Hello there! My name is Anne, welcome to my site! To contact me, please email: anne (at) toughtimesgourmet.com

About Me

I have always loved to cook, entertain, bargain shop and decorate my home. I reserved this website address to share my ideas of how to live the gourmet life while watching your budget!

Purpose and Use of this Site

The content on this site comes from my efforts to reduce cost of living while still living a gourmet life! Take a look at the “Tips for Tough Times” category which are things I have come across in my efforts to cut costs. They include bargain purchases, more effective use of things I already owned and free repairs that I had not expected. There are also categories for Recipes to make things you might otherwise buy, family recipes and more. Please enjoy!

About my “Tough Times”

During my first layoff in 2008, I was busy helping care for my mother who was ill and spent an extended time in the hospital. I learned a lot about dealing with hospitals, doctors (lots of them!) and how important it is to be at the hospital as many hours as you can to advocate and assist. Most hospitals allow you to stay overnight with the patient, and I found this important particularly after surgery. The nursing staff was great, but can’t be watching 100% of the time like my brothers and I could. I was glad to have the time to help my Mom and Dad through her illness. She was released from the hospital the day I started my new job!

In 2012 I found myself again laid off looking for my next employment opportunity. The first 3 months were quite busy. We took a previously planned trip to London to visit my son who lives and works there now, and to see some events at the 2012 London Olympics. It was a great trip free from company emails or job related stress. We spent most of the time at my son’s apartment in London, saw some great Olympic events and watched many more on the amazing BBC Olympics coverage. We also went to Ireland (homeland of my paternal grandfather, I am also an Irish dual citizen), visited relatives and were hosted by some very good friends there. We also visited and were hosted by good friends in the north of England and took a quick spin across Wales. It was a great trip, since we already had the airline and Olympic event tickets, we didn’t have to spend too much money!

Two weeks after we returned, my father was taken seriously ill and in the hospital for 5 weeks. He was rushed by paramedics to a hospital we were not familiar with and his doctor of 20+ years was not on staff there. This was a challenge, but he ended up with some great specialist doctors, so a blessing in disguise! Using experience from my Mom’s hospital stay, we were extremely vigilant. I was once again thankful to have the time to be heavily involved with my Mom and Dad during his illness. It was intense, but he’s doing great now and his doctor credits our family and the amount of time we spent with him day and night in the hospital for his successful recovery!

Please feel free to contact me about this experience, I’m glad to share my knowledge about family health care situations.

It’s a challenge reducing cost while enjoying a gourmet life! I have found many rewards in these efforts – enjoying family, friends, praying and my home life!