My Dad was surprised that I don't remember eating lunches in our borrowed van at Disney World as a kid. We did it to save money. I only remember eating at the nice restaurants at Epcot for our dinners. We were lucky enough to take fantastic trips as children. It was all part of the adventure.
Don't you wonder what our kids will remember? A lot of it they won't. But, they will learn life lessons from everything we do.
Here is some of what I learned as a child in the 70's about how to live on less:
I can save calories and money at restaurants and skip the appetizer because we often did when we were kids. I don't ever remember ordering appetizers. But, we ate out a lot as kids. My mom was a nurse and worked the afternoon shift. That left my Dad to watch us. My dad's favorite restaurant was L & K. They had an all you can eat fish special. Kids ate free on the night we went. We brought neighbor kids weekly. Poor waitress!
I can go months without buying new clothes because it is a little scary in a recession. I haven't bought anything new in so long! We did it as kids when my Dad worked for GM and was laid off for a really long time.
I can have soup and sandwiches for dinner to stretch the budget because I learned that sometimes nothing tastes better than Campbell's tomato soup and a grilled cheese made with love. We even received government cheese in the 70's when my Dad was laid off. We thought it tasted great.
I remember to turn lights off and put a sweater on because I heard it a million times as a child.
I learned to love reading and the public library system. We had so many library fines that my Dad swore we paid for the West wing of the library.
We learned to be good shoppers. My Dad taught us to make sure we were getting the best deal when shopping. He also taught us to talk to people around us while shopping and to be friendly. He taught us that cashiers were people to know and treat as friends.
My husband and I have decided to skip our traditional family vacation this year due to the recession and pay some bills instead. It was a a tough choice but one that felt right. We will take a week and do some local family bonding. But, we will skip the sun and beach that has been calling our names in the last snowy month. When I ask my boys where they want to go, they scream Kalahari not Atlantis. Sometimes it is so hard to do the right thing. But, it has been decided. We'll make it to Atlantis in the near future. I know we will. But for now, we'll create some wonderful memories in the great state of Ohio and hope that the kids won't notice the difference.