Thursday, December 01, 2011

Molly, the 1886 Leftover Queen (one more vintage clip)

Molly, a Victorian housewife, has set herself a challenge to spend only $10 on housekeeping for the whole week.  She presents the week's grocery bill to her husband.

"Now, although that amount has been spent this week, you must remember that of several of the articles bought, a little is left, and I have not to begin this week without a scrap in the house as I had last," explained Molly. "We only need ice a week or two longer, but when that need ceases we shall need more fuel, but I think a dollar a week all the year round will average ice and fuel, so I shall allow that. We shall use two dollars a week for a few weeks, but barely fifty cents the rest of the year."

Molly laid the accounts before her husband as she finished, and he gravely looked them over.

"And if, this month, I come out even five cents ahead, we may count ourselves safe, for buying in the very small quantities I am now doing is an extravagant way. But I wanted to make sure my 'paper housekeeping' would work in practice."

There was rather an anxious look in Harry's eyes as he read over the accounts. He was afraid Molly had sadly miscalculated, and he hated to prove her at fault, although he loved to poke fun at her.

"What's the matter?" asked his wife, starting up and looking over his shoulder.

"Only, dear, if you remember, we had chicken in one form or other several times this week, but there is only one chicken counted, and that is to-day. Also, lamb chops we have had several times." He glanced up at her deprecatingly, for he felt such criticism ungracious yet necessary, but Molly was quite serene.

"The box of chicken in Monday's bill was all I've used; the chops also were from Monday. There's one thing, though, I will call your attention to, and that is, that the most expensive meal we had was the steak, yet people who use steak every day are supposed to live plainly and economically."
"Then we come out wonderfully, I acknowledge."
Want to read more?  Molly's hints and recipes are quite extensive.  (Just search at the top for Good Housekeeping, Molly, chicken.)

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