Discussion Questions


1. What do you like so far about the book? What do you dislike so far?

2. How has reading the first 3 chapters increased your interest in the subject matter?

3. Please relate something from the book that was particularly resonant for you.

I’m interested in hearing what people think about the author’s following ideas found in chapter 1: ( you can respond to one or both )

A~ “One reason why it is so hard to stretch the family income is this: You don’t know what you are getting for the money you spend, how much nourishment it contains, if it is for food; how long it will wear, if it is clothing. You take a chance. You guess. But you don’t know. And because you don’t know, quite a little of father’s money goes to waste.” Pg.12

B~ “I hope that each one of us will use this knowledge in our homes, not only to save father’s money, but to bring to ourselves greater contentment with our lot, and, in the end, little luxuries which we must now deny ourselves. For in efficiency there is contentment, and through true economy do we attain luxuries… I believe in the right of every refined, intelligent wife to enjoy these luxuries.” Pg.25

Below is a link for one of the best sources for daily to weekly reports for all kinds of commodity. You can find market prices for anything such as dairy, feedstuffs, fruit and vegetables, grains, hay, livestock, meat, poultry and tobacco. Reports cover both domestic and international markets. http://www.ams.usda.gov/marketnews.htm

Here is a sample report showing high and low prices of all commodities by region http://www.ams.usda.gov/fv/mncs/retail.pdf


  1. Anonymous says

    Interesting book thus far. I try to see the events that take place through the eyes of that time period, & sometimes it isn’t easy! Overall, I like how the author has paralleled Mrs. Larry’s search for better goods at a fair price with her husband’s job to do the same for his boss. The author presents homemaking as a profession, & the tasks of that profession require foresight, cleverness, grace, & courage.

    I particularly like B. “…through true economy do we attain luxuries…” That line really stands out for me, & one that I do live by!

    Looking forward to reading more. Thanks, Hadias, for making this available to us.



  2. Lawanda says

    1. I like that it is written with the “romance” to make it more readable. Thought that was cute. I do not like that it is about women who have maids and lawyers as husbands, though. I guess the middle class to me does not involve those types of jobs.

    2. Well, I know I should be caring more about thrift. But it is very difficult, like the pp said, in our throw away world… Actually I thought the description of the farmer’s wife p 13-14 sounded so inviting. I want to be that! haha

    3. When Mrs. Larry went to her grocer and attempted to put her new skills to work, and the grocer explained things to her, I felt the futility of the thing as much as Mrs Larry! I feel like everything I learn has an opposing force that cancels it out as well. It can be so disgruntling…

    A. This is why I would love to be able to raise more of my own food….

    B. I am hoping that is just what I may learn from this book, and also other things 🙂

    Thx for the link!!


  3. Milehimama says

    1.The book is very interesting (once you get through the old fashioned prices!) It was a little jarring to read about the “dago stand with ragamuffin delivery boys” though!

    A. I think this is very true. I worked in a department store for a couple of years and became very familiar with the better brands. I also became familiar with their labels. Some brands have ‘basics’ which never, ever change even if other items keep up with fashion trends. So now when I am in a thrift store I can spot quality fairly quickly. I think going to mall (but NOT spending money there!) would be a great benefit. You have to be able to recognize quality before you can buy quality secondhand.

    So many people pay too much for cheap fads or knockoffs. Our culture has become very disposable, though, and the mass marketers know it – they make a shirt or pants or shoes to last for only a SEASON instead of to wear out.
    When was the last time you had a pair of shoes resoled? You can’t because the ones you buy off the rack are so cheap they fall apart by the time you wear a hole in them!

    I especially liked the comment at the lecture about shoes (p. 21). Too true! Or maybe it’s on my mind because my shoes are worn out. But a good comfortable pair of shoes will save you money. If your feet are throbbing it’s easy to talk yourself out of making that third stop to buy the loss leaders, or even to decide to by a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking one yourself.


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