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    April 28th, 2009

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    Frugality — Our New Best Friend



    As the recession deepens, our pocketbooks suffer. Drastic time needs drastic measures. We joined the Frugal Underground Movement. Shhh… keep this to yourself, it is sort of, mmm, illegal.

    We combed through our family budget with a magnifying glass and a surgical scapel.

    For our food budget, it is a multi-approach. Before each grocery shopping, we go through the supermarketsā€™ flyers for sale items and clip coupons. We changed our diet, eat more vegetables than meat, cooking in bulk and freeze them. We eat more home cooked meals than frozen food now, and eat less out in restaurants. We have our own patch of garden in the backyard and grow vegetables for own consumption. We bake our own bread. For the office, we bring coffee from home, and drink water instead of juices and pops.

    For leisure and entertainment, we cut back too. Instead of going out to movie theatres, we rent movies and watch as a whole family, and play board games more frequently. Instead of buying new books, we go to the library, although the Top Ten List will take a very long time to appear on the shelves, it is worth the wait.

    For vacation, we try the new ā€œstaycationā€ way. We take short trips around town or do own designed walking tours, exploring the different ethnic sections of town. These are quite entertaining and educational.

    For clothing, we no longer go for the brand names alone. Price comes first. Swap shop is another option. Also organizations like the FreeCycle Network are springing up everywhere and quite popular, where people recycle their used clothing to others.

    We are re-assessing our use of the cell-phones and Blackberries, and wonder why have we spending so much on such communication devices. We even cancelled the TV cable and newspaper for now.

    Yes drastic time needs drastic measure. Fragility becomes our best friend.