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Downsized so Downsizing

Well, I reckon the Big R (recession) has caught up with me—just last week, I was laid off from my software engineering job of 9 years.   :(

I prefer to say I was “actionized” (as in the corporate lingo, resource action). It sounds better, and I hope that’s exactly what it does. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that it may spur me on to consider entrepreneurial ventures aligned with my life calling.

In the meantime, I’m downsizing big time so as to give myself the most time to make something happen. For example, tonight’s Superbowl is the last hurrah for the TV. I’ve been “threatening” to cut the cable ever since reading Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander so many years ago. Finally, I’m doing it.

I also figure my menu is due for a shift to less expensive produce and bulk foods. To that end, it’s butternut squash instead of organic carrots; more broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage, over collards and kale; bananas; and bulk rice and beans. Yesterday, I put the strategy to the test. I wanted to see if these simple changes would make the savings mindless. Well, I think it did, a little. Coffee and some plums put me over a modest goal. Bringing a calculator along would’ve made it easy.

Speaking of keeping track of food costs, I had a story queued up in my drafts that I meant to post some time back. It’s about a challenge my alma mater (UNH) gave the students to see if they could live healthily off the daily allotment from the state’s Food Stamp program. The called it, appropriately enough, The $3.13 A Day Food Challenge. (If you add in the other 30% a SNAP recipient is supposed to contribute themselves, that’s still just $4.47/day or $31.30/week.)

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10 Responses to “Downsized so Downsizing”

  1. Joe Schleswig-Holstein says:

    Those are very good resolution you are taking! I noticed that because of the recession many things are changing.
    - People tend to consume less and get aware of how marketing affects our societies
    - Companies are cutting extra-costs, optimize their products, have a better customer relationship management; small business are gaining share against big groups, because of the ability of these last ones to adapt to the recession
    - Politics are going in a good way and blame the financial world.

    All that is going in a good way except layoffs, i suggest you set up your own business, it´s the right time for it.

    Good luck

  2. melody says:

    Wow… you and I are in similar circumstances and mindsets. I was laid off in Dec.. and recently realized that I had to get STRICT control over my budget and figured that $3.33 a day (or around $100/month) for me and my kids (who live with me half the time) is what I have to work with.

    I’m so sorry you were laid off.

  3. rubyspirit says:

    I canceled cable this month. Don’t miss it at all. The shows were very negative and full of hatred.

    Although I eat mostly organic, I still think I could make it on $3.13 a day. A bunch of broccoli is $3.19. Its good for 2 meals. I buy beans and they are very low cost.

    Take care of yourself. I’m sure everything will workout for you.

  4. Erin says:

    Thank you, all. And, Melody, “neighbor,” sorry to hear of your situation. Now that you’ve got some $3.33/day meals posted on your blog, I should just follow your lead. ;)

  5. olivia says:

    That is sad! The big R is here and for a long time, it´s time to restructure our way of life otherwise most of us will not survive…

  6. I think learning to manage on little money for a food budget is an excellent idea. My dh and I are lucky (in that we’re already retired), but inflation could hit bigtime and all sorts of things could go wrong in the next while while the big R (or is it really a D) is happening. It was never wrong to be frugal and it can be quite an adventure. Some of the most awe-inspiring creativity came out of hard times. Best of luck and hugs all round.

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  9. alejandro says:

    I hope you find a new job soon. For the time you have to save as much money as possible. Do not give up and smile. I am sure everything will be right in some time.
    I also try to control my budget, so I do not spend more money than necessarly, cos I am living at the moment on a little salary.


  10. [...] me, as I wrote previously, I planned and have undertaken a shift to more beans, carrots, corn, and the like (you know, [...]

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