Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Fabulous and Frugal Elizabeth Edwards (R.I.P)


"There's been a lot media and controversy swirling around her throughout these past few years, renewed with her death this week--but despite her wealthy circumstances, I couldn't help but take notice of some of her frugality practices. From her $11 dollar wedding ring to anniversary dinners at Wendy’s, she epitomized sensible living.

This past week, I was listening to commentator Gustavo Arellano on NPR discussing frugality as a lifestyle of his family well before the recession blossomed this trend of do-it-yourself projects that middle class Americans are embracing.

And he asked, “What took you guys so long to become Mexican?”

Ethnicity aside, I pondered for a long while about what has changed for me to afford the time to sew patches and can pears. The biggest factor: I used to commute approximately two hours in traffic each day.

What does one do with ten extra hours a week? Plenty.

I have reinvested that time into myself and into making the most of my resources. Very ripe fruit gets a second life instead of tossing and experimenting with new recipes. It has become more of a personal challenge -- all those things you say you want to do but never have time for.

The bigger question that came up in the editorial segment was whether or not these new frugal habits would become a part of the long-term way of life after the economy rebounds.

Circling back to the long-before-it-was-fashionable frugalista, US News said of Elizabeth Edwards that she was "...a down-to-earth mother who enjoys shopping at Target and surfing the Internet. Famously, she and her husband celebrate their anniversary each year with a meal at Wendy's."

And now being more than mid-way through the holiday season, a lot can be said for embracing frugality long-term ala Elizabeth Edwards and keeping those newly acquired habits of bargain shopping continuing well into the new year and beyond.

While I agree with some of what Gustavo said about embracing your inner do-it-yourself-self, I tend to believe the majority will make this a way of life, as did Edwards."


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