Saturday, January 23, 2010

How To Be Cheap Even In An Emergency Situation

Dear Cheapskate,

Sometimes you have to fly to LA at the last minute because your son is in the hospital in critical condition. You don't have time to prepare a cheap itinerary. You can't book a cheap flight in advance or let your aquaintances with whom you have the slimmest of ties know that you will be mooching off of them.

Tip: Even though you are frantic, take a few minutes to research flights. Prices for last minute flights varied from $150 to $500.

Tip: Grab power bars from the freezer, the ones you purchased at three for a dollar. These will sustain you for days, as I found out.

Tip: Save the free peanuts from the plane to add variety, later, to the diet of power bars.

Tip: If you forgot your tampons, load up on the free ones from the airport bathrooms.

Tip: Spend the night in the visitor's lounge at the hospital. I put three chairs together and used my backpack as a pillow. In spite of the wooden chairs realigning my spine and in spite of activies throughout the night such as people coming in to purchase sun chips from the vending machine, restock the vending machine, and sweep the floor, I slept surprisingly well. And for free! More importantly, my sick son had the comfort of knowing I was there in the next room.

Tip: Don't buy anything from the vending machine. It's expensive.

Tip: Bring a little blanket which can do double duty as a little pillow.

Tip: Bring an emtpy bottle that you can fill with tap water so you don't have to purchase drinks.

Tip: Ask around for a free ride back to the airport.

My only expense was the cost of the plane flight.
The son is recovering.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Cover Crop: Fava Beans

Dear Cheapskate,

I'm finally planting my winter cover crop which I learned how to do at this great free workshop:  Bay Friendly

The thing is to plant fava beans and then have the nitrogen in the roots improve the soil. My soil needs a lot of improvement - though I've lived here over a year I'm still uncovering various lovely syringes as I dig. Life in the city. Gross... Are the fava beans up to the challenge?

The seed stores will sell you 57 grams (1/8 pound) of fava beans for $2.80 plus tax.
Berkeley Bowl, in the bulk food bins, offers fava beans for $2.59 per pound with no tax!!!!

That's $22.40 plus tax per pound from the seed store
$2.80 per pound from Berkeley Bowl

Save $19.60 per pound!!!!!

Seeds are a rip off!

See how to grow cheap Cat Grass and Save Your Own Seeds!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Itchy Feet

Dear Cheapskate,

Itchy feet. I know. Too much information already. You're scared I'll go into a disgusting description of moldy feet.

Take your chances! Read on.

Q: Do itchy feet keep you up at night?

Q: Does the exhorbitant cost of anti-fungal cream keep you from owning a tube of the precious stuff?

Almost Free Solution: Rub your feet with hydrogen peroxide.

Free Solution: Rub your feet with tea tree oil you score on freecycle!


And, oh yeah, Happy New Year.