The last couple of years, living has become more and more difficult. Forget luxuries, what about just being able to put a roof over your families head's or the ability to feed your loved ones? With the rise of two parent income homes due to the necessity of our current economic situation, why is it so difficult for a family to keep their proverbial head above water?
Was it always this difficult for families to survive? I know my father grew up in a very poor family. There were seven children, and both of his parents suffered from alcoholism. At one point in their childhood, his two middle brothers had only one pair of pants between them. One brother went to the a.m. kindergarten class and the other attended the p.m. class. If the a.m. brother soiled his jeans, the p.m. brother could not attend school that day.
My father has told me stories of teachers taking pity on him, and buying him school clothes and shoes. My mother grew up in an alcoholic single parent home with one brother and the occasional step father or boyfriend. She has told me stories of picking fruit as a primarily and sole source of daily nutrition. So maybe, it is possible that we do not have it as hard as the last generation.
I always contended as a child, that I would have more someday, and my children would not go without. They would not have to pick fruit to survive, or share a pair of pants. I think that I am doing a better job, but is it enough?
Childhood imagination, filled with magic of the anticipation of the future life that one will have, is sometimes dampened with the overwhelming realization that managing a household is a much more difficult feat then one could have ever dreamed. I remember thinking, and voicing to the parental figures, just wait till I am a grown-up. There were so many ways that I was going to improve upon my foundation. I cannot help but thinking now, can someone just throw me a bone?
I spent ten years as a single parent, because my first husband decided that having a family was a bigger responsibility then he wanted to have. So the kids and I were always in survival mode. The economy has affected many people negatively. Many families across the US are struggling and living in the same condition, I had become accustomed to. It has come time to do life differently, “If we continue to do what we have always done, we are going to get what we always got” (unknown).
Start a Home Based Business
- What are you passionate about?
- How can you turn your passion into profit?
A home based business means low or no overhead, tax benefits, making your own schedule, and additional income. Do you know anyone who has a home based business that you could talk to about the benefit's, and could help provide you with ideas and resources? It's time to do things different, take a risk, and maybe change your life.
Ways to save money:
The “experts” will tell you to eat at home as often you can, but what if you are already doing that? Growing and canning your own food can make eating at home even more viable.
Become a Gardner
First, plant a garden being resourceful.
You can collect discarded bed frames to create the garden boarders.
Recycle food containers that you would typically throw away.
Poke holes in your containers, and add potting soil.
- Make Your Own Potting Soil
Nutritious potting soil will give your seedlings and house plants a good place to grow. You can buy potting soil or make your own. Combine a bit of dirt, some well aged compost and a handful of sand for good drainage to form an inexpensive and handy
Research composting. Composting can be completed by saving scrap’s of food, or by using worms. Compost produces healthier crops by adding nutrients to the plants while depositing moisture in the soil. Other added benefits of composting are reduction in landfill waste, decreased costs spent on chemical fertilizers, and is another way to cut-back on chemical digestion.
- Composting | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | US EPA
defines compost as organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants and links to other composting information
Water, Networking, The Barter System
Water your plants: You can collect your own rain water, and use a screen to cover your chosen, clean and chemical free containers.
Network: find other people who are growing their own food in your area for tips and pointers. Join a gardening club.
The Barter system: if you have an excess of a particular seed, trade it with someone for something you need.
Some Personal Control Regained
The most devastating part of the uncertainty of the economy is the lack of personal control each American family feels. Growing and canning food gives some of the control back, and provides opportunities to connect with our ancestral farming roots.
The benefits of food canning not only include savings, but also promotes a healthier life style. When you can your own food, you will have the control of knowing what you are eating. No chemicals or additives.
· Do not use dated canning recipes, 2000 or newer
· Do not double up your canning recipes
· Do not substitute the called for ingredient
· Use canning salt when salt is required for the recipe
· Do not use fruit that is too ripe
· Label and date your jars, and use within the dated year
Some Additional Ways to Save Money
1. Lose the Land line. Cell phone carriers like Straight-Talk can reduce your phone bill to $30.00 a month for limited minutes, and $45.00 for unlimited with data.
2. Use your library, check out books, and video's. Use their internet and printers when needed. The standard charge for printing or copies range from .10 cents to .15 cents.
3. Sell your junk, "one man's junk is another man's treasure!"
4. Be thrifty, by second hand. You can get a lot of great merchandise in thrift stores, even named brands
5. Shop after the season is over you can save 75% on merchandise
6. Capitalize on your creativity, make presents instead of buying from a store.
7. Instead of buying new reading material, games, or movies- swap them with your friends.
8. Barter when possible. If you have something someone else needs, trade tehm for something you need.
9. Provide a service to someone instead of buying a gift. People like to get something, and you get to spend extra time with them, or they with you.
10. Invest in a deep freezer, and stock up on meat when it is on sale, and or learn to hunt.
Do you Like this Hub?
- National Center for Home Food Preservation
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your source for methods of home food preservation.
- 7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food | Care2 Healthy Living
Not that being part of a trend is ever a good reason to start or learn something new, but if it helps you move forward by being part of the in crowd, then you
- How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home
Home Canning is easy with these fully illustrated canning recipes, with tips, tricks and loads of photos. There are over 200 recipes/directiosn here to safely can or freeze almost anything at home.