March 23rd, 2012

Frugality – The Hunger Games Way

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hunger games

In case you’ve been living under a rock, “The Hunger Games” movie came out this week. For those who have been living one soil layer below said rock, “The Hunger Games” is the first book in a trilogy series by author Stephenie Meyer—whoops!—I mean Suzanne Collins. The series focuses on the efforts of one bow-and-arrow wielding teenage girl, Katniss, who rebels against all of the awful things the Capitol (the center of the dictatorship run by evil President Snow) does to oppress and subdue the masses.

Although the young adult series generally focuses on the life-and-death struggle that the citizens of the nation of Panem face, I’d like to take a step back to show you how the Hunger Games give us several lessons in strict frugality.

Be resourceful!

Katniss is the queen of resourcefulness, at home and in the arena, where she fights to the death in the Capitol’s cruel “Hunger Games.” Katniss’ family survives mainly on the heroine’s hunting. Once thrown into the arena to battle, Katniss works in tandem with bread-baking Peeta to root out (no pun intended) which plants are edible and which will kill, how to make efficient cooking fires, and where to find shelter. It’s their cleverness and resourcefulness that keeps them alive.

Channel your inner Hunger Games tribute (that’s what the games competitors are called) when it comes to your kitchen. Dig deep into the dark realms of your pantry and freezer to find food on the brink of expiration and whip up a meal or two. To make it extra hunger games-like, have a picnic and head outdoors! Fortunately, you won’t have any other deadly tributes to fear.

Only eat what you hunt.

Food in District 12, Katniss’ coal-mining district home, is sparse, to say the least. The heroine and her sometimes-boyfriend Gale take it upon themselves to hunt outside of the borders of their district for small game like squirrels. Hunting your own food? Now that’s frugal. Even successful CEO’s agree. If you’re not ready to bear arms, why not try growing a garden instead?

When you can trim the budget no more, generate income!

After their forays into the forest for some hunting action, Katniss and Gale regularly sell their yummy squirrel meat to the baker. (Interestingly, the baker also happens to be the father of Katniss’ other sometimes-boyfriend, Peeta.) The youths’ enterprising ways help generate income for their dirt-poor families.

When you find that you’ve cut your expenses to the quick, try capitalizing on one of your skills to make some extra dough. Good at math? Become a tutor. Like being crafty? Make some Hunger Games memorabilia and sell it on Etsy.

Find a frugal activity.

Become a master bread baker like Peeta; you just need some ingredients and an oven. Or develop some sweet archery skills like cool-girl Katniss; just invest in a bow and arrow and get shooting (in a safe area). Make like the District 12 crowd and find hobbies with low cash investments. Not sure what your skill could be? Check out some of the discount activities and classes offered on deal sites like Gropuon or Living Social Adventures. Become really good at one and you might even impress some gamemakers of your own, a la Katniss Everdeen.

When it comes to accessories, be a minimalist.

Everyone’s favorite mockingjay Katniss doesn’t mess around with a lot of expensive jewelry. She wears just one accessory: her mockingjay pin. It’s a statement piece, alright, and the symbol comes to represent rebellion against the Capitol.

While you might not want to drop $60 on your very own mockingjay pin, you can be more thoughtful about your accessories. Instead of spending $10 here and $20 there on meaningless jewelry and accessories, find one or two statement pieces that will really stand out.

Bottom Line: There are lots of things “The Hunger Games” can teach us, like how to be loyal and how to recognize and fight oppression. Being frugal might not be the first lesson you think of after reading the books or watching the film, but it’s certainly something we can learn from the survivalist citizens of Panem.

Now, go wait in that long line at the theater and “may the [good seat choice] odds be ever in your favour!”

Are you heading the see “The Hunger Games” this weekend?

Have a Karmic Day!

Bethy Hardeman, Social Media Maven

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6 Comments

  1. Love this piece Bethy and the humor around Hunger Games at the beginning as well. Very entertaining!

    Andrew @ Money Crashers at 8:31 pm on March 25, 2012
  2. Don’t forget to seek a friend’s opinion to determine if said food in the deep dark corners of the pantry or freezer is still edible or will indeed kill!

    Tyler S. at 9:11 pm on March 25, 2012
  3. Thanks, Andrew!

    bethy at 10:10 am on March 26, 2012
  4. Haha! So true. You don’t want to start munching on any deadly berries. ;)

    bethy at 10:12 am on March 26, 2012

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