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Chicago's 'green' spending during an uncertain economy

As a nurse I've learned over the years how one must 'improvise' when the availability of a much needed supply item is gone missing or when it just didn't make the cut & the world of budgeting. Going back even farther, I remember how my mom used to stretch a simple meal to feed the empty stomachs of a large household. And think, Jesus on the Mount as he feed the multitude with a couple of fish & a few loaves of bread...

Thses are frugal times and times like these calls for creative measures in order to ride out the storm of recession. At last count, over 400,000 people had fallen into poverty level in Illinois alone. This means that people have had to make life changing decisions when faced with the loss of jobs and homes. Folks have separated from their spouse and taken jobs in another state to supplement their families income. The living apart in order to survive is just one way people are greening their incomes. 

Another, but less stressful route women in Illinois are taking to help keep things in perspective when it comes to their personal fashion without spending a dime? According to a channel 5 news report, these women have bought into the fashion swap party where they gather to exchange slightly used clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry by mimimal bids from women who need to update their wardrobes. Creative bartering are being put into practice by households in grocery stores, shopping malls and green food banks where fresh fruits, vegatables and dairy products can be purchased collectively for less than $15.00... It takes a bit of ingenuity to ride out the waves of an uncertain economy, but, folks in the Windy City will find ways to improvise and continue to fight the good fight of survival...

How about you? What money saving ways have you learned to 'green' your life?