Be Thrifty and Simplify: Your Hedge Against Hard Economic Times
October 10, 2011 by Peggy Layton
Are you in financial trouble? Are you unemployed? Are you in danger of losing your home? Are your debts draining your income and savings? Are you worried about the future? What will your children and grandchildren do if we have an economic collapse?
Perhaps you are one of the millions of people that want the government to fix this problem. The truth is that the fix begins with us. We can take control of our own situations and change how we deal with the problems the government has gotten us into.
I read an article about being thrifty in a magazine called The Philadelphia Trumpet, March 2011. I was very impressed with the article, which quotes Benjamin Franklin many times. The author, Dennis Leap, suggests several things that we as individuals can do to improve our own situations in hard times.
Don’t Wait For A Handout
Get out and make your own way. I know there are exceptions for people who have disabilities, however, if you are able to and can work, do it. Hard work is what this nation was founded upon. People are healthier mentally if they are working to pay their own way in life. Make it happen for yourself and you will feel happier and more satisfied than if you wait for someone else to give it to you.
Get Out Of The Habit Of Borrowing
Pay for what you get and don’t borrow or go into debt for anything other than a home and a vehicle. If you can possibly save up and pay cash for these things you can put the interest money in your own pocket and your savings will grow.
Being thrifty means using money and resources wisely and carefully. A thrifty person has self-discipline. It must become a habit to be thrifty and live within your means. Controlling spending builds character and self-control. There are two types of people in this world, producers and consumers. If you earn more than you spend, you are a producer. If you spend more than you earn, you are a consumer. Using credit cards and going into consumer debt is one of the things taking our nation down the road to economic collapse.
We live in a consuming society. The government’s answer to this issue is to give out stimulus packages designed to promote spending. The government says, “spend, spend, spend; that will save our nation.” Leaders want us to fill our houses with more stuff that we don’t need. They say that will fix the problem. The truth of the matter is that we need to buckle down and conserve our money and resources and take care of what we have. To avoid waste, we need to purchase quality items in the first place and take good care of them. That way we only need to purchase the items once.
Less really is more. We don’t take any of this with us when we die, yet we work so hard to pay for it while we are here. The truth is that if we lived more simply, we would have time for relationships with friends and family and we might just enjoy our lives a little more. Franklin taught that a full life is made rich with happy experiences and not stuff.
What To Do When Food Supplies Are Low
Many people in our nation are a bit overweight and could actually reduce their intake of food by half and still be fine for an extended period of time. Water is essential for short-term survival, but food is not. We can go for a few days on rationed food and still be OK. There is an exception to this for pregnant women, children and people with diseases that require their blood sugar levels to remain constant.
Ideas to help conserve on food reserves:
- Purchase items in bulk and look for sale items that will give you more for your money.
- Use coupons for items you normally purchase. Don’t buy something you know your family won’t use.
- Learn to cook from scratch instead of purchasing pre-made foods that cost a lot more.
- Don’t eat out so much; this will save you a lot of money. Fast food is an unnecessary expense that can be avoided by planning ahead.
- Pack a nutritious lunch and take it to work with you. By not eating out every day you could easily save $200 to $300 per month. That money could be used to pay down debt or put into savings.
- Look for less expensive cuts of meat and items that are on special.
- Consume less junk food and sweets. Not only are they expensive, they also contribute to being unhealthy.
- Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits by growing your own garden.
- Bottle or can excess food that is in season.
- Store fruits and vegetables in a root cellar or cold storage to use throughout the winter. Don’t waste any food. Use leftovers and make soups or stews from scraps of meat and vegetables left over from other meals. A high percentage of our leftover food from meals could be used again but is thrown out instead. I give all my unused food to my chickens. It helps me justify throwing it out. Leftovers can also be composted.
Ideas to stretch the dollar and conserve your hard-earned money:
- If you’re buying a home, choose one that meets your needs but doesn’t put you in a financial bind. Don’t try to impress others with lavish purchases.
- If you have less stuff you won’t need as big a house. If you live simply, it will be easier to clean your house.
- Do as much of the home repairs and fix-up as possible yourself.
- Do your own lawn mowing and trimming if possible rather than hiring it out. With a smaller home and less property there will be less maintenance, and the exercise you get will be beneficial to your health.
- Get a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Car pool, walk or ride a bike whenever possible.
- Rent movies instead of taking the family to the theater. You can watch a lot more movies and enjoy your time together as a family.
- Give up unnecessary expenses such as a TV in every room, all the extra channels on the satellite or cable, and fancy cell phones with Internet charges attached.
- Conserve energy by shutting off lights in the house and using more efficient light bulbs.
- Weatherproof doors and windows to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- When purchasing new appliances, furnaces or water heaters, choose energy-efficient models.
- Shop for quality clothing on sale or shop bargain centers such as thrift shops. Many people donate perfectly good clothing and you can benefit from it. Quality classics last longer and do not need to be replaced as often.
- Make a budget and stick to it.
- Pay yourself 10 percent of every check and stash the cash. It will make you feel better to have a reserve of money just in case you need it.
Are you a producer or a consumer? People who have a good work ethic will find themselves in a position to help others that are in a bind. Having enough to share with others who are in need will not only bless others’ lives but will enrich our own. Peace of mind comes from knowing that in hard times you are the one giving instead of receiving.
If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, or Cookin’ with Home Storage), water storage tanks, ION water treatment, dehydrated or freeze dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.
Prepackaged Food Storage Meals With A 15-Year Shelf Life
I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day. I make the eFoods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping or hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient, and you don’t waste food that way.
This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on Take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.
— Peggy Layton