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Everyday Economy

Wed., Jan. 21, 2009, 10:06 a.m.

Missing out on fun? Start a club

Do you ever feel that you've budgeted all the fun out of your life? That you never see friends anymore?

If your answers are yes, you might like this idea: start a frugal club with friends. This suggestion comes via the blog Wise Bread, from writer Tisha Toler:

What is a frugal club? Well, there is no official answer to that question because my necessity as a mother just invented it. ... A frugal club can be anything you want it to be, so long as you find ways to incorporate frugality and find ways to be entertained and save money. Gather some friends you know who are working towards a more frugal life and set a specific day and time that is convenient for everyone, making a commitment to attend more likely to happen.

Read the full post here. It includes a list of suggestions for club possibilities, including these:

House hop for each meeting. Have a meeting at someone else's house each week and avoid having one host having to clean up the house each week. This gives everyone license to just take a break.

Make it a potluck dinner with a minimum, no one can spend more than $5 on a dish they bring over. This will make people more apt to look for creative recipes that are tasty and inexpensive.

Have each member clip out and bring all articles and tips they have found throughout the week on the topic of frugality and saving money. Have a round-table discussion about which tips the groups like. Keep a notebook to record the keepers and toss the rest to keep clutter to a minimum.

I have to confess that this doesn't sound like much fun to me -- doesn't sound like something that would replace entertainment or recreation, if it were missing in my life. But maybe that's why my life isn't as frugal as it could be.

So I'm wondering: Does it sound enjoyable to you? Do you have anything similar among your circle of friends? How do you share time with your friends at low cost? 

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Shawn Vestal
Shawn Vestal joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He currently is a columnist for the City Desk.

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