How We’re Trying To Beat A Tough Economy

Posted on | March 19, 2012 | 23 Comments

This is a raw peek into my life- thoughts, emotions, standard of living, etc.

This is only part 1…

Times are rough. Many have compared the way our country is today to the Great Depression. For some people it has gotten that severe. For many others, we’re only a step away from it. Grocery prices are continuing to rise- quickly & repeatedly. In a 6-week period of grocery shopping I’ve seen prices go up at least twice (per item). These items are rising at a rate of well over 10% per increase (10% has been typical, but has been held for every couple to few years).

[boilerplate amazon]

I’ve been reading a lot on Depression Era living. I did this 8 years ago when I had my youngest. Hubba & I decided that it was time for me to stay home with the kids. We went from 2 incomes to one, & although I was already pretty sufficient in the kitchen, I could use a lot more work. Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten lax in the frugal area. I have my reasons, and if you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know those reasons. I don’t want pity or judgment. I just want you to know that things happen. Things come up. We all fall, we all can fail. We can also pick ourselves back up & ride again.

This past week I was in our local, but nationally owned grocery store. We needed frozen veggies. As I opened the freezer case, I noticed that they had gone up….. AGAIN!!! People must have thought I was nuts, because here I am, slamming bags of frozen veggies into my cart, grunting, moaning & bitching the whole time. Not one of my better moments, but I was livid. I came home, as I usually do from grocery shopping anymore, and tried not to bawl my bloody eyes out.

I. Know. I’m. Not. Alone.

So, I decided in the past week that we needed to change some things. Across the country, temperatures are reaching record highs. I’m not ready to waste money to run the air conditioner. I’m ready to save money all over.

Line drying clothing…


We were waiting for a storm to roll in. We did end up having to make a mad dash for the clothes, but that was ok!

When we moved into our rental home, the landlady made mention of “sharing a clothesline with the neighbor.” I have always loved hanging clothes on the line, and now seemed the time to do it. By not running the dryer, we’re saving money in several different ways. We’re not using that electricity, which in turn runs up our bill. We’re not heating up the house, which in turn means we don’t have to run the AC. We’re also saving some wear & tear on our clothing. As long as you you get your clothes in from the line as soon as they’re dry, you won’t have much worry of fading. The sun is also GREAT for bleaching whites, so feel free to leave those out much after they’re dry. Oh, look at that- save on whitening agents, too!!! 😀

[boilerplate ebates]

Eating on the cheap…

Our meals have just gotten very creative. I love to cook, so this one is fairly easy for me. I understand it may not be for some. I know a lot of people have picky husbands or picky children. Guess what? So do I!!! I am of the mind that you eat what you’re given. Hubba knows if he doesn’t like what I make, there’s always PB&J (or something). Sound harsh? Maybe so, but I find a few things that happen with this train of thought. Kids will NOT starve themselves. I know it seems like they will. They may go a few days without food (so I’ve been told), because they don’t like what you’ve made, but sooner or later they will eat. I promise. You really have no idea how particular 2 of mine are or have been. I have found, though, if you continue to stick with this train of thought, their palates will grow. My oldest who would have lived on 3 things at any point in his younger years, turns his nose up to almost nothing anymore. My now 8-year-old….. same way. 3 things at a time, if I let him. Now he eats about 50% of what I make. He’s still a work in progress, but more & more I see his palate grow.

I’m not at all suggesting you make things that you KNOW they’ll hate. None of us like asparagus. I don’t make it. Make a variety of things in one sitting. That way they do have a choice. You’re not being a short order cook if you choose to make smaller batches of 3 types of veggies. Make a starchy side & a bread, then let them choose. Instill the one-bite rule: “you have to try just one bite of everything.” There are many ways to accomplish “you eat what I make” without being an ogre. My oldest (he’s 15, by the way) has actually THANKED me for making him try things. He loves food as much as I do.

My heart just went pitter patter.

Just understand, you’re not alone. You also do not have to be bound by hot dogs, bananas & mac & cheese.

So, with that said, here’s my plan…

Casseroles, one-skillet meals, low-meat/no-meat meals & sneaky foods. My family is not a huge fan of beans. Well most of them aren’t, anyway. I’ll start small. Beans IN a dish, but not a whole dish a time or two a week. I can also puree them into dishes for sneaky nutrition & to get them a “taste” for them. Um…. so to speak, I hope.

I’m not a fan of meatless dishes, but on occasion we can do meatless spaghetti, loaded baked potatoes, meatless soups (potato, tomato, etc). I think I’ll go with once a week on the meatless. Another time or 2 on the low meat.

Low meat. That’s where casseroles come in. When you have some chicken leftover from a whole bird, freeze it. That meat can be shredded, diced or whatever and become amazing casserole style dishes, pot pies or one-skillet meals.

Tonight, I had planned on making a cheesy turkey meatloaf, leftover mashed potatoes & loads of leftover veggies (waste not, want not). I had the ground turkey thawing in a sink of water. When the boys did lunch cleanup, they didn’t put it back into a sink of water. A little after 4 it was time to start getting dinner ready. My turkey was still frozen in the middle. I knew with an hour of bake time, there was no way we were eating at a decent hour. Into the refrigerator the turkey went. Tomorrow will be the meal listed above. What am I doing for dinner???

I pulled out my “Yinormous Pan” (that’s actually what I named it, LOL. It’s a HUGE cast iron roasting pan that covers 2 burners on my stove). I fried up a pkg of nitrate/ite-free bacon that was in the fridge. I chopped up one onion & added that to the bacon. Once that was all cooked up, I removed it from the pan, leaving the drippings. To the hot pan I added diced potatoes. Fry those up until tender & nicely browned & crisp. Oh I added a little salt, pepper & garlic powder, too. We also had cornbread & baked beans (canned beans without HFCS). It doesn’t sound appetizing, but it was delicious. And, it was filling.


A meal fit for a king….. On a pauper’s budget

After dinner, I took a few quiet moments to capture what God has given us. Don’t forget- count your blessings. Rely on God. And pray…

I know this is long. I’ll stop here for the day. I’ll be back, as I have SO much to tell you on this journey. I’m just starting this journey, so I hope in a week or 3, I’ll have wonderful things to tell you. I hope to tell you that we actually ARE beating this economy. I know I feel like we can!!!

Part 2 of this series can be found here; part 3 here & part 4 here.

[boilerplate swagbucks]

[boilerplate siggy]

Like this? You may also be interested in:

Lamp Updo


23 Responses to “How We’re Trying To Beat A Tough Economy”

  1. Kim J
    March 19th, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Sounds like us. It makes me sick to go into the grocery store anymore! I could relate to your line-drying picture…we usually have ominous black clouds in the distance and have to make mad dashes to grab our laundry! Now we have laundry hanging all over the house…and with 12 people currently living under one roof, that’s a lot of laundry!
    Kim J recently posted..another one bites the dust…

  2. Sheree
    March 19th, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    I’m pestering hubby to get a clothes line up for me asap! We switched to frozen veggies from canned to save money (not paying for liquid anymore) and I noticed a 29cent jump last week when I went. We are back to cooking beans from dried beans instead of purchasing readymade and planning a huge garden this summer as well to help cut down on the cost of food. Oh, & I’m back to making everything from scratch again instead of any readymade purhases. Making freezer meals so I can have quick and easy meals on busy days and I plan to start canning soups and stews as well.

  3. Sheree
    March 19th, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    Testing 2

  4. The Vintage Wife
    March 19th, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    YAY! It worked! Thank you so much Sher!!! MWAH!!!
    The Vintage Wife recently posted..Chicken With Curried Tomato Sauce

  5. The Vintage Wife
    March 19th, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    WOW, Kim!! That IS a lot of laundry!

  6. Shirley
    March 19th, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

    Don’t feel bad I cry every time I go to the grocery store. If things keep going in the current direction we are going to have to take on 2nd jobs just to be able to put gas in the car and food on the table.

  7. Linky Love : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    March 23rd, 2012 @ 12:04 am

    […] For Shredded Chicken A list for many tasty sounding recipes. This goes so well with my “How We’re Trying to Beat a Tough Economy” post. Many of the recipes call for cream of something soups. You can make these better by […]

  8. How We’re Trying To Beat a Tough Economy, Pt. 2 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    March 26th, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    […] on | March 26, 2012 | No Comments Last week I wrote about rising food prices & decided to share with you how we’re trying to beat a tough economy. This week I want to share a little more with you on what we’re […]

  9. How We’re Trying To Beat a Tough Economy, Pt. 3 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    April 9th, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    […] April 9, 2012 | No Comments This is part 3 of a series of sorts that I’m doing. You can read part 1 here & part 2 […]

  10. How We’re Trying to Beat a Tough Economy Pt 4 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    April 23rd, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    […] Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 […]

  11. How Are YOU Trying To Beat a Tough Economy? : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    May 7th, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    […] on | May 7, 2012 | No Comments By now you’ve seen my posts on how OUR family is trying to beat a tough economy. I’m thrilled with the success we’ve been having. We’ve watched our electric bill […]

  12. Bacon Taters : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:01 am

    […] I made this a bit back when we began getting creative to wage war against an economy that, contrary to mainstream media, is not getting […]

  13. How Are YOU Trying To Beat a Tough Economy? Week 2 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    May 14th, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    […] on | May 14, 2012 | No Comments By now you’ve seen my posts on how OUR family is trying to beat a tough economy. I’m thrilled with the success we’ve been having. Being organized is SUCH a great tool […]

  14. How Are YOU Trying To Beat a Tough Economy, Week 3 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    May 21st, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    […] now you’ve seen my posts on how OUR family is trying to beat a tough economy. I’m thrilled with the success we’ve been having. Being organized is SUCH a great tool […]

  15. Jan @ Another Hatchett Job
    July 19th, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

    It’s really tough all over, regardless of the perky chick on the tv news that assures me that it is improving. Gonna sell her some swamp land one of these days. Sheesh.

    Believe it or not, clothes don’t dry on our clothes line. Trees too close, not enough sun. So, I hang them over the deck railing. Lots of sun there and it is on the second story so there is a greater breeze! Love it.

    I pressure can dried beans for convenience without the price. We buy in bulk, have started a garden, buy cheapo veggies to can and freeze. We also make gifts, like jellies and jams for Christmas. It’s a struggle. Gas is what kills us. Hubby drives 50 miles one way to work.
    Jan @ Another Hatchett Job recently posted..The Messy Homeschooler

  16. katalina
    July 20th, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

    I need a yinormous too! where did you get yours?

  17. The Vintage Wife
    July 21st, 2013 @ 8:38 am

    We got My Yinormous Pan at an auction. I think she was 20 bucks. Hubba saw her & grabbed her for me, as I was at work that day. That man knows my love for cast iron 🙂

  18. Jeanne
    July 21st, 2013 @ 12:44 am

    Well I don’t have tv I read or listen to the radio
    No a/c no dryer I grow my food try to make everything
    by hand and by scratch I have a full time
    farm and I work full time
    I feel rich I have no one to compare to
    and am happy. I have a very old farm house and
    in the winter I’m glad I like the cold propane heat
    Wow my biggest expense I am trying to tighten
    even more

  19. The Vintage Wife
    July 21st, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    Jeanne, I finally started to run my ac last week. We live in TN, so it has been amazing to not have to run it for so long. When we lived in Wyo, we didn’t have ac either.

  20. Garlynn
    July 21st, 2013 @ 1:20 am

    Do to high allergy food problems in my household I am beating trying to beat the economy. I am raising my own pigs breeding and eating, making my own smoke house,growing my own garden,hang my clothes inside or out depending on weather to dry, raise milking goats, chickens and am working on getting turkey’s I also do a big garden and can for the winter am working on a greenhouse lots of research has went into this and I am making my animal shelters out of tires and recycling as much as possible other mans junk hs become my treasure…bathtubs work great for feeding and tires also…

  21. The Vintage Wife
    July 21st, 2013 @ 8:35 am

    Garlynn, Love it! When we had chickens, I made their coop from pallets. Our rabbit hutch was made from an old commercial butcher block table + wood. We had a temporary greenhouse made from an old swingset & plastic. That same swingset was also used as a cuke climbing trellis. So many things out there to upcycle!

  22. Colette
    July 21st, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    Your website and honesty with it are wonderful. I am disabled and my hubby goes to school so we are living with 2 kids on next to nothing. I am so depressed but your words are inspiring thank you so much and God bless.

  23. The Vintage Wife
    July 21st, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    Thank you, Colette. Just, thank you <3

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

  • Get Rebates Shopping Your Fave Sites!

    Ebates Coupons and Cash Back
  • Shop Amazon!

  • Mountain Rose Herbs

    Organic herbs, spices, teas and oils.
  • I *heart* Swagbucks!

    Search & Win
  • Recent Comments