Most of the ordinary citizens that I’ve had the opportunity to speak with concerning today’s economy, have advised me that they find themselves reverting back to the lessons that they learned as children.

And forty five year old Patricia J. is one such citizen, and she confesses to laughing whenever her frugal minded mother would tell her and her younger brother that they needed to purchase the kind of food items that they would be able to live off of for weeks and months at a time since the grocery stores only have enough food to feed a limited amount of people in the event of a natural disaster.

The laughter stopped after Patricia’s husband unexpectedly lost his job after his company of twenty five years suddenly closed their doors for good, which left the couple in a state of sheer panic since Patricia’s husband had no other skills to speak of and since they realized that they had next to no savings since they had elected to pay cash for a costly home renovation project instead of financing it like Patricia’s father had suggested that they do since jobs aren’t guaranteed.

The irreversible mistake of paying cash instead of financing the project as well as the drastic loss of a job, which was coupled with dwindling unemployment benefits and a depleted severance package, caused the couple to have to rethink their entire way of life, and they immediately started to purchase large bags of beans and rice as well as Maruchan Ramen noodle soup which comes in many different flavors. The couple also started shopping at 99 Cent Only Stores since they learned that other Americans were finding bargains on the same types of food items that they previously paid far too much for since the items have the exact same expiration dates as well as the same nutritional facts.

The husband and wife team also takes turns purchasing cartons of eggs at various 99 Cent Only Stores since the store has a limit on the number of cartons of eggs that can be purchased during a single visit. Another strategy that the couple is currently utilizing is purchasing five gallons of water at a water store instead of buying the individual bottles of flavored water that can be found at most convenience stores since five gallons of water only costs them a mere $1.25. And as Patricia’s mother put it, “You can add your own lemon juice to the water instead of paying someone else to do it for you since this is what my grandparents did during The Great Depression since they were a group of penny-wise individuals that knew how to survive off of little or nothing which is something that you young people know next to nothing about.”

Realizing how important the lessons of the past are and how crucially important every penny is in today’s society, the couple has also limited themselves to driving one vehicle, which has saved them some four hundred dollars a month since they aren’t spending forty to fifty dollars each in order to fill up each vehicle every four to six days. Plus they have limited themselves to discount movie theaters like Regency Norwalk 8 and like the Starplex Cinemas-La Mirada Movies 7. They also frequent AMC Theaters since this particular movie chain offers $6.00 movies on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday whenever the movie starts prior to twelve noon. Edwards Cerritos Stadium 10 as well as the UA Galaxy Theatre at Los Cerritos Center is also among their favorites since they offer all shows for $6.00 on Tuesdays as well as $2.00 hot dogs and discounted popcorn for Regal Crown Club members.

Aside from searching for movie chains that offer movies that range from $2.00 to $6.00, Patricia and her husband also look for various manager specials since you can often purchase a whole previously prepared chicken from Ralphs Market for $3.00, and they also enjoy the occasional large pizza for $4.99 since there are certain mom and pop pizza outlets that offer pizzas that are just as tasty as the ones that are offered by the larger pizza chains.

In closing Patricia wants everyone to understand that navigating today’s economy is about having a strategy that is proven to work, and this is why she has also placed her younger brother under the same system even though he still makes $60,000 a year. Patricia’s father is correct in stating that jobs are not guaranteed.

Nathaniel Armstrong, Jr.

Cerritos, CA —

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