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There are few survivors of the Great Depression left to ask, but I believe that systems of living such as frugalism and minimalism are quickly becoming the ideal ways of living.  In the middle of the 19th Century, you were identified by your trade.  Whether it be a farmer, blacksmith, goat herder or cobbler.  A hundred years later, you were defined by the house you owned and the car you drove.  It still goes on today. 

However, consumerism and materialism have fallen out of lifestyle.  For this I'm happy - it is the first thing to let go of before budgeting and living frugally begin to really shape up.  Granted, I'm not saying that we all become 'freegans' or whatnot.  Shelter, clothing, food, communications, transportation and fun are in my mind very worthy things to have in my mind.  So much of the world lacks several of these five things, it's nice just to have that. 

Choose the things that you're going to hoard (for hoarding and collecting are fine pursuits IF you prioritize in a way that works for you).  Also, being selective about what you hoard will allow you to get much more of it - because your budget for hoarding (which would be a part of Fun) will get you a lot more things in one area than a wide variety of things. 

As for myself, I'm trying to shave some money out of my budget, partly to get my nest egg going as well as funding my company.  I spent $97 on groceries, and will see how many meals I can stand to eat from it.  I did not go the Top Ramen route, and bought food that seems to be fairly healthy (salad greens, dressing, cereal, almond milk, cheese, soup - lots of soup and some sweets).

Once I pass 5 meals, groceries will be less expensive for me than Ruby Tuesday's, Denny's or Shari's (I include my tips in this...)
Once I pass 7 meals, the groceries will be less expensive than Shiraz, Davidson's, Thai Delicious, and a number of other restaurants.
Once I pass 10 meals, the groceries will be less expensive than Mia Teriyaki, our local Lebanese restaurant and Bombay Curry.  Also, at the ten meal mark, the groceries will be on par with fast food. 
Once I pass 20 meals, the groceries will be less expensive than pretty much all other food options. 

As of time of writing, I've made it to 10 meals so far.  :)


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March 2012

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