That is, doing what I do - procurement. Acquiring things is one of the main jobs of a homemaker. As a self-proclaimed tree hugger and social justice advocate, it's a difficult job. I want to make the most of our income by purchasing goods as cheaply as possible but at the same time, I know the true cost of many of those items. Oftentimes, the products that I should buy are the most expensive. But it's the cheap, foreign produced items that really come with a huge cost, not to my and my family, but to the earth and to people in other parts of the world, people I will never meet. We typically don't see the social and environmental costs as we're sheltered in our small part of the world. However, many items are raised and produced in deplorable conditions. Toxic and polluting methods are used and actual slave labor is required to cheaply bring many items to markets in the western world. Many times I'm tempted (and often give in) to the less expensive product because it will make my money go further. But then I realize the unseen costs involved and I feel guilty and go back to purchasing the products that I know are the best value overall. It's a hard balance.