Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Angry Curl's Guide to Living Life on the Cheap

So, you've decided to read my blog.  Congratulations on your first step towards senility.  If you don't know me, I can assure you that I am one thing if I am anything:  cheap.  And I have no qualms about digging through dirty bins filled with mismatched shoes at the Salvation Army, nor do I turn up my nose at the about-to-expire pork chops in the Manager Meat section at Kroger. Deciding it’s a shame to keep these awesomely cheap ideas to myself, I’ve decided to share them with you, dear reader, in hopes that soon you too will soon be tugging a J. Crew shirt out of a woman’s hands on Half-Off Goodwill Saturday.

1. Cars are expensive. Gas is exorbitant, oil changes are costly, and the cost of tires will make you pee yourself a little bit. Since this form of transportation isn’t exactly thrifty, might I suggest riding bikes? There are racks and racks of them around the city! Simply carry your “Bike Emancipation Kit” (your bike helmet and some bolt cutters) and you could be traversing Nashville with an ever-growing rap sheet and indisputable thriftiness.

2. My water bill has been exponentially growing the past few months, so I decided to put a cap on my water usage. I did this by gaining my neighbors’ trust, and in turn, got a key to their place. You know, to check on things in case of an emergency. I now shower there after they’ve gone to work. I also steal their cat food! You have NO idea how much money I’ve saved (plus, they feed their cats Iams, which is waaaaay out of my price range.) I’m clean and my cats are happy. I view this as a win-win in my book.

3. I also routinely raid my co-worker’s snack drawers after hours. A dinner of chicken noodle soup and cheese crackers is much more nutritious when it’s free. It also helps with the cost of the night-vision goggles and ski caps.

4. I often serve roadkill at dinner parties. When served out of a Crock-Pot with toothpicks, people are too busy praising your braising to question the origins of said meat.

5. Now, I’ve certainly heard about people re-using coffee grounds, but this requires you to actually buy coffee in the first place. Simply go down to Starbucks, get the coffee grounds for free, and re-use at your pleasure. Not only are you getting free, gourmet coffee, you’re also getting a unique blend I like to call the “Cheap-tastic Roast of the Day.”

6. Two words if you happen to find a place with a rat problem: Free. Cheese.

7. I have 365 ID’s all giving me a different birthday. The cost of these fake ID’s (gained in the parking lot of Hillsboro High School) is easily offset by the copious amounts of free cake and sombrero-wearing experiences you’re about to encounter.

8. I split the cost of a gym membership with a dear friend with a rather large gym bag. You do the math.

9. The free bins in front of McKay’s Used Books are always a great place for bargain-hunting. Just crawl in slightly before closing, cover yourself with books, and wait until they pull you inside. Then you have a virtual plethora of free books!

10. There is no need to visit a zoo when you live in Tennessee. There are plenty of farmers who would welcome a little volunteer labor at 4am when milking cows. Your children will get a feel of where there milk comes from, all with the same benefits of a petting zoo. And manure comes right out in your neighbor’s washing machine. Trust me.

11. Also, you can get the full bumper car experience if you find a grocery store with a parking lot on a hill. Strap in little Folkcherry (or whatever your child’s name may be) and give them a shove. See? Just like Dollywood!

12. Pimp yourself out as an advice-giving guru, even if you have absolutely no experience or knowledge of well, anything. It’s a great way to make a little cash while bettering humanity in the meantime.

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