Most households are adaptable to the changing economy, making necessary adjustments in order to maintain their standard of living or they slightly adjust their standard of living. Problems beyond their control slap them in the face, but they only take a step backwards and then plow on again.
The latest problem to hit the food budget is the drought which will eventually result in higher produce and meat prices.
With crops either dying in the fields for lack of water or producing at only a fraction of the usual yield, it will be necessary to import; the transportation costs will be passed on to the consumer.
If the food budget must increase and the consumer only has a fixed income, he must make changes in where his money will go. How he does it is shown by results of a recent Bita survey.
The survey question was a two- part question: If on a fixed income, what do you do to adjust if you must spend more on food that you have allocated and what is your favorite money saving tip? Comments were welcomed. From some of these replies, you can see how clever most households become in the face of adversity.
“I walked down the produce aisle and saw that cabbage was the cheapest vegetable. We now eat lots of cabbage including cole slaw, which my family really likes.”
“Instead of movies once a week, it is now once a month, maybe. We get a free movie at the library, pop our own pop corn and take it and soda into our own living room. We don’t have to get everybody dressed and find a parking spot.and we don’t have to go to the bathroom with the younger children as we did in the movie theater.”
“Thursday night is “breakfast” at our house. We have scrambled eggs, grits, bacon or sausage, toast and coffee, which is a lot cheaper than a normal meal. If bacon is too high, we skip it. Occasionally, we have cereal, pastries or pancakes, and we love it.”
On the same idea, another respondent says one night a week, usually Thursday, is “refrigerator night” where whatever bits and pieces in the refrigerator is the night meal.
“When the recession hit, I started taking my lunch to work and wouldn’t stop now. It is a big money saver and it gives me a stress-free time that I never had chasing from place to place for lunch. My husband was so impressed with the saving, that he now takes his lunch most of the time.
“Day-old bread. When I heard friends of mine discussing this, they were surprised that I didn’t take advantage of the day-old bread saving. One remarked sarcastically: ‘Oh, she gets up every morning and throws all the bread and pastries into the garbage’ Then I realized how stupid I was being, but not any more. I love the selection at Flowers Bakery.”
“For years I have bought my eggs at Auburn University Meat Lab. Not only are they much cheaper, I feel I am getting a safer product. Eggs sell by the flat (2-1/2 dozen).”
“My favorite money saving tip was one I got from one of your columns on Saving Water:
“When there is a nice gentle rain with no lightening, put on your bathing suit, grab the shampoo and soap and go out and wash the car, scrub the deck or wash your hair.’ I admit that I’ve never done that, but I do intend to do it.” To be continued…
Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.