October 2011 - Posts - Thrifty Living Today
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Thrifty Living Today

October 2011 - Posts

  • Mall Walking: A Midwest Winter Sport


                  Welcome to Thrifty Living Today: A Special Way of Life for the Twenty-first Century
    Last winter I spent a morning waiting for my car to have an oil change. There was a large shopping mall nearby. I decided to spend some time getting a little exercise while walking around the inside of the shopping center.
    Mall walking is a common winter activity in Minnesota. People adjust to the sight of people, wearing long sleeved shirts slacks and tennis shoes (deck shoes), rapidly moving around the inner area of the shopping center.
    While stepping and puffing about on the lower level, I caught up with a security guard. I asked if I could stroll around with him. He said "sure" and we took off. I asked him about mall walking, what he thought of it and why people did it.
    He explained that most of the mall walkers at this location were senior citizens. There were some who were recovering from surgery or a medical event which had affected their ability to ambulate properly.
    "They come on certain days at a prearranged time. They walk with friends or those they have met at the mall. They go for a while and then stop at one of the coffee take out booths. I try to keep an eye on those who are recovering or who are walking slowly."
    Between the two of us, we came up with six reasons why people walk the malls.
    • It is free.
    • It offers creative exercise. 
    • It is warm. Minnesota has one of the coldest winters in the States.
    • It is safer than trying to walk through snowdrifts or on icy pathways.
    • It offers a diversion for some who might otherwise stay at home.  
    • It may lead to friendship for those interested in meeting others.
    I am going to pull on my tennis shoes again this winter. In addition to walking around the stores, I plan to check them out. I want to know what is for sale. This should compliment my hope to sort what I need versus what I have at home in the closet.
    I want to see what is going on out there in the world of mall walking.
    Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, nurse, writer, and Thrift advocate. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits.
  • An Onsite Thrift Club: What Is It and Why?


    Welcome to Thrifty Living Today. A special way of life for the Twenty-first Century. 



    My name is Lori Blatzheim and I am your host. I would like to begin with a piece of history.


    The USA was founded by brave, confident, goal driven people. They worked hard to make a home in this country and to ensure a better life for their children. They were unafraid of trying something new. They learned to do things for themselves. They appreciated nature and the environment in which they lived. 


    Not surprisingly, they were familiar with Thrift, a way of life designed to provide a better future and a better life. They shared this with their children and grandchildren until it spread to the entire family.


    What is Thrift and Why is it Important


    The word Thrift comes from the word to Thrive.


    Thrift is a philosophy of life that promotes:

    • saving a portion of what is earned
    • thinking before spending
    • considering wants versus needs
    • respecting and preserving personal, environmental, and fiscal resources 


    The Current Picture 


    In the last few years, our country has struggled to maintain economic balance. People have lost their jobs or had their hours cut. They have had difficulty keeping their homes and providing for their children. Many have tried to obtain work without success. I realized that lessons I learned in childhood might be of help to those struggling to maintain their way of life. I decided to start a group where people could learn about Thrift. 


    The Chanhassen Thrift Club:

    What We Can Learn from the Only Onsite Thrift Club 

    Meeting in the United States 


    Chanhassen, Minnesota is a lovely small city of 22,952 people. It is located about 23 miles southwest of Minneapolis. It has been well planned and offers lakes, parks, schools, shopping and business districts.  It has one crowning feature well known to all citizens of the city. That is the Chanhassen Library.  In addition to books, computers and video, this building features numerous meeting rooms where people can get together to share, discuss and learn about a topic. It has a staff of open minded librarians who are willing to listen and to support new and helpful ideas.  In this building a group of people meet once per month to discuss Thrift.  


    Although there have been Thrift Clubs in our country in the past, the Chanhassen Thrift Club is the only Thrift Club known to currently exist  in the United States.


    How did this happen?


    Members of the Chanhassen Community recognized the importance of Thrift. They viewed it is a philosophy, a way of looking at life. They believed that if people worked, saved, and carefully used what they had, they could live a more confident, comfortable, and contented life. Members of the Chanhassen Library staff came to realize the need for an opportunity to meet, to discuss issues, and to suggest ways in which people could use Thrift to improve their lives.


    This onsite Club has been meeting for over a year. It has drawn all ages from Senior Citizens  to children. Topics of interest have included everything from how to preserve food to how to find helpful web sites on the Internet.

    Participants live in the same general area. They are familiar with schools, places of worship, restaurants, entertainment, sports and other sites. They shop at the same stores, walk the same trails, and drive the same roads.

    In other words, they know their community.  

    The Chanhassen Thrift Club allows participants to sit down together at a table and discuss ideas. They get to know people, learn from them and come to conclusions.


    I Would Like to Invite You to Start Your Own Thrift Club 


    It is my hope that someday soon the Chanhassan Thrift Club will no longer be the only one in the country. Starting your own Thrift Club can be a great way to meet your neighbors and encourage a spirit of community and self-sufficiency. You can even register your Thrift Club on a national roster and find research and resources about thrift on www.newthrift.org. Watch for "Get Involved" and click on this.



    Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, nurse, writer, and thrift advocate. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits

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