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Entertainment During The Economic Downturn

economic downturn entertainment

As folks cut back on expenses during these difficult economic times-often the first thing to change is money spent on entertainment. Movie theaters and satellite/cable tv service are at the top of the cut back list. By the time our family of 4 goes to a movie, buys popcorn and drinks-we could have paid half our grocery bill for the week. Needless to say we don’t go to the movies much. A few cheaper viewing options:

  • Drag out those movies you haven’t watched in a coons age-and watch them.
  • Have a swap/borrow party with friends and family. These days most everyone has a video collection of some type-this is a good way to view movies you haven’t seen before without having to spend any cash.
  • Join one of new movie services like Netflix. A much cheaper alternative than visiting a movie theater.
  • For all of you have that glorious unlimited high speed internet service-watch shows/movies online-for FREE.
  • Visit your local library and check out movies for FREE.

The downturn has given board games a new life. Folks across the country are pulling the games out of the hall closet and remembering how much fun it can be to sit around the table with friends and family-just enjoying time spent together. My 2 favorite games from childhood-Sorry and Clue. Recently me and the girls were introduced to Apples To Apples-a very fun game if you’ve never tried it before-you should.

Book reading is a hobby many people share-as you can see from our messy bookshelf-3 of us are avid readers. Books can be expensive to buy-but there are sometimes alternatives for paying the price:

  • Easiest-visit your local library.
  • Share/trade books with friends.
  • Find a used book store that works as a kind of exchange-they buy your books-then you use the money to buy more books from their store.
  • Use an on line trading service such as Paperback Swap.

I’m hoping and praying the economic situation improves rapidly-I think I’ve shared with you before-I lost all 3 of my part-time jobs back before Christmas. I believe the one upside to the downturn is-it has caused many people to rethink their lifestyles-forced them to spend more time with the people they love-caused them to reconnect to the family and friends who need them.

As you all know-the Blind Pig & The Acorn Family’s main source of entertainment-is making music. For this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot another old Louvin Brothers Song Seven Year Blues. If you watch the video you’ll see how much we enjoy making music-about half way through the boys stop-realizing some rhythms they just found sound good-they talk/yawn a little and start again. You can see the pure joy they get from music-and you can hear some mighty fine pickin’ and grinnin’ too.


Hope you enjoyed the song-and the entertainment tips. So what have you and your family been doing for entertainment?



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  • Reply
    Benny Terry
    January 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Great reminders on entertaining things to do. We play cards with our grandkids (it’s getting harder to beat them). Go Fist, Spades, Hearts, Rummy are all favorites. I made the mistake of teaching my grandson to play checkers and now he wins 2 out of 3.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 19, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Well it’s raining here in Florida, and I’m plumb tired of it already. It hurts my rheumitiz too. All my bunch reads or does some kind of craft. Our favorite games are rummy and trouble . Now when the kids get out of school, they like to run Granny crazy ( me) so I have to invent something for them to do.Ya’ll have a good week.

  • Reply
    Coach Daley
    May 19, 2009 at 7:30 am

    The economic fall has not hit me very hard so I’m knocking on wood as I type this. Did you hear the knocking? But as my parents were Depression children I was raised to live at the bare minimum anyway, so things may not be to different after all.
    Scrabble is one of my favorite games to play with family. But if you’re like me you often get the ole brain block frequently and can’t see a word that is starring you right in the face. I was never good at taking tests for this reason. We like scrabble so much we bought one of those ones you travel with. The letters stick to the board with little magnets or something, pretty cool riding in a car, except for the driver.
    I introduced my daughter to the card game Gin Rummy. We don’t bet or anything just keep score to 1000 as we play many hands over several evenings out on the deck. It is a good game in that in causes you to keep tabs on what others may be doing and realize some risks in what you may do. That is good for kids I think. Daughter loves it and noe wins often.
    But the reading is the one thing that abounds at our house. My wife goes through cheap novels at about 2 a week. Daughter does the same although it has slowed down now that she has discovered Gmail. But that will slow down eventually and she will be back on the paper before long I think.
    When she was a toddler and I was still running every day I pushed her in a running stroller. We reviewed words for about 3 to 4 miles. I would say a word and she would repeat it. I categorized the words into foods, colors, numbers, vehicles, family names, friends names, nature objects, etc. This gave her a big leg up on articulation and she was well ahead on reading when she began school.
    My favorite books are the very old ones, usually from authors unheard of. And many can be downloaded as text files from Gutenberg online. Otherwise I like to read about history can culture.
    But the one thing I like to do best is to go hiking. It costs nothing except a little gas to get there. I get exercise, meet people, and always get some good photos, well at least one good one each trip.
    I wanted to share some technology here before I end. If you begin to swap your movies you may forget who has what. Then later on when want to see one again you don’t know who to call. There is a little program called Ylend that can help you keep track of what you lend out. Find it here
    Or you can just keep track of it on paper like my parents would have done. And maybe with a pencil you sharpen with a pocket knife like my daddy did, even though a pencil sharpener hangs on the wall of the garage, and an electric one sits on the desk.
    It’s funny b/c I keep notes and gobs of other data on a pda device and can even do this comment on it if I needed to while out on the trail. But I have always kept a Ticonderoga 1388 2.5 F wooden pencil with me almost everywhere I go. And yes a little pocket knife is always handy to sharpen it with when the need arises.
    I think our economic downturn sometimes sheds light on the simplicities we forget we enjoy.
    Coach Daley

  • Reply
    May 19, 2009 at 12:12 am

    A video store here is going out of business and we picked up some new releases buy one get one free. We paid $9.99 for two movies. Then we found some old movies at the grocery store on sale for $1.50. We got about four of those. So we have some movie viewing to do at our leisure. We don’t often buy DVDs, but these were an exception. We bought ones that we can give the boys to watch.
    The last time we went to the movies was to see Disney’s Earth. It was fantastic in our new theater. I had four free tickets. If I hadn’t we couldn’t have gone as it would have cost us $80 for the movie and popcorn.
    Reading is one of my favorite things and the boys have lots of board games…Sorry and Clue are favorites. They also have a crokinole board, checkers, chess and many others.
    Enjoyed my visit. Wishing you a great week. It was a nice day today and we did a bit of yard work.

  • Reply
    Rick Morton
    May 18, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    We camp alot and play card games all the time. And we always bring lots of old movies. Doing things like this is what we should be doing no matter what the economy is doing.It just makes us a closer family. And Apples to Apples has been one of the best game to come along. And again the music keeps getting better and better.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    May 18, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Tipper: I get all of my DVD’s from the library. We have a consortium of 6 libraries in the county. All the DVD’s are on the web site and you can request them and pick them up when delivered. They eventually get all the new DVD’s released.

  • Reply
    May 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    We do just about everything that you have posted.. such a wonderful post by the way. Blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    May 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Another fun game- Curses. And UNO is a must have. I usually include it in wedding gifts.

  • Reply
    May 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    You are so right. In this dying economy we need to do more that doesn’t cost so much.
    My wife and I started reading more plus we try to take a lot of walks.
    We have a attic full of games that the whole family could actually take part in as well as a ton of movies.
    So in short like you mentioned the family is closer, we are home together more and going out less.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 18, 2009 at 9:18 am

    As long as I can go to the lake and walk and have books to read I’m pretty well entertained. I buy all my books used and exchange them. The Paperback swap club is great! Oh yes, then there are the cats Yoda, Stumpy, and Two Toes inside and Mama Sweet Pea and the Raccoons outside. There used to be a man here too but he wandered off last fall.
    My picture framing is also entertaining to me.
    Life is good. There was an adjustment when I retired. I had to learn to fill my time instead of depending on my job to fill it. I’m getting the hang of it and love being retired!

  • Reply
    May 18, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Last summer we started cutting back on summer camping trips to the beach in our trailer and instead started doing day trips to swimming holes within an hour or so from our house. It’s amazing how many awesome places are right in our own backyards waiting to be discovered and enjoyed…San Pedro Springs, San Marcos River, Guadalupe River, Hamilton’s Pool, Krause Springs, Blanco River, Barton Springs…

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    May 17, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I watch my vast collection of DVD’s, but I also like to just sit and crochet while listening to music. My favs are the CD’s I bought from Pap and Paul. I just crochet and tap my toes. I’ve also started to sing along. No, you don’t want to hear my squeaky voice. 🙂 I don’t have anyone here to play games with unless I go to the sisters house. Then we play cards the whole day. I can’t play ‘hearts’ cause I don’t get it, but I love watching them play.
    My other entertainment is walking around the ‘big harsh’ taking pictures of things I see. I always make sure to take a peanut buter and jelly sandwich and two bottles of water with me.
    I loved this Pickin’ and Grinnin’ too. I understand about them needing to clear their throats. It’s all this moisture we’ve been having lately, but I’m glad they didn’t stop and kept playing. It was fun watching them talk and laugh. Thanks guys! xxoo

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    May 17, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Growing up we learned counting by playing dominoes. We also enjoyed putting together jigsaw puzzles. Everybody in our family also played Rook as soon as dad thought we were old enough and smart enough to play. My baby brother and I would play canasta games to 100,000 and a lot of times we would play at night with a flashlight under a blanket so mom wouldn’t know we were still awake.
    Fun post. Thank you, Tipper!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    So with you on this. I am blogging while I watch a free DVD rental after going for a long walk. Free free free. Love it.
    Board game of the year for us: Blokus.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Loved it!!!
    You know if I were up there, I would be there everytime I heard the latch open on the guitar cases!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    We just recently joined Netflix. I’m liking it because we live in the boonies with no video store within 35 miles, so to return a video on time just won’t happen!
    Love, love Apples to Apples. One of our favorite family games. I removed a few cards that were a bit inappropriate for the kids (sexy, sultry, etc.).
    And I would love to spend every evening in a comfy chair with a good book.
    TV is definitely not my favorite thing! There are a few shows that we like, but not many.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    May 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Tipper! You’re so right, I hear more and more families with children who have resurrected those old game boards. I love baseball and there happens to be a minor league over the bridge into Staten Island where you can enjoy a baseball game without the cost of going to a major league game. I notice people becoming more and more creative and imaginative in their ideas on how to live well with what they have. Interesting post, Tipper! :))

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    May 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Apples to Apples is fun! We need a couple more readers here before it is a staple – but it’s on the list 🙂 Entertainment is easy with my little ones – they can watch the same movies over and over 🙂 And my sewing machine keeps me company, with a free podcast too!

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