Budget Living Mag: How to Buy Shit You Don’t Need for Full Price

The cover promises cheapness, with “142 Great Gifts Starting at $5,” and “Best Bargain Hotels,” although our first inkling that something might be amiss is hidden in the corner: “Is It Time to Buy a Flat-Screen TV?” We don’t know, is it? We thought we were on a budget.

The gift guide looks wholly unaltered from any random woman’s-interest gift guide this Christmas. And come on—a $40 iPod case? That’s not a bargain. A $190 professional steamer? You know what’s cheap? Not steaming your clothes.

Don’t get us started on the $125 Martin Robitsch Schaschlik knife holder, which is quite literally a wooden box filled with bamboo skewers. You could literally build it yourself for about $10 in parts and perhaps 10 minutes of labor—15 if you sanded it. It’s insulting that ‘Budget Living’ would even suggest it.

The hotel guide is quite a bit better, with the most expensive room running $190 a night, with an average room price of $107 and change—not bad for rooms that are a marked cut above the average Super 8 fare.

And pity the poor soul who uses Budget Living‘s flat-panel TV buyers’ guide, with its sidebar showing the ‘hidden costs’ of the purchase, including a $400 to $600 installation cost. It’s only hidden because you’re hiding it, BL. Tell people not to get it installed, instead.

Maybe it’s our own fault we’re disappointed. We were hoping for MAKE, but for shopping. Instead we got the stock-standard magalog, just minus the ridiculous high-end color products that nobody ever buys anyway.

Magazine Home Page [BudgetLivingMedia]


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  1. Papercutninja says:

    Well my ideas for Budget Living are quite simple: Don’t buy Budget Living Magazine. It’s similar to my theory on Real Simple magazine: My life is far simpler if i didn’t buy a single issue.

  2. I get this magazine for free (you can get any magazine for free if you are patient). There was one article a few months ago about a family who made 100K a year (with 5 kids) but lived on 35K a year because the dad liked to be ‘thrifty’. It was a good read, but yeah most of the magazine is worthless.

  3. Juancho says:

    Budget Living used to be a great mag with useful articles, and a straight guy could read it without getting funny looks. Over the past year it has turned into some Oprah/Martha Stewart “budget” shopping nightmare.