Stress And Strain Of Money On Families
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Stress And Strain Of Money on Families

Most of us "regular folks" in the country today are just overwhelmed with bills and trying to maintain a comfortable household. It seems we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. If you have children, it is even harder to hold it all together. Paying a mortgage to keep a roof over everyone's head, high utility costs, especially with these brutal low temperatures. Food prices are at a all time high.

This puts a strain on even the most loving and stable relationships. One paycheck is never enough and that means parents do not have the time to spend with their children that they would like to. Children are very intuitive little people and they can feel the tension in the air. Of course they cannot understand the pressure their parents are under and if you try to explain it to the young ones they usually will blame themselves for what is happening. This is a very sad state that we are in.

The "powers that be" will go on and on about how U.S. families are important to them and they really care. In truth very few of them do. How much do they think people can take? We hear about how crime is going down, yet looking at the news and seeing the most unspeakable crimes going on daily does not coincide with the statements they expect us to believe. Sometimes it is better for you to stay away from the news for a few days to give your psyche a break. The "economy is getting better," really? Most of us are not seeing that at the home-front.

The only choice we have is to go back in time and become as independent as we can manage. I am trying hard to do whatever I can. I started making homemade sauces, desserts, and essential staples with what I already have. Buying spices and herbs in bulk which you can find at many health food stores at the fraction of the price because you are not buying packaging. I save and washout glass bottles and jars and put these bulk items in them and label them. Plastics are not a good idea since they are made with chemicals that are not good for you after time. I came across a cook book titled "Homemade Pantry" by Alana Chermila, great book. Many recipes include making many snacks that your family already loves like Pop Tarts, potato chips, mixed roasted nuts and many others. You learn to make your own soup stock and ketchup for example. These are not complicated or costly. You save money and use fresher ingredients.

Marketing firms get us by words like "saves time," "quick dinners," the list goes on and on. I bake and cook things on weekend nights which I can use during the work week and warm up my home using a cost efficient stove. You can stop yourself from running to the super market when you have essentials at home. Who goes to the store and comes back with just one item? Not many of us and we also use gas and time doing this.

I understand that this will not solve all our problems but every little bit that can help save us stress and money is worth it. Step by step we can stop throwing out reusable items and save the environment as well. We can't change the greedy and uncaring corporations that have taken over all of us but we can fight back in our own way.

I would enjoy hearing comments from other readers about other things we can do to help ourselves and our families enjoy a better live. Even if it is a small step it will help.


Street Talk

Vernon L  

Thanks April I learned so much! I always had a desire to cook with natural spices. I cut coupons out but forget to use them. I have to get better at that.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

One small step that I do is to pick up groceries on the way home. So, for example, this morning after attending daily Mass, I stopped with two coupons to pick up things that I knew were on sale. Ended up getting more coupons and the stuff I wanted at a steep discount. So the small step of combining trips saves gas -- and the paying attention to sales and coupons gives an even bigger savings. Well written on a valuable topic. Stress and strain of money on families is indeed a problem that small changes can make a difference by providing "more" for "less" in little steps taken as new habits. Bravo!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks Cynthia, for your comment. I agree, what I will do is check the sales at a particular store I am going to and buy just what's on sale because they charge so high for other items. When I am going to another part of town, I go the Trader Joe's as their prices are a lot cheaper for my staples. I get gas discounts for the things I get at the regular super market, (right now 40 cents a gallon off). Also Ebates is great if you buy anything on- line. They will send you checks once a month so if you use merchants who have free shipping, you make out well. Thanks for your tips and I welcome them all! Regards, April

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Hi April, I was reading your bio where you talk about your desire to travel to distant lands. I worked for 30 years in Kodak's international marketing. One of my duties was extensive travel around the world. I've visited 50+ countries at last count. I always wanted to do something like this, and I enjoyed it. But it came at a steep price. I was required to be out of the country for a minimum of 4 weeks at a time, 3 times a year. Consequently, I had to be away from my family for about a third of each year for over 25 years. You mention the cold, which state do you live in?

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Hello Juan, I live in the D.C. area about nine miles away in Virginia. We have had some mild winters here since I moved to the area in 1995. I was used to single digit temperatures in New England where I was borne and raised. After I graduated from college in 1994, I could not find any employment so since I had family here I figured I would give it a try. Thank you for reading my article. I truly believe people in this country are so worried about losing their jobs and providing for their families that we have to do every on fast speed and that includes eating out at fast food places. In addition we buy "quick meals" from the grocery stores that have so many ingredients listed in them it's scary. I do like to cook so making good healthy meals is enjoyable. If a product has a shelf live of over a month or so you can bet it has chemicals added to it. I also try to make enough to have left overs that can be frozen for my husbands lunch. If we buy lunch out everyday that really adds up. As far as your traveling you had to do for your employment, sorry you had to be away from your family, there is always a price isn't there. On the other hand, look at the education you received because of it. That's priceless. I would die for for job like that. Of course now unfortunately it is getting dangerous to travel to many places, really sad. I am the type of the person who is fascinated looking at an orange or walnut tree, nature provides us with such beauty and wonderful foods. Thanks for sharing and I will keep researching ways to save money and still live comfortably. People also have to stop this need to be gratified immediately which causes them to max out credit cards with purchases that they want not what they need. Regards, April

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great article April. I hope you continue to share your findings and views on how to survive these difficult economic times, but also your views on how to get away from processed foods. What I read from nutrition experts talk about the incredible health risks in using chemicals laden processed foods. The problem comes in finding practical ways to substitute these items with home made meals using uncontaminated ingredients, and how to do it in your own kitchen.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Excellent article, April. I think if more of us just stepped back and looked at where we are and how we manage our lives, we would all be a lot better off. Our household has almost eliminated plastics, processed foods and cut down on eating out. We find we can make more interesting meals at home and it's also fun to do it together. Believing in the marketing hype just makes us lazy. We need to think more for ourselves and become self sufficient where possible.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Martin for reading and commenting on this article. I have cut out possessed foods as well. Lord knows they are not good for us. I enjoy finding ways to make a good meals at home as well. From reading the book I mentioned, I found that you can substitute pureed white cooked beans for flour in baked goods. Since our wheat has been genetically messed with as well, the beans are better for us. Thanks for your tips and I agree, we do need to be more self sufficient, and less wasteful.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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