“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Continuing world wide kitchen table discussion that started at 'Down to Earth' website.

We are in economic hard times. The government would like everyone to spend their way out of said poor economy. If you want to stay one step ahead of our crazy new 'non' taxes that are really taxes ... just renamed that are sure to eat a great percentage of your hard earned money ... you might want to consider some cost saving ways to help ease the coming financial collapse of the late great United States. I have been able to trim quite a bit from our budget by rethinking how our money is being spent.

In the hair care department alone, by letting my natural color shine through, and letting my hair grow out a bit (requiring fewer cuts), I've gone from $900 per year down to $100.

Savings $800

We discovered when Ann was away on vacation for ten days that no one was watching TV (other than the news). We have been paying $61 per month for satellite service. I can catch the news on line or in the newspaper, thereby saving $732 a year.

By planning a large grocery shopping trip once a month and not purchasing as many prepackaged food items (instead making most of our food from scratch) I have been enjoying a savings of ... get this ... 30 to 40 % of our average food bill. This includes the savings from making most of our natural cleaning products and not buying all of the paper disposable goods we once used.

In a typical month I fill up my vehicle once every three weeks costing approximately $45. Past driving habits would require a fill up once a week. Savings: $120/month. We live 13 miles from the closest grocery store ... so by making my once a week trip to town our cost has gone down tremendously. DH's car gets super good mileage. He drives a 1999 Ford Escort with over 250,000 miles and averages about 40 mpg. No trading in his clunker for us!

Our generation has been sold a bill go goods ... and as a nation, we've fallen for it hook, line and sinker. We are over consumers. Our economy is in a free fall fix. There were too many merchants peddling the same old stuff. When you start thinking outside the box, and get off the fast track of consumerism, it doesn't take long to figure out how to make do with less. Yes, even in the cleaning products that you buy. With a supply of baking soda, soap, vinegar, and some cleaning rags made from your old terry cloth towels you are off to a good start making natural cleaners and start saving money ... as well as being kinder to your health and the environment.

It's time to take back the home making and life skills of our grandparents and ancestors that were not tainted by the 'sin' of over consumerism.


Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
I am so in line with your thinking.
Gunnar has invented his own "slogan". "I consume therefore I am consumed."
First they talk about pollution and environment toxic. Then they want us the thrash away our cars to buy new ones.
How is that mountain of wrecked cars making our world cleaner place.
All production of new cars means using lots of non renewal material.
Is that how we are going to help our childers children?
I guess not.
More spending of money we don't have threaten not only our homes, but also the education possibilities of our children.

To be vulgar; it's like wetting ones pants to get warm.
A bad idea.
These last days I have been emptying my freezer to make place for berries, jam and juice.
I am ashamed to say I had to throw away a good deal.
I have firmly set my mind this will not happen again.
I will be in control of what we have in the freezers and the fridge.
My mother actually consider it a sin to throw away food.
I think she's right.
I also will buy short traveled food, even if it may be more expensive at first.
We don't have farmer's market, but I know a few farms where I can get healthy and fresh vegetables and fruit.
I also have gathered from mother nature; Black Elder blossoms and made the best and healthiest juice for this autumn.
Likewise ramsons growing in the neighborhood (and now also in our garden).
It tastes delicious and have the same good effects as garlic.
I also intend to make ramsons paste, blended with sea salt and olive oil for the winter.
Oh, I have a long way to go, but I like to think I'm on the right direction also as a role model for my daughter.

I am so lucky to have a mother who has experienced food shortage during wartime. She has so many good advices to share both with me and my daughter.

It's such a good thing to learn you are thinking the same way.
Women have saved nations before and will do it again.
From Felisol

Letters From Midlife said...

It's always great to have a voice of reason in the midst of all the craziness. Great post! I also like doing the once a month grocery shopping and cooking.

Mrs. Mac said...

You are blessed and wise to glean war time thriftiness from your dear sweet mom! Learn as much as you can from her. A lot of what she can teach you is just getting back to basics!

We have a new program in the USA to have people get $ for turning in their old cars and buying new ones. You are right ... these old cars turned in will just fill up the landfill as not everything is recycled from old car parts. I tell my daughter, Ann, to be content with the old (paid for in full) car that we gave her to drive.

I don't know about you, but these new compact flourescent (sp?) light bulbs that use less energy and supposed to last for years and years ... well, I can't tell you how many I've had to replace ... much sooner that traditional bulbs. And you're not supposed to just throw them in the trash because they have mercury in them! (And more costly!) I've replaced three in just my pantry alone in the last year! They are imported from China instead of being manufactured state side. All the fuel it takes to ship them over here is another waste! Something is brewing ... a change in the wind (to misquote Mary Poppins ;)

Chookie said...

Hi, I'm visiting via Down To Earth!

We don't watch much TV either. The first set we had was formerly DH's grandmother's. When it died, we didn't replace it, but bought a dongle and aerial for the computer. We still have free-to-air TV here and watch that, but we get our news via radio, newspaper and websites.

You might have to write to your legislators to make sure your tax dollars are used properly. In Australia, the poorest 20% of households receive 42% of all welfare, but in the USA the poorest 20% get only 25% of all welfare payments (it was in our paper today). Overconsumption is a sin, and so is failing to care for the poor.

Chookie said...

Regarding your compact fluorescents: I've heard that some of the ones sent to the US were no good. Make sure you buy a reputable brand (eg Philips).

LynnS said...

Yes, Mrs. Mac, we are definitely being sold a raw-deal, all in the name of "going green". The example of having rebates or credits on new car purchases is just perfect on how twisted the Fed's illogical mindset is.

And the CFLs?? We won't replace regular lighting with the fluorescent ones for two reasons: quality illumination and mercury content. Downstairs is a laundry room and our work areas (my quilt studio and my husband's workshop). All but my sewing machine light are in tube fluorescents because of the expanse of lighting those bulbs can produce. We started using those years ago and it wasn't a 'green thing' then. LOL The upstairs living area is in regular lighting. Regardless of the CFL electric demand, I will pay more for electric use than swapping out to a bulb that has mercury inside. The more people are learning about these bulbs, the more people are avoiding them. And to think that the State of Connecticut went door-to-door handing out a free CFL to every resident to swap their porch light out with a free CFL. Is this how we are using that Stimulus Package?!