Eating on the Cheap … Failure

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Day 4 of eating on the cheap.

 

Confession of a mindless spender.

 

“I ran to the famers market after work to grab my box before I drove 30 minutes away for a meeting.  I realized I was hungry, with nothing to eat in the car.  I dashed over to the gluten free vendor and bought a $3 scone, and then at the last minute added a $3 muffin. No big deal.  I get to my meeting (held at Starbucks), I order my coffee, I look at my card balance, but I only have $0.60, so I top the card up with $10.”

 

I spent $16 without even thinking.  Piss poor planning on my part.  I could have munched on the contents of my CSA box, or just packed more food in the morning.  The night before I had a glass of wine and 2 cookies for dinner, so I guess today was a slight nutritional improvement.

Food total for the month $42.25.

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Throw It Out Culture

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Last weekend I had an unfortunate accident where I dropped my phone in a river.  It sort of works, but isn’t very usable.  I assessed all my options and decided that I would just go back to my previous phone (iPhone 3).  Unfortunately my wireless provider no longer supports that phone and I can’t switch back to it.  Had I kept using it there would have been no problem, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but after two hours with technical support this was their final answer.  The only option they gave me is to buy a new phone and dispose of the 2 iPhones.  It really bothers me that I can’t use a perfectly good phone.

I don’t tend to buy the newest thing, I’m perfectly happy to spend less and buy an older version.  I had been looking to buy an older used DLSR camera so I could do some better blogging pictures, but that will have to wait.  I think I’m just going to buy a used phone from someone.  If nothing else it will keep their phone out of the landfill and I can use my iPhone 3 as a ipod at work.  I refuse to throw it out!

 

Where did this throw it out culture come from?  I remember my grandmother stockpiled cottage cheese containers in her basement even though she could recycle them, she preferred to keep them.  I don’t know what she used them for other than storing her false teeth in them on the top of the toilet tank (true story).  She grew up during the depression, and I think she and her siblings didn’t have much, so she was pretty thrifty.  Somewhere between her generation and mine something changed.  If you have ever tried to donate a microwave, TV or furniture then you know what I’m talking about.  No one wants them, thrift stores won’t even take them.  I tried craigslist and garage sales but in the end I decided to keep the microwave even though I hardly ever use it.  The furniture I eventually put beside a dumpster, and the TV went to a recycling depot.  I love looking for items on craigslist and facebook auction pages, but maybe this is something that is dying out?  Will the throw it out culture eventually disappear or is this the way it will be?  Is reduce, reuse and recycle a motto of the past?

Carpooling

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It’s official, I am a carpooler.

I’ve never been super keen on the idea of carpooling.  I tend to live close to my worksites, and like to be able to set my own schedule.  All too often I cannot get out of the house early, my hunt through my closet for an outfit usually takes a very long time.  About two months ago one of my co-workers moved about 2 blocks away from me.  We were both paying $60 a month to park at work, plus gas and parking at home (free for me, $30 a month for her).  For us it just made sense to start carpooling.

We don’t have the exact same work schedules, she prefers to start earlier in the morning, and I would rather sleep a little later and work late.  She sometimes takes an hour long lunch, I only take 30 minutes.  With a little compromise we came to a good mix: we start early, no working past 4:30 and only 30 minute lunches.

I read a website that had tips for carpooling successfully.  http://www.travelsmart.ca/en/Life-and-Home/Carpool/Carpool-Tips.aspx There were a couple of tips that I hadn’t even thought of, any many of the tips turned out to be a non-issue.  I think the more people in the carpool, the more potential for difficulties.  I have seen carpoolers turn into enemies, it was pretty ugly.  Eventually one of the workers even changed offices- there was that much animosity. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to agree to carpooling, I like my carpooling buddy, I didn’t want to sour the relationship.  However, I now see that one of the carpoolers was breaking all of the good carpooling behaviour rules. (Smoking before getting into the car, talking everyone’s ear off, gossiping, not sticking to the schedule, and crappy driving too).

Aside from setting a schedule, we also decided to alternate driving weeks and in general do not make stops to run errands unless it’s something both of us need to do.  (Although there are some emergency coffee stops.)  I warned her I am not a morning person and might not talk a lot (I was wrong).  She told me she hates my music, we have made a compromise on the music.  Although in my defence, super loud techno is a super fantastic way to start the day.  We have several different possible routes, but due to traffic, construction and bike lanes, it took us a while to figure out what was best.  We have finally figured it out just this week.  It was a total accident, but the 25 minute commute is now a 15 minute commute.

Aside from the obvious upsides of carpooling:

  • spending less on parking
  • spending less on gas
  • reducing our carbon footprint

There are a few unexpected upsides:

  • we have both found we spend less because we aren’t making stops on the way home
  • it’s nice to be driven around
  • we both catch-up on our emails, etc when it’s not our driving week
  • I actually can get out of the house exactly on time when I know someone will be waiting on me

Adventures in Online Dating Part 1

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What’s a eco-singleton to do but put herself out there on the internet and wait for the strangest fish in the ocean to swim on by.  My friends and co-workers are so entertained by the strange responses I get.  Some websites are better than others.  This might become a new feature on the blog.  Maybe instead of Adventures in Online Dating it should be called “Feature Creature”?

 

Creature #1

Creature #1

Sadly this was the most normal part of the conversation.  After I told him his lack of conversation skills was the reason he was single, he then sent me a very very long response explaining why this was a perfectly acceptable start to a conversation with a stranger.  I didn’t save that part of the conversation but rest assured, it was full on crazy.