February 2, 2009

Recession proof moms

This morning I was watching the Today show. (doesn't happen often. The girls were at school, little boy was entertaining himself and I was feeding the baby. I thought I deserved some grown up TV.) They were doing a segment about how the current recession is affecting mothers in this country. It gave a list of ways that women are cutting back:

63% eating out*
61% salon services
55% home services (house cleaners/maids)
40% dry cleaning/laundry services
20% clothing

these numbers are not accurate. i couldn't find the real list on line so I tried to create one from memory

And then they started discussing ways in particular that people were cutting back, such as not eating out every single day of the week. Or having to do their manicures and pedicures at home. Or having to clean their own houses and do their own laundry. And wash their own cars.

And I started thinking: How would this analysis affect someone like me?

Well, for someone like me who only gets to eat out maybe 3-4 times a month, cutting back would mean the occasional Little Caesar's 5$ pizza. It would also mean no more convenience foods such as frozen burritos or Hot Pockets. Which forces you to eat stale cookies, crackers that may or may not have been on the floor and then put back in the box, and the last dregs of Western Family Mac and cheese for lunch.

Cutting back in the salon department? Well, for kids like mine, that has no impact because for someone like me, kids hair gets cut by mom already. As for you, cutting back means going from the bi-annual haircut to an annual haircut. And as for pedicures and manicures, well for someone like me who only goes to the salon for such treatments on her birthday or when her mother-in-law is paying, well that cuts out the occasional bottle of new nail polish. But hey, with all the extra cooking and cleaning that this recession is causing you to do, you're not going to have time to paint your toenails anyway--let alone scrub callouses or soak them.

And as for a maid, well, since the closest thing to a maid that someone like me has had in her house is the Relief Society when they volunteered to help you out after you had your last baby, that's not such an inconvenience either. Although, the next time you run out of cleaner you realize that it will actually be cheaper to make your own cleaner out of vinegar and baking soda from your food storage, so you decide to try that out.

And since your husband's suit hasn't been dry cleaned in months . . . okay, years, you figure a few more won't hurt anything? Right? (your husband may or may not have a differing opinion on this one.)

And as for clothes. Well, since your budget is already such that most of your wardrobe came from DI or off the clearance rack at Old Navy, cutting back will resort you to secretly wishing that your slightly less thrifty, slightly more fashionable sister-in-law will bring her DI bag to your next family gathering and give it to you to take home. And well, just face it: your cutest clothes come from her anyway.

So really, in a lot of ways, this recession doesn't really take away much from what I already didn't have. So I guess I ought to be grateful, right?


Jenna said...

I hear you! When I hear these statistics, I just roll my eyes. Oh, puh-lease! I don't have any of those things to cut back on either. I do most of the hair cutting (the boys, anyway), my own pedicures/manicures except the occasional birthday present, and eating out? Yeah, right! Taco Bell is a luxury!

Hey, I'm glad you said hi over at Cranberry Corner! I'm using your question as my Question of the Week. Thanks! See you around!

wendy said...

Absolutley right --Some peoples Idea of "sacrificing" due to the recession are still living my "heaven". All relative I guess. Wouldn't you just love a housekeeper.

Anonymous said...

I have brainwashed my children so that now they believe that homemade pizza is better than at the store.

So is homemade cookies, cake, bread...pretty much everything.

My recession cutback was to buy a 25# bag of flour and make *everything* from scratch.

I love how it tastes...but I am really really tired!

Maid? Salon? What are those?

Wonder Woman said...

For me the eating out is the occasional Little Caesars!! This all just blows my mind. I saw some show last night, talking to first-time home buyers. They said they spent $250 a WEEK eating out.

(picking jaw up off the floor)

3 Peas in a Pod said...

The economy hasn't changed too much for us either. We rarely go out to dinner (maybe 4x a year) except if we're on vacation then, of course, we eat out every night but nothing too expensive.

I haven't gotten a pedicure that I haven't done myself in 2 years.

The only thing that's changed is our grocery bill is much larger than it used to be. That's from the economy and from our growing boys and girl. Can't imagine what the food bill will be when they're all teenagers. I hear young men eat quite a bit.

Enjoying your new blog so much!!!

Much love from NJ,

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