I've always appreciated the humor and practicality of keeping a "recession special" on the Sophia's Place menu (two Nathan's hot dogs for a few bucks). I'm horrified, however, when I see the Journal and other media outlets (usually magazines and online forums that pander to houswifery) share their tacky tips for "pinching pennies." Common sense is one thing. By all means, shop smart and waste less. But I draw a line at crap like "recession lemonade."
Haven't you heard? When the economy hands you lemons, make watered down "lemonade!" Order a glass of ice water with lemon. Squeeze the lemon into the water. Sweeten with packets of free sugar from your table's condiment caddie, and voila! If you've got a cold, it almost kind of tastes like real lemonade, and you won't have to support your ailing economy in the process. Just because the restaurant was stupid enough to pay for its lemons and sugar doesn't mean you have to.
Ugh. So trashy. Suggestions like that literally put a bad taste in my mouth—and they chip away at the old human dignity just a little to handily. While you're at it, why not make free "Asian soup" with a cup of hot water (hold the tea, please) and the complimentary salt, pepper, sriracha and fish sauce your local Vietnamese mom and pop leaves out on the table? Just order an eggroll and wait for the free fortune cookies to arrive with your bill. A three-course meal for $2—aren't you savvy!
Here are a few other money-saving tips that'll blast your ass right into Ghettoville (and, please, feel free chime in with your own):
Recession Starbucks Skinny Cinnamon Dulce Latte—Bum a piece of Dentyne "Fire" cinnamon gum (in the blisterpack) from your co-worker. Chew while drinking free coffee from the office pot. It's fat free!
Recession Quick Weave—Have a buddy in beauty school? Volunteer to be his hair model during one of the lab hours, then get him to glue a wig to your head. (I got this from watching the last season of "America's Next Top Model.")
Recession Potty Break—When its on your own dime, nature's call gets expensive. (Think about it—when you buy toilet paper, it's like you're actually wiping your ass with money!) Save all your bathroom trips for the office, the bank, the gas station—any place that's required to offer you a restroom. Bonus: You won't have to waste money on hand soap or paper towels, and by cutting out trips to your own bathroom, your WC will stay spic-