As the bitter wind of winter subsides to make way for the healing rays of the sun, the Trina&Friends team is looking forward to selecting the vendors for our restructure.

The past few months, we've been thinking about ways to promote and support
talented craftsters, designers and artists in this current economic landscape.

We believe the new approach will create a sense of community, deepen relationships
and meet the needs of all involved. Stay tuned.

In the interim, here are some ways Fashionistas-turned-Recessionistas can stay
afloat during these times.

The Fashionista- turned- Recessionista

1. Start a garden. You can grow your own vegetables and herbs in your back yard.
If you are an urban gal, you're probably surrounded by concrete. If so, we suggest
contacting a family member that has land. If you find you have a green thumb, you
might consider selling some of your fruits/vegetables as well to bring in additional income.

2. Start clipping coupons and buy items when they are on sale. Yes, it is time to be more frugal and cost-conscious. Clip those coupons for your groceries and beauty/hygiene products. Also, you will be surprised at the great finds in the 99 cent store.

3. Shop at vintage and thrift stores. Most recessionistas do this; also, if you need to jazz up
pieces from your closet you can go to craft stores.

4. Shop Trina&Friends when we relaunch. Our craftsters/artists/jewelers will offer
handmade pieces that are cost-friendly and stylish to boot.

5. Learn to Barter. Back in the olden days, before the crispy dollar bill, people would
trade/barter to survive. One man would offer wood to his neighbor, who would then offer
him fruits/vegetables. So, here is a mental reset-- the goal is to get your needs met while meeting the needs of the other person. This can be done without the exchange of money.

6. Identify extra sources of income. There are some industries that are "recession-proof" like helping the elderly, accounting or babysitting part-time.

7. Keep your costs down. Get a roommate to split the cost of your mortgage/rent and utilities. Budget your money. You and your friends can buy basic items in bulk (e.g. toilet paper, soap, light bulbs, etc.) and share the items while splitting the cost. The cost per item is much cheaper this way.

8. Pay off all debt and save at least 10% of every check you receive.

9. Maintain a positive outlook on life and keep your spirit healthy. Remember to tithe and to give to charities, help those in need, and deepen relationships with loved ones. By giving back, we maintain a healthy balance and, in turn, our needs will be met.

10. Trina&Friends recommends for more budget-friendly tips.

By keeping your costs down while identifying new revenue streams, you will be able to maintain your Fashionista status. Adapting these resourceful habits now will keep your head above the water.

Money-Saving Tips for Your Groceries

Now more than ever, it is important to find ways
to cut costs while eating healthy.
In this video, money-saving expert Phil Lempert
shows you secrets to saving up
to 50% on your grocery bill. Enjoy!


Phil says using frozen foods is one of the best places to save money and get a better quality of food.

1. Frozen fruits and vegetables: Blueberries run $5 a half pint out of season. Frozen blueberries are $2.50 for 16 oz. “The product is picked at the time of ripeness so there are more nutrients and more flavor than those picked before they are ripe,” says Phil.

2. Seafood: All fish are caught miles out and put in a freezer on the boat. Signs in the fresh fish counter say “previously frozen,” so head over to the frozen food case for filets of salmon, flounder, tilapia, sole and shrimp. It will be 30 to 40% less expensive and they haven’t been defrosted once so the texture is better.

3. Chicken nuggets: All children love chicken nuggets but at a fast food restaurant, the ingredients are unknown. They also cost about $4 for 10 nuggets. At the frozen food counter, you can buy all-white meat chicken nuggets with no preservatives for the same cost but you get 4 times more!

4. “Take in” versus take-out: Take out food is getting more expensive $10 for Chinese food, $15 for a pizza and again, no one really knows what is in them. There is a new steaming technology in Chinese frozen foods that makes them easy to prepare at home. Healthy Choice makes a nice 2 compartment tray that keeps their sauce and food separate. Each frozen meal runs about $2.50 and you know what the ingredients are. Phil also says it’s better to make your own pizza. Use canned crushed tomatoes, shredded cheese and your own toppings and create a family event in the kitchen. It costs about $5 and it’s the freshest pizza you will ever taste.

5. Pasta time: As the economy tightens, more people make pasta. Jarred sauces are usually made with tomato paste and sugars and run about $6 to $10 a jar. Phil says to use canned crushed tomatoes for better nutrition and a fresher taste. It only costs $1.50.

6. Cheese: Head to the dairy case where cheese is 20 to 25% less than the deli or cheese table.

7. Iced tea: forget about $2 bottles of iced tea. Brew your own pitcher and put it in a reusable water bottle for about a dime. And you’re helping to save the environment and avoid added sugars.

8. Frozen meals: Healthy Choice has a two part “steaming” tray, the biggest innovation in microwaving foods because the foods come out perfectly cooked with no hot spots that usually occur because of the sugars in sauces.