10 Resourceful Things Jamaicans Do To Save Money

Jamaicans have always been a proud people, but when it comes to making things last longer, we know that we have to come up with resourceful ways to make everything last longer around us. We rearrange our surroundings to conform to our needs as best as possible, doing more with less, and even when it costs us more overtime.

Here are a few examples:

1. Sunday/ Monday-Wednesday – The Sunday/Monday has always been a big part of Jamaican lives where food from the big cooking on Sunday was eaten for breakfast and sometimes dinner on Mondays, but this practice has began to extend to part of the Sunday meal being served up until as long as Wednesday evenings.

2. Purchasing in small quantities – Shop keepers are now readily adjusting their products to suit the needs of their customers, and if you live where there are a lot of community shops then you are familiar with $30 cooking oil, quarter bread, half bottle of bleach..etc.

3. Diluting liquid soap – When one buys a large bottle of liquid soap, we all know that we need to have another empty bottle to pour half into it and add water to stretch it. Even though this weakens the mixture and we are forced to use more than the normal so it suds how we want it, in our minds it still lasts us longer.

4. Informal plastic recycling – Plastic items are never thrown away directly after use in the Jamaican household. Grocery bags are reserved for garbage or storage, and plastic bottles are used for various other reasons like storing drinking water, becoming a cooking oil bottle, detergent bottle, funnels, and if you are resourceful enough, shower heads. We are handymen.

5.Stretching the pot – It is no secret that the economy is not what it used to be, and so one has to resourceful in making meals last for everyone in the household. So we must stretch the pot by using smaller amounts of meat and stretching it with various ingredients such as macaroni, potatoes, and peas.

6. Mr Fix It –Every Jamaican household contains a roll of duct tape, a bottle of crazy or nail glue, and some patexx. Nothing in a Jamaican household is truly broken until it shatters to pieces and cannot be mended with these items and professionals are too expensive.

7. Bridging electricity wires – You will get locked up? You will be fined? It is dangerous? Has caused many house fires and death? Of course we know all of that but we still bridge the JPS wires to get some free electricity in our homes, and avoid paying the monstrous bills.

8. Mr Chin – They Chinese haberdasheries are popping up in every major town and have been set up in numbers in the cities. With their very inexpensive prices and ‘very close to original’ knockoffs, Mr Chin has become the place to shop, the sell everything from cosmetics to pots and pans.

9. Bush remedies – Grandma has never been wrong when it comes to bush remedies. We as Jamaicans know that there are bushes in and around our surrounding areas that can get rid of almost everything that we are ailing with. Bush remedies are drawn for before one even thinks about going to the doctor.

10. “Ring and heng up” – If you live or have lived in Jamaica and own a prepaid cellphone then you will know a few of the codes when one is out of credit. You may receive a “please call me”, “please credit me”, or the infamous “ring and heng up”. When someone rings your phone and hangs up before you answer you know that it’s the code for “I only have enough credit to ring your phone, so this is an indication that you should call me back”. Like i said, we are resourceful.

10 THINGS Jamaican Men wish Women knew

I sat on the veranda during the recent torrential downpour listening to my spouse and his friends discussing women and why they thought that Jamaican women do not understand “themselves”. I asked them what were some of the issues they wished women understood that would make their relationships more cohesive and fulfilling. These are the opinions of five young men and do not necessarily reflect the general ideology of all Jamaican men. 


1. They love their male friends and their companionship. It is important to them to spend time with their male friends. They bond more with their brethren since they understand each other  and can empathize with their experiences and situations than their spouses. They also feel more comfortable sharing “certain” information with their male friends.

2. If you are the wife, you should not be concerned with the assorted women he sleeps with on the side since you are the one that he comes home to every night. Women should turn a blind eye to their liaisons and infidelities if you are his main chick. You should not question his loyalty to you if you are living with him and your needs are being met.

3. Do not answer his phone or search his phone. Men hate when women invade their private space and they do not want to answer to their indiscretions. They do not want to put the woman in a position for her to witness messages in his phone that may hurt her. You lose your right to question him about anything dis-satisfactory you found in his phone since you are by law not suppose to search phone. “Anything you get, you must take, you went looking for something and you got what you were searching for”


4.Men want to have fun! Do not think that when your Jamaican man starts having sex with you, its a license for you to go ahead and get pregnant and tie him down. Your Jamaican man wants to enjoy you and he wants to have fun with you before you decide to get big and bloated. The onus is on you to protect yourself and maintain the “Fun” in the relationship. Why would you want to complicate a situation with a man you met a month ago by getting pregnant and then by your second trimester, you realize you are not getting what you want out of the relationship.

5. Babies cant hold man. Do not think that you can trap a Jamaican man into a long term relationship by getting pregnant. You will end up with the wrong end of the stick. Most men (in reality) will withdraw their affection than indulge a woman when he discovers that she is pregnant after he has hinted that he doesn’t want a child or the relationship is still in its embryonic stage. Additionally men do not think that having babies is synonymous with ambition and progress. An ambitious, progressive woman is less inclined to get pregnant in Jamaica’s brittle adverse financial climate.

6. Good Sex will keep any man around but a wholesome woman will get a man to marry her. Men are no longer “looking inna face” when it comes to relationships. They want a partner that can bring some money to the table. One hand cannot clap! They don’t need a parasitic partner but a symbiosis in their relationship. They want a partner who is leading her separate independent financial life and is not entirely dependent on him for subsistence. They claim that men want women in “9 to 5″ Jobs since “times are hard”.

7. Men don’t want women who act like men. According to these young men, they want a woman who is female in the traditional sense of the word. She doesn’t question his whereabouts when he doesn’t come home! She does not call his phone and demand to know where he is! She does not see him with other women and make a scene instead she turns a blind eye! He doesn’t want a drama queen or a woman that is assertive and opinionated. He prefers docility and invisibility! A Woman who “keeps in” and takes care of his home while he traipsing across the island, having the time of his life.

8. Do not insult him in front of his friends or in public. You can even pretend to support his stance in front of his friends but do not damage his social image or reduce his peers’ respect for him by constantly asserting your opinions and emasculating him. This is the reason why he may be forced to insult and humiliate you so that he can retrieve his masculinity and peer validation. It is best to acquiesce and make him look good in front of friends. So do not become argumentative with him during a debate, if you are not on his side, “it better you no say nothing”

9. Do not treat your man like a child even if he is being juvenile. Do not see him with his friends and beckon him to come to your in a maternal voice like his mother. Men do not like to be made to feel like boys in public. They like to appear as if they are in control of their relationship, even if they are not. Stroke his ego and tell him how much of a big man he is and you will have a relationship devoid of conflicts and quarrels. Do not approach your man at a public event  and raise your hand calling him like a little boy from a few feet afar, while others look on. Some men will simply ignore you and instead of embarrassing him, you end up humiliating yourself.

10. He prefers to go to the club with his friends than with you. It is not as fun when you are there because they have to be censoring their arguments and frolicking since they do not want to compromise your relationship. Clubbing is their time to unwind and have fun. It does not mean (according to them) it is an opportunity to cheat or find a prospective cheating partner. They are not hunting in packs but simply unwinding with friends while gawking, ogling and wining on women who are not their partners. They claim that they are just partying and that it doesn’t mean anything and women should not be tight strung about men going clubbing with their male friends.

What do you think?

Jamaican Proverbs/Sayings

1. Jackass

Idot or foolish person

2. Man a yard

Man of the house

3. Teck wey yu self:

Remove yourself from a bad situation

4. Jim-screechy:


5. Sorry fi mawga dawg, him tun round and bite yuh:

You help ungrateful people, they will turn on you when they are in good standing.