How to Be a Cheap Mennonite

Mennonites are a frugal bunch. At least we used to be. These days I see Mennonites with the latest second-hand designer t-shirts and jeans without patches. Oba. Back in my day, we never would have allowed such extravagancies. If you want to be a real thrifty Menno, here are a few tips to save money like we did in the old days.

  1. Living room curtains make great dresses! – A standard living room curtain can make more than five delightful dresses for the girls, with a few scraps of material left over to patch the boys’ overalls. Curtain patterns from the 1970s seem to make the most stylish gowns. Better than Walmart even!
  2. Have an inexpensive wedding. Get married after church on Sunday. All the relatives will already be there. Marry a cousin and you only have to invite half as many guests as the Englishers do. Also consider a joint wedding with three or four of your sisters. Making platz in mass quantities really helps to cut down on the costs.
  3. Milk your cows before the sun rises. Daisy gives her best milk before 5 AM. The bucket will be filled faster and that’ll give you a lot more time to churn the butter to sell at the Grunthal farmer’s market later in the week. This also means you’ll have to get to bed early, but that’s okay, since nothing good happens after 6 PM anyway.
  4. Take a vacation in Vita, Manitoba. There’s no need to go all the way to Disneyland when you can just go to the most remote area of Manitoba, the town of Vita. You can show up unannounced and stay with relatives. They won’t mind and you can stay as long as you want. There’s no such thing as overstaying your welcome among Mennonites.
  5. An old Eatons catalogue can go a long way. Not only does it make great toilet paper, but it can provide hours of entertainment for the young people. Better an Eatons catalogue on the jon than a smartphone. A Sears catalogue is an inferior, but acceptable, alternative.
  6. Eat the whole chicken! – People are so wasteful these days. They just want breasts and thighs. Well, in my day we ate the heart and livers and gizzard and all of that. Young people these days just don’t know what they’re missing. These are tastiest parts!
  7. The thrift store is your friend. – Just because you’re in a thrift store doesn’t mean you can’t complain about the prices. Get a good relationship with your local self help manager and you might be able to stretch your budget. That tea cup has a chip in it, right? Cha-ching!
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