Tightwad treasures

Here’s a question for Yorkers past and present and Yorker wannabes.

Do you now, or have you ever, lived in a home that had one of the following:
FoilBall.jpg– Tinfoil ball
– Drawer full of aging rubber bands
– Graveyard of plastic takeout containers and lids, in which the lids seem to be from an entirely different set of containers
– Jars of drained/separated fat in the fridge

Or, basically, anything else that was saved because “we can use that again” or “we might need that someday” ??

I started thinking about this as I was doing my recent spring cleaning, and a conversation at work about the ever-present tinfoil ball in York County homes made me think even more.

I am a tried-and-true York County penny-pincher. Heck, just read my previous post about free cookbooks and 64-cent tins of muffins.


I do not feel the need to save my tinfoil, my rubber bands, used cooking grease, knickknacks won at the Dover Carnival in 1998, socks without mates or other items of questionable long-term value.

The fact is, I have a job. Should we need tinfoil, I am proud to say that there is almost no time when I couldn’t walk into a local grocery store and purchase a roll or two. Ditto rubber bands. I’m almost sure that, at $1.79 a bag at Staples, I could acquire some new ones if needed. You know, ones that wouldn’t break at the first stretch because they hadn’t been used in three years?

Maybe they’re going to come take my “local tightwad” license now, but I just had to clear that up for the record! No tinfoil balls here. (And the plastic container graveyard? Well, Mom and I really are going to tackle that this week. Honest…)

So, ‘fess up. What tightwad treasures are you hanging on to?

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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3 Responses to Tightwad treasures

  1. Louise says:

    Hi Joni,
    I too have a graveyard for Tupperware-like containers. If you open the highest cabinet door in my kitchen they will all come tumbling out at you. Our grandmom used to save old fat. I pour it down the sink. I know that’s bad to do, but I do it anyway. I have no aluminum ball, but I do have some suspicious rubber bands which one of my children has formed into a ball. My tightwad “weakness” is on-sale cannned goods. I end up throwing out at least 10 expired cans a year. You never know when you might need them!
    Love, Weez

  2. I confess! I have a jar of pickle juice saved in my fridge, to which I add my own sliced homegrown cucumbers, to make more pickles!

  3. Tracey says:

    Ok, I save socks. When I ran EMS I bought longer socks in giant bags. When one gets a hole in it, I throw it out, and put the other one back in my sock drawer. Because when another one wears out, that means I still have a good pair made up of the remaining mate.
    My weakness is cute thin socks that wear out quickly, those whoever go right in the trash when a pedicured piggie pokes its way through.
    Both at my parents house and at Erik’s my Mom/I save the plastic take out containers from Chinese food. If you get the specials it’s a pretty good container, and we use it to seperate leftovers into packaged meals to freeze, or take for lunch for the next few days. It’s cheaper than Tupperware, and you don’t have to stress if you lose it, or someone steals your lunch at work (I just lament the loss of yummy leftovers).
    We save bacon grease once in a while. We’ll make BLT’s to use the tomatoes from the garden, pour off the bacon grease, and that same week, or even day we’ll use that grease and garden corn to make corn fritters, because they just taste better that way. I don’t think of it as penny pinching, but instead as true PA Dutch cooking!
    We also save our grocery bags and use them as small kitchen trash bags. We hang one from a cabinet handle and throw out scraps, leftovers, etc then change it out every day or so, and throw it outside on the back porch in our large trash can. That way we don’t have a stink trash container in the house. We also use them to clean out the litter box.
    Wow. Writing that out does make us sound like we’re cheap…

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