Benefits of a Down Economy

smiley face among frownsReally? Yes. Sure, it’s been a tough couple of years, and no one’s certain when things will improve. But I’ve always been a glass-half-full type of person. And while you might think my glass is full of it, I’ve found some good has come out of this economic down turn.

Here are some of the benefits I’ve seen:

  • We cook dinner at home more than ordering in or going out to dinner.  Our entire family prepares meals together in the kitchen, and it’s fun. We are also challenged to try new recipes (because honestly, who wants to eat the same thing every night). And we’re eating healthier because our food isn’t processed and packed full of preservatives. Here’s a recipe we enjoyed this week: zucchini fries. I doctored them up by adding garlic powder, onion powder and seasoned salt to the batter. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you want them zesty. (Oh, and if you forget to check your garden everyday and your zucchinis grow to the size of the Goodyear blimp, fear not. Even the big, fibrous zucchinis make good fries.)
  • We’re spending more quality time as a family. Yes, going to a themepark can be fun, but family walks give us great time in the fresh air to genuinely connect and talk with each other.
  • We’re saving money by borrowing DVDs from our library (you can’t beat free). Our library carries new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. We can check out a film, and if it’s bad, we don’t feel compelled to stay for the whole movie because we just shelled out $15 for a ticket and popcorn. If it’s a loser, we press Stop and we’re done. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve watched a DVD and thought to ourselves, “Glad we didn’t waste money to see that in the theatre.”
  • And speaking of popcorn, stove-popped popcorn is less expensive, doesn’t contain all the preservatives of microwave or movie theatre popcorn, and my kids think the whole retro concept of popping corn in a pot is cool.
  • We have become more resourceful. We are making our own concrete pavers to redo the patio. We are saving about 90% in materials — yes 90%. And we’re getting plenty of exercise. The paver project is a mammoth undertaking and will deserve a blog post all its own.
  • People are helping each other more. They are more giving of their time — a valuable commodity — when there are fewer funds to donate. We are realizing that we’re all in this together, and working collaboratively is the best way to get through it.
  • We have a greater appreciation for things that are truly important. It’s not the material things. Granted, they can make life more convenient or comfortable. But if I’m not healthy enough to enjoy these things, or I don’t have my loved ones with me to share them, then they become meaningless.

A positive attitude makes all the differences and gets me through the day.  My optimism irritates some of my more negative-minded friends, but I don’t care. Smile and wave. Keep the faith. Economies run in cycles. This too shall pass.

Post a comment and let me know what benefits you’ve seen.

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