Why does Lincoln weep? Because he feels the pinch as he passes through my fingers.
I learned at the knee of my mother, who learned at the knee of HER mother.
My grandparents were married in 1932, in the depths of the Depression. They lived in LA at the time (I wish I had photos!) and went to the Los Angeles Olympics during their honeymoon. Six years later, they moved to Brazil for my grandfather's work - Grandma went cross-country by train with a 4 year old (my Mom) and an infant, and four years' worth of gear - diapers, formula, sanitary supplies - that she would not be able to buy in Brazil. They sailed to Brazil and only visited the US a few times in the next ten years. Grandma was the queen of making things last or doing without.
My parents were married in 1955. Mom was in her last year of college, and Dad in his first year of graduate school. My brothers came along in 1958 and 1959, and things were tighter than a debutante's corset for my folks. I showed up several years later, when they were settled here in Massachusetts and Dad was tenured at the University. Still, the corset didn't leave much breathing room.
Now I'm the mom, raising four children by myself on very little, and I hope I know a thing or two about making do, using less, and stretching everything. That's what I want to share here. Please share your wisdom and experience in the comments section - we can none of us figure everything out, but we can all of us come up with amazing ideas.