Give Torn Stockings Another Run, And Other Tips for the Frugal

By Michelle Singletary
Sunday, July 30, 2006

The results are in. The hundreds of folks nominated for the 2006 Color of Money Penny Pincher of the Year Contest prove that I'm definitely not the cheapest person in the country.

Take, for example, Jennifer McDonald's grandmother, Anna Fiumara, lovingly called "Oma."

Fiumara employed a number of tactics to save money. My favorite involved pantyhose.

Now, no good penny pincher would ever throw out a pair of pantyhose because of a run. No, sir, among other things, you wear them under slacks until they are so ripped there is nothing but slivers of nylon left.

But Oma found another way to reuse ripped pantyhose.

"When she had collected enough pairs, she crocheted beautiful rugs with them," McDonald said. "Hardwood floors all over her house were covered with pantyhose rugs."

Of course, they tended to very slippery, she added.

Fiumara would have definitely won a place in this contest, but she died in 2004 at age 94.

"I still wanted to nominate her in memoriam for this contest," McDonald said. "She was a spitfire and penny pincher to the end, but she was also an incredibly generous and giving woman to her family and to her community."

McDonald's late grandmother is an example of what this contest is about -- highlighting folks who hate waste and love saving.

And now for the winners of the 2006 Penny Pincher of the Year Contest:

ยท Honorable mention and $25 go to Keith Schall of Kokomo, Ind., who was nominated by his daughter-in-law, Michelle Schall of Fishers, Ind. Schall wrote that her father-in-law travels often to his company's corporate headquarters and stays at the same little inn. For each night's stay, he gets two tickets he can redeem for free drinks.

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