{These EEK-onomic Times}

So I guess we really are in a depression—everyone’s saying so.  At least ten times a day, I hear the phrase “these economic times.”  (I pronounce it “eek-onomic,” just for the record.  It’s the Eee-conomy, and these times are eek-onomically difficult.)

Not enough of this stuff, I guess.  Image from here.

A lot of people are losing their jobs and finding it necessary to cut back on their spending.  Cutting back is probably a good idea, all things considered.

So far, Poor Kyle and I haven’t really felt many repercussions of These Hard Economic Times (knock on wood); we’ve been poor for a lot longer than this depression has been around, so we’re accustomed to the discomfort of a BUDGET.  Of course, I use the term “poor” in a relative sense—a lot of people have it worse than we do, and many have it better.  I consider myself poor because I am not rich—that makes me an economic pessimist, I suppose.  I also consider myself poor because I do not contribute any money to our household, and therefore I feel guilty any time I want to spend money on my hair or paint for the kitchen or a new pair of jeans.  In my head, “rich” equals “buying new jeans and not feeling defensive about it.”  Someday…

Until that day, or until I start making money of my own, it’s ripped jeans for me.  Poor me.

For now, however, we’re trying to cut back, perhaps even more than before.  According to news reporters and economic advisors, Poor Kyle is just a natural disaster away from losing his job, and we’re all going to die.  So we’re trying to be prepared.  Still, as I go about my shopping, I take particular notice of things I won’t skimp on just to save money.

It’s always interesting to see what people will refuse to skimp on.  A lot of people say there are some things they simply will never cut out of their lives, but I think if times got hard enough, they would go without a lot more than they realise.

For example, Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day {adorbale blog, by the way, and updated almost daily}, has recently announced that “there are a few things [she] refuses to skimp on:”

1. Cut flowers or plants in the house
2. Fresh unprocessed food
3. Good quality shoes

Oh, really?  That’s nice, Jordan Ferney, because at my richest of times I don’t buy cut flowers, fresh unprocessed foods, or good quality shoes.  Then again, Jordan Ferney is a lady who buys imported German crépe paper for her parties—I’m pretty sure Jordan and I are on two completely different planes.

When I’m trying to cut back, here are three things I have—so far—refused to skimp on:

1.  House payment.

2.  Toilet paper. Not that I always buy the soft kind, but the fact that I always buy toilet paper, period.  Hopefully I will always be able to afford a Costco™ pack of Kirkland™ toilet paper every six months.  When the time comes that I am wiping my bum with a rag that will be washed and reused, I might as well just buy a shotgun and head for the hills; that’s no way to live.

3.  Air. I always breathe as much as I possibly can.  It’s free—that’s a great value, as far as I’m concerned.

So there you have it: I’m willing to skimp on pretty much anything, if times get dire enough.  Luckily, they haven’t (yet).

What about you?  Are you feeling the sting of These Hard Economic Times?  What do you/don’t you skimp on?

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in change, Cutting Back, I hate change, It's All Good, like-it-link-it, Married Life. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to {These EEK-onomic Times}

  1. HeatherPride says:

    I’ve been in that situation where I wasn’t contributing to the household and spending money on anything but bills and food seemed excessive. And I do remember being very defensive about it. Ugh. Glad that’s behind me. Soon it will be behind you too. And never, ever skimp on the TP.

  2. Whitney says:

    Im just poor but we have enough for our needs and some wants. I feel the same way about toilet paper. Its Zach who thinks he needs the Charmen Ultra soft. I get it, it makes him and his booty happy.

  3. Holly Decker says:

    couldnt have said it better myself. Jeff and I, being poor to begin with, arent really feeling the effect of “these times”… because we are constantly living in a state of poverty [i use that term loosely- i realize people have it MUCH worse than us… i mean, hello- we have a flippin’ bidet for goodness sake!]. i think the only thing that has changed for the worse is the fact that Jeff’s job wont give him as many hours- because they don’t have a lot of business… you know, tires don’t really sell when going through economic hardships.
    what would i NEVER cut back on?
    sheesh. i feel like i already HAVE cut back on a million things already. but since you asked…
    1. blogging. i cant live without it- and its free dang it.
    2. volunteering at the library… it gives me free movie rentals and lets be honest, there are plenty of books to go around for entertainment.
    3. eating lunch and breakfast distinctly apart from one another. in the past, if i was feeling tight on cash- i would combine the two- trying to make meals prolong themselves… but now that i am pregnant- this is just not an option… i need food- and i need it constantly.

    but oh how i wish i could have freshly cut flowers daily!!!

  4. Lauren says:

    I know the first thing I would have to skimp on, but it hurts to type it…

    Edward Merchandise.

    It really is ridiculous how much as accumulated over the years.

  5. Allison says:

    I am feeling the crunch. And not liking it one bit. I no longer get to go the movies or a play once or twice a week, it’s now about once a month. I used to be silly and eat my lunch out most day. Now that was ridiculous, but I have gotten used to packing a lunch and it is always much healthier. The luxury of my favorite restaurant is now truly a luxury. But that one thing I still do…. Is go to my absurdly expensive hair salon for good hair cut. I’ve cut out the color but cannot cut the cut! Amazing how many times I managed to use the word cut in that last sentence.

  6. DeAnna says:

    We have been working hard on the whole getting prepared dealy for the last year. I pay more attention to flyers and coupons than I ever have before. It is amazing how I can go to three different stores for everything and spend less than if I bought everything at ONE of those three stores.

    Three things I refuse to skimp on:
    1. Toilet paper, I always make sure we have more than enough to last a month. When you have toddlers extra TP is definately a must.
    2.Certain items whose no name versions taste like cardboard, I won’t buy unless they are name brands, i.e. Pace Salsa, Kraft Ranch Dressing, Heinz Ketchup, those are the main three.
    3.Having enough veggies and fruits to maintain a healhy diet…I buy fresh, frozen or canned…fresh to use right now, frozen to use when needed and canned for my food storage that gets rotated & used whenever we make a big meal or extra lunches to freeze.

    I would much rather skimp, store and save now when I have the choice, than not have enough when times are even more dire.

  7. Joel says:

    I’ll have to give this some thought and get back to you. When I think “skimp”, I think buy the crappy version of whatever rather than the good stuff. Like buying Kroger Giant Bag of Crispy Rice instead of Kellog’s Rice Krispies. So in that way, we skimp all the time. But I think that you are thinking more along the lines of removing, cutting, not making any purchase at all, which is a different question.

    So I’ll think about what I would never not buy and tell you later.

  8. Camille says:

    HeatherPride– Thanks for the encouragement. I hope so.

    Whitney– You’re a nicer wife than me. Poor Kyle would appreciate that kind, but he doesn’t get it unless he does the shopping, which he never does. Poor him and his bum.

    Holly Decker– Combining breakfast and lunch is a great idea! Can’t believe I never thought of it before (though some days I wake up late enough that my first meal just happens to be lunch…) Good stuff.

    Lauren– YOU HAVE MORE THAN THE ACTION FIGURE? Think of how many carne asada burritos that money would buy…

    Allison– Oh, dear. I don’t like when other people are feeling the crunch and they aren’t used to it. I’m sorry. I’m trying to take the plunge of going back to my natural hair colour, because then I wouldn’t care a lick about an expensive haircut. The colour is what costs me.

    DeAnna– Good advice. I try to stock up on stuff I know we use, when it’s on sale.

    Joel– Okay, you do that. Seriously! I want to know.

  9. Katie says:

    Oh, man am I glad I read your blog today. I was about 5 seconds away from committing suicide by papercuts because of our family’s…er…budget constraints. But this is a MUCH more fun game to play. What will I not skimp on? So much more positive than what things are you cutting out of your life?

    Lets see… I cannot possibly skimp on face moisturizer. I live in cold weather and my face would feel right off without a good lotion. And I should probably say dog food, in honor of my 2 doggies who would be pretty pissed if I decided to forgo their kibble. And lastly, I cannot skimp on big, cold gallons of milk. I’m pregnant and that’s all I have been craving. The welfare of my unborn child depends on big, cold gallons of milk.

    I guess anything else in life is expendable. Thanks for giving me some perspective!

  10. bRAD says:

    I don’t think I could do without photography. I can’t imagine selling my camera.
    That’s about it. I can’t say I care much about toilet paper.

  11. Lauren says:

    For the love. Of course I have more than the action figure. Wow…you have inspired a blog post.

  12. Anonymous says:


    It’s absolutely mind boggling to me what people deem as necessities, even during these hard economic times. Freshly-cut flowers? Are you kidding me??? Seriously! Let’s get back to basics, folks. Our grandparents and great-grandparents wore cardboard in the bottoms of their shoes, and -gasp!- some even went without shoes. Some people need to get real! It is my personal opinion that we have no clue what it means to struggle over here in the U S of A.

  13. Camille says:

    Katie– Please don’t paper cut yourself to death. You’re my new favourite blogger, and I’d hate to lose you.

    bRAD– Given the choice, I think I would go with a lifetime guarantee of toilet paper, but then again, I can’t work magic with a camera the way you can.

    Lauren– Oh, good! I’m always so glad to help someone think of a post. I like being people’s muse…

    Anonymous my sister– You said it, not me.

  14. NobodyNose says:

    Uhh I don’t pay for anything…yet. It’s great! Oh btw the railroad picture is now my backround!

  15. Allan says:

    Cool, you say economic with a long e, like your new Prezzy. (Dang, he’s charismatic, eh).

    I’ve never had to skimp, being a natural born cheap bastard. All i can think of, is, what would i give up last, if i was living in a shopping cart. Let’s see..mm..
    my cart..
    plastic bags…
    my self-respect….
    a good pair of shoes…..
    a friend in tent-city with cable.

  16. anon10 says:

    It seems to me that for awhile the United States has been taking its good economy for granted. And, now that we are spiraling downhill, some people don’t know how to take it. Like not being able to seperate need from want.
    I don’t think people understand that this is the way of living some people grew up with and don’t know anything different.

  17. Geneva says:

    I read Jordan’s post and thought the same thing. But I always assume that all those design blogs are worlds ahead of me in regards to money. What they spend on furniture or wallpaper blows my mind. How does she do it? San Fran is ridiculous expensive to live in and her husband is an artist. I don’t know man.

    Anyways, I would not skimp on

    1) The internet. I don’t think I could ever go back to dial up. And if we can’t afford internet, the comp would be pawned so then speed wouldn’t be an issue.
    2)Water. I’m going to use whatever I need. I don’t think I could spend any less on my water bill without cutting out showers.
    3)…Yeah, I can’t think of anything else. I guess it must be the effect of growing up on a teacher’s salary and paying my way through college. You can go without pretty much anything.

  18. Jeff says:

    Hey, peeps with blogID are in red letters now…that’s new right?

    (The comment from the person who calls you “millie” was also way cool. It’s not just you guys, all we rich nations have gotten way too greedy. Spoiled. The comment totally reminded me of a comment made here long ago about buying less, wanting less, living within ones means, signed anonymous but clearly your mom.)

  19. anonymous says:

    This discussion of want and need, economy, is so interesting. I’m guiltly myself, i spent 7.99 on a 3pair pack of boxer briefs today, at the discount store.

  20. jami says:

    oh camille, I was just talking with my mom today about this very subject.
    I am wanting to put the wood flooring in my back room…but I feel guilty worrying about my flooring when there are people out there that are really struggling!
    BUT I completely agree with your sister. I don’t think that us in the USA know how to “struggle”..and I think it is about time that we learn how to budget, and self control in our spending. I am so sick of credit!
    Also again..
    I would scrimp on
    1. fast food
    2. new clothes
    3. I would really buckle down and use the coupons and sales at the grosery store.
    4. taking hot baths every night

  21. anonymous says:

    hahaha this was a great post i love your def of poor as “not being rich” i guess i always kinda thought that way myself.

  22. raygon says:

    This is a good post Camille. I like it. I agree – I am not rich, therefore I am poor! Love it! And I wish I could have fresh flowers in my house. Infact, I looked at some today at Costco and passed because I thought they were too expensive, but it would be nice! But I agree with Oh Happy Day, I only buy fresh and unprocessed food. I get a good deal on it though, most of it is not any more expensive than the other stuff at the grocery store. Yea for supporting local farmers!
    And by the way, I think people need to realize, there are plenty of people who truly struggle inside of the USA. But it is not any of us that have computers to blog on and talk about our tough economic times.

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  24. Kyle's Granny says:

    Use it up, wear it out,
    Make it do, or do without.

  25. Deemarie says:

    I won’t skimp on TP either. I actually refuse to get the cheapest brand. Some things just need a bit of softness…

  26. anna says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a LONG time. Not funny because we are SO poor, but funny because some people think they can’t go without fresh cut flowers. What would it be like to have that option to begin with?

    Fresh cut flowers in my home… a vow I made LONG ago… when I do have the money, EVERY week I’ll have a fresh new bunch.

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