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My father was a frugal man

He was a proud frugal man.

When I was young he would take us to Honest Ed’s Bargain Basement Emporium in downtown Toronto which during the 1960’s set the standard for modern day dollar stores.

We would come home with lots and lots of full plastic bags filled with cardigan sweaters, corduroy pants and other necessities of life.

This was still the early 1970’s and way before plastic bags hit the Canadian shopping scene. Grocery stores were still using paper bags. So, plastic bags were still quite the novelty.

We would recycle the plastic bags at home and use them again and again as lunch bags, book bags, and going to work bags. But before we left the house, Father would always strictly advise us to turn the plastic bags inside out so that no one would see the Honest Ed logo and know that we shopped at this bargain emporium.

Of course my father always kept a strict budget and every penny was accounted for.

One day he told me something that to this day makes me smile.

He told me:

“When I lose ten dollars, it’s not the fact that I lost ten dollars that bothers me….”

He continued…

“What really bothers me is the fact that somebody else…”

“…Has my ten dollars!

It’s about thirty years since he said those words to me.

And whenever I notice that some money has slipped from my pocket I always remember what he told me.

I can’t help but smile.

It’s almost worth losing a buck or two over.