You hear it in newscast copy, you read it in newspapers and your friends say it over coffee.
Yes, times are hard. People are well beyond planning "staycations" and forgoing the weekly (or daily) Starbucks latte. These days, they're looking for ways to feed a family of four by spreading out a pound of ground beef across two dinners. Hard working people are eying the needle and determining whether they have enough cash and gas to get through the week. Some people are skipping out on paying for their car insurance.
Yes, the economic crisis is affecting everyone - and that means looking for shortcuts that allow you to keep the same standard of living without costing an arm in a leg.
Even though I enjoy a steady paycheck, the economy has me thinking of ways I can trim corners and sock a little away just in case.
My cocktail budget is one such area.
I, for one, am a social creature who enjoys meeting up with friends over a cocktail, but I am forgoing frequent trips to the watering hole for occasions to imbibe at home. I have a good arsenal of beer, wine and bourbon at home, but if times get really tough, I've come up with Plan C.
You read that correctly. Prison Wine - as in, the swill prisoners distill in the toilet when they're toiling behind bars.
It's an easy option if you're trying to come up with a cost-effective cocktail because the recipe calls for things you probably already have around the house. But I gotta admit - the ingredients don't sound very appetizing when mixed together.
Essentially, you use fruit cocktail, sugar, ketchup, moldy bread in a sock (preferably a clean one), plastic bags and water.
You can read the recipe here if you're really curious.
This whole idea of prison wine came about during a conversation with a friend of mine who is coping with a cutback on his hours at work. I mentioned to him that I know how to live the luxe life for less, and that's when we tossed out the idea of Bacchus' gift to the incarcerated set.
Our conversation went a step further - I told this friend he could make some extra cash by turning his basement into a disco. I told him I envisioned whips, chains, bars and leather, and we could call the secret speakeasy disco PRIZON! (exclamation point included).
In all seriousness, I think it's going to be interesting to see how inventive people get in this rough financial climate. Adversity and hardship pushes people to create new businesses and innovative enterprises. Budding entrepreneurs will emerge with unusual concepts - some will fail miserably, but a few will shine spectacularly.
I can't wait to see how it all pans out.
Now, where did those singleton socks go?