It’s all really easy to throw savings strategies out there, but it’s a lot harder to start doing any of those things when you don’t have a clue – and you’re stressed. And there is NOTHING that can stress you like not having enough money to make ends meet.
Once again I am cruising message boards and see posts of people who are asking sincerely for help with the price of groceries these days. I feel so much compassion for them. I see all the standard answers that I know may or may not work for these people – everyone’s situation really is different and it can really affect the way you are able to save. Now, I’ve been guilty of it too – COUPON! GARDEN! WORK THE DRUG STORES! STOCKPILE! GET CHICKENS! (Seriously, get chickens? That’s supposed to help EVERYONE?)
So fair warning, I’m splicing my brain to this wire so I can share what I have learned, and how I’m making it on a budget that is UNDER the poverty level. If you have a question – leave me a comment. I really want to help if I can.
I can really only tell you my experience, because there was once a time that I could not cook or do much at all around the house and it was ok, because we had a cleaning lady and we ate out. I spent my first 25 years or so going to school or being in the Army, and then after I finished school and was working – I worked a lot. In fact, family members and friends were complaining that I was a work-a-holic.
It’s no secret to anyone that knows me – I am much happier now. I only need my basic needs met. It proves that money doesn’t buy happiness. BUT – those basic needs HAVE TO BE MET.
I tell you this because really that is why I didn’t KNOW JACK about home economics. I was always ‘smart’ and I am educated, so I was never supposed to have to worry about those things. Mom never taught me to cook, or to clean, much less anything about food preservation. I was a babe in the woods when I found myself ‘a housewife.’
I really think when going through difficult times, you have to take stock in what you KNOW, because that is your base to build on – and you can build it. People will say, “Start a garden!” Perhaps they don’t even garden themselves. Oh, it’s so easy, just start a garden and feed yourself. Yeah, right. I was lucky – one thing I did learn as a child – from my dad – was how to grow food. I don’t have a lot of land, but we try to use what we can. You may not have any land at all and not have an idea where to start. You have to take stock of what you KNOW and what you have available, or else a garden can be more expensive than it is worth to you!
You also have to manage your stress. Know your emotional support system. Who can you talk to and be honest with? Who makes you feel better? Who listens? Where’s your faith? You’ve got to keep your faith STRONG – and don’t care if you are an atheist, Christian, Muslim, Pagan,or follow some obscure guru named Babayaba ding dong- your faith has to work for you and you have to have HOPE. I believe if you are depressed, you’ve lost your faith. You better find it -I mean that kindly but firmly – you might not have anything else in your purse but you can stick some faith there and hold on to it! It might be science, and knowledge, or Western Medicine, Alternative medicine, God, Christ or a combination of whatever – you know where your well springs up -…but it’s no time to get lost without your faith map when you are trying to survive.
Now, I plan on staying up ALL NIGHT and writing a big brain dump of all the basics that I know, and how I managed to learn them. If you are following my blog, you’ll see a lot of posts from me today. If you are coming to this blog through another means, go up there to the top of the page, and click on CATEGORIES on the right – then scroll down to SAVING STRATEGIES. I highly recommend starting with the post labeled, LEARN TO COOK. You can also search for it using the top search navigation bar.