Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hakuna Matatta

All we hear about lately is the hurting economy. Are you hurting? I mean aside from the gas prices which went up long enough to drive everything else up and then went back down. Aside from the high prices at the grocery store, $1.29 for a single cucumber? But hurting?

At our house we are developing strategies. We are turning off the dish March 1st, and NOT replacing it. We are considering dropping the land line, and changing internet providers to whatever is the cheapest. My new idea of shopping for fun is to the Goodwill and the Goodwill alone. I quit Marshall's, T.J. Max and believe it or not Walmart. My life didn't end either, zowie who would've thunk it?

Another strategy on my part is to make a list and send the husband to the store. The husband is not an impulse buyer. The husband's big extra to add to the list is something like a box of plain Cheerios. It is definitely cost effective to send the husband. Usually in every marriage there is a spender and a saver. It's good to send the saver to the store. I have been taking a very small allowance from these savings to have fun with the thrifting. To contribute back to the thrift stores I've been cleaning out the closets and dropping off donations. So we have a revolving door of stuff. I'm getting much pickier about my thrift store finds which is a good thing, there is only so much room in this house.

A healthy strategy of change I implemented is a bit of a confession. Being a nurse I tend to not only pass out drugs but easily fall into the habit of taking them. They are my prescriptions and perfectly legal but if you add up all the co-pays they are a lot of money every month. Medications really are not good for a person. Yeah, I can't sleep well. Most menopausal women can't but, there are herbs, exercise , and classical music. It's not as easy as pill popping but it's better. So I quit drugs. All I have left are my hormone patches which are essential and some muscle relaxers which are for emergency. When I'm hurting they help a lot and make me sleep. I had quite the pill purge party flushing all those years of accumulated meds, down the toilet. You know how it is, you go to the dentist he gives you 10 pain pills you use 2 and save the rest. All down the toilet. It was wonderful really. I bought some vitamins and some St. Johns Wart. Yeah, now we are talking healthy and cheap. I found some CD's of pretty classical music for a very cheap price and now I relax before trying to go to sleep. What an old fashioned idea, amazingly effective.

The good in all this is that my husband and I have become very united in our thinking and direction. We are both looking for ways to save. We are both trimming in areas we never would sacrifice before. He gave up TV and I gave up drugs and shopping. We are buying food when we need it. We go a bit more often and don't stock up on a lot of things. It's working. We are taking that snowball of spending and turning it around the other way. So actually the economy might be hurting but we are growing more solidly together. These times are actually bringing about positive change in my family. I am beginning to really understand why the people I have known who went through the depression wouldn't waste things. I am becoming much more conscious of waste, and avoiding it.

There is lot more coming at us, socialized medicine, higher taxes, more government, a lot of worrisome changes; BUT we as a family, and as a couple are going to continue to grow through adversity. We are coming together. We are making good changes. I bet you are too. So when we stop and think about all of this and the hype of media; we can take a big breath in, let it out and say with real conviction, there is nothing to really worry about. We are going to be fine. The worst case scenario is we go live in a little cabin in the country, raise a garden and live off the land. Which is something I've always dreamed of doing anyway.


Anonymous said...

Lemons into's wonderful. I am so happy for you. You are definitely on the right track.

Unknown said...

Outside of ghe fluctuating gas prices I don't have any changes to speak of...well except for the new car that the dealer slashed 12k off the sticker price..a good thing

Unknown said...

that would be gas fluctuating...sorry.

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

I hear you! We feel the same way. If anything the bad news forces people to look local and close and that usually means family and friends, which is how it should be. Great post!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Hey, if you ever want to live off the land, come here. IT can be done here (not that I do it, but my parents try hard to).

Also, if you don't already do so, walking at least 30-45 minutes (or more if you can) per day will help you sleep much better. It really works. and you don't need to do it near bedtime (in fact one might argue not to walk so close to bedtime because some people get temporarily jacked up). But overall, exercise helps you sleep better.

You're fortunate to have someone who thinks like you do and is willing to make the changes with you. Sounds like you have a wonderful partnership.

I made the mistake of going to Wal-Mutant the other day. Big, big mistake. Saving a few cents on cat food does not warrant a grocery cart laden down with stuff I don't need.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i am the opposite with shopping... I hate shopping so much that we do better when I go buy bulk once a month and I simply refuse to go for stuff other than to pick up milk and bread... each month my freezer is stocked and pantry filled and I do make and follow my list and if I do not have help with me I am very good about not adding things to the cart.
the rest for now... we took the land line out long ago (thank you martha) have basic cable which includes internet, No frivilous riding around (favorite past time here) I am learning to cook in smaller quantities (this is HUGE I promise) coupons and sale items are a big plus. and martha found hair care products that she loves at the dollar tree where everything is a dollar ... in fact we find many things there that we used to go to walmart and pay alot more for. Great post :)

Chris H said...

I really liked this post!
I worry that you will regret flushing all those medications down the drain if you find you DO NEED them, or some of them again.... cos you will have to go BUY them again!
Good on you for cutting down on your spending, we must try that too.
Though I think, being a shopaholic I will find that very hard!

Becky said...

We are doing much of the same. Actually got our dish provider to go down to 10 bucks a month... for now we can keep it. No paper though.

I have become more picky at the thrift stores too (but I still love them :-D )

Kat said...

That is a lot of big changes. Good for you!
I can't imagine what would happen if I sent my hubby to do the grocery shopping. I think our bill would be at least double. ;)

Angela said...

BUT we as a family, and as a couple are going to continue to grow through adversity. We are coming together. We are making good changes.amen amen amen

What an AWESOME post Karen. This really blessed me and encouraged me to continue being even more thrifty!!

I have a surprise for you at my blog.

Unknown said...

I am thankful that we still have jobs! I am more conscious of what we are spending at the grocery store. I am also trying to make good spending decisions with regards to Kaishon's fun activities. I know God will see us thru this difficult time.