Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hard Times Aren't Coming,They're Here

some of my batch cooking-turkey pot pie

I can't imagine having to cut everything as close to the bone as Frugal Queen is doing,but I do admire her for her tenacity.Above is a picture of my batch cooking,which Frugal Queen does quite often,so as to save as much as possible.

I hear on the news occasionally that the United Kingdom and other countries across the big waters are struggling much more than we are here in the states. I guess many folks view hard times differently. And,too, it depends on your raising and your present circumstances, as to how you cope with the hard times. Pop and I were both raised fairly simple,close to the land, and extremely poor, although children don't think about themselves as being poor like older folks do.I guess that is a blessing, in a way. Children are resilient,and many times,they don't see things like gown ups do.Thank God for that.We didn't think of ourselves as being poor when we were kids. All of our friends and classmates, as far as we knew, were dealing with life in the same usual manner.Very few kids in our classrooms stood out in our minds as being better off than others.I'm sure my parents had a hard time feeding,clothing, and keeping a roof over the heads of nine children, but we kids, knew very little about the finances of the household.

Pop and I have been so blessed during our soon to be 33 years of marriage. Not that we have a lot of money accumulated, but in that we had the good fortune of landing good jobs that had a good retirement, and good benefits.Pop is now on Medicare and I soon will be in 2 more years, but we still carry his secondary insurance which he had through his work. Mainly because we are afraid he will need something major here in the later years of his life.I am presently using the same insurance I used during my working days. I can keep it until I reach Medicare age, then it drops. Not sure if I will keep a secondary insurance at that time or not. I am 10 years younger and in relatively good health. Mom gets by on Medicare and a simple drug insurance.She seems to do alright with that. Pop's supplemental insurance takes a huge chunk out of our budget. It has gone up from $99. in 1999 to $302. to date. A lot of folks could almost eat a month on that(if they buy the bare minimum and only staples),but as I said earlier, we have not had to draw in our belts that tight just yet,although we may need to do so,one day soon. We preserve way too much food every year, so the things we actually buy are minimal. We do buy a lot of unnecessary things ,in the eyes of many,but I am very saving and I am not one to waste anything. We do buy dog and chicken food, so when I do have to toss a food item,which is rare,I look at it as saving on those purchases.We know folks who cook up an entire chicken and give three fourths of it to the dog after serving it one time, simply because they don't eat left overs. That is definitely a no-no in our book. We eat leftovers.They don't,and they struggle with finances. Is that using poor judgement or what! Some folks can't see the forest for the trees.There are many weeks that my truck doesn't leave the driveway.Theirs makes 3 or 4 trips in and out daily,and with gas ranging from $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon.Go figure. Pop and I refuse to go to town without several tasks in mind. It is 25 miles to any town in any directions, so we make every trip count.We are racking our brains today, trying to think of another task we might undertake while in town for a doctor's appointment.We usually eat breakfast out, when we have chores that take us to town, but today we ate at home, and many times we will drive my small truck to town to save gas.I have applied for a gas card which Pop has been wanting forever. He swears it will save more than we are saving with our Walmart card. I have hesitated for a year or two, because I figure there was a catch somewhere, but finally broke over and applied for the card. We'll see how it goes.Our gas bill runs $300 to $400 a month on gas at Walmart.We don't keep that close a check on it, but we only use that card for gas, so that's a pretty close estimate.We pay it totally off each month so there are no extra charges.Gas is 3 cents cheaper on the gallon with that card, but we are seeing gas prices 10 to 20 cents lower at other stations,so whose winning there.No us, that's for sure.We both enjoy activities that don't cost us an arm and a leg for the most part. Pop spends a lot of time visiting and socializing with all the locals.When I visit,it's usually with my family,who are fairly local,but I usually make a working trip out of most of those visits. Mom and I try to get together once a week, to do our grocery shopping, and once in awhile,we might drop in and visit a bit with other family members,so I feel the trip is not totally wasted. Pop and I both spent a lot of hard working years in order to enjoy our retirement, and we are doing just that.

During those years when we were trying to finish raising his two girls, we were basically debt free. Pop had purchased five acres of land with a meager dwelling, really reasonable, although at the time,he didn't feel that way.As I have stated earlier, it just so happened, that we both fell into good jobs,although we realize now,nothing,just so happens.It's the work of a higher power. And even though 20 plus years is a long time to work to reap the harvest of a leisurely retirement, the time went by quickly. We enjoyed what we were doing for the most part, and time does fly when you are having fun.We never realized we were having so much fun, because time has really flown by for us both.

I must confess. I did and still do, buy a lot of store brand products. I do shop at Dented Can Warehouses for food items.Pop and I (but not the girls)wore second hand clothes from yard sales and consignment shops, for the most part,which the girls never appreciated.But when they began driving, we were always able to help on the purchase of a vehicle for them(if they needed help)They both kept jobs from the time they were old enough to get jobs.When they moved out on their own and needed help on a washer or dryer,etc.,we were always there(when and if they needed help with the money)Only because we were wise enough to set aside the money we could have spent in earlier years on fancy clothes and name brand product from those fancy stores up town.I feel we are living as comfortable as we are today, because we used a little judgement and good sense, all those years ago, when times were good.Young folks today, can't stand the pain of not having what their friends have, even though it is bogging them down with a debt they will never find their way out of.


  1. I've proof read this post until my head aches. Forgive me if there are still mistakes.

  2. I guess we are ones that most would consider "poor". Hubby has been self employed for many years, and the past 7 years or so work has been scarce, at best. we struggle mightily, and with hubby near 62, we will likely take early SS. It will still not be enough to get by, so he will likely work till his dying day...not a bad thing if you are healthy enough. I do my part by selling handmade soaps, and bartering for lots of other stuff. Hard times are definitely here for us...but we take one day at a time, taking no thought for tomorrow, as today has worries enough!