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Cheapness has its place, but the kitchen isn’t one of them.

7 Dec

Well, something has finally happened to me that I never thought would happen: I spent a surprisingly large amount of money (for me, anyway) on kitchen accessories.

Around this time every year, the company I work for gives everyone cash gift cards as a holiday gift. This is completely rad, as it’s a fairly decent chunk of money. Until this point, I have always spent the money on random crap for myself like video games, Snuggies (a man’s gotta have a full range of colors, amiright?), or candy corn. One year I went on an 80’s music spending binge. When’s the last time you listened to Walk the Dinosaur by Was (not Was)? It’s aural sex, I promise you.

While my taste in purchases is eclectic when it comes to random holiday gift cards, one thing has always remained constant: I have always purchased inconsequential shit that I immediately regret.

Always, until this weekend, that is.

My special lady friend works in the book industry. A direct correlation to working in the book industry, believe it or not, is being exposed to a lot of books. As such, I usually expect to see a couple new books in our house every few days. Meg especially likes bringing home two genres of books almost exclusively: fantasy books and cookbooks.

Until about 3 weeks ago, I guess both genres could have classified as fantasy in our house.

Anyway, I’d usually quickly thumb through the cookbooks, looking for the token Thai recipes they contained before tossing the tome back on the kitchen table, not to be used except in my uttermost need. Seriously, Frodo could have hidden the Ring of Power in any of our cookbooks and no man would have ever seen it again.

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Cash is King

30 Nov My man Scrooge knows what to do with his spare change.

Over the last twelve or so days, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon that comes as a byproduct of only buying food at grocery stores: I don’t spend very much money right now. I’m like Scrooge McDuck, swimming in a big ‘ol pile of gold doubloons, or whatever that was that he swam in.

Total madness, right? Yeah, yeah. Not super surprising.

However, that’s not the end of the story. There is an aspect of not spending money all over town that I wasn’t fully expecting: I watch my bank account like a hawk. Or like Bravestarr who, as we all know, has the eyes of the hawk and the ears of the wolf.

Think about that for a second. Not only am I watching for crazy shit to happen, I am also listening for crazy shit to happen. In my bank account. You have to really strain your ears, but you can hear money being withdrawn: swift and nearly silent, like a ninja using a port-a-potty at a K.I.S.S. reunion concert.

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Hello, Glovebox

23 Nov

I was incredibly jealous of Denny this morning as he sauntered off to work where they were serving him breakfast because he’s so damned rad at his job. Lame. At least I’ll get to rub it in his face when my boss brings cupcakes from her local bakery. I had some Kashi style grape nuts with chocolate almond milk. If I don’t get breakfast from my job, at least I got chocolate.

Lunches were leftover fried chicken from last night. I’ve only ever attempted my mom’s fried chicken once before. I would say I’m learning. This time was way better than last time.

Everything was copacetic when I left work to head to a chiropractors appointment. Found out I may have a slight tear in my meniscus in my left knee. Not so copacetic. That a bump from a hematoma on my ass in June will likely have calcified and be solid forever. Not so copacetic. It’s the one part of my body that I used to feel like crap about and then was starting to come around to. Vain, vain little creature.

The glovebox is the new fridge. For crazy people.

Going to IKEA with Denny to buy a new bed and frame with cold, hard cash in hand? Fucking awesome. We didn’t plan well(see previous post) and ended up tying the bed to the car with about 10 pieces of twine from the stash IKEA gives out at the loading zone. Also add in me sitting in the back seat since we’d laid the front seat down to fit the frame, and, concerned that the twine would be cut by closing the door on it after a test run, had all the windows down and twine running through them. I would like to note that without Denny’s awesome knot skills, we would have been fucked royally.

It took almost everything I had, and then Denny helping back me up, to not say screw it to this challenge for one night. I had eaten my lunch at 12:30, my gas tank was running empty starting at 4:00, and it was now 7:00 All I wanted was to pull into the nearest restaurant and grab an appetizer, fries, anything to fill the void. I need food constantly. Denny calls me the Hummingbird because of how fast I metabolize my food and need more. My solution is going to be throwing snacks in the glovebox. I did this for a while in Durango until I got sick of my particular snacks. Time to bring it back, for sure.

After a 45 min drive from IKEA home, heat blasting, windows down, and both of us praying for light traffic on backroads, we jumped through the car windows and immediately chowed down on snacks at home. I don’t think I even let the dog out before opening a bag of potato chips leftover from another snack attack. After we got everything inside, Denny started putting the bed together and I headed to the store for Thanksgiving groceries and a frozen pizza.

Lesson learned: There must be snacks in the glovebox at all times.

-M

When Incentives Collide

21 Nov

The heat went out while we slept our little lives away on Sunday night. When we got up at 6:30 on Monday morning, the temperature was 50 degrees. Awesome. Thank god for the little bit of leftover quinoa bake from Saturday. It was a welcome relief to eat something warm instead of a bowl of cold cereal. I felt transported back to our cabin from four years ago when we’d dive into the down comforter like a hell hound was on our heels.

We(read: Denny) got the pilot light fired up on the heater, to no avail. The landlord said it took some time to kick back on if the pilot light went off. It had warmed up to a balmy 55 degrees by 6:15pm. My bright idea was to warm the house up with baking. The warm oven could radiate heat while making some delicious banana bread or cookies, brownies, any variety of sinful baked goodness.

Or, you know, run away. This was a perfect night to get the hell out of dodge and into a wonderful eating out situation. If not for having to admit it to our friends in this blog, we might have. I ended up making a tilapia black bean skillet with kale, as fast as I could, and washing dishes in near boiling water in order to keep my hands flexible enough to handle a fork. I think we’re hitting an excellent turning point, actually. We’ve gained some momentum from a few days of keeping ourselves in check, so it’s easier to keep rolling.

We did use one of our loopholes in the rules, and to be brutally, and shamefacedly honest, I did some self-bargaining Monday night. We still hadn’t turned in our keys from our old place 7 miles away, down a stupidly busy and traffic-light swamped road. The dudes have a new tenant moving in who didn’t want outstanding keys floating around in the hands of freaks such as myself, so we had to come up with an incentive to drag our asses over there. Denny and I suck at leaving the house once we’ve gotten home. Luckily, Denny had a $5 Starbucks gift card that he had from his office. So the trip across town turned into “Let’s take a really extended drive to a Starbucks and use that gift card.”

Not breaking the rules: Using a gift card to buy coffee.

Breaking the rules: Megan throwing it to the wind at the last second and getting a small sugar-laden Pumpkin Spice Latte instead of decaf with hazelnut syrup.

Result of breaking the rules: $2.35 spent on coffee.

Justification of breaking the rules in my sick little head as it made it’s split second change of mind: 2/3 of that coffee was paid for by someone else’s gift card, right? It was just the leftover. Denny can’t get a coffee without me. I need one too, and it needs to be awesome, or I’ll die!!!

It was liberating.

Yikes. This spiral of delirious addiction is why we can’t have one meal out a week. So much for using an incentive to get our asses across town without screwing up other goals.

I hate rules.

-M

Holy tapdancing Jahweh, that’s a lot of money.

17 Nov

My name is Denny, and I was roped into this BS by my wife. There I was, happily tossing off Hamiltons like my name rhymed with…um…Schmitty Schment, when my special lady friend randomly decided to start a blog in which we don’t spend money at restaurants.

I do this with my stacks when I go to the Olive Garden

What. The. Eff.

Just kidding.

I was pretty on board with it when she told me. I just needed the proper catalyst to get me going. We’ve talked about doing something like this for a long time, and when she texted me this:

We’re eating in for 30 days. For real. Challenge time.

…something just clicked. I don’t know if it was the take-charge attitude she had, or the fact that I tend to barely scrape by every month, having to rely on back-alley handies to make ends meet that motivated me more, but I’m motivated, partner.

So: I decided last night, during the first meal made at home (crappy chicken burritos, by the way), that I would need to get everything out on the table. I need to tell you all how much fucking money I spend on coffee and turkey club sandwiches.

I make a habit out of ignoring how much I spend. I do a great job at getting incensed at the price of gas, since I take public transportation, or the amount I spend on dietary supplements for the dog. I am not, however, good at looking at my bank statement and realizing how much I spend on eating out at restaurants, drinking out at bars, and coffeeshops.

No more. It’s time to lay it all out on the table for the two people reading this blog post. Get ready to have your friggin’ minds blown, people.

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