You're Invited: Join the Recessionista Club

Get on the cash saving train! CH and I are living by new rules - see below:

1. Don't talk about Recessionista Club. What? No! Talk about it, brag about it. It's cool to save big bucks. (insert Comcast commercial)

2. It's okay to eat nothing but Cheerios for two weeks instead of returning your new jeans.

3. People make money in lots of creative ways. You can too. Try:
  • Focus groups: Ecker Research or Fleischman Field Research (Bay Area only)
  • Sell your clothes: Cris for high-end, Crossroads for everything else
  • Sell your DVDs: These will be worthless soon, so you might as well sell them now. Digitize with Handbrake and save to your hard drive, then bring them to Streetlight or Rasputin. If you sell more than 10 at Rasputin they'll give you a coupon for a free slice at Blondies. Cash + free dinner = big score.
  • Babysitting: This is a cash cow. Tax free, upwards of $15/hr and access to premium cable for an evening.
  • Tutoring: I haven't tried this one but apparently you can make serious cash helping 6th graders with their math homework. Assuming you can do 6th grade math. Questionable...
4. You don't have to shell out tons of money to have a good time in this city:
  • Art events: First Thursdays at 49 Geary offer fine art, and often free wine and snacks. Some auction house sales and openings will as well.
  • Free movies in Dolores Park
5. Two words: Trader Joe's. Stay the hell away from Whole Foods for the love of god. Unless of course you're going for the Chicken Chili Verde. Hidden in the soup section, this tasty treat offers enough food for 4 meals for only $12, and it comes in a cute Mason jar for you to keep.

6. Black beans: Dirt cheap and nutritious. Check out my old Brian's Beans post for a good recipe.

7. If you work someplace with a kitchen like CH and I, make the most of it. Leftover breakfast foods like a bagel with peanut butter make a pretty satisfying (and free) lunch.

8. Take the bus. Not as glamorous or efficient as a taxi, but your wallet will thank you. Use the extra time to dig around in your iPod for forgotten favorites. Or better yet, read a book. (novel concept, pun intended)

9. Shop in your own closet. You might be surprised what you find and what can be easily cropped, pinned, tucked and rolled to look cooler than when you bought it.