Peach State says: Time for Current Events Friday

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In talking with a dear friend yesterday our conversation covered many discussion points.
Politics, gas prices, death and loss, and the concept of Houdini Economics.
Houdini Economics! I just love that term…the now you see it now you don’t payday tease. Welcome to Current Event Friday!

My day started as normal…the preparing of coffee (latte’) and breakfast. Then my husband and I attended a Presidential Campaign Rally scheduled in our city. This was our first Presidential Rally and it was very exciting and motivating. He spoke about the money issue as well as cost of gas per gallon. He gave us his ideas for lowering the cost of gas per gallon. He noted that with gas possibly reaching $5.00 a gallon this summer the average family will have very little left over. “I leaned over to my husband and said…”We’re supposed to have money left over now because we don’t?” and implied if we don’t have it now how could we have any when the gas prices rise!” We really have been quite fortunate with the cost of gas at the pump! Some friends of mine in Europe tell us the horror stories of almost $10.00 a gallon there. “I don’t think I will complain to loudly.”

I told my friend I got paid and was excited to be able to go grocery shopping. “I have my coupons ready and my menu for the upcoming month.” The planned menus generated the grocery list I would shop from. “You should know that it really is easier to shop when you plan your menus ahead of time.” We then discovered the term Houdini Economics!

This is what occurs when you get paid, and before you have the chance to think, it is gone. The money simply vanishes into thin air with little to prove you were paid. The “payday illusion”! We really had more fun discussing the new names for lack of money during this time.
Sadly, when I went shopping, the amount spent went up and I did not get everything I needed. I should have had more left over…! The coupons and bargain shopping did help…but not enough to have any left over. “Do you ever have the same problem when you go grocery shopping?”

Sadly I think I am not alone in this boat! We have cut back to the point of menu boredom and are growing tired of hearing complaints from the family peanut gallery. I must pat myself on the back, at this point, because I have not received the typical “This again!” statements. However, they are beginning to wonder where I am finding my recipes. “Keep ’em guessing…and they will eat!”. Still hungry….want some more bread? We manage the best we can with what we have.

Making the paycheck stretch is a learned skill. My great-grand parents taught my grand-parents and they taught my parents and well you see the pattern. How to shop…when to shop…how to cook…all valuable life lessons we must learn and teach each generation. My sons know how to shop wisely…even though they tend to spend unwisely when it come to junk food. They surprise my husband by coming home with change after buying grocery items… I just smile and say they have learned to read and compare. I went to buy some Hillshire Beef Sausage yesterday for a Cajun recipe and it was $3.98 for 1 package…”I don’t think so!” I finished at that local store and headed to the Wal-Mart. The very same brand was 2 for $3.00! Know your stores and prices!

I really need to pick up some items at the Warehouse bulk store but do not know when I will be able to do this. I have a funeral to attend and a dish to take to the family today and have to be back for my youngest as he steps off the bus. I have an extra choir practice tomorrow for our Easter Musical until 12:00 or 12:30…maybe I will try at that time. It is a good thing I filled up my gas tank earlier this week and will not have to pay the new higher weekend price.

All in all…things could be a lot worse! I will just have to rearrange the menus a little to make things work. Funny…the food seems to disappear just like the money. Poof…Gone! Oh yeah…three growing boys! Have a great day and please send me your ideas for stretching the money we have. Until then…don’t blink…we are living in a magical time when it comes to the finances.

Peach State

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About justbetweencousins

We are first cousins who live farther apart from each other than we would like. We thought this blog would give us a chance to visit with each other as well as maybe share a few insights about life. We are both middle aged and until recently both of us had kids the same age (nearly grown). But then the Peach State cuz adopted a son, so she has four now. Heart of Dixie cuz has two daughters. We have a couple of things which are prominently in common (although I'm sure there are actually more): We vacation at our Mema's beach house in Panama City Beach, Florida - until recently, we did so with all of our kids. We both sing - although Heart of Dixie cuz is not currently singing anywhere right now. We both write. We are both Christians, although Peach State cuz is Baptist, and Heart of Dixie is currently floating about between the Anglican church, the Methodist church, and the Episcopalian church. Long story.

Posted on March 2, 2012, in family, Just Between Cousins, musings, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. LOVE the video clip! So glad that we are still able to joke around about the economy…that may not be the case soon! With it just being my husband and I at home, I am able to do a lot more with a lot less when it comes to meals. For instance, I usually get three meals out of a rotisserie chicken. I get creative with other left-overs by making a casserole. I have learned what freezes well, and what doesn’t. My husband and I aren’t picky eaters, but we like to have variety. We still eat out more than we should, but not as much as we once did. Afterall, it usually is just the two of us, although often we have a grandchild or two with us.

    When my girls were young, I had several ways of affording their wardrobes. Hand-me-downs played a hugh roll! I never turned them down, and always paid it forward! Before school began, I took my girls shopping. I told them exactly how much money they each had, and let them choose what they were going to get for their money. Of course, I guided them through it in the beginning, but they both got the hang of it pretty quickly! I told them that with the exception of sports or other extracurricular activities requiring specific clothes or shoes, that they wouldn’t get any more clothes until Christmas…at which time, they would shop for their own clothes as well, each receiving a preset amount of money. That also left me free to buy them other Christmas gifts (besides clothes) that they weren’t expecting! After that, they may get a couple of summer outfits each, but then that would be it until the next school year. Welcome to the world of cut-off jeans! Otherwise, they had to rely on what hand-me-downs they may or may not receive.

    Learning to shop wisely at an early age is a skill for which my daughters are grateful. Whenever we received hand-me-downs, I let them go through the clothes, deciding what they would and wouldn’t wear. When they went shopping, they kept the hand-me-downs in mind, buying just the right articles of clothing to match! It thrilled them whenever they were complimented on an outfit, and asked where they got it from! The one year they were in private school, I had to make a couple of skirt for my oldest daughter because I couldn’t find skirts long enough in the stores. I chose a simple pattern, and inexpensive material with a beautiful flowered pattern. When my daughter wore them, usually with a hand-me-down blouse, she was always complimented one the outfit, and often asked where she bought it!

    We must have internet service because it is my husband’s livlihood. He is a telecommuter, working fulltime from home. But, we have not had TV service coming in the house. This is a way to cut back. We recently suscribed to Hulu, which is just under $8.00 per month! What we pay for internet service pales to what he would have to pay for gas to drive back and forth to the office daily! I drive a 9 year-old foreign compact car that gets incredible gas mileage. I need something bigger, but don’t see it happening any time soon!

    The last two years have been a struggle financially, but our immediate needs are being met. This area is no different from any other…I am trusting in God! What does that mean? Am I trusting in Him to magically grow my checking account? Of course not! I am trusting in Him to know what is best for me, and to bring me through it as I trust His direction for my life. Do I complain and act like a spoiled brat with Him sometimes? I am ashamed to admit that I do sometimes. But, that is a weakness, and as always, God shows His strength to me through those times! He forgives me, comforts me, and reassures me! How blessed am I?! The most important things truly are the things that money can’t buy!

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