We literally drive our cars for so long they are literally wearing thin and falling apart with every kilometer. We aren't doing it to counter consumer culture. Our cars are 13 and 15 years old because we simply can't afford to replace them.
When we want to do something on a weekend that comes with any price-tag other than "free", we have to consider how to make that money, most often by selling our possessions.
As we re-evaluated our budget, realizing we were outspending ourselves, we cut our grocery budget. Again. We're not scraping the bottom of the butter dish to try to make everything stretch just a little further. But we do try to really evaluate the difference between what we want and what we need.
Knowing it's only short term (less than 4 months until Scott's done school!), we figure it's short term pain for long term gain. But the other day, we were sitting on the couch, watching TED Talks, and browsing Pinterest for new recipes. I was explaining why I accept (some) of the theory behind vegetarianism and veganism, but why I don't feel it's the right decision for me. I feel meat is necessary for my body (yes, I do know the health risks of a diet heavy in red meat, etc). My body's desire for meat, however, has to outweigh my dislike of factory farming.
The answer was simple: eat sustainable, organic, or free range meat. But it doesn't come cheap.
As Scott said when I posed that conundrum to him, "We don't have enough money to be good people".
Comments about the high cost of low prices are generally targeted at stores like Walmart, which offers low prices at the expense of the workers, both domestic and international all in the name of profit. We pat ourselves on the back for boycotting Walmart as we eat our grocery store meat, which offers low prices at the expense of the animals.
I know this is the point where I should be voting with my pocket book and going fully vegetarian or vegan if I can't support the ethical farming process. But I also know I'll be benefiting the animals at the expense of myself (I struggle to maintain enough iron and protein levels on my current diet) if I do that.
But my hope is not only that one day we'll have the funds to be "good people" but also that one day, being ethically conscious will not be a privilege for those with money.