Jan 23, 2011

Vacation Budget--50s Style

(The picture above comes from a post about vintage picnic baskets. Click on the picture to read the post.)

Tonight my husband and son wanted to look at the stars. It's clear and cold--perfect viewing. I stayed inside. I'm not crazy--it's NEGATIVE SIX degrees Fahrenheit out there!

Inside my nice cozy house (where sane people are), I was reading more of my January 1953 issue of
Woman's Day. A reader (lovely Mona from Kansas) wrote in to talk about how her family budgets for their summer vacation. It seemed appropriate to be thinking ahead and planning for those summer months in January. Saving up takes time!

Here's the wisdom that Mona shared (my notes are in italics):

I'm wondering how many of the neighbors are already looking forward to and dreaming of a wonderful vacation next summer. I'm also wondering just how many of them are giving up the idea as "much too expensive" for their tight family budgets. (Sound familiar in 2011?) That was our first sad impression. It wasn't just the money for the gas and oil and lodgings, although those did have their place in our thinking, of course. What really worried us was the eating out on the trip. (Mona, you don't EVEN know about how expensive eating out will become!) We considered the problem and decided on a plan of action.

We buy our groceries by the week; so each week we buy something and put it away in our "July Picnic Basket." One week it is canned luncheon meat, (Mona, honey, Underwood Deviled Ham is for rich people now.), another week canned fruit, or pork and beans, or shoestring potatoes. (Does she mean those crunchy, greasy shoestring potatoes in a can? Anyone know what I'm talking about?) We plan to add pickles and jar cheeses (Mmmm--Cheez Whiz. Now there's some tasty fake food!) toward the last, also paper plates and cups and some plastic spoons. We try to keep our purchases around the fifty-cent bracket. (Wonder what the equivalent would be today?)

We also have a "Fun Bank" started. Each week when we come home from shopping, we put all our change in this bank. We also allow an estimated amount in our budget for utilities. When the utilities run under the amount allowed, we add the difference to the bank. We feel that by July we will have enough in our Fun Bank, along with our regular budget amounts for our milk, groceries, and gas for two weeks, for traveling expenses. We feel sure our Picnic Basket will be just bursting with goodies to be used. And if our trip should have to be cancelled, we will still have something that will help the family larder in the months ahead. Meanwhile, we are planning our best vacation ever! (And I'm sure it was!)
- Mona C., Merriam, Kansas

It's intriguing to think of slowly stockpiling non-perishable foods over the months in preparation for a vacation. We use our camper, so I know just where to store everything. I'll have to tweak those food choices a bit, though . . .


Rocky Mountain Homemaker said...

I'm so glad to have discovered your blog. Our family is like yours, we camp for our "vacation". Fortunately we live near the mountains, so it's not a long drive. I wouldn't take those greasy potato sticks either!.......Denise

weenie_elise said...

it sounds a bit like those christmas hamper things - ecxcept organising it yourself so then you'll always get exactly what you want

Roxanne said...

Rocky Mountain--I LOVE our little camper so much. I can see it out our back window, all buried in the snow, and I think I hear it calling to me about what will be in just a few months LOL!

Roxanne said...

Weenie--Wait, what Christmas hamper thing?? Details, please!

weenie_elise said...

there are a few different companies that offer hampers full of food (i.e. everything you need for christmas) for a "few dollars each week" so then when it comes to christmas, you have all the food delivered, rather than having to lay out the money at once.

Not sure if they are better value than just saving a few dollars each week for the christmas food bill *shrug*


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