Restaurant meals were a rare treat. We were expected to remember all that we had learned during our daily meals at home and one glare from my mom would cause us to stop, think, and correct our actions before anyone else could notice the infraction. At the time McDonalds was just becoming popular but A&W made the best root beer and the Dairy Queen dilly bar was something to get excited about. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? School lunches were something that we planned for as a treat once a week and most days we took a bologna sandwich and a piece of fruit.
What was once a treat has now become daily fare. Probably this is largely due to women working outside the home. Instead of home cooked meals the emphasis is on workouts at the gym.Now everything is low-fat, low-carb, and energy drinks. Blah! Instead of working it off by taking a walk or mowing the lawn people hire a landscaper and jump on the treadmill.
I loved my real butter. Mom would indulge me. She and my brother didn't mind margarine but I would go without eating before I would touch it. So I had my own butter tray and they would have theirs. Have you seen the commercials where they ridicule us butter eaters? They show people eating an ear of corn with a cube of butter. They are just downright mean!
Another thing she tried was to shave the cost of a glass of milk by adding powdered milk. Although I don't remember she told me that even when she tried to sneak in one cup to a gallon I would immediately begin to gag. She gave up in that area and cut pennies in other ways.
The fact is that food is one of the top areas where we can modify and control our expenses. The benefits are not only in the pocketbook but also in our health, family environment, and the memories we create. It doesn't need to be overnight but can be one step at a time moving in a new direction. If you are one that left home not knowing how to cook you can learn and get your kids involved at the same time creating a time for you to talk about their day and learn these skills together.
When we are In The Trenches everything needs to change and the sooner we are able to EMBRACE THE CHANGE, the sooner we can get back on our feet. Here are some of my families favorite In The Trenches meals that we still enjoy whether times are lean or bountiful :
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Chili and Cornbread
- Breakfast for dinner (one of my favorites)
- Stews and homemade soups
- Tater tot casserole
And, when was the last time you had a PP&J sandwich or oatmeal for breakfast? Recently I took a jar of peanut butter to work and everybody looked and me and laughed but the look of envy in their eyes was unmistakable.
What does this have to do with financial management? Everything. Our goal is to provide for our family while we are tightening the belt. Our quality of life not need to be diminished, just our spending.
For the bloggers: Have you ever spent long at writing your post and go to save it and it is completely and utterly gone? That's what happened with this one so this is the second rewrite. Whether better or worse I cannot say. grrr....