I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm a bit hard up this month, so I wondered if my trusty friend The Home of Today had any useful advice.
Household Management: The Family Budget
'The budgeting of a post-War income... is by no means an easy matter.For instance, the smaller the income the greater in proportion will be the amount spent on food, and conversely the larger the income the less spent on food.'
OK, I can relate to that. So, in the hypothetical case I'm thinking of, here are the costs in US $ for some basic items (I realise I've included petrol, but you have to get to the shops somehow, don't you?)
- 5litres of petrol = 0.11
- 1 kg rice = 0.27
- 1 kg meat = 0.20
- 10 aspirin = 0.22
- 1 litre milk = 0.06
- 1 can Pepsi = 0.25
Well, that isn't really very much at all! I could buy lots of to go with the Pepsi; after all, a diet of rice and meat doesn't sound like much fun!
However, the Home of Today has some stern words on this sort of thing!
The food costs of a family will probably vary almost as much as the methods of dividing the income, but this is one item upon which it is extremely foolish to economise. Heavy doctor's bills invariably follow in the wake of malnutrition.
Hmm, I see. Better go about dividing up the income then!
Monthly earnings in U.S $:
- Doctor = 45
- Street Vendor = 45
- Labourer = 23
- Teacher = 11
- Middle-rank Civil Servant = 5
Hang on a minute; I think we've got a typo there; this can't be right!
A doctor and a street vendor earning the same? As for the poor little civil servant, he'd only be able to buy - *rapid sums on fingers*
- 20 cans of Pepsi a month and nothing else!!!
Ah, of course; how very silly of me; we're talking about the UK in 1933 aren't we?
Well, actually, no we're not. We're talking about Iraq in 2003; these are the harsh facts of economic reality for many ordinary people in this part of the world. It makes you think a bit, doesn't it?
Try as I might, I could find no advice in The Home of Today as to how it is possible to successfully feed a family on this sort of income; other than the following:
'The posession of a... chicken run, of course, will increase the family food supplies very appreciably'
Well, thank goodness for that! Let's see how we keep chickens then, it must be fairly easy!
Yes, there's a whole section on 'Poultry keeping for Householders'!
Poultry keeping for Householders
EEK! I can handle being told all about feeding , breeding and good layers; even 'separation of the sexes'; but I'm afraid I draw the line at the 'Disease' section:
'Gapes is also a dreaded scourge of chicks. It is caused by worms in the windpipe, and recognised by a frequent opening of the beak.The chief treatment is to take a small stripped quill, damp it with turpentine and...'
No, I can't , I really can't!!!
Enough! Let's assume these creatures live long enough to provide us with some eggs; what exciting things can we do with them? How about:
First of all have ready some nicely-boiled spinach or endive - half a pound of either will be sufficient for 6 eggs - and have a bed of this cooked vegetable put into a casserole; keep it hot while the eggs are being cooked as follows. Have ready a deep pan three-parts full of boiling water, and stir it briskly with a long wooden spoon or skewer until it acquires a rapidly whirling motion, break an egg into a cup , and then slide it into the centre of the revolving water, and keep up the whirling until the egg is sufficiently cooked, when, if the stirring has been adequate, the egg will be a round ball.
Happy Easter Folks!!