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tightening our belts

(116 Posts)
cooberpedi Thu 04-Aug-22 18:52:59

I'm 72 and parents were depression kids. We went without but never felt deprived. Mum cooked all dinners & made our clothes. We never bought food out. Children sometimes went to the cinema for 6 pence. We were happy. Sound familiar? I think in this day families need help managing with very little. If only it could become a popular subject. My granny planted potatoes to feed her 10 children in Australia in 1930's. We really don't need a lot.

Grandmabatty Thu 04-Aug-22 19:18:31

I think that most families in poverty are already managing on very little. They have to. Many live in houses with no outdoor space so impossible to grow their own veg. Many who are on benefits are in work but paid a pittance. Looking back at how people managed in the past doesn't actually help, although it is interesting. Perhaps improving the basic income and cutting energy bills might help

geekesse Thu 04-Aug-22 19:24:16

Times have changed. Many mothers have to work, and few have land to grow stuff. Cooking on gas costs as much as the ingredients. A cinema ticket for an adult costs around £11, for a child £6-7. And frankly, you may have been happy, but an awful lot of people were not. Don’t knock today’s young parents who have it way harder than previous generations.

Sago Thu 04-Aug-22 19:26:29

We do a weekly food bank shop, the list we are given and asked to adhere to is tinned and dried food, UHT milk etc.
People can no longer afford to put money in the meter to refrigerate food.

M0nica Thu 04-Aug-22 20:14:15

Go back far enough and families managed without shops and grew and crafted everything they needed, go back further and they hunted and gathered all their sustenance and lived in caves and rough shelters.

Looking back at past condititons doesn't really tell us anything about how people in poverty manage today. I mean at one point in the not too far distant past, the poor just starved to death in the street or in their hovels.

cooberpedi Thu 04-Aug-22 20:57:16

You are right. All of you. Sorry I mentioned it.

RichmondPark1 Thu 04-Aug-22 20:59:41

People need help to rise out of poverty rather than help coping with poverty.

In 1930s Australia the child mortality rate was 69 children per 1,000 live births. Today the figure is 4. We need to be moving forward with progress not slipping back to harder times.

Chewbacca Thu 04-Aug-22 21:03:14

It's a race to the bottom.

Hithere Thu 04-Aug-22 21:04:44

Times have changed - we are comparing apples with oranges

JaneJudge Thu 04-Aug-22 21:05:47

children used to die of really quite normal things because of malnutrition and lack of healthcare, let alone the long term implications. Why would we want to strive for that?

M0nica Thu 04-Aug-22 22:25:01

cooberpedi Do not apologise. You have every right to introduce this thread and to have the view you do, but as anyone who starts a thread on GN knows, however rational you think your view is, at times it will get shot down. it happens to all of us now and again. It has certainly happened to me a number of times.

I think there are young/middle aged people today, who have got used to a comfortable way of life and low interest rates who are getting a nasty wake up call and suddenly finding that they need to think and plan how they spend their money and how to economise, but over the last few decades the gap between rich and poor has grown and there are a growing number of individuals and families, that prosperity has passed by and have been barely getting by all their lives.

For this group the current crisis, is not just a question of planning their expenditure and cooking cheap and nutritious meals for their families, but of not having any food to cook, nor often now, a secure roof over their heads.

Elizabeth27 Thu 04-Aug-22 22:58:02

You are seeing it through the eyes of a child. It sounds like you had very good parents that made you feel happy and kept you fed and clothed through what must have been hard times. They must have had money worries but kept it from you.

Callistemon21 Thu 04-Aug-22 23:28:20

My DH was a small child during WW2 in the UK and he remembers his Australian aunt sending him food parcels during those years of food scarcities and rationing. He really looked forward to them.
He said just the other day that he wonders now how many of those parcels ended up in Davy Jones's locker.

Chestnut Fri 05-Aug-22 00:06:26

During WW2 my great grandmother in England was sent food parcels from her daughter in California, and she wrote how grateful she was for them. She also wrote 'We have so much to be thankful for when we think how good our heavenly father has been to us'. Despite great sorrow in her life and deprivation during the war she still managed to be thankful for what she had.

Grammaretto Fri 05-Aug-22 01:11:57

I think also it can be hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes
I can still remember a cooking programme in the 1960s when a titled lady was saying how it was possible to feed huge numbers cheaply (the soup kitchen idea) so why did these profligate paupers waste their money on chocolate biscuits and things with no nutrition.
My mum, a widow who suffered from depression, said that the poorer she was the more she wanted to eat treats and drink away her sorrows.
Mum told us sad stories about the poverty of her own youth. Her dad lost his job in the 1930s and never got another one. He died in his 50s of a broken heart

Whitewavemark2 Fri 05-Aug-22 01:51:00

The poor and those on a fixed income with no resources like savings, suffer most in recession.

One would normally look to the government to give support to these folk.

The trouble is that we are not in normal times.

Mamardoit Fri 05-Aug-22 06:22:15

I don't remember governments giving support in the past.

If you couldn't keep up your mortgage repayments you lost your home.

And no we are not in normal times and UK is certainly not the only country in a mess.

M0nica Fri 05-Aug-22 08:02:03

The government ran a mortgage protection scheme from January 2009, and, in the further past, mortgage interest was claimable on income tax and could be claimed, like rent on precursors of Universal benefit.

Septimia Fri 05-Aug-22 10:19:06

When we were first married, in the 70s, our mortgage interest rate was over 10% - and we thought we were lucky because we were on a scheme that was 0.25% lower than the commercial rate!

We've had many years of things being much easier and therefore younger people haven't had to cope in the same way.

That doesn't make it any better, though, especially for those people who are really struggling. We have a collection in our, fairly affluent, village for the local foodbank but few people donate. I think they can't have any empathy at all.

Grantanow Sat 06-Aug-22 11:10:19

There never was a golden age for the poor. Look ahead and get the Tories out. Truss cutting taxes and NI won't help the poor - they don't earn enough to pay tax and poor pensioners don't pay NI. She's against 'handouts'. She's a continuation of the disgraceful Johnson.

jane1956 Sat 06-Aug-22 11:20:57

how many who "are struggling to feed the family" have smart phones, get nails done order from deliveroo etc???

pascal30 Sat 06-Aug-22 11:21:14

Grantanow I agree with you and I think Truss might be even more punitive than Johnson

Grandmabatty Sat 06-Aug-22 11:22:09

Making a villain out of a victim is a bad look.

Grandmabatty Sat 06-Aug-22 11:23:10

That was to jane1956 in case anyone thought I was defending Truss. 😱

Yiayia70 Sat 06-Aug-22 11:27:06

I agree with most of the comments above, many are truly struggling, the trouble is outside the food banks the people waiting to go in are often smoking, surely these cost a fortune these days and the cost could feed a family for a couple of days. Of course not all are smoking, and are there for good reason