Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recession Lessons from the 1970's

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 be just as happy at Eat'n Park as I am at Mallorca. OK. I lied there. Almost as happy.

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.


OHmommy said...

I am giggling at your little inside joke.

That is so funny. I bet you guys liked hearing that all the time growing up, from him.

Jessica said...

Sounds like you're making a good decision.

I remember random things like that too! Good, valuable lessons though!

Flea said...

Oh girl. With the exception of the tomato soup (ew!!), I think I do most of those already anyway. We've been a single income family for so long, and I came from near poverty growing up, that I can pinch pennies with the best. You familiar with the Dollar Stretcher? Awesome publication for these times.

MIT Mommy said...

I remember going to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. It was only years later that I found out that we only went to the museum because you had to buy a ticket to get inside where the rides were. For years I thought it was just a chocolate museum. Nope, didn't bother me.

Krystyn said...

Those are some great lessons that he passed down to you. A lot of them, we practice often, too!

And, cereal makes a good breakfast, too!

Kel said...

Sounds like some good lessons learned. I think we all had little lessons we learned that have stuck with us and hopefully our children will have wonderful memories and lessons they too will pass on to their children as they grow.

Thanks for stopping by - I enjoy meeting new people. You have a very nice blog, I will definitely stop back by!

Im2Sexy4MyVan said...

I am with you. I see us trading in the resorts for the campground. Thing is, our kids will be SO EXCITED! And you know what...still don't have to make your beds in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Thanks sister for reminding me of all the good lessons from growing up. Many times I feel like I am always thinking of money and trying to save it. Dad really taught us well. Lara

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