Rising Prices have You Stressed? Consider This…
I just wanted to give everyone a little perspective on high prices. I know some things are going up and will probably keep going up but that is the way it has been since the dawn of time.
I want you all to take a deep breath and relax. Get rid of you spirit of fear and worry. Even though it seems like we are having hard economic times now there have been many times in history when times have been a whole lot worse.
I was just reading and doing research on prices in the 1860’s compared to now. To help you get an idea of what I mean let me give you a couple of examples.
In 1865 in some places you would have had to work 10 hours to buy one can of peaches, 7 hours for 12 bananas and it cost one and a half months’ salary to buy a stove.
We need to buck up a little and realize that yes, we have had it pretty cushy in years past and times may not be not be as good for some as last year, but we still need to count our blessings for what we do have and think about how much worse it could be.
You will be able to survive. People have been doing it for a long time. Part of the problem is that we have a generation who has never known anything but “the good life” and, now that things are changing, instead of dealing with things and doing the best we can, we are panicking and falling apart.
You have got more strength and ability in you than you realize. In the past you have had to rely on your money and credit cards. Now you may have to start relying on your brain power, creativity and natural abilities.
You will be amazed at how good you feel and the confidence you will get when you have to start figuring out how to stretch things, food or make do with your clothes instead just slapping down a credit card to buy something new.
You can do this. Once again I say don’t let panic and fear paralyze you into not being able to think and function.
Photo By: Jim Brickett
Thanks for this Jill. I admit to not so much worrying, but just wondering, where does all the money go? I know gas and groceries are up, but it just seems that bill is due every time we turn around. We just had a termite inspeciton, auto insurance is due, and my husband just bought a disability policy that will be $103.oo per month. All of these are necessary things, I know that. But there just seems to be more month at the end of the money!
Grizzly Bear Mom
Thank God and Living on A Dime for this common sense post!
“You can do this. Once again I say don’t let panic and fear paralyze you into not being able to think and function.” That is a great reminder; especially when dealing with money issues.
I am 32 but my father was born in 1922 and was a child during the Great Depression. I was doing some research on the Great Depression to find out more of what he went through. (He has been gone for 4 yrs and didn’t like talking about those times) I laughed to myself when I think of people nowadays going to get “rations.” Most wouldn’t know how to make a meal with a bag of flour and maybe a few eggs and some veggies from a garden if they were lucky enough to still have land. Although my father was older and wasn’t raised on packaged food, I was. I knew how to read a box and follow directions. I wanted to feel a connection to my grandmothers that I never knew and found an old cookbook in my father’s things. The book is so old it tells you what coals to cook items over instead of temps lol It was a breath of fresh air to make a loaf of bread, homemade noodles, pop my own popcorn on the stove etc. It has also saved us a lot of money and I now google things to learn how to make more money saving meals.
Along these lines, I was just reading Little Women, and it’s interesting that they talk about their “nice dress”, etc. They only had a few sets of clothes, and had to make do with those. They would put flowers in their hair, because they didn’t have other ornamentation. They stitched their own lace and embroidery. They darned their socks.
I’ll be honest: I don’t know how to darn socks. My mom is teaching me how to sew, because I haven’t learned yet. We have it good when we can go to the store and buy a dress when we need one. If people 100 years ago could see my closet, what in the world would they think? And then, if they realized that I have this many clothes *and* I can just stick them in a machine and they’ll come out clean without me having to do anything???
Thanks for the pep talk! Money is more scarce nowadays, but that doesn’t have to keep us from living well. The ability to keep an open mind, imagination, and the courage to try to do for ourselves will take us a lot farther than money ever did!
I have been working to adjust the money in vs. the money out for our household for about 2 years now. At that time, due to a family tragedy, my income was reduced by 75%. I am a single mother raising 8 children on barely more than minimum wage. We are able to get along fine, due in part to advice from this blog. I have paid off huge medical bills and several credit cards during this time. I don’t own a home but after all the debt is gone, which will be by the end of summer at the latest, I will begin to save for a down payment.
It really makes me laugh when people I know complain about the cost of this or that or how broke they are. Usually comments like this are from my married friends that have husbands who work full-time and who also work part-time themselves and have less children than I do. “I don’t know how you do it!” they say. Well, I cook from scratch, bought a used car and reduced every bill as much as possible. For example, last night I was running late getting home and I wasn’t going to have time to cook what I had planned for dinner (roast and vegetables. I was sooo tempted to stop and get some del tacos and call it done but then I remembered my goals and decided that a huge pot of oatmeal, fresh fruit, milk and nuts would also make for a balanced meal and *I already had them all on hand at home.* I saved about $35! I found a small thrift store in town that sells items much cheaper than goodwill (and in way better shape too).
I’ve also decided that I’d rather have experiences than things. Playing outside with the kids or helping my son earn a boyscout badge brings me (and the children) so much more pleasure than shopping and clutter.
I really enjoy visiting your site.
Bless your heart. Due to the passing of my husband my income also reduced. I always make meals at home, buy most of my groceries that have been reduced, and shop thrift stores. Have payed off most of my bills. I don’t need a lot of things to make me happy. I can usually make anything I might want. God bless you.
To Heidi….I loved your story and thank you so much for sharing with everyone. May you and your 8 little ones be blessed with much happiness and good fortune. You are teaching them correctly about saving money and making a little bit of money stretch a long way, which is a beautiful lesson for children to learn and share with their own children one day.
thanks for reminder us we still can do it
we just have to learn how to save and budget
and be thankful what we got
Some people don’t even have that
Hi Jill, hi Tawra
Just bought your set of e-books with all those tips and recipe ideas. Can’t wait to try some of them! Great value, thank you!
Heidi, you are so inpiring! I’d really love to hear more of your story. hope you can share with us sometime.
Thanks for the common sense, and also, we must remember God provides, if we trust. Doesn’t it say that in Mattthew? Aren’t we worth more than sparrows and lilies?
I also believe He also expects us to have common sense and to really think about our spending and not go into debt, not expect to have all the toys, but to just appreciate that his mercies are new each day. We are an old couple on SS only. We have never paid any interest on credit cards because we just dont buy what we cant afford no matter how much we think we need it. We had very little house debt, paid cash for our cars, put kids through college and on not very large paycheck. We had few vacations but the ones we ad left wonderful memories and no debt.
Loved this article…for the first time this last week…I bought myself used clothes of ebay…in like new condition…well i got them yesterday and they are new…so for 100.00 I received 20+…to mix n’ match…not too shabby. I look forward to your next article Jill+Tawra!
i agree with rachel . .heidi ur very inspiring ..
We can all do it. It’s really not to hard. It just takes extra time and planning. Living in New England I was raised to always be prepared for anything whether it’s money or weather. Living in the country it is not always feasible to run to the store. Preparation is always the key. I shop once a month for groceries. I plan a month worth of meals, check the cupboards, cut the coupons, and make a list. It does get hard at the end the month when it’s what we have to eat and not what we want to eat but we make do. I’ve learned to garden, make jam, freeze, and store food, we got chickens for the eggs, and learned how to make almost everything from dinners to cleaners from scratch. It’s not hard and I think of it almost like a game of how much money I can save. I always feel good I saved money and never guilty because I spent it.
I won’t lie…I do miss “shopping at the mall days”…it’s just different now and I have to ask myself do I want it or need it?
Very good post. We have enjoyed the good life a long time. In the last 8 years we have gone from being in debt to not owning a credit card for these last 8 years.
We have learned to live on part time work and that being our only income.
God has seen us through it all and we have managed to use our brains and do it differently than we did.
We enjoy the simple things again in life, like each other.
Just loved the post.
Tuxgirl, I don’t know how to darn socks, either. I don’t think many do know. I mend the small holes; when the socks are too worn to mend, I take the good parts and use them for other things.
I will, however, admit to panicking. The industry I’m in (pest control) is allied to housing. I’m trying to do some PR work for the company.
A site that might be helpful for some of us (depending on where you live) is The Treasure Box (www.thetreasurebox.org–also on Facebook). All but one of the boxes are $32.00 (the Simply Enough Box is $24.00). I’ve been getting at least one box from them since February, and I’ve not been disappointed.
I think it takes discipline to be responsible for our spending & to do that it takes awareness.The Bible says we waste because we are not thankful.A key is to be thankful for all that we really do have, & not to waste it.Cutting out waste & learning to like & be thankful will provide a fulfilling answer to many longings for more.Competiveness is also a factor.Media teaches us to want what the Jones have instead of being satisfied with what you have.Dont compare, realize much of what you have is good enough for what you need. It is a very satisfying approach.
Thank you for the common sense approach! I am and have always been on the “tight budget” and had to save for long periods of time to get the things I desire so doing without has been a major part of my life. Now that I am in my 50’s I have discovered that I am actually much better off having lived this way as those around me are having a much harder time dealing with the economy and rising prices.
My husband and I love to tour heritage houses and museums set up for historical/educational purposes, while we are on vacation. A hundred years ago, or more, virtually every bedroom in even a ‘rich’ person’s house was tiny with virtually no closet…just a few hooks on the wall. The reason? Even rich people had very few clothes. An extra out fit or two, that simply hung from hooks in the bedroom. These so called wealthier homes were also tiny by most North American standards today, and the families were all much larger. Yes, it has always been a challenge to spend wisely, and set your priorities with rising costs.
I cook from scratch most of the time, unless I can find something really cheap with coupons. For example, I recently bought lots of Little Debbie snacks. They are on sale $1.50 each (11-13oz)and I had $1 off coupon. So $0.50 for each is way cheaper than anything I can bake. We normally don’t eat that many sweets, but my oldest daughter had her birthday, and the kids normally take cupcakes to school (very expensive if you have to buy 24 cupcakes), so I gave her the snacks I bought for cheap, and she was happy about it, and it only cost me $2
Getforfree your deal sounds like a really good one. Just a heads up for some of you who are needing cupcakes for different things, we have had a few comments about not serving cupcakes because they are so expensive to buy. Since I have been seeing all these fancy cupcake stores and things like this I didn’t know if everyone knew you can easily bake your own cupcakes. As a matter of fact until a few years back most people wouldn’t dream of buying cupcakes but made their own. I get cake mixes on sale all the time for $1 and it costs only $.50 to $1 to make the frosting for them. You can use food coloring to make them what ever color you want the frosting to be or add a few sprinkles.
Even if I would make cupcakes from scratch, I think, it would still cost me more than $2 to make 24 cupcakes. Or I would be only able to get 2 cake mixes and that’s it, but to make cupcakes one would need to add eggs, oil, frosting and the cupcake papers. Plus, use of the oven and washing the mixing bowls. Plus my time and work, it is way easier to clip a few coupons.
I was comparing to store bought not from scratch. Sorry I didn’t make it clearer. You deal was the best.
Part of the problem with cupcakes for a child’s birthday celebration, is that so many schools don’t allow homemade treats anymore. In that case, the Little Debbie snacks would be a ton cheaper than trying to buy bakery cupcakes.
I am always on a look out for a good deal. And when I find it, I stock up. I have been known for buying 20-30 of the same items with coupons. If there are no other deals in the store, I would only get that, and that’s it. I usually don’t run out of anything but milk.
I am planning to dehydrate some fruits and veggies from my garden this year. I was usually freezing the extras, but I don’t like that it takes too much space in the fridge. It is march now, and we are still haven’t used all our frozen grapes, bell peppers and tomatoes. We use frozen fruit in our smoothies, and the frozen vegetables in the soups. But the thing is, we don’t drink lots of smoothies when it’s cold out. I think, dehydrated fruits and veggies slices will be good snacks, and save us lots of money on not having to buy anything for when we are on the go.
By the way, I bought that dehydrator with the gift cards earned from rewards and with coupons, so no real money spent there.
I don’t darn socks or underwear, but I buy it when it’s on a good sale and I have coupon for the store. I check the clearance racks, sometimes there they have an opened package on greatly reduced price, and if I have another 30% off to go with it (kohls), it makes a really good deal. I don’t only look for the socks, when I run out, but ahead of time. The only problem was, I bought some underwear for my oldest son, and he outgrew it before he could even start using them, unexpected growth spurt last summer, so I just gave it to my sisters boys.
Several years ago, I was working in an antique mall for the summer. I stumbled upon an old book titled “Housekeeping for the Modern Woman” It was written in 1800. It covered how to keep a fire in the stove, how to care for dirt floors, washing clothes by hand of course. It made me realize just how spoiled we are (me included) I think it is just so common to do the easy things like take out, convenience foods that we don’t realize what it is doing to our budget. I am trying to do more from scratch cooking, gardening and preserving food in hopes that I can stretch my dollar a bit further.
You are so right Rachel. I always say we have the best of both worlds. We can do the scratch cooking, gardening if we want but at times when we are ill, have sick children and other things it is nice to be able to fall back on the conveniences we have.
This post is such a great reminder to me. I was born and grew up in a third world country. My husband said when we were visited that some of my family still live in 18 century of America time :) So, life is kind of hard for some people like one of my uncle.
My dad went to be with the Lord when I was 12 yo. So, I used to help my Mom to keep the house in order while she worked to meet our end need and school tuition ( we have to pay school since in elementary )I have to cook everything from scratch, hand wash clothes, hand wash dishes, mopping the floor etc. I did all these chores with my 4 younger brothers. Of course before and after school. My mom had to work from 4 am to about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Then she did the household chores too.
So, I am very grateful for this opportunity to live in such a great country. The hardest part is I have to adjust my life style with my husband. Which is not always easy. But slowly we can worked it out :) I love to save and help people in need.
Thanks again !!!
I had to quit whining about the inflation. God’s provision does not depend on the American dollar.?
Mary Hettick Dean
Heidi, your post is great. I wonder, with 8 kids, I’m guessing clothes are handed down but still need to be replaced eventually, especially shoes. I wonder if you might give a list of your upcoming “school shoe” needs and sizes to the thrift shop so they can let you know when things come into their shop, or sizes of coats, kids jeans, etc. I bet they’d be glad to keep a lookout for some items and give you a call or set a few things aside for you occasionally.