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Now and then, people go through tough times. To save to pay for the necessities, one might have to cut back on certain items, find alternatives, or just plain get creative with the situation. Sometimes those adaptions can create habits that you carry through to adulthood. A recent online poll asked users to share dead giveaways that reveal they grew up poor. Here are some of the top responses.

1. Living in Fear

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“You’re always afraid to use your nice things because you might ruin them, and then you never get to enjoy what you have,” someone said.

2. Hoarding Food

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“All the people I know who grew up poor have too much food expiring in their pantries, myself included,” a person said.

3. Wasting Time

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“Disproportionately wasting a ton of time to save up a few dollars. It will cost $2 less if I go to this grocery store, even though it will take 30 minutes longer to walk there. Sign me up,” a user shared.

4. Sharing Small Portions

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Someone said, “Only using part of a stick of chewing gum once. Mom would make us share. We each got 1/4 stick.”

5. Hiding Cheaper Brands

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A person said, “Saving a milk jug to mix powdered milk in. My brother wouldn’t eat syrup unless it was Mrs. Butterworth, so my mom would refill a glass Butterworth with generic syrup, fooled him for about 20 years.”

6. Spending Too Much Money

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“Having no control over my spending habits because now that I have money, I want to buy everything I couldn’t as a kid. Also, apparently hot dogs in Mac and cheese are one of my staple meals,” a person said.

7. Just in Case

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“Never eating out and saving all leftovers. Always having peanut butter and bread and pasta just in case,” a person said.

8. Keeping a Stash

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A user shared, “Saving the extra things for eating out. Condiment packets, napkins, and unused plastic silverware all go into the drawer.”

9. Not Showing Teeth

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“I grew up dirt poor and never received dental care until I was well into my twenties. I’m now forty. Only recently (after many dental procedures) have I begun to feel comfortable showing my teeth,” someone said.

10. Avoiding Paper Products

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“You view paper plates and paper towels as a luxury. It is literally throwing money away. I still don’t buy them often even though I am upper middle class,” a person said.

11. Sharing the Milk

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Somebody said, “I thought everyone ate breakfast cereal with a fork so they could pass the bowl of milk to the next person. I was wrong.”

12. Pack Instead of Buy

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“Still packing food (bread, deli meat, chips) for road trips. My husband and I can afford to eat out every meal, but when we do a road trip, I still pack “cooler” food for lunches instead of eating out,” a person said.

13. Wasting Nothing

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“After dinner was over, my grandfather used to fry up gristle and fat that was cut off everyone’s meat and eat it smothered in ketchup,” a person shared

14. Collecting Cans

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“Collecting pop/soda cans from random places, even pulling them out of the trash because 10 cents, man,” a user said.

15. Moving Yourself

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“I realized the only people who will offer to help you with moving, or even moving furniture around your house, are people who grew up poor. Everyone else seems to think it’s normal to hire movers,” someone said.

16. Sticking to Cheap Meals

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“Always ordering the cheapest thing on the menu, even if you could now literally afford to buy the whole restaurant,” a person said.

17. Repurposing

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“I’ve noticed I try to hang on to every little thing in case I can reuse or repurpose it. Gift bags, empty containers, old makeup,” a user said.

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Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.

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