Does $afely Trust in Her? ~ A True Story/ Guest Post by JES

It all started 15 years ago when her clock broke. Being the new daughter-in-law in the family, I jumped at the chance to bond with my mother-in-law. I quickly informed her that we now have an excuse to go shopping! She looked up and said softly, “Oh, I’m just going to purchase a clock kit and repair it”.

A clock kit? Repair it? Did they make such antiquity and where would you find such things?

I proceeded to casually glance at the subject matter. Definitely not an heirloom or anything else of special interest, it was simply a basic kitchen clock. This was all very interesting…

Marketplace by Basile Lemeunier

A few months pass, the clock is fixed for a fraction of the price and now her microwave tray has been broken during a routine cleaning. Once again (the slow learner that I was), I offer my shopping services for (as a newlywed with no children) I was always on call! However, when I saw her bring out the measuring tape I knew something weird was happening again…

We were on our way to the flea market that weekend in search of treasures and she thought she may find a replacement there. I suppressed a smile and proceeded to think, we would be heading over to Target once the day was done to purchase her a new microwave. But alas, the joke was on me as I witnessed a woman selling cast off parts in a corner booth! Lo and behold, there was the 15 inch, circular glass tray, for fifty cents!

Shopping in Paris by Basile Lemeunier

These were my first introductions into “real” thriftiness. Young and presumably economical (hey, I clipped coupons…), I still had a lot to learn!

I began to realize that what was happening, was beyond budgeting. I saw that she loved her husband deeply and appreciated his hard work. She understood the difference between “cheap”, good value and quality. Her husband knew that when she walked out of the door, she would be a blessing to their household. He had complete confidence in her management of the family income. There were no arguments about money for they were on the same team!

Market Day by Henry Charles Bryant

I hope these incidents will encourage you to be creative when a need presents itself in your home. I realize that many of us do not have the time to go hunting down parts but online shopping such as EBAY and Amazon provide us with quick access to many goods. You will be surprised at what you can do if you put your mind to it. Consider it a homemaking challenge! We are always so quick to “replace” in this modern society when there are other useful “r” words such as “repair”, “resourceful”, “reuse”, “recycle” and “repurpose”. This way of living will yield many “rewards”…

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,
so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
~ Proverbs 31:11-12

“A true wife by her character and by her conduct proves herself worthy of her husband’s trust. He has confidence in her affection; he knows that her heart is unalterably true to him. He has confidence in her management; he confides to her the care of his household. He knows that she is true to all his interests – that she is prudent and wise, neither wasteful nor extravagant. It is one of the essential things in a true wife that her husband shall be able to leave in her hands the management of all domestic affairs, and know that they are safe. “

~ Excerpt from The Family by J.R. Miller

What thrifty things have you done in your household? I would love to hear them!

 JES has been the wife to her “one and only” for 15 years and is a homeschooling mother who embraces her role as “keeper at home”. Her desire is to give inspiration and ideas about homemaking, homeschooling and homesteading at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth.




First painting: In Front of a Shop by Leopold Loffler, Second painting: Marketplace by Basile Lemeunier, Third painting: Shopping in Paris by Basile Lemeunier, Fourth painting: Market Day by Henry Charles Bryant

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Emile Munier, May I Have One, too?, painting, child with a slice of bread, eating fruit

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~ Jacqueline

This entry was posted in Guest Post, Restoring Lost Arts, Thrift. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Does $afely Trust in Her? ~ A True Story/ Guest Post by JES

  1. Becky says:

    I love this -just what i needed to hear. Been married for 33 years-was in a blue mood yesterday, wanting to spend some $$$, but we saving for a car, so everything is put on hold for now.Gets tiring, but I love my husband and don’t want to be reckless with our $$$.

    • JES says:

      Thank you for sharing Becky :) I have also noticed that the “lean” times are when I become more creative. I dig around my stack of fabrics and actually sew something new. Or, I rearrange my furniture which gives a new look without spending money… The worst thing for me is window shopping, I had to cut that out! Too much temptation! It may get tiring but I noticed that the extra purchase never enhances my life enough to warrant a hindrance to our financial goals. Stay strong 😉

  2. Valerie Wilson says:

    I started using ‘used’ items when I was 17.We bought a used baby bed. That bed was used for 3 of our 4 children plus a niece. My husband had saved some money and we were moving out of his mother’s home. My father, an automobile salesman by trade, helped us purchase a washer/dryer/stove and refrigerator plus an area rug, used. We got far more with our ‘money’ than had we bought new. Although Goodwill, etc. has been around quite awhile, I didn’t know of ‘yard sales’ until about 5 years later. When our 3rd child was born, I remember taking her along with our two other children, my sister in law and her little boy out to yard sales! This will be my 35th year of yard sale shopping. I outfitted my last two children from birth until their teens and now grandchildren. With two boys and two girls, our girls liked the idea of having a bit more to dress with by buying at yard sales but the boys liked the name brand items….thankfully we were near to an outlet mall and could shop for them there. FYI, when our children began to work, one area they were responsible for was their own clothing but for Christmas and birthdays I did try to purchase what they liked. I would say that sometimes I overbought at yard sales but overall it was a huge savings in the long run. In recent years, I have used many second hand stores….sometimes they have special days when you can get 1/2 off. Nowadays, there is Craig’s List, where I have sold many things myself and gone with others to buy items. (I would say if you use Craig’s List to have someone go with you for security reasons..) I love antiques and have found many finds over the almost 35 years of hunting….I now live in a rural area so I do not find the yard sales as easily. Have to go to a neighboring town which is usually 30 minutes away. But when I do, I have a great time….it is all in the hunt, you know!

  3. Excellent point about the difference between “cheap” and “good value and quality” that’s exactly how I feel.

    • JES says:

      Yes, it reminds me of the old Chinese proverb… “Buy good, cry ONCE…” When we buy “cheap” (verses good value), we often cry many times as we have to repurchase over and over…

  4. Tony's says:

    I loved this so much!!!! Thank you for the reminder. As my husband and I are trying to get out of debt, I’m sure we will get more and more creative.

  5. Lori says:

    We use our things until they are worn out…our refrigeratior, washing machine, etc. I have never been into getting the things that were “new and improved.” Actually, it seems my old appliances with all metal parts are much better than the new ones!

  6. ChristyH says:

    This post has inspired me to be more wise about getting new and trying to fix things first.

  7. Lisa says:

    Oh, how I love this post! Over the last couple of years, the Lord has been impressing upon me that even though I don’t earn a paycheck (well, at least not an earthly one!), I can contribute financially to our family by being frugal when I shop. So, as a result, thrift stores have become my best friend. I can save a bundle at our local one which charges $5.00 for a big white kitchen trash bag stuffed to the top with goodies. I have found some of the best children’s books at thrift stores and beautiful, modest clothes, as well.
    Excellent post, my friend. :)
    Have a blessed day.

  8. Barb S. says:

    I loved this, Jacque! Thanks for sharing! I’m ashamed to admit that that we were far from frugal when we were first married. Two income family – why not buy what we want. Oh the regrets I have now. That lifestyle led to me not being able to stay home when we had our first child. We had a mortgage and credit card debt and a lifestyle to maintain. I was MISERABLE! I prayed for God to make a way. And He did! He sent us off to the mission field. It was only a year, but we learned how little we really need and how little income we can live with. That’s not to say it’s easy. We’re going through a rough spot right now. But God has never left us homeless or hungry. Bills might be late, and our credit rating is trashed, but we finally, a year ago (PRAISE GOD!) became debt free and I have been a homeschool, stay-at-home mom for 18 years, with our oldest now in college (also debt free!). God is go amazingly good!

    Thanks for all you do!

  9. Great post! Thank you, JES! :)

    With our first child arriving in only a few weeks (yikes and yay!), I have been on a mission to get only the basics and as cheaply as possible. My husband recently became an apprentice and his wages are hard-earned, but low. Because God helped my heart be humble, we have saved, literally, thousands. We are very thankful to our friends who have given us almost all we need. My two favourite items though, are the bassinette and our wooden high chair — both of which are family heirlooms. I have painted the bassinette as a late pregnancy project. The most expensive item we spent was for the pram because we wanted to invest in something we could use for as many children from the beginning. Also, living in a post-quake area, it needed to be well-made and durable! I feel really good that we have done so well.

    • JES says:

      Thank you for sharing! Painting is a wonderful way to make something new without breaking the bank. God bless you and baby with a healthy delivery.

  10. Toni says:

    I, also, love this post and can truly appreciate the story. When my husband and I married forty years ago he did not want me to work outside the home even though we were not financially set by any means. I saw it as my duty to shop as frugally as possible and cook from scratch whenever possible. We raised our daughters on hand-me-down clothing from sales, homemade and from yardsales. I learned to make our own soap and laundry detergent, etc. At first it wasn’t easy, but after awhile I began to enjoy seeing just how frugal I could be. Remember when guys wore leisure suits? I loved sewing so I made my husband’s from fabric I bought on sale.

    • JES says:

      I have to agree about the “enjoyment” part! Who doesn’t love a great deal? I was raised on hand-me-downs as well and couldn’t wait for the next bag of “new” clothes to arrive from the cousins. Thank you for sharing!

  11. For a husband to fully trust his wife in such a delicate, and potentially volatile, area of marriage and home … what an honor and wonderful aspiration for a woman. It also makes me think of Proverb 12:4, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.”

  12. JES says:

    You have that right! Potentially “volatile”! Financial matters are the breaker of many homes and a prudent women is a crown to her husband! I love that verse ~ thank you for sharing!

  13. Edie says:

    My husband is the flea market/ yard sale person in this house. Sometimes I go with him but usually I am so intimidated that I just stay home and appreciate his finds from the ‘jungle’. I am a stay at home Mom.
    God blesses us greatly in this area. I give him a list of all the things that we need or want and he has never come home empty handed. That is a true blessing to us as he is the ‘cheapest man on earth’, (his title for himself). He enjoys the sights, sound, and people. He leaves early in the morning and I fix his breakfast for him when he returns. This is my gift to him for doing this for our family.

    • JES says:

      Thank you for sharing! I understand what you are saying :) There is usually one “bargainer” in a marriage and it lands on me. My hubby would be the intimidated one. I love that you fix him a nice breakfast too which makes it extra special. He probably feels it is a win-win, I know I would!

  14. Rachel R. says:

    Don’t forget balance, too, though! It’s certainly cheaper to replace the microwave tray than to buy a whole microwave. But I can’t imagine being able to buy a clock repair kit nowadays for much less than a new kitchen clock (unless it was an especially nice clock to begin with), and making the repair will take time. (Time = money!)

    Likewise, I can generally buy clothing for a LOT less money than I can make it for (with the high cost of fabric), and it takes a LOT of time and frustration. But I can make certain repairs or adjustments that will save us money.

    We have to be able to count the cost – in time and other resources, as well as money – and find out if it’s the best balance for us and our place in life.

    • JES says:

      Good point! Balance is important too. To wear yourself thin to save a dollar is not prudent. For fun, I did look up a clock kit and found it quickly on Ebay for $1.79 including shipping! That may still be a viable idea for someone. A $9 savings could make a difference in their meal for the week changing one dish from vegetarian to meat. It really depends on how deep in debt and crisis we are. I agree with the sewing but I know some women who LOVE to sew and have piles of fabric at their disposal. Other women (like me) would rather dig into a thrift store for clothing. However, a wise woman will be able to discern between the two like you mentioned… Thank you for sharing!

  15. Jacqueline says:

    Frugality is an area that I come by naturally with a Dutch background, but have become lax in over the years. Now that my husband has sold his business, I thought there would be ‘extra’ and that it would be less stress, but because of how things have worked out (the property not selling where the business is located, tax burden going up, unforeseen expenses, desiring to give more, and our parent’s needs which must be covered by SOMEONE, things are really tight!! This is a great reminder to watch and pray even when this area seems fine. We should not get comfortable but be wise in ALL areas over the long haul to be good stewards.
    Thank you for this timely encouragement, dear sister!

    • JES says:

      I hear ya! We just started a new business 2 years ago… Starting from scratch has brought me back to mega-budgeting. Every penny has counted as it is seasonal work and the income needs to spread through the winter months. Like our Depression Era sisters, we can triumph over lean times when we glean from the old ways… Waste not, want not :)

  16. Aaaahhhh!!! Conviction!!! Ha! This is a great post and you are 100% right. On top of the fact that being resourceful is more thrifty and acting as a better steward of what we’ve been given, it makes us feel good after completing a project like fixing a clock! I fixed a dresser drawer the other day and the satisfaction was awesome! :)

    Have a great night,
    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  17. This is GREAT Jes!!! What an encouragement!

  18. Ginger says:

    This is a great post, thanks for the wise words. I would like to add that it is important that both husband and wife take the role of keeping and managing a household very seriously in every aspect. We have saved so much money over the years simply because my husband or myself are not afraid to roll up our sleeves and fix things or build things ourselves. The internet and library have vast amounts of information and how to’s to follow. With a little bit of time and trying, a lot of money can be saved in repair costs.
    By learning different skills, you can also trade with friends for various needed skills.

    • Jacqueline says:

      That is an excellent point, Ginger…we have been blessed with a son who can fix almost anything, but we all need to learn and pass on these skills. Thanks for mentioning the library…thinking of the “—————-For Dummies” section :)!

  19. Kerrie says:

    I unfortunately had to learn the hard way to be frugal.
    I once asked my mum who always used a strict budget why she never taught us kids how to budget, she said “Oh I thought they taught you that in school.”
    That showed me how times had changed in one generation, her generation were taught useful things, how to save and be frugal, my generation were taught to be consumers.
    Well if the best lessons in life are the hardest then I feel blessed to have learned this lesson.
    The rest of my life will follow this path.

  20. LeeAnne says:

    I love this post! I am a frugal girl by nature, but I still have a lot to learn, as well. The reason why I love Little House series very much, is because the pioneer family really knows how to make do, beautifully!

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season

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