Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Living on Less

Two years ago, we did a "Live on Less" story, featuring families who cut back on their spending for one reason or another. This year, we decided to do a similar feature, issuing a challenge to four women: Give up something you're "addicted" to for two weeks, and tell us all about it.

One woman gave up TV, another gave up Facebook, another gave up shopping, and another (namely, me. Haha) gave up buying lunch. (I normally buy my midday meal as we don't have household help, and I just don't have the energy to cook in the morning.) Art director Kara conceptualized a shoot with all white props against a brown setup. And because our editorial staff is also our shoot production staff, I got busy making the props!

Photo by Stanley Ong. Makeup by Cathy Bala-Pablo. Hair by Elaine Ganuelas.

I made a huge Facebook logo using foam board, painted boxes to make TVs (we just pasted on black-and-white printouts by Kara), and made all-white shopping bags. On the day of the shoot, the entire GH staff (yes, all six of us) plus a bored hair stylist who was also at the studio got their fingers numb folding dozens of takeout boxes.

The hardest part of the challenge was getting up in the morning to actually cook. At this point in my pregnancy, I was still feeling sluggish, and all I wanted to do was stay in bed. But I did learn a few things from my own personal Lent. You can read about this, and the other women's stories, in this month's issue of Good Housekeeping.

Photo by Stanley Ong. Makeup by Krist Bansuelo. Hair by Bonita.

It's a fantastic issue, so do grab a copy now. It features the stunning Vicky Morales on the cover (doesn't she look gorgeous? And her hair is so fab!), who brought these yummy cookies to the shoot that were gone in five minutes. She also told me I look like our August cover girl. Har.

Other features this month: 
  • A "What's your money personality?" quiz, so you can figure out your saving and spending habits, and determine the best game plan to grow your money. (If you're married, you can ask your husband to take the test as well. A lot of marital problems stem from finances, and the quiz can help couples better understand each other's money habits.) 
  • Healthy shortcuts--if you think all the health rules are impossible to follow (like drinking eight glasses of water a day, working out 30 minutes every day, and all that), we've got the cheats that can still keep you healthy without the hassle. 
  • Meals that you can cook in 30 minutes or less--something that would have come in handy while I was doing the challenge! 
  • And one of my favorites this month: our "10 Pieces, 25 Ways" fashion feature. I ended up buying a few pieces mentioned, and I think I now have six or seven out of the 10 pieces! They really do help you streeetch your wardrobe! Hmm, maybe I should do a related fashion post.
The issue will be out until next week, so do grab a copy. It's only a hundred bucks.:)


  1. I got my copy weeks ago pa! Hihi... Haven't finished reading though... I'm savoring each page kasi. :)

    No more househelp for us so now I have to cook 2-3 times a day (a "chore" I never delegated ever!) plus cleaning & organizing... Kaya naman pala, lalo na pag no choice. Hehe...

    1. I'm lucky that my husband is very easy to feed. Sometimes I offer to cook something fancy, but he says he'll just crack open a can of tuna!

  2. ooh really cool. I can't believe what a sacrafice you made! I bet it's harder when working too, there is no way I could have done that while working, and even after I quit it took a good few weeks before I actually had a whole week where I didn't buy lunch! I really should look into getting rid of something in my life too, so inspiring!

    1. If I had the will to get out of bed early, I would cook every day. I actually don't mind cooking. It's really just time-consuming!


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