Bleating the Recession

This post first appeared in Regrow Qld in August 2022

Folks, I’m no farmer, but I know what sheared sheep look like. 

Right now, it looks like every, bleating, grey-faced shopper I pass in the supermarket aisles.

In the past month, my average weekly shopping bill has gone up by over $30 to $40.  Sadly, not because I’m buying exotic cuts of meat, products dusted with gold from the ‘Health Foods’ section or exclusive brands of hair conditioner.

Happily, this versatile product meets all my hair, skin and cleaning requirements…

But it’s not just the price of groceries hammering our purses and wallets.  I can’t think of a single thing that hasn’t risen by an eye-popping amount this year?  (Well, obviously apart from wages, the pension or the dole). 

Politicians, from both sides of the fence, are keen to tell us we have to let the market decide the prices and supply of goods.  And the market has clearly decided it’s going to fleece the sheep down to the skin; and beyond.

At the same time, they’re warning us not to be greedy by asking for cost-of-living increases, while large corporations are enjoying super profit windfalls and receiving hefty subsidies from the government for… well, that’s the $10,000 question?

If this era is going to be defined by future historians, I would suggest it be labelled, ‘The Great Global Gouging’, or ‘The Robber Barons’ Revenge’.

We’ve been here before.  This is not the first (or sadly the last) time we’re going to go through economic hard times.

I was unemployed for a little while during ‘The Recession We Had to Have’ in the 1990’s, and to keep the wolf from the door, and my meagre booze supply topped up, I dusted off my bicycle to save fuel and started growing my own vegies.

Now, I’m no farmer, but within a very short time, the little plot at the rear of my unit was producing a bounty of beans.  So much in fact I was handing armfuls of them to my neighbours.

Boy, the methane levels in our neck of the woods went through the roof that year…  

It didn’t take long to learn how to grow a variety of vegies, discover the gardening barter system (the ratio of beans to oranges is still a hot point of debate here in Bray Manor) and, as a frugal shopper, conscious eater and born again pedaller, I even lost weight.

Eventually, I found a job, so meals padded out with bread, pasta and 2-Minute Noodles became a novelty instead of the norm.

And as we stare down the barrel of another recession I’d like to comfort you with some good news; we’ll not only cope, but with a few small sacrifices, we may even thrive! 

It won’t hurt to reduce our food intake (it certainly won’t hurt me!), nor will it hurt to throw a leg over our bikes, or walk more (ok, that’s going to hurt for a bit at first) and it really won’t hurt to eliminate the amount of spoiled food we toss out each week (aim for ZERO!)

Take time to really enjoy your food, the taste and texture, instead of gulping it down like a starving hippo.  If you can, grow what you can to take the edge of the weekly shopping bill.  Share your bounty! 

And when you’re feeling a bit bleak, remember this to feel better instantly:  you’ll never have to watch another episode of Young Talent Time ever again!  😊

Folks, we might be getting fiscally sheared, but we don’t have to stand around bleating about it like, well, sheep. 

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