liquidation sales suck cock.

31 07 2011

as you may have heard about town, borders is going out of business.

i don’t think anyone was surprised about it. it’s been on those “businesses about to go extinct” list for years with blockbuster and reader’s digest and all the other dinosaur brands. and so with the announcement of the closing, comes the immediate materialization of the telltale fluorescent signs flashing 40% off, and the kind of parking lot gridlock that makes a girl want to start slashing tires or throwing punches, or possibly both at the same time.

now the signs all say 40% OFF real big, but the fine print is always up to. opening weekend at borders, pretty much everything was a pitiful 10% off. yet for some reason, the line was out the fucking door.  10% off things that are full retail (and in some cases grossly inflated prices) is NOT A GOOD DEAL PEOPLE!  WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?

i’m not entirely sure what kind of crazy discount juju possesses people when it comes to liquidation sales, but although the signs are big and flashy, and EVERYTHING MUST GO…  a quick rule of thumb: if the store was still open and you saw 10% off sign, would you bother to buy something that you didn’t really need (and that you could likely get somewhere else for cheaper)? probably not. THEN BACK THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE BORDERS. EVERYTHING MUST NOT GO. (just try to dodge that crazy bitch slashing tires and throwing punches in the parking lot).

foolishly, i went back again today (with more promises of 40% off), and was doubly disappointed. 20% is still NOT 40%, and shit was pretty much cleaned out anyway. there were a lot of dvds on sale for 40% off, but it’s not exactly a bargain when the dvds in question are $20-$60 each. didn’t i just say that my cut off for new dvds was $3? again, i hit the bricks with nothing. Read the rest of this entry »





free-basing: 10 date ideas that don’t cost a damn thing.

5 07 2011

once upon a time in the year 2000, there was a really awful movie starring jason biggs. it was the truly mediocre follow up the 90s masterpiece , clueless, and for whatever unknown reason, I TOTALLY LOVE IT.  greg kinnear! mena suvari! what’s not to love? ok, probably a lot… but if you can’t find anything else worthwhile in this pitiful little love story between small town geek with a heart of gold (baby animals!) and street smart city girl who just can’t seem to scrape up enough cash to pay for school, at least give props to the big free date scene.

picture it, dirt poor love interest (played by mena suvari) offers to take adorable protagonist (jason biggs) out on a date. but OMG, she’s DIRT POOR! didn’t she just lose her job at the strip club? how will she ever do it? lemmie break it down for you:

they start out by stealing a loaf of french bread from a bakery early in the morning (do people really just leave fresh bread on the street in the city?). paired with some coffee pilfered from a hotel continental breakfast station… breakfast! then they go to the art museum, where she has a membership.  finally, they tie it all up by sneaking into a broadway show (alan cumming in cabaret no less) at intermission.

it’s all very charming, and a little illegal, and totally unrealistic for pretty much anyone who doesn’t live in a big city. that said, i am fascinated by the concept of the free date. and i started thinking about romantic days that could be had on a budget of zero dollars. here’s everything i came up with, but for the love of god, let’s get this list going. Read the rest of this entry »





suicide blonde: a budgetary conundrum.

13 02 2011

the year after i graduated from college, i was making a lot of bad decisions. i spent my first six months of independence sleeping on a couch and living pretty much entirely off of yoohoo and cheez doodles. and probably some other stuff that i shouldn’t write about because sometimes my mom read my blog. anyway, on one particularly messy evening, getting drunk off of swilly cumberland farms beer (golden anniversary if i recall correctly), my friend megan held up a box of ultra blue, and beckoned to the bathroom.

well, it’s NEVER a good idea to color your hair while drunk, but going platinum blonde while even so much as tipsy can only end in UTTER DISASTER. first and foremost, my hair was splotchy like a leopard. apparently, it’s important to make sure you get total coverage, which is hard to do when you’re half in the bag. also, make sure that you don’t leave the bleach on too long, or your hair will end up a crispy mess than no subsequent corrective hair coloring will ever be able to cover.  i knew i was in trouble when a 4 year old girl looked at me and earnestly asked: “why is part of your hair black and part of your hair yellow?” Read the rest of this entry »





peligro! : why i can no longer go to whole foods.

31 01 2011

i rarely plan to go to whole foods. as a relatively new vegetarian still vainly attempting to recreate meat on her dinner table, sometimes i do find myself needing to get a specific item or two that i can only find contained within their four posh and perfectly manicured walls (have you seen their produce displays?)… but very rarely. usually, i find that i end up there accidentally (usually with a wealthier and far more health conscious friend), as a victim of  a “do you mind if we pop into the whole foods for a sec, i just need to grab some tomatillos and a cask of bulgur?” situation.

yet however i wind up there, the result is ALWAYS THE SAME. i can literally not enter through those sliding doors for more than 1 minute, without spending at least $20 (usually, on a single 10 lb. salad). like somehow, $20 is the cost of the ferry ride to get to the other side of the pricey health food river styx. as my ENTIRE GROCERY BUDGET FOR THE WEEK IS $30, this is clearly a problem.

well, that problem occurred yet again today. after a fantastic coffee date with my friend rob, he uttered the dreaded ” just need to pop in and grab a few things!”. in theory, i was supposed to drop him off there and keep on walking toward home base, but it was cold… and we were still talking… and ooh are those blackberries on sale for 2/$5? just like that i was in the door with a stack of produce in my hand grabbing whatever else seemed like a good idea at the time: seaweed & tamari rice cakes? faux buffalo wings? strawberry soy protein shakes? certainly nothing that would pass as a meal or that even have any real nutritional value.

today’s damage- $31. SURPRISE!!! MY ENTIRE FUCKING GROCERY BUDGET! and save for two bags of fake beef tips intended for making stroganoff, everything else was completely unnecessary.  in my universe, that whole store is just one big ass impulse buy. Read the rest of this entry »





coming up for air.

27 11 2010

this thanksgiving, i was thankful for a lot. finally getting to hang out with my mom on a holiday (it’s been 2 years!), fake gravy that tasted as good as regular gravy (way to go gardein!), and of course not having to go to work (although i did have to work on friday :P). but my biggest moments of gratefulness came long after dinner was through, and we were perched on the cusp of our black friday adventure.

now let me start by reminding you all that i am FUCKING EXHAUSTED. between burlesque rehearsals, costumes, midnight trips to boston, and trying to keep the pulse on this blog beating at least a little, i don’t get a lot of sleep. lately, it seems like less than ever. by 10 pm on thanksgiving evening, after 2 slices of pie, several pounds of mashed potatoes, and a lively and hour long debate with my mom about whether or not it’s irresponsible for people to have big families in the current economic climate (i’m looking at you michelle duggar), i was PRACTICALLY COMATOSE.

grateful moment #1: the boyfriend agrees  to skip our midnight walmart trip (sorry $6 lord of the rings trilogy) and go home to sleep instead.

admittedly i was still up until almost midnight looking for my lost CVS card (eventually found, but not before a significant meltdown). i was definitely not looking forward to my 4:30 am wake up call.

grateful moment #2: the boyfriend’s alarm clock doesn’t go off, and we wake up at 5:45.

ok, so we missed waiting outside the target in the slush, and getting to be first in line, but the extra hour and 45 minutes was an amazing gift. also, when we finally did get to target, there wasn’t much worth fighting for. the $2 movie titles SUCKED (random greatest american hero episodes?), and the line was more insane than anything i had ever seen before. it wound from the front registers all the way through the back of the store, through the toy and electronics departments, and ostensibly through some sort of wormhole in the center of the store.

grateful moment #3: after viewing the target line, the boyfriend (who is a black friday purist- a bargain warrior who got me into this mess in the first place) looked at me and said “fuck this shit, i’m shopping on amazon”.

basically, we just ended up chilling out at the mall for an hour or so, and then getting some burger king breakfast before i had to go back to work. even though the bargains were minimal, and i didn’t manage to score a single $2 dvd, getting things downgraded to low key/low expectations made this the best black friday ever.

here’s what i brought home: Read the rest of this entry »





getting wasted.

17 08 2010

for me, busy pretty much always equals lazy. i tend only to the most pressing items on my checklist, and everything else just falls away into the land of half-assed-ness (a woefully untidy land filled with frozen pizzas and unpaid bills). as most of you already know, this last week was fucking nutsuo for me. well, one of the big things that i’ve been copping out on is grocery shopping. i haven’t even been glancing at the deals, and i vaguely remember something called a “grocery list”, but i couldn’t tell you what it is or why people use them (maybe i should google it?). anyway, whenever i go to the grocery store sans planning, things fall apart in a huge way. i somehow managed to get all the way to the checkout line before i realized that i had not thrown any dinner food in the cart.  i had however grabbed a weirdly disproportionate amount of cheese.

every week, i clean out my fridge when i put my new food in, and i’ve noticed over the last few weeks of freestyle grocery shopping, that i’ve been throwing a lot away. basically, not planning ahead, not sticking to my budget, and not being more aggressive about my couponing= refrigerator disaster! DISASTERRRRRRR! we’re talking expired food in sealed containers- never to be touched by human hands (wasteful!), or 1/8 consumed and then swiftly forgotten, only to grow a topography of mold so vast that would impress the national institute of health (wasteful AND unsanitary!). let’s just say that in this household, i make a lot of jokes about how i’m growing a new boyfriend in old containers of sour cream.

but it made me think. there are so many things that i repeatedly buy, and repeatedly waste. the prices may be low, or they may be wrapped up in good intentions for my health, but i’ve decided that in the interest of the health of my bank account, i’m placing the following 8 items on the no-buy list:

1. baby carrots: whenever i’m trying to lose weight, i always buy a bag of baby carrots. they seem convenient, healthy, easy to prepare, and otherwise perfect in every way… except for one thing. I AM NEVER IN THE MOOD TO EAT BABY CARROTS. NEVER!!! thus, they are sentenced to get slimy in their protective sack while they languish in my crisper drawer. there’s probably a purgatory somewhere full of baby carrots that i’ve inadvertently killed.

2. greek yogurt: firstly, shit is expensive. at roughly $4.99 for the big tub, i have somehow yet to learn my lesson that even though i enjoy it sometimes, i don’t enjoy it enough to be harboring 17.6 ounces in my fridge every week. why am i plagued with such horrible food denial? it’s been 32 years of waking up and not wanting to eat fresh fruit and greek yogurt for breakfast (which is what i assume skinny people eat- i’m more of the eggs, cheese, and heavily buttered toast school). why would this week be any different?

3. anything “southwest” style: i really need to put together a little southwest style donation box for the food pantry. my cupboards are choked with soup and rice mixes and god knows what else… cheap isn’t really that cheap when i hate the product, and  it’s taking up valuable cabinet real estate.

4. any vegetable that i don’t have definite plans for: hell hath no fury like impulse produce. unless it belongs to a specific meal, i need to learn to back the shit away from the zucchini just because it “looks good”. instead, i need to remember that it will look much less good when it’s forgotten and turning into brown goo in the back of my fridge (behind the food that i actually do eat, mostly cheese).

5. hummus: i buy this to go with the baby carrots. clearly, it does not make them any more enticing to me, it just gives me another product to throw away.

6. fruit out of season: sometimes i’ll really be craving grapefruit or pomegranate at the wrong time of year, but i’ll buy it anyway even though it’s super expensive, a little shriveled, and has probably spent at least a week on a boat being shipped in from some tropical island. what i’m really craving is FRESH fruit, but my tiny dinosaur brain doesn’t understand that. those pathetically dried up examples of fruithood are never going to look/be appetizing enough to make it into my mouth. my house is merely a pit stop on the road to wasted fruit hell.

7. lip gloss: i have a drawer full of lip gloss (no joke, it’s like a fucking arlington national cemetery for discarded lipcolor in there), yet i still wear the same one every single day. seriously, when did i get so stupid?

8. underpants: in one of the true hallmarks of extreme laziness (if there was an olympics of laziness, i think i could win. although, i bet everyone would be too lazy to show up to the competition.), i have occasionally (i mean often) been known buy new underwear rather than do laundry. this isn’t exactly a grocery item (although i have on an emergency basis bought some extremely ill fitting hanes her ways at the grocery store), but it is ridiculous, and i should really still knock it off.

writing this list has filled me with great shame. please tell me i’m not alone! maybe it would help if i slapped brightly colored price tags on all of my food, so that when i’m reaching for something more desirable (like butter or cheese- 2 things that never get wasted in my house), i know how much money i’m wasting in neglected produce? ooh, or better yet, i can draw sad faces on all my healthy food, and give them little speech bubbles that say things that make me feel guilty for not eating them…





i hate dave ramsey.

6 07 2010

which i’m pretty sure qualifies me for first class tickets to financial hell… but i don’t care. i find him intensely irritating, and also that his financial advice is in many ways oversimplified and somewhat patronizing. first and foremost:

“live like no one else so that you can live like no one else.”

i get that it makes sense to live leanly in the now so that you can have a better debt free life later on… but he makes it seem like you’re going to be able to winter in morocco or send your kids to boarding school if you can just pay off your debt. yes, i will be able to afford more once my bills are paid, but not that much more. doesn’t good ole dave realize that most people don’t make that much money?  a debt free life is absolutely better, but it isn’t necessarily the path to the upper middle classhood that seems so enticing. sorry dave, some people can only tighten their belts so much before things start to get RIDICULOUS.  i recently read a “we did it” account where the person was so excited to be out of debt because now she could feed her child hot dogs ON BUNS (just like on tv!) instead of naked hot dogs. um… lady, if you’re feeding your toddler on a steady diet of hot dogs in order to save cash- you’ve got some bigger problems.

I also have a really hard time with the overt religious overtones. basically, i don’t give a shit how much the snowball method could change my life, if all of your converts are praising the lord in tandem with praising you. it’s alienating for those of us who don’t put the “kingdom first”. basically, as soon as somebody drops the J-bomb, i’m outta there. (sorry jesus, nothing personal!).

but then there were puppies. yes, puppies (see adorableness above). the boyfriend and i have decided to invite a dog into the relationship, and are realizing that it’s gonna be stupid expensive. shots! crates! puppy playgroups! fancy kibble! and a bunch more stuff we don’t even know about yet. plus, the cost of the dog itself. but we don’t care because hello- PUPPIES!! (are you looking at these guys?). but, we have to care because it’s money. thus, i’ve decided to put my irritation aside (although i’ll still be trying to sidestep the jesusy bits), and give the ole dave ramsey patented rice and beans financial diet a try in attempt to save some extra cash this month for the impending puppiness. here are the rules:

1. $80 will be withdrawn on each sunday morning. $30 will be for groceries, $50 will be for spending money/incidentals during the week.

2. all cash remaining at the end of the week will be placed into a repository (TBD) to be evaluated at the conclusion of the month.

3. bills will be paid as usual, but the debit card will only be carried on sundays at the time of the withdrawal.

4. a several times weekly journal will chronicle my financial misadventures trying to live low on the hog.

maybe this doesn’t seem crazy or “beans & rice” level at all, but being a girl that goes out to eat at least half of her meals per week (and has been known to drop upwards of $60 on a single meal), and spends at least $30 a week on flea market bargains and target endcaps… it’s a sacrifice- i promise. will i be able to keep up my current lifestyle under the financial tyranny of dave ramsey? probably not, but you can enjoy watching me struggle! it’s time for me to remember how it really is to be broke. how little could you live on?