13 People Share the Things You Could Only Know About If You Grew Up Poor

AndreyPopov via Deposit Photos

Growing up with limited means can be hard at the time, but in the end, it might actually leave you with some pretty substantial life lessons.

In a recent Reddit thread, people weighed in on what it was like to grow up poor—things that only people in that situation would understand. If you grew up like this, you’ll probably relate to some of these answers! Read on for the best ones.

  1. You Know the Cheap Items on Menus

    “…At every restaurant, for when your friends’ family invites you out to dinner. Even though you’re not paying, you’re programmed to only select the cheapest thing. My friend’s mom said, ‘you sure like hot dogs. That’s all you order no matter where we go to eat.’”

  2. You Sent Checks on Fridays

    “If you send a bad check to the utilities company on a Friday you have power for the weekend.”

  3. You Got Used to Cheap Food

    “[You learn] how good a buttered tortilla is.”

  4. You Took TP From Gas Stations

    “Most gas station attendants will not stop a small child from stealing toilet paper from their bathrooms. Who knew?”

  5. You Know Exactly How to Kill Cockroaches

    “They’re killed by baking soda.”

  6. You Know Pre-cut Christmas Trees Are Free on Christmas Eve

    “I remember the Christmas tree hunt on Christmas Eve was like our little family tradition. We would drive around in the evening looking for stores that still had trees sitting out front. Nine times out of 10, when we would ask about the tree we were interested in, they would say “just take it,” glad to get rid of them by that point.”

  7. You Appreciate Hand-me-downs

    “My favorite clothes, and the only name brands I had were second hand from family.”

  8. Pizza Nights Were Everything

    “Pizza nights are the best birthday present you could ever get. A whole pizza, ordered exactly how you like it, and you get to have more than one slice.”

  9. You Knew How to Make Food Last

    “My mom could somehow cook two chickens on a Sunday and feed six people all week. Towards the end it was more just corn chowder cooked in chicken stock, but it was dinner.”

  10. If You Were Hungry, The Answer Was to Drink Water

    “’I’m hungry,’ ‘Drink some water.’ We were probably the best-hydrated children at school.”

  11. You Learn How to Have Fun for Free

    “Kid me thought that getting to use the free desktop computers at the library and going to the park were the best things ever.”

  12. You Never Threw Away Burnt Toast

    “You scrape it.”

  13. You Got Presents Wrapped in Anything but Wrapping Paper

    “My mom would wrap what presents we got using old newspaper and magazine paper. She’d tailor the pages to look pretty or refer to a joke or hint at the present inside. We thought it was normal. It didn’t occur to me until I was an adult.”

Can you resonate with any of the things on this list? If you grew up poor, we’d love to know what you’d add!