Sunday, April 27, 2008

Recessionary Non-Spending

Whenever there's economic troubles there's a renewed interest in frugality on the part of the mainstream media. A couple of weeks ago there was a story in Newsweek about frugality blogs; they highlighted Be Thrifty Like Us which must have been very good for their number of hits! That's how I found Frugal Hacks, which is the centerpoint for the frugal blogroll, which I am on and which has a ton of good sites.

Then today there was an article in the Times (it may require some sort of sign-in) about people changing their buying habits, retrenching as it were, in the face of a weaker dollar, lower home values, and tightening credit. It's worth taking a look at but the article with a few changes in detail could have been (and probably was) written in 2000, 1991, or 1983.

Most of the things in there we already do, such as rarely eating out, buying store brands and staying away from Starbucks. Some of the things we are doing because of our financial state - I developed a taste for Banana Republic and the Body Shop but I expect that I won't be spending too much time or dinero in either of those places anytime soon. (Although BR does have a sale rack...)

But one thing DW pointed out to me is that we take a subscription to the Sunday Times. In IL we had it Saturday and Sunday, here we only get it Sunday (it's not available by subscription any other day). I tend to consider this a "makes-life-worth-living" issue, especially since the Wichita Eagle is so weak, but I already put cable TV into that category so really, how many times can I say that? It's also expensive - I think it's $6 a week but it may even be more. I initially took it because they called and offered me 4 free weeks, but at that point we determined that at full price it was more expensive to get it delivered than to drive over to Watermark Books to buy it.

So I think we're going to let it go. I may see if I can get a sub just to the Book Review, but then again, I may not. Even if I buy it at Watermark every week I'm ahead, but I just know there are going to be weeks when I won't, or maybe I'll buy the KC Star once in a while (which I never do now) for the Royals coverage, and it's cheaper.

The one drawback is that if you don't subscribe you have to pay to get into a lot of things on the website, like the columnists, whom I read quite often. So I'll have to price an internet-only sub, but last time I went without a Times sub I just checked the Washington Post on-line more often, and that's a pretty good paper too.


Mary T said...

I dropped my subscription a while ago, I like to take a walk on Sunday and just pick up the sunday paper--which is discounted slightly at a gas station in our neighborhood. I use the coupons in the paper--so I really am saving $ by getting that one paper. Otherwise I also work at a library--where you can read the paper free. Lots of older folks in particular stop by our branch to read the paper or photo copy the crossword puzzle. mary t

Mary T said...

oh-- and one other thing-- I have 2 small parrots and I need at least one paper per week for their cage. ;) So-- I think my one paper per week is a justified expense.