Hi guys. Lately, I’ve been visiting several blogs and/or YouTube channels where my fellow retirees are sharing their inflation coping techniques with the rest of us. One thing that stuck out to me was a few of them were lowering the quality of the foods they were eating and substituting unhealthy choices. For example, sugar-laden breakfast cereals, like Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Reeses Puffs are being priced at $1.45 a box, so some of my fellow retirees were actually consuming unhealthy breakfast cereals such as these instead of the heart-healthy choices like old fashioned oatmeal, Creme of Wheat or even, yes, grits. (I can’t believe they made a cereal out of Reeses, which is a chocolate/peanut butter candy, but I digress).

People, please don’t do this. One cup of Frosted Flakes contains 13 grams of sugar, which when translated equals three teaspoons of sugar. And we all know, we never just stick to the one cup serving. We have two cups. That’s six teaspoons of sugar. Sugar is very bad for your precious health. Please choose oatmeal (old fashioned, not instant) or one of the other healthy grains. The same advice goes to all the other cheaper, less expensive (we think) food choices you might be making. Do you realize, that as an older person, our best resource is our health? We can’t let a thing like skyrocketing inflation deter us from staying as healthy as possible. This goes for our lunch and especially for our dinner. We need to keep eating as healthy, low-fat and low-sugar as possible. If money is your object then I have this one piece of vital advice that may just help you keep on buying healthy produce, whole grains, proteins and fresh vegetables and hopefully a daily mixed green salad.

It costs us $43 a month to stay healthy by taking our preferred vitamins (Amazon)

Figure out how much your monthly deficit is. Some financial experts estimate that the typical shortage, for a family of four is between $300 to $500. So, let’s just say, for arguments sake, once you’ve made all the cutbacks you can safely make, you have a monthly deficit of $250. My advice is, if you are in a somewhat agile, healthy physical self, please get a part time job. The time to get one is now, while employers are still desperate to hire people. We baby boomers actually have a fantastic work ethic and many employers are looking for competent people like us. The job doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. Even as a WalMart greeter, supermarket bagger, office assistant (filing) or performing data entry at home………whatever it is, earning $250 a month, or just $62 a week can make all the difference in our lives.

For me, I make extra monthly money from writing. My husband, at the age of 65, went back to work for his old boss, part time (some of the work he does can be done at home on his computer). In any event, we both are earning enough extra money to keep us buying our beloved healthy food choices, vital vitamins and to actually sock away some extra cash in our retirement savings account for the future. I’m NOT going to have the powers-that-be destroy my quality of life. We’re fighting back. We’re holding onto our healthy lifestyle. If the price has doubled or even tripled for something we love and need, we have the money to pay for it. Period!

We also, when necessary, can make healthy substitutions. For example, buying boneless chicken breasts has become a wee bit cost effective ($4 to $5 a pound). So we are substituting chicken thighs @.69 per pound (which BTW are delicious!) and chicken legs (which are great southern “fried” in the oven or on the BBQ). If the original boneless chicken breast, however, goes on sale, we have the money to buy them and store them in our freezer for future use. In the interim, we’re still eating healthy and financially wise.

Going back to work may not have been in your original retirement plan. Truthfully, it wasn’t in mine either. But then again, neither was double digit inflation, sky high energy prices, gas prices or housing costs. 1.5 million retired Americans have gone back to work simply to keep a roof over their head, food on the table, gas in the fuel tank and heat/air conditioning running in their home. I’m thankful we still have the choice and the option to do this. Getting a part time job will make your retired life easier to afford and maybe possibly help you sleep safer and saner at night.

Whatever you decide to do, work or simply cut back, please don’t jeopardize your good health. Don’t start eating crap and low cost foods simply because they are cheaper. If you need some recipes to get you through this inflationary time without breaking the bank, I always recommend the YouTube channel “Depression Cooking with Clara“. Click here. Thanks to her grandson, he made the final days of his grandmother’s life a blessing to us all by making videos of Clara’s favorite, most healthy meals. Clara was one of those creative Italian grandmas, who when back in Italy, had to feed her hardworking husband, sons and grandsons so they could work the fields during the Great Depression. Food had to provide the health and strength needed for the men to do hard labor. Money was tight, food was scarce but those Italian women, who worked in the fields knew what to cook and eat to keep their health intact.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes from Clara, pasta and peas and YES! it’s one of the food choices I make quite often here in my home. It’s delicious and very healthy for you. Enjoy!

Clara lived to be 92. God bless her soul and her grandson for keeping Clara’s recipes alive.

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