In my novel Uncut Diamonds, the main characters, Marcie and Shawn McGill, experience some rough times. It is the seventies, when the U.S. had one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. Marcie has to get resourceful to make ends meet, and she gets ideas and motivation from the writings of her grandmother who was a farm wife in Nebraska during the Great Depression.
Many people talk about the poor economy right now, but believe me, it isn’t anything like what we experienced in the 1970s. *I sound so old when I say that*
Along with a need to spend less is the current recycle, reuse, going green-type mentality that brings back some of the frugal practices of days past.
Like this awesome dress my friend made out of two T-shirts:
She took a red and a blue T-shirt, cut and sewed and came up with a cute jersey dress. Snip snip voila!
Because the T-shirts had been given to her free through her job, her cost for this cute and casual summer dress: $00.00
Spending money can be fun, no doubt about it, but only if you can afford it. Exercising cleverness and creativity like my friend did is fun too. Being in debt is a form of bondage that is never fun. So choosing frugality over mindless consumption of goods is a wise move when one is trying to avoid indebtedness or get free of it.
There are two proven ways to get out of debt:
1. Live beneath your means: spending less than you take in
2. Letting your money earn interest instead of paying it
Money can disappear so fast at the grocery store. When things got tight for our family, I tried staying out of the stores, even grocery stores, and getting by on what was in our pantry and our garden. Like Marcie McGill, I cooked a lot with beans, used eggs instead of meat for protein and yes, I have even made my own crackers. And I still make my own salsa, especially when tomatoes are ripe and delicious.
8 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 medium-sized onion
8 cloves garlic
8 T. lime juice (1/2 cup)
4 fresh jalapenos
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Chop tomatoes and onion. Chop or press garlic. Cut off cilantro leaves and add to mixture according to taste. Wear gloves to dice the jalapenos. Add the seeds according to taste: add a few seeds for mild, more for medium, even more for hot. I don’t recommend adding all the seeds unless you want super hot salsa. Add lime juice and salt and stir thoroughly. Add tomato sauce to thicken. Makes about one quart.