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'Downsized': 10 tips for frugal living from the Bruce-Rumseys

Zap2it, Saturday, August 7, 2010, 7:56am (PDT)

WE TV's "Downsized" is being promoted as a modern day "Brady Bunch." And by "modern day," they mean recession-stricken. They're a blended family with seven kids, who believe themselves funnier than "Jon & Kate Plus 8." We're not so sure viewers tuned in to "Jon & Kate," because it was "funny." Regardless, The Bruce-Rumseys are a slice of American apple pie and that combined with their financial difficulties may mean plenty of people will relate to the family.At WE TV's panel for "Downsized" at the TCA Press Tour, we're wondering if the economy has hit our fellow press colleagues hard, as well, since most of the questions revolved around suggestions for saving money. So, we started to document the 10 best suggestions from the Bruce-Rumsey family for living frugally.1) Cut off cable (we're personally appalled by this one).2) Ask about discounts - Mom, Laura Bruce, is a teacher and discovered that Verizon gives teachers a 15% discount on their mobile phone bill.3) Some things can be bartered - Father, Todd Bruce, realized that some costs aren't final. For example, you can call your landlord, explain your financial situation and have your rent lowered.4) Give up one luxury. The kids talked about giving up things they loved, but didn't need i.e. Starbucks.5) Give up one activity such as a team sport that can be very expensive. That forced the kids to get creative. One daughter gave up singing lessons and joined the church choir. The boys gave up baseball, but replaced it by practicing together at the field.6) Coupons are a must.7) Have a food stamp party. The family likes to call this period of time "transitional" and they think you shouldn't be embarrassed to accept state aid when you need it.8) Everything is easier when you use humor.9) 5-minute shower rule - Not only is there a family rule, but the family has a device that automatically turns off the shower after 5 minutes. We think that's pretty genius.10) Surround yourself with supportive people - Real friends will understand what you're going through. And in hard times, you'll find out who your real friends are. It isn't hard for the family to do this, though, since they're so big. They're their own crew.Will you be tuning in to see these tips in action on "Downsized"?Follow Zap2it and TheRealJethro on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest TV, movie and celebrity news.Photo credit: ABC

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