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  1. #1 The Recession Diet 
    Coloradans deal with the recession diet

    By Kevin Simpson and Michael Booth
    The Denver Post
    Posted: 01/21/2009 12:30:00 AM MST
    Updated: 01/21/2009 04:44:15 AM MST

    In more prosperous times, you simply couldn't function without it. It became a staple of everyday existence that carved out its own special place in the family budget if you even stuck to a budget at all.

    The $8 salad at lunch. The $100 housekeeper. Tickets to Nuggets games. Acrylic nails. The latest techno-gizmos.

    People have needs. And wants. It isn't always easy to tell the difference.

    Even those who have dodged the worst pain of the financial bust lost jobs, lost homes, lost hope likely have felt nudged toward an unfamiliar exercise: economic introspection.

    "My hair color I won't do without my hair color," insisted Paula Anderson, Grand Junction marketing director for a physicians' office. "But I might buy it at the supermarket rather than go to the salon."

    Shrinking family incomes, the market's free-fall and fearsome financial forecasts have forced consumers to confront the real difference between what they need to live and what they can live without.

    Interviews with experts and individual consumers confirmed findings of an unscientific Denver Post e-mail poll of 69 Coloradans that found 70 percent have given up some luxury they once regarded as a necessity. They were asked to choose the easiest to jettison and the hardest.

    First to go: dining out.

    Last to go: cable or Internet.

    But in between are a host of goods and services that some consider essential, others frivolous.

    (snip)

    One individual answering the survey coined a term that specifically addresses a criterion for cuts: "core happiness."

    That might be what Bill Haggerty is getting at. He has explored and written about the Colorado outdoors for nearly 40 years and is a financial planner in Grand Junction.

    The luxury he refuses to do without: outdoor adventures.

    "It can mean driving 45 miles, but I still go cross-country skiing or hiking every single week," he said.

    Haggerty and his wife are making some cuts in other areas to keep the gas money flowing for their many treks. They've put off buying new appliances, cook more at home and this one really goes against the grain they occasionally buy cheaper nonorganic foods.

    (snip)

    But the votes showed cable/Internet as the toughest to forgo by a wide margin as 19 percent placed it among the last things they'd slice from the budget. Private school and vacations tied for second place among the untouchables at about 12 percent, followed by two mainstays of personal health and grooming the hairdresser and gym memberships.

    The question of whether consumers will make thrift and self-brewed coffee lasting habits may be a question as deep as the current recession.

    "My sense is that consumerism is here to stay," said Susan Jung Grant, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "We're going to make these little trade-offs. But when boom times return, it'll be full steam ahead again."

    Staff writer Nancy Lofholm contributed to this report.
    Interesting. Have you cut back on luxuries? Have you endured the horror of purchasing non-organic crackers? :D

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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting. Have you cut back on luxuries? Have you endured the horror of purchasing non-organic crackers? :D
    Since our income has only gone up in the last six months, we're not cutting anything out. Our cruise is still scheduled for May, and we've increased our monthly savings from $2000 to $3000.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  3. #3  
    We've always been thrifty and neither our income nor expenses have changed so no Recession Diet for us. We're still planning on installing the second water feature this spring but now we are also getting a huge amount of flagstone for a another project. :)
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    Super Moderator bijou's Avatar
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    I am naturally a thrifty person, a trait which seems to get more pronounced with age so I don't see a great difference to my budget now as my income, thankfully has been stable.

    I have never bought organic crackers, I prefer to make my own. ;)
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by bijou View Post
    I am naturally a thrifty person, a trait which seems to get more pronounced with age so I don't see a great difference to my budget now as my income, thankfully has been stable.

    I have never bought organic crackers, I prefer to make my own. ;)
    You're either an outrageous food elitist or "peculiar" in that eccentric Brit sort of way. Making crackers is a thankless task.
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    I was going to say that I don't bake crackers for the same reason I don't knit socks, but I figured you'd be all over that, Ginger. :o
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I was going to say that I don't bake crackers for the same reason I don't knit socks, but I figured you'd be all over that, Ginger. :o
    Socks don't turn on you with malicious glee and unravel themselves spontaneously while exploding into lint.

    Crackers, however, have been known to do worse in my kitchen. :mad:
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  8. #8  
    Super Moderator bijou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    You're either an outrageous food elitist or "peculiar" in that eccentric Brit sort of way. Making crackers is a thankless task.
    I cheat and make oatcakes, the recipe I use isn't online but this is similar and very simple. I do buy crackers too from time to time, but never organic ones.

    OLD-FASHIONED OATCAKES

    2 c. all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 c. quick-cooking oats OR old-fashioned oatmeal OR combination of both
    1 tsp. granulated sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    3/4 c. shortening or lard
    1/2 c. water, or more if needed

    In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With a fork, stir in the water. Dough should just cling together. Divide into 3 portions.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion as thin as possible. Cut into triangles. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Oatcakes should not be brown but be still quite blonde when done.
    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1932...235193,00.html
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  9. #9  
    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    I have not really cut back on anything, although I should. I do go without things like cable tv, just because I can get by without it. Plus, I never get my nails done. :)

    My industry looks bright, but of course that can always change without notice.
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