When all else fails, grab a cold one and knock it back, even when you're on a budget. Sales of what the brewing industry calls "popular-priced beer," including Milwaukee's Best, Natural Light, and Pabst Blue Ribbon, have helped brewing companies weather the downturn.
At Hermosa Beach, Calif., revelers celebrate the Fourth of July by surfing through beer.
According to one study, thriftier brands were up 2.6% in volume and 8% by dollar value earlier this year. And as Nielsen puts it, the beverage industry is "recession resilient." With 12-packs of Natty Light costing sometimes as little as $5, who can resist?