...was to get rid of the TV!
As a family, we were aware of how much of our time TV was swallowing up, and at the back of our mind was a growing sense of unease. We try to be careful about the influences we allow into our lives, and found that quite a lot of the things we saw on TV didn't really reflect our standards. So, we decided to say goodbye to Sky, and to disconnect the arial.
Now, we're not some Amish-wannabes, you understand! In our household (of three people!) we have one laptop, one notebook, two iPads and three smart phones, so we have no shortage of Internet access. We watch things on 4oD, BBC iplayer, YouTube etc. We also enjoy watching DVDs. However, even with all of these options, we still don't spend anything like as much time staring mindlessly at the screen.
So what's frugal about that?
Well, the first christmas without TV, my daughter sat down with a paper and pen to make her 'list'.
"2 guinea pigs" was as far as she got.
With no exposure to adverts, she had no desire for 'stuff'. I genuinely hadn't realised how much materialism seeps into us through the TV. In my experience, watching TV really does contribute to a sense of discontentment. Perhaps children are more sensitive to this than adults. They lack the sophistication and life experience to see through the advertisers tricks. But are we really as sophisticated as we think we are?