I grew up in a one factory Western Pennsylvania town. Ok, there were other means of employment around but for my family – we depended on the factory. I am thinking about all the ways my parents prepared me for this moment. In a time of panic and hoarding, I am calm and not out there rushing around for the last roll of toilet paper. In a time of helplessness, I feel prepared.
I remember being 4 or 5 when my dad was laid off from his job. It was the Reagan Years. It was a recession, the factories all around were closing their doors and many families, like my own, were left to figure out “what next”. My mom was a stay at home mom. I watched my dad cry in the kitchen while my mom held him. I remember so much about that time period because it helped shape me into the person I am today.
With so much uncertainty, my mom was forced to become creative with the little money coming in. She made miracles happen every night on the dinner table. She stretched the budget beyond what I could ever imagine. We learned that potatoes could be made into 100 different dinners. We learned that many items are luxuries rather than necessities.
Here is my top 5 list of items in your house now that are luxuries (and how to cut them from your life)
- Paper Towels – these are not a necessity but a convenience item. Sure – in the current state of the world, it may make sense to have the one time use item on hand but a rag in bleach water will also work.
- Batteries – This was a luxury that we rarely had available and when we did, we used them wisely.
- Cable TV – with so many free options out there now, cable is a thing of the past. We have an LG tv that offers, for free, LG Channel Plus which gives us 175+ free channels that include local news! The only requirement is Internet.
- Pre-Packaged Snacks – I never had these growing up because they were just way too expensive. If you must have snacks, buy a big bag and pour them into a bowl. Save money.
- Plastic Baggies – With so many “make your own” reusable bag options, there is no need for baggies.