What granny didn’t buy

imageOn Sunday when we visited Leigh on Sea we popped into the small museum in the old town. It was a fisherman’s cottage from the 1800s and was incredibly spartan. They lived a very hard life with minimal possessions – no mobile phones, PCs, TVs or tablets for them. I am not romanticising this life: I would hate to live such a harsh and basic existence and I like a few home comforts! But it made me think about the things we possess and what we actually need.

dresserWhat would my grandma not even have considered a possibility, let alone a necessity? Things that spring immediately to mind are:

Air fresheners
Kitchen roll
Mobile phones
Disposable nappies
Disposable dishcloths
Fabric softener
Baby wipes, face wipes, disinfectant wipes
Spray furniture polish
Different cleaning sprays for every job: bathroom, kitchen, windows, etc
Tumble driers
Ready meals
Takeout food in polystyrene boxes
Instant rice or noodles
Plastic carrier bags
Portable computer games
Computers!
Liquid handwash
Dishwashers
Satellite/cable tv
Microwaves
3D TV
The Internet – yikes!
Botox
Fake tan
Fizzy drinks
Tablets (well, only the pharmaceutical kind)
Self serve checkouts
Social networking
Annual holidays
Cheap air travel

I could go on of course. I am no Luddite. There are many things in the list above I would hate to be without and make my life so much better. My dishwasher saves me so much time, the microwave is a boon to warm up leftovers and defrost soup from the freezer. As for the Internet and PCs – I think they are marvellous! However, none of them are essential – they are all luxuries. From the point of view of frugality it is useful to think about what I really could do without if necessary. Lots of the things on my list I already don’t buy – I will never give into botox, even if I win the lottery tomorrow!

So I will cut down and cut back when I need to, although I will still blog as I use my work laptop. Perks of the job 🙂