Thursday, July 24, 2008

One of my goals: To be a better steward of our home resources in this current economy.

With the help of many thrifty bloggers, I am going to embark on a Biblical and financial study about how to be a better steward of our home resources in this current economy. I am going back to the basics, as if I had never studied this topic before, and I hope -- Lord willing -- to take an in-depth look. From time to time, I will post about what I am learning. I hope you'll join me on my journey and offer any suggestions, comments, or questions you may have.

First, here's a great article by Julieann. She is not feeling the pinch in her grocery budget. If you haven't read her tips for shopping economically yet, I think you'll enjoy reading her post.

I am feeling the pinch in my grocery bills and my gas bills, too, of course. Milk is definitely higher here.

Part of the reason I've blown the budget lately has nothing to do with the current higher prices, though. I've bought a few extra necessities that I'd been putting off. Plus, we've hosted a few more dinners lately than we had been for a few months. Not only that, but I've bought some higher quality, more nutritious, more expensive items where I used to buy something more basic. And, to tell the truth, I've indulged in a few luxury items, as well. So, I need to evaluate to make sure that I'm not wandering too far off track.

I also plan to take a notebook with me next time I do a full shopping and do a price point comparison to see which items really are higher and which aren't.

One place I really need to be more careful about is cooking for two. I had gotten used to cooking for a family of four, with frequent friends of my children at the table, as well. So, now, I often cook way too much for just dear hubby and myself. I plan to use the leftovers, but don't always get them worked in to our eating schedule. Here's where I either need to plan smaller portions or freeze leftovers right away. I used to cook for two when we first started out, but I've forgotten how, I think. LOL. (Portion control will not only be good for our budget but for our waistlines!)

Well, those are my three practicals to think about this week. Now, on to the deeper study.

Here's the 1828 Webster's definition of economy:

ECON'OMY, n. [L. oeconomia; Gr. house, and law, rule.]

1. Primarily, the management, regulation and government of a family or the concerns of a household.
2. The management of pecuniary concerns or the expenditure of money. Hence,
3. A frugal and judicious use of money; that management which expends money to advantage,and incurs no waste; frugality in the necessary expenditure of money. It differs from parsimony, which implies an improper saving of expense. Economy includes also a prudent management of all the means by which property is saved or accumulated; a judicious application of time, of labor, and of the instruments of labor.
8. Judicious and frugal management of public affairs; as political economy.
9. System of management; general regulation and disposition of the affairs of a state or nation, or of any department of government.

Here's Wickipedia's definition:

Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Greek for oikos (house) and nomos (custom or law), hence "rules of the house(hold)."[1]

Here's a little more about the history of the word from a textbook on Macroeconomics.

1.1 Origin of the term "Economics"

The term "economy," from which we get "economics," comes most directly from the Old French word "economie," meaning "management of a household." The French adopted the term from the Latin word "oeconomia," which was in turn derived from the Greek word "oikonomia." Oikonomia came from the word "oikonomos," which separates into "oikos," meaning house, and "-nomos" meaning managing.

The oldest recognized written work in the field of economics is Oeconomicus, a book on farming and household management, written by the Greek philosopher Xenophon (430?-355? B.C.).

Despite the Greek origins of the term, economics was not an important field of study for the ancient Greeks, who, despite occasional references to economic matters, were more interested in philosophy and ethics.

Note: All three sources connect the origin of the word economy to Greek words meaning the rules or management of a household. Home economy is a vital part of our role as keeper of the home. For more on this topic, see my post Economy: A Word Study.


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