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Strained consumers are also changing the food they buy at Wal-Mart, said CEO Lee Scott. "We're seeing an increase in food storage as people are cooking more at home," he said. They are "using leftovers more extensively," and buying more frozen food.

Small businesses are also changing how they buy goods, he said. Cash-strapped restaurant owners are visiting the stores more frequently to buy supplies as one day's cash flow allows them to buy supplies for the following day.

"In our pharmacy group, we have increases in prescription drugs, but not at the same rate it was," he said. "What we're seeing is an increase in self-treatment."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28226467/

I guess today's children will have stories to tell about the desperate times when food was cooked at home and they had to eat leftovers.
 

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So are they going to change their shelving arrangements in response to the 'new' consumer? Food Storage, indeed! You can't even find a 10 lb bag of flour here or hardly a can of fruit that isn't packaged for school lunches. Is there anyone within the WM community that understands what food storage is? How about a 5lb bag of rice!
 

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Our local walmart sells 25 lb bags of rice, flour, sugar, etc. They also have #10 cans of fruits and veggies.

I do find it humorous that cooking at home and buying "bulk" (read; not prepackaged) is considered a "trend" due to this ailing economy. It's simply the norm around here and always has been.
 

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Ahem. While we can all pat ourselves on the back and feel superior for our homekeeping, thrifty, ways (pre-cut salad in a bag?!? who came up with that idea?!?) I know people who use pre-cut salad in bags. My neighbor the single father uses it because there is no waste. One bag = 1 meal with his kids, no leftovers forgotten in the bottom of the fridge. I have an elderly friend who uses prepared meals because "heat in microwave" beats "not eating because it is too much trouble to prepare something balanced for one person."

In short... could we please tone down the smug attitude? I can imagine situations, I've been in situations, where going to the grocery store and snatching up a bunch of prepared items is a godsend. And I have sympathy for people who grew up on TV dinners and Campbells Soup casseroles, because I was one of them. Somewhere around the 1970s when she was diagnosed with cancer my mother got religion and the who fledgling natural foods, home made, obsession. But prior to that? Deli meat on Wonder Bread.

During WWII the government launched a program to teach a generation of women who were two generations from the farm cooking and preserving skills. How to grow Victory Gardens. Honestly people.. YOU are the ones with issues... you got stuck somewhere around 1940 while the rest of the country marched on. Now, the fact that those skills may be once more in demand? That's not a reason to be smug.

That's a reason to be very concerned.
 

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Ahem. While we can all pat ourselves on the back and feel superior for our homekeeping, thrifty, ways (pre-cut salad in a bag?!? who came up with that idea?!?) I know people who use pre-cut salad in bags. My neighbor the single father uses it because there is no waste. One bag = 1 meal with his kids, no leftovers forgotten in the bottom of the fridge. I have an elderly friend who uses prepared meals because "heat in microwave" beats "not eating because it is too much trouble to prepare something balanced for one person."

In short... could we please tone down the smug attitude? I can imagine situations, I've been in situations, where going to the grocery store and snatching up a bunch of prepared items is a godsend. And I have sympathy for people who grew up on TV dinners and Campbells Soup casseroles, because I was one of them. Somewhere around the 1970s when she was diagnosed with cancer my mother got religion and the who fledgling natural foods, home made, obsession. But prior to that? Deli meat on Wonder Bread.

During WWII the government launched a program to teach a generation of women who were two generations from the farm cooking and preserving skills. How to grow Victory Gardens. Honestly people.. YOU are the ones with issues... you got stuck somewhere around 1940 while the rest of the country marched on. Now, the fact that those skills may be once more in demand? That's not a reason to be smug.

That's a reason to be very concerned.
Smug? Who's being smug here?
I merely stated that I find it funny that "home cooking" is something to be relied upon only in times of need. How is that being smug? It's sincere. My mom taught me to cook as a little child. I taught my children to cook as little kids. I never realized we were in a minority there.
Sure, there's always a time for prepackaged foods such as illness, needing something in a real hurry, etc. I've used them myself, but it's not the norm around here. It's not what we're used to. So, for a huge chain store to announce such a change in the American consumer as homecooking seems to be, to be so noticeable as that, then yes, that seems so foreign to me. I'm sorry if that offends you.
 

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Wonder what people back in the 1700's did when they were in a hurry?!?! No take-out or Campbell's soup to rely on back then...

I think most of us here live the way we do because we think it is a better way of life for us. We aren't wrong because we can cook, and garden, and can, and sew, and make do with what we have. We didn't get left behind or stuck anywhere. We love this lifestyle and happen to think it is a good way to live and when people get a taste of it, they love it too. Once people are exposed to things that are real, the imitations really do pale in comparison.
 

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I see no smugness either. We have no complaints about using prepared foods for the situations you mentioned about people who are single or elderly .

I think it's great people are going back to homecooking. I have very few friends who can do more than boil water for mac n cheese.. What I find sad is it took this economic climate to cause ppl to do it.
 

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What ZooNana said plus when my wife opens one those jars of stuff she canned i don't got to wonder where her hands been :happy:Man said he went to a tomato caning plant once said they dumped them out of big trucks an a guy with hip boots was scooping them around :confused: I don't know if that was true or not but if he had a runny nose did he wipe it or :eek: I just like to know how most my food is fixed . We do eat out but i sometime wonder. Call wife' cousin most every morning to chat ask what is for breakfast he says OATS an i say oats are for horses .Get up go to the hen house get some egs go by the smoke house slice off that country ham Yum Yum :clap:
 
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Man said he went to a tomato caning plant once said they dumped them out of big trucks an a guy with hip boots was scooping them around :confused: I don't know if that was true or not but if he had a runny nose did he wipe it or :eek: I just like to know how most my food is fixed.
A relative of mine worked at a tomato canning plant. Once she started working there, she never again bought another canned tomato product. Until the day she died she wouldn't touch them, not even ketchup.
 

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Wonder what people back in the 1700's did when they were in a hurry?!?! No take-out or Campbell's soup to rely on back then...
"Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old"

That's what they did!

Without refrigeration the only way to keep something from spoiling was to keep it hot. They always kept a pot of porridge, soup, or stew going. When they needed a quick meal they dished some up and ate. That was the convenience food of the day. When the pot got low, they added stuff.

In New England there is a nickname. "Yesterday, today and tomorrow". In modern vernacular "Hash". Hash in it's origional for wasn't corned beef and potatoes. It was last nights leftovers put in a baking dish with eggs. In the winter the most likely left over was probably corned beef, and the cellar was full of potatoes. I've seen really old cookbooks have recipies for hash made with other meats including game meats.

Those were the quick meals of thier day.
 

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Yeah, well, who were the smug ones when the economy was up? Folks bragging about how they could never do without cable, A/C, internet, dinners out, high-fat snacks, gas-guzzling vehicles, fancy vacations, and were oh-so-glad they had all the imenities of the modern times....seems like those that chose to do without these things are suffering the least now. So maybe they deserve to fell smug....or maybe just smart?
 

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I put up my own prepared foods when making casseroles, soups, a whole meal...I put aside enough for 1 or 2 meals for me and hubby,,,freeze it,,and I can thaw it when needed.,.going to town--get out a pkg. of whatever,,,so it will be thawed when we get home..cook and serve..quite easy..just takes planning and thought..not hard..just need to get into the mode..nothing is HARD if one just puts the mind to it...its gonna get worse,,,so buckle down everyone...we will survive!!

Judi
 

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A few weeks ago Kadia and Melvin came over with some of their friends, the other kids were all here and then they started talking about being hungry-which occurs about every two hours it seems. There was talk of going after a pizza, almost thirty minutes each way and it would have cost $30 to buy enough for all of them. I told them to hold on and I would cook for them. Everyone pitched in and we had chicken tortillas, fresh vegetables, cut up pineapple and oranges, homemade lemonade and iced tea, and we had some desserts already made. Took less than twenty minutes to get it on the table and it was healthy and much cheaper than take out.

I always tell the kids the difference between a good cook and a mediocre one is mostly imagination. And to tell the truth, even if we are very hungry, we aren't so much in danger of starving that we would die if we put off eating for the 40 minutes or less it takes to get a decent meal on the table. I think with planning it is possible to cook basic simple meals every day and not spend your life in the kitchen, although many kids would love to help out in the kitchen if they had the chance.

As to the other issues. There are many people who have been talking and talking about this economic downturn. We saw it coming, because honestly no economy has every gone up and up and up forever. And our economy truly was a house of cards that simply had no solid base under it. I watched the mounting credit card debt, the increasing spending on items that simply are not necessary and saw people going deeper and deeper into debt and had no doubt it could not last forever.

On this site we have been talking about getting out of debt, cutting back, learning old-fashioned skills, building relationships with your neighbors, etc, etc, etc, for years. Not because we want to be smug or gloat or that we hoped that people would suffer, no not for that reason, but because we wanted people to AVOID that very thing. And when people do accomplish their goals they come here and talk about it, not to gloat or be smug, but because they are happy and proud of themselves for accomplishing a hard task. And we are happy for them and proud of them too.
 

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Okay.

Those of us who grow our own, buy in bulk and cook from scratch, where do we economize now? Some of us have been out of wiggle room in our budgets for a long time.
 

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I know Laura. I had a budget of $50 per week for food (this includes eating out and any other food expenses only) for many years, increased it to $60 a week a few years ago as the kids were older, we had lots of company, and prices went up. I recalculated a few days ago and I am at about $68 per week now and if I don't spend very much the rest of the month I should be able to stay about that or come down a little.

Things I am doing: Do not waste one scrap of food, growing as much as possible, trading labor for meat, using more wild game any way I can, I don't buy anything that is not on sale or some sort of mark-down, and watching portion sizes. I am hoping prices stabilize.
 
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Okay.

Those of us who grow our own, buy in bulk and cook from scratch, where do we economize now? Some of us have been out of wiggle room in our budgets for a long time.
It's hard. Whole grains and beans are making up a larger portion of the diet now. I used to just stretch the meat. Now I'm stretching veggies, too.
 
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