How We Stretched Our Dollar in these Tough Times

Want to find out how to have fun despite the recession? Or to carry on living your daily lives despite the impending austere times ahead?

Well, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade! Or, in the words of an old Ikea ad: "You don't have to be rich to be clever."

Here are some tips from my family, complete with photographs.

Party at home and go potluck. Here are members of our family clan enjoying ourselves during Christmas at a condominium function room at my uncle's home.

Be a value shopper and suss out places that offer everyday low prices. NTUC Fairprice and Seng Shiong are good possibilities. For toiletries, this shop at level 3 of Block 34 Upper Cross Street (near OG) is a good bet.

Have a cheap haircut. The Fast Forward Salon at the same block offers haircuts at just $6 for adults, and $5 for kids like Ethan. And he still looks pretty spiffy after that!

Use red packets to create Chinese New Year decorations instead of buying everything. It is a good time for family bonding and an opportunity to exercise those creative brain juices.

You can also recycle old toys like this lion dance head and drum set to be a CNY decoration piece for your home. Errmm...the Mandarin oranges are new though.

For those who yearn for some outdoor fun, you can check out special packages like this 3 in 1 park offer from the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park.

Better yet, visit the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at the Botanic Gardens for a free day of family fun. Its tree house is a hit with kids.

Naturally, our museums - like the child-friendly Singapore Philatelic Museum here - are great places for affordable family fun. Enjoy Free Entry to all NHB museums on 27 January (2nd day of CNY) which is coming up real soon!

There are other free entry museums that you can explore too, like the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery located on Hill Street....

P1010789 well as the Air Force Museum at Paya Lebar Road.

Do you have any tips on maximising your dollar during these tough times? Feel free to share them with me.

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