IkeaFour months of on-the-ground reporting in the Gulf of Mexico covering the Deepwater Horizon spill should have cost $45,000, but by making use of some creative cost-cutting moves, reporter Mac McClelland saved $15,000.

How?

“I ingratiated myself with someone who was going out of town and lent me his pickup truck for a month, then worked a combination of public transit, occasional cabs, and borrowed rides for another month,” cutting her transportation bill in half.

She also spent just $2,000 for sixteen weeks of lodging by staying with friends as well as Twitter followers, whom Mac bribed with “bottles of nice booze…going to the grocery store, plus cooking meals and/or doing the dishes; sometimes it was a matter of watching some kids, driving the kids to school, giving the whole house a hardcore Midwesterner’s scrub-down.”

Is this a trend?

Update: an earlier version of this post put forth the idea that Mac is a man. She is not, and the post has been corrected to reflect this.