Thursday, January 22, 2009

The New Economy

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom acts as one with our very soul.

I was listening to John Tesh radio show and he was talking about ways to save money is this soft economy, common tips we all have thought of like making coffee at home or look at going down to one car (how on earth can I be chauffeur to the world if I don't have a vehicle???) but he also talked about buying EXPERIENCES instead of things.

This made me pause and think, hmmm. We all sit down and budget and review our money, and what we think we "have" to pay for, but what if did a macro view and shifted what we buy overall? Or how we buy and what it does for our economy?

I've thought a lot recently about customer service (or lack of) and shifted how I make my purchases accordingly. One thing I really can't stand is waiting in long lines to pay for my purchases. It drives me crazy, but add in waiting in line to SELF-SCAN AND PAY and I get a little nutso. Large restaurant chains where you sit and wait like a herd of cattle are another push button for me. Expensive toys that cost as much as feeding a family of 4 for a week have also given me pause lately.

I don't eat out often, but I am trying to go little local restaurants to help keep our economy going. I think small businesses really drive this country, so we all need to keep them in business. I love Cafe Espresso for a nice, European intimate Italian experience. Just fun to have drinks or great pasta dishes in a cozy atmosphere. I also stopped at Chester's in East Amherst last week for great Cajun food. A bowl of gumbo, a plate of jambalaya and red beans and rice for $10, how cool is that? I was at the Lake Effect dinner by UB last month and enjoyed the potato pancakes. I just love dinners that offer french toast or stuffed jalapenos--what's not to love?

I've shifted some of my mindset of where to shop to get good deals. Adding in thrift stores has been fun. Carousel Clothing and Gifts has wonderful like new clothing and bags, as well as home decor that is fun to browse thru. What's not to love about a $5 sweater or Vera Bradley bad for 1/3 of retail? Used book stores are fun to browse in for unique and classic books. Its good to just slow down and let the mind wander when in there. And Salvation Army half price Wednesdays are sure to bring out the giggles. Maverick loves the Abercrombie flannel I picked up for $2. Who knew deals can make your heart sing?

Time for me to also go back to homemade pizza nights. No, the quality of the crust suffers, but the toppings get creative as you use up leftovers and pile it on baby. Make your own snacks instead of grabbing the family size Doritoes. Homemade popcorn (yes, soccer boy, you can cook it on the stove, not in the microwave), bake your own soft pretzels and cinnamon tortilla crisps are yummy. The twins may whale there's nothing to eat, but suddenly apples get stuffed with peanut butter, raisins and chocolate chips or bananas get heated with some chocolate syrup and marshmallows for a gooey mess that warms you up.

Now if I could only get them to clean up their own mess in the kitchen. What's that Ma, you said the same thing to me 30 years ago? Who me, I'm miss perfect. I would never get flour all over the dishwasher and floor while baking, would I?(Don't ask the queen this; she's still in therapy to recover from last year's baking day.)

OK, maybe I can save up for a maid. Or swifter for dishes (I think that's called paper plates). Or just blame the kids, again.

1 comment:

Shari Schmidt said...

What's so funny about your post is we've always been like this. We're frugal by nature because we're too busy hiking outside, playing in the park or visiting the zoo (annual membership gift) to go shopping! If you are busy with other things, you don't have time to just wander the malls.