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Sorry, It’s Just Not Your Lucky Day

December 23, 2010 11 comments

The current economic crisis has left few unscathed, myself included. My husband’s business is rather slow to say the least, but I’m thankful we continue to stay in the black, as opposed to many of our counterparts who aren’t even in the game anymore.

We’re fortunate that I have a great job, receive a pretty adoption stipend, and that I know how to budget up the wazoo. It’s never easy to feed a family of six, all of them hearty eaters, but we make it work. Determination is always a plus.

Sure, we’re lucky enough to manage but every now and then, like when a car unexpectedly needs work done or your son comes home with a lacrosse registration demanding $500 payment, it’s a challenge not to scream, or beat somebody up, or incite some other grand measure of self destruction to express my frustration or mask my desperation. Read more…

Mission take-some-extra-rolls-home

December 17, 2010 2 comments

I’m so cheap…it costs a ton to feed my family of seven at home, even moreso when we eat out, so we frequent buffets. More bang for your buck, I say.

One afternoon we went to a Golden Corral where the rude waitress proceeded to seat us in the big family, ergo ghetto who-gives-a-crap about them, section. I was mortified. The area was tucked in a corner and hidden by dividers. Other people’s children were running around playing tag and dirty plates were piled up on tables without a busser in sight, but we were hungry so we stuck around.

I spent the rest of the hour complaining about nasty this, nasty that, ghetto here and there, blah, blah, blah. At some point my husband turned to me and told me to shut up.

“You’re the ghetto-est of them all, babe,” he accused.

“WHAT,” I retorted, “you better take that back,” I demanded.

“No,” he stood firm, “I know what you’ve been doing for the last ten minutes.”

I fidgeted in my seat uncomfortably. “I’m not doing anything,” I refuted.

“Yes, you are. Open your purse,” he directed.

“NO.”

“I bet you don’t want to. You have a bunch of sticky buns and rolls in your purse, I know you do.”

“I only took one or two,” I replied defensively.

“No, babe, you took eight and you’ve been putting them in ziplock bags that I know you brought from the house.”

Mission take-some-extra-rolls-home foiled! Darn it.

“Babe, you’re sticking $0.50 rolls in the $1000 Burberry bag I bought you. Are you crazy? I’m not buying you anymore nice purses if you’re just going to use them to hide stolen food.”

Pouting and reluctant, I surrendered and pulled the giant ziploc bag of rolls out of my purse, tossing them on the table.*

Suffice to say, I no longer steal rolls from buffets..at least not in front of my husband.

*By the way, on our way out I did grab the ziploc bag and stuck it in my jacket. Waste not, want not..

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

December 13, 2010 4 comments

It’s that time of year again. We only have twelve more days and one paycheck to go before D-Day and to make sure we bought everything we were supposed to. Phew! I’ve got four kids. Good luck with that, right?


Every year our children draw up Christmas lists like I write up my daily to dos. Then, being the jolly good parents that we are, we go a hunting for gifts. Now although this year is looking good so far, there’s usually always one gift that kicks our butt to find.

Last year it was the Crayola Glow Dome selling for only $24.99, but because it was advertised non-stop in December that made it a hot pick item back then. My husband spent nearly two weeks scrounging every Walmart, Target, and Toys ‘r’ Us within a 40 mile radius looking for those bad boys. Ultimately, being the experienced Christmas scavenger king he is, we did prevail.

The year prior to it was the Pantech phone. Released only earlier that month it quickly became the preteen necessity and our youngest son just “had to have it”. By Christmas eve when we were still coming up short, I actually sat in the middle of the AT&T store and started to cry like a crazed mother while my annoyed husband stood over me claiming this was my fault. Eventually a busy salesman felt so sorry for us he agreed to sell us the display. Honestly, he might’ve just been desperate to get us out of the store but whatever.

Like I said, this year is looking decent. Kid 1 asked for $200 worth of toys and girl junk. Kid 2 asked for a 32 inch flat screen TV.  Kid 3, well, he’s the 18 year old I’ve been ranting about lately and since he’s on the naughty list this year he’s just getting a lump of coal. Kid 4 asked for a Mighty Beans 3-pack for a mere $3.99. Now, can you guess which kid is my favorite this particular Christmas?

I’m so cheap…

November 18, 2010 1 comment

I’m so cheap … for the last few days I’ve been hungrily eying the broken office chair our Executive Director at work is trying to trash. One of the wooden arms has completely broken off and the seams have separated in several areas along its side revealing the yellow styrofoam beneath the leather.

I keep thinking that if I can just break the other arm and maybe color in the spaces where the styrofoam is peeking with a black Sharpie, it still might be a good chair. I voiced what I thought were my clever solutions to save the chair, but my Office Manager and Executive Director both just rolled their eyes at me.

I’m so cheap..

November 14, 2010 1 comment

Personally, I prefer to describe myself as cost-efficient, but everyone else tells me I’m just plain old cheap. So I’ve decided to start a series of rants documenting my cheap antics or tips to save money, whichever way you want to look at it.

Enjoy people, you might actually find some of my tips worthwhile and not just crazy.

I’m so cheap … I save and store every condiment packet, napkin, and plastic utensil we don’t use when we eat out. It’s not uncommon to eat at my house and find the table set with varied McD’s, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Crack napkins, ketchup packets, and sporks. One evening when I ran out out of soy sauce for the chicken adobo dinner I was preparing I just used all the soy sauce packets in my pantry instead of buying a second bottle. It still tasted good, at least no one complained.

I’m so cheap … when my youngest son requested Estancia Churrascaria, a fancy Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouse, for his birthday dinner I agreed under one condition. For a family of six our bill would be upwards of $200 after tax and gratuities and that’s assuming I limited everyone to drinking tap water, so in an effort to maximize my return I forbade each child, even the girls who were eight at the time, and my husband not to consume anything more than water and one snack prior to dinner that day. No, I’m not kidding. I wanted to make sure everyone was hungry and we got our money’s worth. I’m sure all the gaucho-attired waiters were amazed by how much steak six people could actually eat in one sitting.

Stay tuned for more of my ‘I’m so cheap’ blog segments!

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