DontDebt Email List | Squeaks | SpendersDA Email List
Get Out of Debt
©2000-20013 Diane Conlinn, all rights reserved.

Everybody Has to Eat

by Diane Conlinn

February 15, 2001

I read so many articles about how we should put ourselves into some kind of debtor's noose because we got into debt. And the funny thing is that for most of us, we got into debt because we thought we had NO other choice. Or we were so frustrated about living on nothing, we went out to spend. Or we wanted to feel abundant so we went out and spent.

What does this have to do with food? We all have to eat. And if you want to raise anxious children and be anxious yourself, be worrying about that food cupboard all the time. For one thing, I think it is okay for your children to know that you make choices regarding value. But, on the other hand, if they think that life is about living in want, you may be limiting their future to the same life choices.

First of all I love some of the ideas around here that end up being fun creative type projects that the kids enjoy. One of the things I remember from when I was a child was bread-making Saturdays. My grandmother always made a huge batch of bread and rolls on Saturday. We got to help make the bread by putting flour into the dough, helping knead the bread, tasting the dough, and best of all testing the first products that came out of the oven. The house absolutely smelled wonderful with that fantastic yeasty smell, and the taste--oooo-la- la-yum!

I am sure that my mother worried about money, but I never heard about it. But what I did hear about was her and my grandmother who lived with us planning the meals. My mother had been a home economics teacher and thus was a real cook. There are many things about my childhood I remember, but I remember that we ate well. We had homemade fried chicken, enchiladas with homemade tortillas, tamales, lots of canned jelly and fruit. My mother always had a garden, so we had lots of fresh flowers, fresh corn, beans, carrots, potatoes, squash, and we had pecan trees. So along with everything else we got a lot of pecan pies.

This was quite a feat because my mother was a stay at home mother, (we also raised chickens), and sewed our clothes and did crafts with us all the time. I can think of many ways that she probably invested in saving money, but I do remember that she would never buy rotten fruit, or the sale items unless they satisfied her requirements for freshness. As I said she always had a garden, we also had fun days where we went to places to glean around the area. Places where for a fee you could take out as much as you could carry.

And did I tell you she rented a locker every spring and bought half a cow, which she had cut up in various ways.

Well, doing this takes money you say. was how she did this that left a lasting impression on me. She planned. She wrote down every expenditure, and always had a savings program going for that next side of beef, or for canning supplies. With four children all a year apart, 3 dogs, 5 cats, a hamster, mice, fish, doves, and various other creatures at times. Our house hummed.

But, I remember how she would say that eating properly, staying warm, and keeping your house repaired, if you did nothing else, your life would feel good.

And you know? she was right!!