Background: Informant is my mom, a middle-aged woman living in Seattle, raised non-religious, and this story was told to me via a phone call.
Informant: My dad always said “waste not, want not,” my entire childhood, about anything. Sometimes it was compounded with other phrases, like, if I wasn’t done with my dinner he’d say “there’s still a lot of meat on those bones” and that could sometimes be followed by “waste not, want not,” as well. He never said so, but it definitely came from him growing up in the depression era and growing up during World War II.
Thoughts: I feel like the concept of “during the war,” is so familiar as World War II was such a massive event, however it’s not often talked about today just because it’s beginning to feel far removed. Especially from the perspective of someone who merely lived through it without any pin-pointed atrocity or horror story, but the general mindset of “waste not, want not,” and to be conservative and frugal. It’s also interesting to interact with someone who did fairly well for themselves and is living in a comfortable retirement to have that mindset and continue to be frugal and careful with money in a way that isn’t very necessary, but is also something that probably isn’t even greatly considered, just second nature.