Friday, July 16, 2010

Bad Ideas


I'm cheap. You know I'm cheap. But am I too cheap? Never!! Absolutely never! Never ever!

Except that one time.

This is embarrassing. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this.

While riding my bicycle I became hungry. As I reached into my back pocket for a life-sustaining, 3-for-a-dollar, power bar, I spied an unopened package of peanut butter crackers on the side of the road. You know those orange day-glo cracker sandwiches? They were unopened!! Why not pick them up and eat them for free? What could be the harm? They were unopened! I'd save, like, 33.3 cents!!!!

I took a big bite.

Have you ever snacked on road tar mixed with powdered laundry detergent and poison? The crackers looked like crackers but baking on asphalt had transformed them into something else.

I knew I shouldn't have told you about this. I hope you still love me.

Cheapskate, have you ever tried to save  money and realized it was a big mistake? Do tell!!!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things Not To Buy: Anything In A Commercial

Dear Cheapskate,

Do you wish, with all your might and main, that you lived the life of that happy person in the commercial? The slim business woman eating that burger? The charming fellow drinking that beer, driving that car, wearing those cool shoes? Even though you're a cheapskate, it kind of crosses your mind that maybe, just maybe, you should blow two days of your $5 budget on a box of chicken nuggets?

Let me tell you about commercials. Zeus (that's Zeus, the god, not Dr. Suess, the author) throws a lighting bolt and the commercials appear! All over the place - TV, internet, billboards, magazines... for the good of mankind!

Just kidding.

When you buy something that appeared in a commercial you are paying for the item plus the cost of the advertising. I read somewhere that when you buy a new car (Don't buy a car! Not even a used car!!) you're paying $2,000 just for the advertising plus another $1,500 towards some auto worker's retirement! If true, that's $3,500!! You could buy ten used cars for $3,500!! Even you are given a car for the price of $0, it's still expensive because of gas, insurance, etc.

Notice anything else? Junk food, fast food, weight loss food, beer, cars, anti-aging lotions... This is all stuff you don't need! If you needed it, they wouldn't have to advertise it to make you think you need it because you'd already know you need it.

If you see something in a commerial and you buy it:

1) You're paying for the advertising.

2) You don't need it!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Finders Keepers

Cheapskate, are you there? Is anyone reading? I feel so sad and morose, probably because I have quit eating sugar. Cheapskate, your eyes are bugging out - I know you can't believe it. Until last week I lived on sugar. What is life without sugar??? It's nothing, I tell you!! Nothing!!!!! But, my dear Cheapskate, you can help! Leave a comment and I will feel so much better! Say anything, anything at all, just let me know you're there!!! Are you there?

Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers

Dear Cheapskate,

Usually, when finding things, the losers are not "weepers"; the losers are "yay-I -got-rid-of-that-crap"-ers. But if those who formerly owned your finds do indeed weep, so be it.
"Finding things" is a great way to aquire things for free.

Often, especially in summer, aka "stuff on the curb" season, people leave their unwanted items in a cardboard box on the curb. This is a great way to find things as there is no question the items are available for the taking. I recently found the following:

Antique tatted doilie
Cat toy
Airtight and airproof container
Broken electonic fake fish tank (unfixable so I threw it away)

Tip: Use discriminating taste or you'll end up with a house full of junk.

Oh, wait, what? You've never heard of tatting? Seriously? Do you think those lace doilies just appeared out of thin air???? No, great great great grandma sat in her wingback chair by the fireplace, peering into her lacework by candle light, her hounds lying obediently at her feet, and tatted those doilies with her little tatting needles!!!  And that makes me wonder, what kind of insensitive monster would leave great great great grandma's hand-tatted doily on the curb????

Sometimes I find things that others have lost. If I am sure the item has no hope of being reunited with it's owner, then the rule of Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers comes into play.

Things I've found recently:
A dollar!
Fleece jacket
Miss Piggy Puppet
Hair Ties

When you find things, not only are the things completely free, they're not much trouble (you didn't have to go shopping, you found them as you went about your business), and you find things you didn't even know you needed!!! I did not know that I needed an electronic fake fish tank. I mean, I had no idea. I didn't even know there was such a thing!!!!!