This a preparedness site but obviously, I write about other things. One of my favorite topics is frugal living. I know a lot of people who think they can’t afford to buy food in bulk so there is one connection to preparedness. The other is that it is important to prepare for an uncertain economic future and living below your means is a necessary component of this. One thing I often hear when I talk about how it saves money to garden, preserve food, cook from scratch and mend our clothing is that I have not considered what my time is worth in my calculations. “If you factored in the hours you spend, you will probably find you are working for a couple of dollars an hour,” is the most common remark.

Silly! First, the implication is that if I wasn’t gardening or cooking I would be doing something that earned a wage. I might have to pick up a part time job to help make ends meet but I would probably be stuck doing something I didn’t enjoy to earn money so I didn’t have to do something I do enjoy. Anyone else see a problem with this logic? And if I was working, I would have expenses like taxes, clothing, meals out and transportaion.  Much of my productivity would be leaving me to benefit others. If I grow tomatoes, I feed my family and have excess product to donate to others if I chose but it won’t be taken from me.

The next problem I have is with the concept of worth. I am not sure why so many people can only think of worth as having a dollar sign attached to it. What is it worth to sit on my deck on a summer morning and sip tea made from the mint I grew and sweetened with honey from my own hives? What is it worth to knead a loaf of bread while listening to a Radio Free Earth CD and watching my kids dance around the kitchen? What is it worth for Bruce to present me with a cedar chest he has built himself? I suppose he could haved worked for several weeks to earn the money to buy an artisan chest and given that to me. Would that have been more valuable? What is time spent with friends worth? Time in nature? Time with each other?