Growing up, my family didn't have a lot of money. Being the child I was, though, I was never aware that we didn't have much money. In my world, we always had "enough" and there was never anything I suffered over for not having (other than a horse). The thought never once occurred to me that my parents were skimping and saving and occasionally challenged to make the money stretch to meet our needs. Hearing stories now from my mom about how she was given a $7.50/week grocery budget always makes me chuckle and shake my head. Imagine: $7.50!!
One memory I do have, though, haunts me oddly in my daily adult life. This memory is about paper towels.
Paper towels were considered a luxury in the home that I grew up in. I never knew any different, I just knew that some weeks we had paper towels (apparently the grocery budget was $7.80 that week) and other weeks we didn't. When we did have them, they were guarded and metered out, only for use in "important" situations. I can remember my mom telling me "Not so many - paper towels are expensive!" and hearing an occasional panicked "Don't waste those!".
Now that I'm an adult and have my own weekly grocery budget, I always purchase paper towels. There is rarely a time when my house doesn't have paper towels, and, if it does, it is never for more than a day. It's an odd requirement of mine to always have paper towels handy.
And yet, old lessons die hard...I always buy the very cheapest paper towels. I always, always spend time walking up and down the paper goods aisle to make sure I have, indeed, purchased the cheapest rolls. And, in my daily home use, I always, *always* feel a flash of guilt every time I tear off a sheet for use.