Sunday, November 21, 2010

Survivor and Frugality

I absolutely love the TV show Survivor. No,  I don't own a TV- I watch old episodes of the TV show online.
I think there is something about the show that appeals to my frugal nature that draws me to it so much. A friend of mine once said that she'd want me in her tribe if she ever would be part of Survivor. I bet I'd have fun!

During my downtime, or when I just want some frugal, fun vegging out time, I sit in front of the computer and turn on Survivor. I've watched Seasons 1 and 2 so far and am halfway through 3.

While watching Survivor, some thoughts came to mind about how Survivor relates to frugality. Either how frugal concepts could help someone be a better contestant on Survivor, or how applying certain things from Survivor can help you be more frugal.
So here it goes:

Survivor vis a vis Frugality:

Nearly everything you need to survive, you can get for free. Shelter can be made from natural resources, whether you're making a mud home, wooden lean-to or cabin, or animal hide and wood teepee. Food can be foraged, fished, hunted, or grown.
Sure, we don't need to go to the extreme that people go to in Survivor, but we definitely don't need to be spending a lot of money on necessities.

Appreciate what you have. If you've never seen Survivor before, you'd be amazed how people salivate over a peanut butter sandwich, baked beans or a glass of iced tea. When you've got nothing, even these cheap and simple foods can be heaven. Good food doesn't need to cost a lot of money. We just need to learn to appreciate the heaven that we already have in our pantries to help us be more content with our frugal lifestyle.

Conserve water. When you think about the effort that has to be made to get water from its natural source in Survivor, it helps you realize that water doesn't miraculously appear in our taps. It should be appreciated for the scarce resource that it is and treated as such.

Prepare for the future. Think long term. In season 2 of Survivor, the contestants didn't think long term about what might happen in the future and weren't prepared; they built their camp in a dry creek bed and lost nearly everything when it all washed downstream after a downpour. They also didn't ration their food enough and nearly starved. Preparing for the future, sacrificing a bit today so you can be prepared for tough situations is the smart and frugal thing to do. Always have an emergency fund!

Use the sun! Fire is crucial to survival on Survivor, both to cook food, and to pasteurize water to make it safe for drinking. Many tribes have a hard time getting fire, but the ones that got it the quickest were the ones who harnessed the power of the sun, either through a glasses lens or a telescope lens. They could also have put their water in a black bottle and it would have heated up enough to pasteurize just using the sun alone. Survivors really should try solar cooking!

Necessity is the mother of invention. When you have very limited resources, either because you're stuck on a desert island, or because of lack of funds, ingenuity is your best friend and will allow you to have things you'd previously thought unattainable, like making a sun shade from an old parachute, or a chicken coop from twigs, vines, and baskets. Instead of paying money to buy something new, first see if you can make it with items you already have in your house.

Be adventurous with food. People who are afraid to be daring or change the status quo end up spending more money, because they're used to spending money and just keep on doing that. They buy expensive foods because they're afraid to try a new food. Being adventurous with food can really help keep your grocery budget down. Not to mention help you win a food challenge on Survivor!

Teamwork. A loner doesn't stand a chance, either in frugality or in Survivor. We need each other, because two heads are better than one, and two can save money better than one. Barter saves you money, as does splitting bulk purchases and cooking meals for each other, not to mention sharing body heat to stay warm. Being part of a unit greater than yourself is important in life, in frugality, and on Survivor.

Yea, I definitely love Survivor and love discovering all the frugality related things on the show. So, who's nominating me for next season of survivor?
Have you ever watched Survivor? What frugal lessons can you learn from the show, or what frugal advice would you give to Survivors to help them last longer in the game?
What other TV shows teach you frugal lessons? Oh, and what shows do you really enjoy watching?

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