Shopping more than one grocery store, hidden valuables in a Maine home.

First, the grocery store ad sale flyers in Northern Maine part of this blog post.

grocery shoppers lined around market square houlton me
Coming To Town Thursday Or Friday Night, To Line The Square And Grocery Shop For Deals. To Watch Parades, To Socialize Before Facebook, Instagram.

Many thrifty Northern Maine grocery shoppers scan the ad food flyers inserts in the local newspapers.

And the week’s grocery shopping now or year’s ago still not done in a hurry or at one store only.

No no.

Carefully thought out slowly deciding what to buy on sale at this grocery, that one. Stocking up on the deals, the loss leaders designed to get you into these Maine stores.

One after another grocery store is the weekly, all pre-planned out attack for the lowest food prices.

To get the best deal that each grocery store in Maine offers this week. Today a local office supply vendor for printing supplies told me about his Aunt. She never was blessed with children and lived out her years in the Caribou area of Maine.

Maine black bear
Simple Living, More Outdoors, Less People, Lots Of Wildlife, That’s Maine. Looking For Grocery Store Deals That Jump Out At You. Too Good To Pass Up.

The Aunt who this nephew would pick up and each week take to the five local grocery stores one by one. To shop for what each offered as their grocery store’s “loss leaders”. The bargain priced household and fresh produce, canned goods, dairy products and meat items offered at each area Maine grocery store to attract shoppers.

I asked him if she died with quite a bit of bank savings squirreled away and he said yes she did.

One heck of a grocery shopper and saver. But he also shared with a smile that she sewed money into an old winter coat. For safe keeping but that only her sister out west knew about this DIY savings program location. And one day she woke up dead.

The Aunt in Northern Maine died, her sister did not make it to the funeral.

old coat lined with hidden money
Saving Your Hard Earned Dollars In A Lining Of A Coat Not A Maine Bank Safety Deposit Box.

The winter coat with the cash stashed inside the inner liner given away to Catholic Charities. No idea where the winter coat with the hidden cash ended up all those years ago.

Or if the carefully saved up and hidden sewed in the coat liner cash currency funds were ever discovered by the new garment owner. If not, it’s like holding the winning Power Ball lottery ticket and never claiming the windfall that changes your life forever.

Do you have family members who were not so trustful of banks or credit unions and did some behind the scenes savings at home schemes?

Old shoe or cigar box repositories that lacked FDIC insurance protection with your Maine relatives? If you remember the run on banks and failure of lending institutions during the Great Depression, it does not seem so foolhardy to hide away the cold hard currency.

These folks created their own safety deposit box locations scattered around their Maine home nooks and crannies hiding spots.

Every family has stories passed down that shape our actions to how we live life in Maine. Working hard, developing careful impulse control on the household spending. Money wrapped up in tinfoil and tucked in back of the freezer for safe keeping is one common method folks use to tuck away the funds.

Maybe where the “cold hard cash” term was er… was coined. (Blog post audience groan sound)

In the mattress of a bed is another common place to hide away savings at Maine home.

Under a loose floor boat or tucked away in a wall cavity. Hope there is no Maine house or apartment fire.

houlton maine fire
From Market Square, The Houlton Maine Apartment House Fire Smoke.

Banks nowadays when you are buying a Maine home want to know where the savings came from and documentation.

A paper trail and chain of custody to back it up asked for at the time of applying for a Maine home mortgage loan.

The lenders fear if borrowed earnest money deposit funds, there are hefty interest rates associated to pay back the mortgage with loan shark terms and conditions.

A paper trail for the last two months and evidence it has been on deposit at a Maine bank or savings institution is part of the pre-qualification these days to get a Maine home loan.

Top areas folks also use to hide savings money in their home include the back of the toilet tank in a waterproof container. In hollowed out books or behind the stacks of reading material. We’ve all watched enough James Bond movies to envision a variety of secret hiding places for jewels, other valuables that you and I would select as a safe spot.

Aunt Helen Hagan Teaching Great Grand Daughter How To Grocery Shop.
Saving Money, Working Hard, Life Lessons Taught Early On. Generation To Maine Generation.

Big fire proof safes that someone got a hernia rolling into place. That’s why they are still where some family member left them. You see them all over old Maine homes. The safe number combination to dial in on the tumblers long lost when a family member passed on to his or her six feet down under grave.

The bottom of the flour bin from yesteryear kitchens that had the pull out features for bulk cooking supplies. Another hiding place for valuables in a Maine home.

My Mom had a writing desk with a lid that pulled toward you revealing a slew of special compartments.

False hidden ones to stow away the fine jewelry were in those old writing desk every lady at the time possessed. Money saved at home without anyone knowing also buried in the backyard. Inside a wall during construction, in hidden canning jars.

You used what you had and everyone lived frugally.

A simple Maine lifestyle working hard for what they earned with the sweat of their back. The savings in an envelope taped under a bedroom bureau, behind a mirror or some out of sight location no one talked about or would think of as safe. Where would you think valuable could safely be stored in your Maine home?

Older generations lived as thriftily as possible and most prone to save for hard times ahead and just

Collecting Memorable Events In A Family, Storing Them In A Writing Desk
Every Mom, Lady In Her 80’s It Seems Has A Writing Desk For Family History Storage.

lurking around the next life corner.

Many when they passed away from living so modestly surprise you at how much was saved from a lifetime of being frugal with their spending and savings.

The calling ahead to make sure your purpose of a trip destination is open in rural Maine.

Or has the item or service you need. No wasted trips and running a tight ship to eliminate waste of gas or time.

Part of how they had money saved was because of lessons about living below your means and taking care of items purchased.

So you did not have to replace items from too much wear and tear. Also, impulse spending control was strong and research to make sure you got the best product or service for the lowest possible price.

Ask anyone who picked Maine potatoes or raked blueberries, worked on a fishing boat or in the woods growing up about how they spent their hard earned money. Carefully, slowly or not at all.

Do I need it or do I want it?

Do I have to have it and right now, this very moment? That sense of urgency can mean poor planning.

When you have to step out and spend hard earned money right this minute, you have no time to shop around and get the best deal.

It’s now or never, do or die clock ticking to make your expensive moves with no wiggle room or other options.

Saving money and stretching dollars using S&H green stamps and other sales promotions was a sport that most of the population played.

S&H green stamps
Collecting S&H Green Stamps Given By Stores That Could Be Redeemed For Camping Gear, Your Little League Baseball Glove Or Tennis Racket.

Shopping for groceries at Maine stores offering double or more S&H green stamp premiums. Returning bottles and cans to pocket the redemption fee and planning careful, well thought out purchases for needed items.

Get a deal or wait for one.

No materials thrown away that could be needed to do household repairs either. We did not live in a throw away society.

Some dealt only in cash and carry. No credit ever. And as you save money, if your trust in banks is low from past experience or hearing family stories about lost fortunes during the “Great Depression”, it’s easy to see. How some just avoid banks, credit and ATM cards. Too tempting, too easy, too expensive.

Hidden home cash valuables in special places in your Maine home.

It’s not hoarding, it’s survival. And you keep anything of value you might need to do household or vehicle repairs. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure when money is tight and hard earned.

The same kind of thinking, planning ahead meant your winter supply of firewood was all cut, seasoned, split and stacked for next year.

You were working on the year after that for piece of mind. Your exercise was not running on a treadmill at the local gym. It was processing the woodlot firewood from large hardwood trees.

get togethers for walks talks
Walks, Talks, Everyone Brings A Covered Dish To Enjoy For A Picnic. That’s Small Town Living In Outdoor Four Season Maine.

Chopped down, twitch dragging them to yards to  process into smaller lengths. Then split down further to the length your wood heater would hold for a future winter ahead. Families getting together to jointly help each other create the firewood fuel needed to heat each of their Maine homes.

Everyone has done home remodeling and in Maine’s older housing stock you find hidden treasures from the past owner.

Inexpensive jewelry, money.. the coins or folding kind. Family heirlooms, old newspapers left like a time capsule. Those newspapers are fun to study the entire daily or weekly news, the ads and the prices for the times. Had a lady recently bring in one newspaper addition from the early 1980’s that showed me as president of the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce.

Hidden in closets with wallpaper patches, tucked away in Maine home attics and forgotten.

Ever find treasure in your house hidden cavities? Pocket watches, old photos, stash from the past. You will find items in Maine’s older housing stock. Not if it’s a shoe box 5-3-1 ranch or simple cape built in the last twenty years in a 300 lot subdivision. Maine is full of older homes that carry lots of history. You lived in your Maine home. Did not spend more time running the roads, eating out and rarely home. Your home in Maine was your castle. Is your home treated that way where you live now?

Thank you for follow our Maine blog posts on the Me In Maine channel.

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

207.532.6573  |   |  MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA