How a simple game of 'making do' could save you $$

Playing Pioneer Pays Off

by Doris J. Niemann

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Last night my daughter, Linda, stopped over for a surprise visit. As she gave me a kiss on the cheek, she said, "I only have a few minutes for some catch-up conversation, Mom. I'm on the way to the store to buy bananas and milk for breakfast in the morning."

Remembering the Brazilian singer, Carmen Miranda, wearing her tutee fruity hat, I placed both arms on my waist, and with a tilt to my left hip began to sing, "I'm Chiquita Banana and I come to say, bananas have to ripen in a certain way. I have no bananas for you to borrow, but I do have an extra quart of milk for breakfast tomorrow." I smiled and continued, "Sit down for a minute and I'll teach you how to play a game I call 'Pioneer'."

"Is it a board game?" Linda asked.

"No, it's really just a state of mind. Some might call it procrastinating, but I call it pioneering. It enables one to reassess the importance of immediate attention to a short supply situation."

"Say what?" she said looking confused.

"Playing Pioneer has the propensity to enhance a proposed activity, and redistribute its outcome by deferring the intended action to a more convenient time."

"Mom, do you have to elaborate so eloquently when you explain something to me?" she said with a slight tinge of growing impatience. "In other words, just tell me exactly how you play the game, please?"

"Okay," I replied, showing disappointment in my voice, "If you don't like my embellished dissertation, I'll just come flat out and say it more simply. In other words, before grabbing the car keys, I suggest you ask yourself this question: Do I really need an extra trip to the grocery store?"

"Instead," I continued, "why not take a look inside your freezer and discover a few of the forgotten foods. You know, the food that is pushed aside inside the zero zone. Playing Pioneer may save you a lot of time and money for gas by making fewer trips to the store." With another look of motherly advice, I added, "Betcha it will help lower your blood pressure too."

Linda gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek when she left, still laughing about my "making do" game. Oh, by the way, she borrowed the milk and drove back home. She had a package of strawberries in her freezer to defrost for breakfast in the morning.

Doris Niemann is a freelance writer living in Dubuque. She has been published in PrimeTime News, EpiscopalLife, Julien's Journal and

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