What is a recession?
A recession is when there is a decline in industrial production, employment, real income, and wholesale-retail trade that lasts for six months or more. It spells trouble for all of us. Sometimes it’s hard making ends meet in the best of times, but trying to raise a family in the midst of a recession is doubly hard to do. It helps to stay optimistic in this type of situation. We can tighten our belts a little and still share some quality time together as a family.
Tough economic times call for finding ways to cut down on spending, but not on activities, even when we’re on a budget. After doing a little bit of research I’ve come up with a few ideas that may help to weather this recessional storm.
Saving Money in the Kitchen
There are lots of ways to cut back including in the kitchen so let’s start there. First, get rid of all the prepared meals. Aside from being too expensive, they are loaded with excessive fat, sugar, salt, and all kinds of preservatives. These are things that your family doesn’t need. Plan wisely and schedule specific meals for each day of the week. Do your grocery shopping once a week and get exactly what you need for each meal. Try going meatless twice a week.
Do a little research and find recipes for low-cost meals that you can make like pasta and vegetables or a homemade veggie pizza. These are nutritious meals and won’t cost a lot of money.
Saving Money When Traveling
Even when arranging for a vacation or just family time together, put a schedule in place so that you don’t miss a minute of fun. Check with the local visitor’s bureau in your city and see what attractions they offer. Some cities sponsor summer festivities for a minimal fee or no cost at all. Spend the day at a local park; take along Frisbees, a baseball and bat, and maybe even a set of horseshoes.
Stop by your local public swimming pool one day for an afternoon of aquatic games. Even pack a lunch to serve up after the swim, picnic-style, at a nearby park. Everyone develops an appetite after a day of sun and fun. This is an ideal way for a family to spend a day together.
The next day, spend the afternoon watching a movie at your local theatre. If you get there early, you can get the matinee price. It’s another great way to spend the day, and see a great movie in the process.
Saving Money on Pampering
After this much activity, you deserve to pamper yourself a little. If you like to read, don’t go out and spend money on a new bestseller, join your local library and read all of the books you want for free. Also, stock up on some inexpensive candles and some aromatherapy bath beads (you can get them at the dollar store) and treat yourself to a relaxing soak in the tub. If you close your eyes, you can pretend you’re at a fancy spa. You’ll feel any stress that you may have acquired from the long day begin to melt away.
You can find ways to cut back on spending and not on activities, it just takes a little bit of strategy and imagination. So plan to cut back, have fun, and make some great memories to treasure for years to come.