Woolworths is stuck in my mind. It has been part of my life since I was a child. So now its closing down I am as good as mortified!
As a kid I would go there every saturday morning with my nan and my mum, most weeks there would be a treat from there, being colouring books, clothes for my doll or a new white dress (I was only ever dressed in white for years!). I even remember my very first red timex watch being bought from there off my nan. Woolies, as its commonly known was the place to shop back in the day. Over the years they expanded to clothes, garden stuff and more. I stayed a loyal customer cos I was just familiar with them just like BHS, some shops just become part of your subconsious shopping habits. My kids have all had fancy dress costumes from there, latest fashion clothes, novelty items, stationery, dvd's, games etc and the thought of that one shop not being around anymore is almost like taking a way a trusted friend.
While I was in there on Wednesday, I stood watching all the madness around me, the sale prices were not as good as other shops but the madness was like watching vultures on a carcus. Yes I did get some bargains so I wasn't much better but my attitude was not pushing and pulling, grabbing and yanking stuff from under someone elses nose. It was really quite disturbing. Stood in the queue which started off really long it didn't take long for the staff to work through it, the number of people I heard moan about the prices was unreal, my heart went out to the poor people serving, there were people moaning that they weren't getting a big enough discount (remember it was less at the till cos of the VAT being reduced too) and there were these people about to lose their jobs, and for the most part it would be unlikely they will find work again or at least for quite a while. I mean, lets get real here. Losing a shop for sentimental reasons is one thing, but when a family is subject to a job loss it can be devestating, happy Christmas Woolies staff, thanks for the crap discounts. Yeah cos it's really their fault right?!! Duh
Reading the news last night I found that Woolies are one of a handful of big companies to go under, what chance does any other shop/business have if the biggest ones cant survive, and we haven't even gotten into the reality of the economy crisis yet. It's all looking bleak, but I am one of the lucky ones because I dont work out the home and when I do its on request so I dont rely on that income. For thousands of others though its a very different story, homes are already at risk for some people that have lost their jobs. These things always tend to happen at the greatest near Christmas eh? My heart really does go out to these people.
Over the last couple of days I have been mythered with thoughts of my own financial situation, do I have a clear back up if something goes wrong? (No) Could I at least pay essential bills and buy food if things got so bad? (No) Can I do more to help myself and my family? (Yes) Can I prepare my kids for the hardships that are looming? (Yes) and so on. So I began thinking of ways that I can improve and hold my family together without using an outside source that could run into their own issues and this is what I came up with, just a starter list and will probably need tweeking before being totally workable, but its a start for self sufficiency.
- By saving x of pounds per week/month I can ensure that next Christmas is not a washout, including presents, food, diesel, outing costs
- By saving x of pounds I can ensure that as time goes by I will always be able to cover any surplus expenses such as clothing, car repairs etc
- Some household items can be recycled in the home, these are mainly fun things and wish list items such as newspapers - get the kids making their own papier mache mountains etc for their action toys, egg boxes are good for smaller mountains or puddle areas. I'm working on a list of recyclable stuff which i'll share when later on.
- Some favourite clothing that is too small can be altered, add another fabric to the length and/or sleeves, add rhinestones, sequins etc Jeans/trousers can be cropped to make 3/4 ready for next summer
- For the none crafters, have a go at making your own cards, £5 spend on a variety of items will get you approx 30 cards.
- Remember bubble and squeak with left over food years ago? Just stick all the left overs in a pan together, heat it up and enjoy.
- Make meals out of your food, that sound obvious but my kids are a fan of cookie cut shaped ham etc as a snack, now they have cookie cut shaped sandwiches and the dog eats left overs (bread and butter is great for dogs). Soup, add croutons, broken up bread or accompany it with a garlic bread.
- Get the kids to do more sit down games that detracts from tv or even electric dependant fun. Dressing up is something that most kids get a kick out of, even if they scoff at first.
- Buy your foods in bulk. Take advantage of the special offers and stock up. Put the extra in a box somewhere and build up a food storage. I find that approx every 4 weeks I dont need to do any shopping other than fresh stuff.
- If you cook a bit extra, use foil or plastic containers for each item for a quick meal on another day. If there's enough for a full meal, why not take it to a neighbour or an elderly/single relative?
- Try your hand at making your own clothes. I knwo this sounds hard but trust me, its only as hard as you want it to be. Start small, get info off the thousands of blogs out there and give it ago.
- Do a swap party with people of the same interests to the items you no longer want or need. This is not a new idea and I done it once years ago, it as great, I just never got to go to another but i'm actually thinking of doing one myself next summer.
- For debts, get them paid off asap, you need your money!!
The list really can be endless, these are just some very basic ideas that Kirsten and I have come up with to do more for ourselves.
This is a doom and gloom posting eh? I've tried for it not be, there are far more in depth blogs otu there on this subject, I just want it to be mentioned in this blog for future reference to myself.
Other stuff I was going to talk about will be done later, right now I have to go check out the Modern Molly Mormon blog! ;)