Although things seem to be looking up, our economy is still on shaky ground. These days, it seems nearly everyone is looking to save a buck or make a few extra ones. The good news for us as writers is that this new frugal mindset provides a whole new avenue of writing opportunities.
In the past year, I’ve written more than a dozen articles and essays and the sole purpose of these pieces was to help the reader save money. I’ve written articles on meal planning, freezer cooking, and inexpensive recipes for a crock pot. All of these articles encouraged the readers to plan their meals so they were able to eat at home, instead of in restaurants, which obviously is a cheaper – and healthier – route. These articles sold to women’s magazines and websites.
Several regional parenting publications picked up an article I wrote about inexpensive ways to keep young children entertained. You can take your family to a movie once, or for a lot less money, you can pay for Netflix for a whole month. For a budget conscious family, it’s a no-brainer. This article also included fun (and cheap!) craft ideas and kid-friendly meals they can help prepare. Entertainment and food at the same time – can’t beat that!
The parenting magazines also picked up a story about how to raise frugal kids. Teaching our children to value our hard-earned dollars helps us now, and it will help them later in life. Another win-win!
My favorite “recession story” was an essay I wrote about my children and a couple packs of incredibly-cheap Valentine cards I picked up at the drug store a few days after the hearts-and-flowers holiday. These cards – which cost me a grand total of $1.75 – kept my children busy for an entire Saturday. They made mail boxes out of cereal boxes and delivered the Valentines to each other all day long. It was incredibly sweet and a great reminder for me to see how happy my kids were because of something so small. It reminded me to take more joy in the small pleasures in life. (Sappy, I know, but women’s magazines and parenting publications love feel-good stories like that.)
My husband and I have five children, so being frugal is an absolute necessity for our family. I’ve gotten pretty good at stretching our dollars. If you’ve got some hands-on experience in this area, try writing about it. It could net you some extra cash for a little splurge.
It worked for me. And now I’m off to the mall.
Diane Stark is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. Her work can be seen in nine Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes, A Cup of Comfort for Mothers, and dozens of parenting and religious publications. She is the author of “Teachers’ Devotions to Go.” Diane can be reached at DianeStark19-at-yahoo.com.
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