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Sigh..Avoiding my own personal recession

Updated on February 12, 2013

Sigh..Avoiding my own personal recession

Yes, times are tough. I thought in this lens I would outline how these rising gas prices, rising costs are really affecting my spending habits. This is my lens on how the downturn in the economy is affecting me.

A bit of a background.

I am part of America, I work in a cubicle and get a monthly salary. This year due to budget constraints (at least that's what they say), my salary will remain as is :(. The bad news is that the cost of everything from groceries to gas keeps going up. So what to do, what to do?? This lens focuses on the reality of my budget struggles.

No more Starbucks

Yes, my favorite drink, a Tall Latte, is out. I cannot keep pace with a $4.00 drink when it can be added up for an extra gallon of fuel. I have tried McDonald's coffee, it's not bad but I think it's getting to a point where I'll need to start drinking the office coffee now :(. I guess I have to be happy that at least I can still have my morning fix, but trust me generic office coffee is not very palatable.

It's interesting how recently I heard in the news how Starbucks is closing 600 stores in the United States. I guess I am partly to blame, this economic downturn is really making me rethink on buying that tall latte.

Coffee Poll

Have you cut down on buying coffee due to the economy

See results

Started taking the bus once a week.

I don't enjoy taking the bus. In my first bus experience a homeless crazy man sat near me and started talking to himself. It was bad enough that he took 2 minutes before he tried to find a dollar to pay the bus driver. When he finally took the dollar out, it was pretty brown and stinky (you can just imagine what the brown stuff was). The bus driver let him would not touch that dollar with a ten foot pole and just told him to sit down. When he finally sat down, he would talk on and on by himself with occasional expletives that would bring chills down my spine. My wife always tells me it's dangerous and fears for my safety. However, with this recent economic downturn, I managed to convice her it's ok, after all "what can they take from someone who is broke already", I tell her.

How to alternatively get to work?

What's the best way to get to work in this economic downturn other than not driving yourself?

See results

Costco here I come

I used to go to the local supermarket to get some of the basics. These days, Costco is my best friend.

Buying in bulk is not fun, but it sure helps out in the long run. Besides, I may even make my rounds and get a full lunch just by sampling all the foods. Don't believe me, watch the Jimmy Kimmel video below.

Costco is great for gas too! They are usually cheaper than regular gas stations, the only hassle is the long lines I have to wait.

Coupons, using them more frequently.

I am already an avid user of coupons, but with this economic downturn, I need to strategize more agressively. You would be very surprised to find how much coupons can save. Besides the Sunday newspaper, I go to manufacturers websites to see if there are any coupons posted. There are even coupons available in Ebay, this is a great source for baby products such as diapers, infant formula, etc. If you have babies, you know how expensive diapers can be. If worse come to worse, I'd go to cloth diapers, however, I am not that desperate yet.

I've also managed to look for generic store brands more. Some of them taste yucky, but hey, it saves a few bucks. By the way, I just saw a report in CNN that in Hawaii, it costs $6 for a jar of peanut butter. I really feel sorry for those folks in Hawaii.

Coupon poll

Are you starting to use more coupons now in this economy?

See results

Vacations? Um.. more like Staycations now.

What's a staycation? It's just what you think it sounds like. According to the urban dictionary website:

"A vacation that is spent at one's home enjoying all that home and one's home environs have to offer." I just can't afford to spend a few grand or two traveling to Hawaii anymore. I really think traveling is one of the most expensive things you can ever do. These days the local park is looking more and more beautiful every day.

As a side note, if you do plan to vacation make sure you use coupon codes to save on your travel needs.

Travelocity, orbitz, and sometimes Expedia offer coupon codes to help you travel. Here are a few


Expedia promotional coupon codes

Ebags coupon codes

Travelocity coupon code from

These travel coupons will save you a few bucks on travel vacations.

My Eating Habits Have Changed

I used to enjoy my lunches at restaurants nearby that cost around $11-$12 with tips. These days, it's McDonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food place. If I can pack my lunch from home, I do that too. As a result I've gained about 8 pounds in the past two months. I can't imagine what my cholesterol level is now.

So... what else can I do?

I guess all I can say is "Bummer", I need to find alternative sources of income. I am squidooing a lot more, I hope you can support this lens and my many others where I sell stuff. If you plan on shopping on the internet, visit my coupon code site too at! Anyways, I hope you are doing better than I am. Have a great day.

Debate on Economic Downturn

Is this economic downturn affecting you?

If so, I'd love to hear how it's affected you.

Comment about your own personal recession.

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    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I still make my own refried beans to go with the shredded beef tacos. I may have to make more stewed beef tacos soon! Worse yet, bean and cheese burrito with only a little cheese.

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 8 years ago

      I am shaking your New Giant Squid Tentacles in Heartfelt Congratulations!

      Hopefully it will mean more money in our pockets too...

      Michelle (Monarch 13)

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I really like this lens. You've got great ideas for cutting corners and cutting back. All the best to you!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 9 years ago

      I'm attempting to swap homes during the week so that I can stay closer to work 3 nights a week and avoid the commute - especially during winter. You have a good sense of humor and this is a top notch lens. I wish you well in becoming a Giant.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      On coupons, I never see them for items I usually buy. Mostly they are for snacks, treats, and other empty calorie items. I've explored work-at-home schemes but haven't found anything promising. I don't have the instinct for commerce the way some Squidoodlers do. Good thing my Costco membership is valid for a few more months.

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 9 years ago

      Fuel prices are my biggest pain. I live where public transit is available but limited. The Internet has been a wonderful tool to empower people to make money during a recession. I have found my niche through paid online travel. Which is still a big secret in the 21st century. Get ahead by doing something not everyone knows about.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Polyanna here. :-) I think it's good that people are learning to be thrifty. I've been thrifty all my life, of necessity. Not glad to know that anyone is doing without, but sometimes it takes tough times to learn some good lessons.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens! Nice work here. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that hasn't cut back in some way during this economy.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      There are other ways to fight the economy. As someone who has been laid off in the dot-com meltdown and other downturns, I've learned to turn my writing and photography skills into other ways to make an income -- freelance writing and photography! My Squidoo lenses are one way I "showcase" my skills! Thanks for the great lens... and best wishes for all your efforts...

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      Times are definately tough here. In a way, it's kind of good, though. I have 4 children, and they needed to start learning how to save and to not be so wasteful.

    • cineteq profile image

      John Parr 9 years ago from Montreal

      Compelling story, we can all relate in one way or another. Keep adding. Cheers!

    • SherryHolderHunt profile image

      SherryHolderHunt 9 years ago

      Don't eat out as often, shop the sales, cook a lot more, growing veggies in flower pots, run all my errands in one trip, stay on Squidoo more spend less money :) *****

    • JonitasKalimpo profile image

      JonitasKalimpo 9 years ago

      Great lens this one, Webcodes. I cannot add anything valuable here, but i can say you did really an excellent job. This lens is a good candidate to Lens Of the Day.