With talk of our depressed economy, I am reminded of my Granny’s insistence of waste not.

“Don’t fill the bathtub with more than two inches of water,” she would say. “And don’t flush the toilet for number one”.

Memories of conserving water give examples of her frugality, while a freezer of frozen Hershey Bars to delight grandkids exemplify her generosity. Having raised nine children through the Depression, it’s understandable she would be practical. Times were tough but she shared her good fortune with others and fed the neighborhood kids. She understood that kids don’t cost a lot to raise and that “the Lord provides”.

Just as in my Grandmother’s day, families are searching for ways to economize. While there are many ways to live abundantly within one’s means, I’ll take this opportunity to share one of my favorites.

Saving on movie rentals is easy when you borrow videos from the library. Everything from educational how-to videos to Hollywood releases sit on library shelves waiting to be checked out. I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, and the mini-series Centennial are all great family entertainment picks.

Last winter, we borrowed The Walton’s. A TV series our family watched in the 70’s, it was a pleasure to introduce this program to our two youngest daughters, M & E. Created by Earl Hamner, based on his book Spencer’s Mountain and movie of the same name, it follows a family in The Great Depression.

Inspired by Hamner’s childhood, living in the mountains of rural Virginia, we see the story unfold from the perspective of the eldest son, an aspiring writer. The family penny pinches, wears worn out clothes, and eats well from their garden. Dessert is served every night to a contented family. Thankful for what they have, they enjoy life as they accept their present situation, while waiting for better times.

How often is it forgotten, in these days of affluenza, that “life’s simple pleasures are the best”?  I know it isn’t always easy to look on the bright side especially when there are bills to pay and not enough money to go around, but try to embrace change and look for the abundance all around.

As the Rolling Stones lyrics attest, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”