My grandmother is severely obsessed with food and money.
Okay, so I want to begin by saying that my grandmother who is 84 years old has worked incredibly hard her entire life, has saved as much money as a human being possible can in this world, and she is a very sweet lady. In fact she is quite oblivious and innocent in most things. She has a sweet nature but she is one of a kind. I don't think she can be classified into a certain group here. I love her dearly but I am currently the family member who is taking care of her, so I need some help coping with a few unusual characteristics I am not used to dealing with.
She has been living with me for one month now. It's amazing how I have known my grandmother my entire life but am just now getting to truly KNOW her now that she lives with me and my family.
She is and has always been incredibly tight with her money. She has a lot of it....money she will never spend and she will eventually leave it to my mother and aunt. When I say she is tight with money, I will give you some examples: She still has the same shower curtain up from over ten years ago with sewn up holes, her deep freezers are filled with food that went bad before she even placed it in there. She hoards food. We'll get back to food in a moment. She wears thick stockings to help with her varicose veins, but because they are much more expensive than regular hose, she only buys one pair, and wears them for years, and sews any holes that appear with whatever color thread she has, just as long as she doesn't have to buy new thread. She has a home located in town where there is water and sewer available, meaning she has a limit on how much water she can use per month. It is very difficult to reach the limit, but she worries so much about going over and incurring extra charges that she does extremely thrifty acts to avoid it. She fills a bucket with bath water (old dirty water) and pours it into the washing machine to wash clothes. This way the washer will not fill up with what is too much water in her mind. She will use her bath water to water plants and flowers too. This is on the rare chance that she actually bathes in the tub. Usually, she will wipe off in the mornings with a wash cloth. She washes her hair in the kitchen sink with minimal water once a week or less. She does not wash her hands for fear of turning on the water. Instead, she splashes them in the dirty dish water and dries them off with the hand towel that has not been washed in weeks. She wears clothes and uses towels for weeks before washing them. She smells old. Not bad necessarily, but old. She uses only a tiny drop of dish detergent because she wants the bottle of detergent to last a year. Now that she lives with me , she doesn't have any household duties but she comments on the way I run my house. She is always commenting on how much it is costing me to run my dishwasher, my washer and dryer, my water usage (I have a well). She doesn't understand nice furnishings or decor of any kind. It is all a waste in her mind and not needed. She obsesses over what our family spends on everything. We do not splurge. We live a modest lifestyle in a 1200 sq ft home. We shop sensibly for groceries and we have a budget and goals. She thinks we should only buy items on sale and plant a large enough garden to freeze vegetables for the entire year. We should kill squirrels and deer for our meat. She is insane. Her clothes have holes in them and she still thinks they are "mighty nice". Everything she owns in her home or on her back was purchased at a yardsale. She barders or negotiates for everything. She is on over 30 medications and has us running around to 5 different pharmacies to get the best deals on each prescription, sometimes just to save 10 cents. Now lets talk about food. She only indulges in one thing. Food. She is not overweight but has a rather large protruding stomach. She loves to eat. Okay that's fine, but she will not allow anything to be thrown out after a few days, she just keeps putting things in the freezer. She eats food off of others plates and constantly comments on all food. She talks while she chews and will not listen to us when we ask her to stop. She thinks her behaviors are okay and that we could learn a few things from her but I just wish she would be more normal. Sometimes it's embarrassing. Like if we go to a buffet for lunch (big mistake) she will make as many trips to the buffet as possible until she's miserable because she wants to get as much as she can for the $6 she spent. She also seems to believe that we are all nuts and that everyone else in the world is just like her and so...she brags and boasts about her ridiculous attempts of saving money and how much she has eaten. She doesn't comprehend the world as we know it today and she lives in the past. She has never watched television or listened to music so she has no idea what is going on in the world. All she knows is that she wants to pinch pennies and eat for cheap. That is her life. HELP!