Thursday, July 17, 2008


I purchased this book, The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Childs at Mystic Seaport yesterday and what a find! I've only read the introduction and it is chock full of wisdom. Some of the practical information won't be useful in our modern culture (it was written in 1828) but the principles are wonderful.

Here are just a few quotes from the introduction.

"The true economy of housekeeping is simply the art of the gathering up all the fragments, so that nothing be lost. I mean fragments of time, as well as materials."

"Whatever be the size of a family, every member should be employed either in earning or saving money."

"In this country, we are apt to let children romp away their existence, till they get to be thirteen or fourteen. This is not well. It is not well for the purses and patience of parents; and it has a still worse effect on the morals and habits of children."

"No false pride, or foolish ambition to appear as well as others, should ever induce a person to live one cent beyond the income of which he is certain. If you have two dollars a day, let nothing but sickness induce you to spend more than nine shillings; if you have one dollar a day, do not spend but seventy-five cents; if you have half a dollar a day, be satisfied to spend forty cents."

"If you are about to furnish a house, do not spend all your money, be it much or little. Do not let the beauty of this thing, and the cheapness of that, tempt you to buy unnecessary articles."

Isn't this good advice? I have never heard of this book but it certainly is a treasure. Under the title it says that it is dedicated to those who are not ashamed of economy.

I wanted to share this with you since so many of us are concerned about managing our money. It definitely is a book worth purchasing.