It's interesting to me how the words "sale," "bargain," and "frugal" no longer have the negative connotation they had years ago.
Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: When I was growing up, if something was on sale, you could be pretty sure it was broken, or had some pretty major, visible flaws. Now that's just not the case. My economics training is not strong enough to tell you why, but for whatever reason, the stuff sold at a lower price is generally perfectly fine. It's taken a while for people to figure that out, but now most have. I find that being careful with money is not necessarily a sign of not having money. In fact, sometimes it's the opposite. Maybe shopping wisely is how some people got to be where they are. That's why discount stores are found in some pretty nice neighborhoods -- and it's not uncommon to see a Mercedes or BMW in the parking lot of a Big Lots.
I knew the tide had really turned when I was at a family gathering, and a cousin of mine was talking to me about this blog. He is a self-employed, single guy in his 40s -- not the type usually hunting out the deals. He was excited to tell me about a trip to the 99 cent store, where he bought some granola bars, and later saw the very same bars at a grocery store for close to $3. He thought I should write about it, and I am. I'm not sharing a tip about deals at the 99 cent store, though. I think it's a bigger story about changing times -- a real culture shift that ties economizing into reducing, reusing, and recycling, and I think it's good.
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!