Monday, May 2, 2011

"The American Frugal Housewife"

I heard about "The American Frugal Housewife" on someones blog or through facebook and thought it sounded interesting.  Its a short, 94 page book that was originally published in the 1800's and my reprint is from 2010.  Here is some "timeless" advice for then and now.

"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 the children.  begin early is the great maxim for everything in education.  A child of 6 years old can be made useful' and should be taught to consider every day lost in which some little things has not been done to assist others."

"Provided brothers and sisters go together, and are not allowed to go with bad children, it is a great deal better for the boys and girls on a farm to be picking blackberries at six cents a quart, than to be wearing out their clothes in useless play.  They enjoy themselves just as well' and they are earning something to buy clothes, at the same time they are tearing them."

" It is wise to keep an exact account of all you expend ~ even of a paper of pins.  This answers two purposes: it makes you more careful in spending money and it enables your husband to judge precisely whether his family live withing his income.  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."

'Economy is generally despised as a low virtue, tending to make people ungenerous and selfish.  This is true of avarice; but it is not so of economy.  The man who is economical, is laying up for himself the permanent power of being useful and generous. "

"Rise early.  Eat simple food. Take plenty of exercise.  Never fear a little fatigue."

These are all great words of wisdom by Lydia M. Child.  We all know children who get up, fritter away their day, wait to be waited on, and do nothing for anyone else.  They are usually known to say frequently "I'm bored".  Unfortunately, these children become teens and young adults and have a "Peter Pan" complex.  This is definitely NOT what we want for our children.

There are just as many adults who want the latest, and greatest gadget/phone/game system etc. who are frequently broke and sad, bored people.  They don't save any money, spend every penny that passes through their hands, and can't give to others when a need arises.  We don't want that for ourselves or our children either.

My favorite quote is:

"Rise early.  Eat simple food. Take plenty of exercise.  Never fear a little fatigue."

I'll be searching out some more gems to share another time!

Please head over to
to read more simple ideas for blessing your family and your home.


  1. Interesting that you post this today, since my kids are working on chores and thier friends have come over wanting them to play, but I won't let them until the chores are done.

    Of course, I am not setting a very good example at the moment, so I had better get back at it!

  2. It might have been me you heard about that book from! I purchased it not too long ago at our local historical museum. It is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing what you've been learning from it! And thanks for linking up!

  3. Amy, you are probably right ~ I know I read about the book on someones blog and when my husband was ordering from Amazon last week, I asked him to add it to the order. Its a great little book.

    Jennifer, haha I know what you mean. But you can take a little break!

  4. I love this and can't believe I haven't heard of it. I think that was my favorite quote too. Thanks for sharing this Donna.


Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.