Tag Archive | poverty

Working Poor– Kid Tip #1 (The Happy Meal Switcheroo)

When Ray and I lived with my dad, I got us into a really bad habit. We’d stop at Sonic on the way home (a half hour drive) for french fries, drinks, and a toy for Ray. When I realized how much I was spending (about $70.00 a paycheck on NOTHING), I freaked out.

OMG! What am I doing? OF COURSE IT”S QUICK AND EASY. Of course it made Ray happy!

But it wasn’t what he needed. Or I needed. I needed my money. To save up to move out. Sonic should be a treat, not a thing where the drive through lady knows us by sight. (“oops, no ketchup.”)

Bur I had spoiled him. I had done this, not Ray. And I really, really DID NOT WANT A HALF HOUR CAR RIDE OF SCREAMING. Gives me heebee-jeebies just thinking about it.

So. What’s a mom to do?

Think outside the box. Or, really, back inside it.

I took an old lunch box of Ray’s, and filled it wit 2 juice boxes ($2.00 for 10, or… well heck, you do the math). A snack for the ride home (chips, grapes, popcorn, fruit snacks, what ever was on hand) which again was really cheap.

I then took a bunch of his “small” toys. Anything that wasn’t in constant play was up for Mommy grabs. And I stole them. Yes, I did. I took them, put them in a bag, and hid them. One a day would come out, be played with and then recycled back into the bag.

Home made “Happy Meal” that led to Happy Rides home. WOOHOO!


We still have happy meals. We make them at home )$3.98 for a bag full of chicken nuggets, $2.00 for bbq sauce, and mandrin oranges, grapes, whatever we have handy. MEGA CHEAP.

Now. Don’t think I’m heartless. If Ray is really good during the week, he gets a real live McDonald’s Happy Meal. $5.00 per week, $10.00 per pay period.


Be HAPPY! Get Creative! Think outside (or inside if need be) the box. Just because we’ve spoiled our kids doesn’t mean that we have to let them stay that way. And it can be done with out parental pain. Maybe not all the time, but a good portion of the time.

The rest of the time, I’m sorry to say, you’ll wish your ears could bleed and you could just get it over with.

Got any tips? SHARE WITH ME!

Lets make those pennies cry cold copper tears! Yah Baby!

Go Big or Go Home or, Will Write for a Car

When you’re the working poor, The sole provider for the family on a small salary and things look like they are never, ever going to get better… When your car dies and you have no money to fix it, or to buy new, or to even used… OR even good enough credit to do so…

When you’re living in a 1 bedroom apartment, and your son is the light of your life… And you don’t know how on earth you’re going to get school clothes, let alone a college education for a boy who is bright as the stars, even if he learns a little bit differently…

Well, when that happens there’s only one thing an educated, creative woman can do.

Go Big or Go Home.

I know I’m a little different. I know my sense of humor sometimes gets me in trouble.  But I also notice things that other people don’t.  I’ve passed that onto my son, who is a constant joy.


JK Rowling did it. Now it’s my turn.

GO Big, or GO Home.

Good wishes are welcome. As are ideas on how to go about it.  Love ya all, hope to see much more of you in the coming days. Because it’s time for me to take a stand for that little boy and give him the life he deserves, the one that my parents provided for me.