers on rainy days, both just waiting for another use.
Thanks, Bob, for the memories!