Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Sometimes? It's Not How Much You Have, But How Far You Can Stretch It.

"She provides food for her family ... 

She sets about her work vigorously... 

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come... 
"   ... From Proverbs 31


Lately while watching Youtube cooking videos I remembered this story from my own past:

1986. A church friend said to me, "Kelly and I were talking. She says you only spend $130 for groceries each month?"

I replied, "Yes. Around $132, actually, and that's for anything you can buy at a supermarket. Even supplies like paper towels, shampoo, detergent. You know. Everything."

She said, "That's pretty good. But then we remembered you only have 3 people in your family. We each have more."

Well, Honey, knowing people as I did (and still do), earlier I'd prepared for such a remark. 

I told her, "True. But I figured-out on paper that my $130 budget comes to $11 per week per person. So if you have more than 3 people? Just multiply that number by $11 then by 4 for each week in a month."

She nodded. Walked away. Never brought up that subject again. シ  

The 1980's. What I remember best? The challenging-but-invigorating time I had learning to stretch every bit of --

food, meat, 
lightbulbs, energy, 
grocery bags
and even cans and food-packaging of all types for crafts and --

From the tiny town library I consistently checked-out books like these--

--and scribbled notes which I kept in binders. I craved knowledge on how to make something special from what everybody else was throwing away--and to, like, make 3 main dishes from 1 pound of ground beef.

And man, those 1980's were rough. Because of living on small amounts of money? Nope. Because the media weekly lectured us homemakers that we were wasting our lives.

Ha! Turns out we weren't. Fast-forward to 2020 and we prepared, food-knowledgeable, silly 1980's happy homemakers are whipping out our many skills and we are not panicking. Not even close. Rather, we're calmly practicing what we taught ourselves so very long ago--and reaping rewards.

And today as always I'll say do what you want. 

Yet if I were young again, with a family and had my income slashed? I'd be searching like crazy for all the hacks, hints and lessons available regarding how to live richly when you appear to be poor.

Appearances are not everything. In fact, often they are dressed-up lies.

One last thing: If you have the Internet? Wow. Count yourself incredibly blessed to be hooked up to thousands of folks with advice on how to live well and happily on very little money.

Way back in the 80's just the idea of such a wondrous thing would've blown our homemaker minds into bits like confetti.

"I can do allll things through Christ who strengthens me."   ...  Philippians 4:13.  Even in 2020. Even during a worldwide pandemic.

You weren't very prepared for this big Life interruption? Don't panic. You can stretch what you have, make it seem like double, even, by using new skills, age-old tricks and common sense. Seriously!

When changes beyond our control happen, we must be willing to make changes of our own in order to thrive.


Ooooo.... some of you will love this inspiring video to pieces! The only problem was that it made me even antsier for our outdoor growing season to begin.  シ (It's snowing this morning. Again.)

Don't Let This Define You  Need your blood pressure numbers to drop? This video will take them down.

Oh! And here's one of my favorite 'Tessie videos.' She shows us how The Have More Plan book changed her life. (I told you about that book while we lived out at the farm. I gave away my copy to a young dad who was excited about starting his own little farm with his wife.) Enjoy!


Always remember: Youtube Is Your Friend!

Make 50 Meals From One Ham

6 Easy Canned Tuna Recipes

Oh, and if you can, you may want to stock up on meat. I've got a good supply of canned chicken and tuna and some frozen ground beef, you know, just in case.

Easier said than done though, I know.

But there are rumors that some meat plants may be shutting down due to sick employees, but even there, since there are millions out of work, couldn't some of them fill-in for awhile? Or yeah, probably that would be too complicated in our Country which is big-time exposing its ignorance, weaknesses, lies and power-hungry state officials.

(And hey, considering how I've lately become a Flaming Radical Independent, I think I made it through this post pretty well with just that one snarky line. heh.)


 "There's going to be hard times, but the good news is that some prophetic voices are saying that this pandemic is going to pass and there is going to be a window of opportunity.
"I would encourage everyone to take advantage of that window to say, 'OK, I wasn't prepared for coronavirus, but I'm going to get prepared for the worst things that are coming because it's a perfect storm.' There's going to be one crisis after another. If there is a window later this year, take advantage of it. Get prepared. Not because we're gloom and doom, not because we're afraid, but because there is hope in getting prepared. There is hope in understanding that God is in control."   --- Michael Snyder

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Betsy said...

Great ideas and links Debra! And I agree with your last thought. So many out of work, can't people fill in?
Back in the 80's I had a home daycare and 2 elementary age children and a small baby when we had some grocery warehouse guy come out to try to talk us into joining a food coop of some kind. I don't remember the details. But I DO remember his doubt and almost calling me a liar for saying I fed our family of 5, plus the daycare kids on $150.00 every two weeks. My monthly budget was $300.00. He didn't believe me because I fed 9 children, (including my own,) breakfast and lunch five days a week on that amount. Well. I had my reciepts because, after all, it was my business and I kept everything for taxes. He looked at it and said I should be teaching others how to shop and that he couldn't save us any money at all because I already knew what I was doing. That was a moment I'll never forget because he had been so dismissive of me and my attempts at telling him we couldn't afford his warehouse on our food budget. I still don't understand why people shop at places like Costco for all of their groceries. I've figured it out and on most grocery items, it's much more expensive than our local WINCO grocery store. The only think I buy at Costco is toilet paper and sometimes cleaning products if they're on sale. And rotisserie chicken. That's a definite bargain and one of their loss leaders to get people in the store.
Oops! Sorry for writing a book. Have a great day Debra.

Debi @ Tuesdays Child said...

I've already been thinking and making lists of things that I plan on stocking up on before fall and winter get here. Not only because I hate having to go out in a snow storm but also, we don't know if the COVID-19 will return again or not.

As for having a small grocery budget, I have one as well but mine is so low because I don't eat meat (or fish or any type of seafood) so where my friends have problems with higher grocery bills, I normally don't have that problem. Also I eat cheap (not always healthy but the meals are definitely cost effective. lol)

Thank you again for being so faithful with your blog, I really appreciate it (and you!) (Hugs)

Anonymous said...

I remember when you set up your 1940 kitchen in the basement and stocked it. It was something I would have loved to visit. I know you mentioned later that going up and down the stairs to get things is not something you like to do but it looked so sweet. :) Yes like you we have always tried to keep stocked on most household needs. It leaves you with such peace of mind. And so many options too if you decide to change your the meal you had planed that now does not seem what you want to eat. Just shop your shop and pick out new ingredients. It was made for a time such was this or other times through the years we have been so thankful for the lead from above to keep stocked.You can't be prepared for everything and anything thrown your way in life but you can try to keep basics and think out side the box. I love trying to think of what to do with those little dabs of things etc. The other night I cooked Cherizo in the iron skillet. Took it out and put it in the refrigerator to be part of another meal. Then cooked right away cooked hash browns from a potato we had that needed used in that skillet. Now they had that extra flavor of the bits of chorizo. Yum. Two good things cooked and one cleanup.

our small freezer freezer went out for good a couple months ago. So the freezer inside had to take that stuff and what could got dehydrated and used. I see meats still at good prices off and on now but no room for any. And no room to freeze flour. I really need to can some meats.
I hope people do take advantage of the foods that do get on the grocery shelve and get two of what they eat a lot if allowed. One to eat and one to store. I see so many items now only one. Walmart some places sells one piece of meat, one gallon of milk and such per family. One pork or one beefor chicken piece only. Instead of shopping then staying home they would have to shop more often if that was the case. Anything they can stock is good though. If food is going to get scarcer with so many crops being bad last year and the weather making it look like less again this year we all need to do all we can now to study nutrition and stock some. If way less meats then what makes a complete protein if most of our meals will nave to be without meats proteins. What are they and do we have them and know how to use and combine things to get enough protein for each family members needs? They say when you get older you need More protein than when younger. Enough of this ramble. :-) Hopefully we can find enough seeds and grow enough to help some neighbors. Sarah

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

I remember devouring books like that in the early nineties when I came home to raise and eventually homeschool our children.
Be blessed,