Can’t Remember to be Frugal?

by Katy on September 23, 2011 · 12 comments

Do you make solemn vows of frugality only to find yourself inadvertently forking over fistfuls of cash at the mall? Keep forgetting that you’re on budget? Then you need the new-fangled, patent pending crap-in-a-shoe frugality reminder kit!

Because while going through old papers this evening, I came across this wedding announcement clipping from 1988:

“AnnaLiese Megan LaBlond of Philomath sewed 1,000 antique pearls on her gown for her marriage to Timothy John Keck, also of Philomath. Their September 5 wedding took place at the Peavy Lodge in the Peavy Arboretum, Corvallis. The bride’s stepfather placed an Indian head penny and a World War II meat ration coupon in her shoe to remind her to be frugal.

Perhaps the stepfather should have intervened when she got the not-so-frugal idea of incorporating “1000 antique pearls on her gown.”

News of the frugally bizarre — I *lurve* it!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares September 23, 2011 at 4:22 am

The pearls MAY have been frugal. Perhaps she got them cheap at a garage sale, planned to use them for her wedding, then resell for a profit, LOL! At least she sewed them on herself. I do think it’s telling, though, that her dad thought she needed a reminder.


Katy September 23, 2011 at 7:28 am

I can totally picture the bride hobbling down the aisle, annoyed with every step.

And you thought YOUR stepfather was weird!



April September 23, 2011 at 6:27 am

Ha! This made me laugh!

(P.S. I tried posting this earlier and don’t think I hit “Submit.” If for some reason two comments from me along the same lines appear, please delete one!)


kathleen September 23, 2011 at 7:21 am

Hmmm…I had a whole scene playing in my head of the bride-to-be sitting with her dress on her lap, needle in hand, and strings of pearls passed down from grandmothers and great-grandmothers sitting on a table beside her waiting to be sewn to the dress.

I had to laugh, because your interpretation is probably more accurate.


Lisa@Granola Catholic September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

that is what I was thinking, my mother has cleaned out many people’s sewing rooms, she just offers to take what they have.


E Thayer September 23, 2011 at 8:03 am

I am curious as to why you think it’s not frugal to have pearls on your wedding gown. If you already own them, and are sewing them on yourself, why the heck not? No where in the article did it say she bought them. Frugal is not the same thing as plain, blah, or unattractive.


Katy September 23, 2011 at 8:10 am

Step away from the pearls. The post is abut the crap her stepfather put in her shoe. 😉



Megyn @Minimalist Mommi September 23, 2011 at 8:08 am

If she wanted to be super frugal, she could sell those heirlooms and put the money in a savings account!


Jean September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

“Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

An Indian head penny and a WWII ration coupon in her shoe? Hey, silver sixpences are hard to come by these days. Maybe the antique pearls counted as “something old.” If she sewed them on herself, it’s certainly more frugal than paying someone else to do it.


Practical Parsimony September 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm

At first, I thought the frugal thing was sewing them on herself and something about bleeding fingers at the wedding would follow. (just thinking ahead). Then, I thought the step-father was reminding her to stay as frugal as she was. It never occurred to me that the antique pearls would be not frugal. I suppose I thought she took them off her mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dresses or off numerous pieces she had cannibalized. I did think it was contrasting the pearls to her reminder in the shoe since you said he should have intervened earlier. Now, I am just confused! But, sewing on that many pearls is a feat. Money in the shoe…sounds like a start for spending…lol…and a backhanded reminder that sounds a little judgmental. Excellent story!


dustimc September 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I’m sorry. I just thought the whole post was pretty funny. I had to show my husband and he laughed, too.


Diane September 24, 2011 at 7:44 am

I realize the pearls are not the point, but this post reminded me of a pearl story of my own. Years ago, when my naturally frugal friend/roommate was getting married, we went dress shopping. We did go to the fancy, famous Bridal Shop, but she had set a fairly frugal budget of $300. (This was nearly 20 years ago, so adjust for inflation.) She had a clear picture of what she wanted and tried on dress after dress after dress with no luck. When she FINALLY found one she liked, except that she’d like it better if it had a few more pearls, I jumped to volunteer to more on. (I’d have said anything to get out of that dressing room.) Well, first it was around the hem, then the bodice, then the sleeves, then the lace appliques…Three thousand (inexpensive ones from the bridal fabric store, definitely non-antique) pearl beads later, it was finally done.
The dress was spread out over our glass coffee table for weeks. I watched a lot of (free cable promo trial) movies. I’m happy to report that she’s still married, has one happy kid, and is still quite debt-free these many years later. We must have put some powerful magic into that (now priceless) dress. I haven’t beaded a single thing since.


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