Homeschool Mom: I'm a plan-B kind of person. I drive my husband a little buggy because I am always "what iffing." I have a plan B for almost every situation: if my husband lost his job, if I couldn't get my kids' cystic fibrosis drugs, if my whole family were killed in a fiery car crash.
I pretty much have an idea of what I would do in any situation I can contemplate. That is why, while paying the bills and seeing the amount of money we spend every month on food alone, I decided to conduct an experiment. What if we didn't have very much money for food, and what if the grocery store was not endlessly stocked with beautiful produce and aisles full of delicacies and convenient foods? What would be our plan B? That's when it hit me like a sack of slightly bruised apples: The 99 Cent Only Store. I would try to survive and feed my children a healthy diet only shopping at The 99 Cent Only Store for one week. For those of you who do not live in the states of Texas, California, or Arizona, you will not find any 99 Cent Only Stores, but you might find a copycat version. There are 17 such stores within a ten-mile radius of my house in Southern CA.
I like to preach, though everyone likes to ignore me, that we Americans are spoiled and extravagant, and that we could do with so much less. Depriving ourselves, even a smidgen, is as far removed from our minds as traveling to Venus. Hey, I'm no saint here either. I like my neighborhood high-end health food grocery store and do not feed my kids things with trans fat or high fructose corn syrup, nitrates or too much sodium. I like my fine wines, gourmet delicacies, and fancy whatnots as much as the next chick. But as my depression-era Grandma liked to say, "What the hell do ya' need all that for?"
So we are going to do without, for a week anyway. We are tightening our belts. Samuel Johnson said, "Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor." Mies van der Rohe said, "Less is more." He, however, was an architect and not a mother of three growing children. Two of the children have special diet needs due to their C.F., so I will have to be selective and creative.
So far the reactions to the idea of my experiment have been mixed. My thirteen-year-old son said he was running away. My ten-year-old daughter said, "What?! Are you trying to kill us? Did you consult with Dad?" My five-year-old daughter said, "Great. Can I get a toy?" While my fifty-year-old husband said, "Do they have wine? Do we all have to suffer?"
So stay tuned as this American family embarks on an adventure in frugality and healthy cuisine à la The 99 Cent Only Store.
Are you a plan-B kind of person? How are you surviving the recession? Share your strategies with other moms in the Recession Survivors group.
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|