Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grannies become YouTube hits with recession-coping tips

A grandmother in England has become the latest YouTube star with her words of wisdom on how to cope during the recession.

Barbara Walmsley, 71, from Cookham west of London, is making the videos as part of an Oxfam campaign, offering money-saving tips — everything from cooking on the cheap to clothing and travel advice.

So far, her Green Granny videos have logged well over 250,000 hits.

In one video, Walmsley teaches viewers how to make a dessert in the oven with stale bread, fruit, margarine and spices.

Walmsley says most people in the United Kingdom throw away one-third of the food that they buy.

In another video, she urges people to donate their old clothes to charity. People in her country have, on average, six items of clothing in their closet that they've never actually worn, she says.

She's not the only grandmother with a popular YouTube series focusing on how to make cheap meals. Another, called Depression Cooking with Clara, stars Clara Cannucciari, 93, who lives in Upstate New York. Her grandson began taping her cooking advice and posting the video two years ago.

Cannucciari says she remembers eating pasta or potatoes every day during the Depression — and never going hungry.

In one video, she whips up the "Poorman's Meal" of fried potatoes and hotdogs. The video received more than 222,000 hits.