Homemaker Tips from the Past

In my work I have the opportunity to scan through newspaper reels from the past, searching for articles on the university. Often I scan and save “off-topic” articles for my enjoyment. Here is one from the Oklahoma Farm and Mineral Journal, December 13, 1906, page 9:

For the Homemaker

Right Way to Live Comfortably on Limited Income

The increased cost of living all over this country, especially in the large cities, has not been accompanied by a similar rise in the income for most wage earners,  and the already busy housemother finds additional responsibility in contriving to make ends meet.

How to live comfortably, lay by a little against the day of need, and at the same time live honestly in the sight of all men to one’s own conscience, is a problem that it takes brains to solve. In the majority of homes –praise be!– the husband is still, by the laws of nature, therefore, by divine appointment, wage-earner; but upon the woman rests the equal or greater responsibility of making the best possible use of the funds handed over to her for disbursement. With the same amount of money to draw upon, one woman who is a good manager may evolve a comfortable, homey home for her family, while another without taking proper thought for her part of the housekeeping proposition has everything running at “sixes and sevens.”

In managing well on a limited income there are several “don’ts” worth memorzing:

Don’t go into debt; never spend a dollar until you have it in hand.

Don’t waste; it is the little leaks that more than the big outlays.

Don’t pattern your living after someone whose income is twice yours.

They Don’t Pay Your Bills.

Don’t be afraid of what the neighbors will say. Be sure you are right, then go ahead.

Don’t lose sight of the true proportion of things. Good food values there must be; ditto warm clothing, comfortable bedding, tools to work with; but never mind the silks and satins that oft “put out the kitchen fire” nor indulge in “ruffles when wanting a skirt.”

Don’t think if you are a young housekeeper that you must begin where your mother left off.

Don’t shirk. “When industry goes out the door, poverty comes in the window.”

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