Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To Buy or NOT to Buy?

I find myself amazed at how much impulse buying I did, and to be truthful, I still have my days. With not working, I just don’t go as many places……but there still is the Internet! My absolute biggest pet peeve is shipping charges, so I know I can be sucked into “free shipping” situations.

One of the things we have been talking about lately is culling, downsizing, getting rid of stuff, whatever you want to call it. It is a continual practice and should always be done responsibly. In this process, we seriously have to ask ourselves about buying things, when we are getting rid of things. Towels wear out, replace old towels; but there are so many OTHER things that

I have done my share of garage sale shopping in my younger years and this is not something I would say NEVER to; but it’s not part of my life because I don’t NEED most of that stuff!

Our family is big on gift cards—not because we don’t like to shop, but because in many ways we don’t want more things lying around. We are at different stages in life: my Mom loves Amazon and iTune cards, and always likes a restaurant card in her wallet. My husband buys whatever he needs and he’s impossible to buy for. I just keep telling the kids—I like going out to dinner! For myself, there might be something that I would use a gift card for, perhaps an accessory. My daughter just treated me to getting my nails done. I loved it! My son and DIL are building a home and they are at a stage of life of accumulating—my daughter is expecting her second child and doesn't know where she’s going to put him/her. We are all at different places.

At some point in time, you will probably get a gift card for someplace that you can’t possibly use. For example, don’t buy me a Starbucks© card! I guess they do have pastries, but I have never liked coffee. If you find yourself in that situation; I would like to recommend a web site called Raise. Specifically, within today’s discussion, I would like to point you to a blog entry here about impulse buying which really caused me to think in some new ways regarding impulse buying. This site is a very good resource for the psychology behind buying and selling.

I admit, I do use Groupon and Living Social; but I am disciplined about it. I only buy what I will use. Notice I did not say I buy what I need; I have used these to treat myself to manicures and so forth. I once bought a BOGO deal to a tour of the Great American Ball Park on a day the Reds were out of town. It was fascinating, and my husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it. So, you have to ask yourself if this is something you really want?

Let’s be careful and not get sucked into “deals” that we don’t need. It’s great for a gift, you know you are going to give eventually, or just a treat for yourself. Just be aware.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

So, We Have TOO Much---Now What?

I found this picture and could
not believe it!
Some time ago I introduced you to a book named “More or Less”and briefly summarized that it was about more than de cluttering and having a garage sale or selling on Craigslist. With a more global view, it’s about how MUCH we have compared to the rest of the world.

And as usual, I am left with a load of conscience as to what I, as one person, can do. I am past the expectation that those who are older should DO MORE instead of talking about it. Sometimes, the energy of that older person prevents them from going to a poorer country and building a house; but they will write that check (and silently sigh that they can’t physically DO it anymore).

This is not where I am going with this. My opinion may not be your opinion, but you have one and can act upon it. For instance, I have always been of the opinion that I would like to keep the clothes that I “outgrow” in my home community, where I can visually see the needs day by day. I would donate to the food pantry in my own community—and this becomes an issue when I attend church in ANOTHER community.

I think there’s a difference between “doing nice things” and “meeting basic needs” for people. Both have value; I don’t deny that, but there is so much poverty in the world, and I am pragmatic by nature, so you can imagine which way I lean.

Living a simpler life is so much more than de cluttering. It’s mentally deciding that we don’t NEED something that someone else could use. Thus begins a process of looking around and seeing where our excesses can match up with a need. Sometimes, that will take you someplace you never thought you’d end up.

Being married to a Biology teacher, we recycled before anyone else. Our town had a one month recycle day and we never missed it. We sat in line in our cars to donate our cans and bottles and newspapers. I've said before that I will subscribe to a newspaper as long as I can read it, and some would argue with that, but I do recycle it, all of it. We pay for the privilege of curb pick-up. This has value for us.

I’m sitting here in my living room, watching my 32” HDTV—which we were the last people on the planet to own, and by the way, it was a gift from our kids—and I look around at my room. After thirty six years of marriage, there’s only one piece of furniture we brought to our marriage, a secretary desk that was my husband’s GRANDPARENTS! But aside from a couch and chairs, everything else is either a gift, hand-me-down, or inherited (or the funds to purchase them were). I have spent good money on framing portraits; but I have gifts, a print bought with an employee bonus (mine), and overruns from a business going out of business, which means FREE.

People talk about “decorating.” I never have. My house is a life in process. But if it’s not necessary, it is stored in the basement. At some point, some of it is given away.

So, you have de cluttered and are living with the basics. What’s left? Time. Getting involved is one gift that is truly appreciated and you are blessed by giving. You remember that old adage “Give a man a fish for a day, or teach him to fish for a lifetime?” What can you teach someone to help them stretch their resources?

Finally, monetary resources. Doing without so that you can donate to a cause. This is great to get children involved in, because small gifts can add up and you are teaching a habit, not amounts. I do want to make one comment though. SubHub and I have donated to many causes instead of buying flowers for a funeral. Then we are inundated with continual “asks.” One has to ask oneself what the donation goes to, and how much goes to the intended cause. I’m not even addressing scams. That’s another day. I am talking about the organizations who keep us perpetually in address labels after one gift. I worked in fund-raising, and Annual Funds are a staple for non-profits. Of course, some of it goes to the postage in the beginning, but these are regularly scheduled end-of-year donations.

Then, a crises comes up and there are specific needs. Think of a family who has lost their home in a fire. While the Red Cross is a fine organization; your church or fraternal organization can take up this cause. You KNOW that your second refrigerator in the basement can be used. It becomes personal.

I’m not ready to write a book on this subject, but I am certainly interested in ideas that you as the reader might have. To comment, if you don’t have one of these accounts, choose “anonymous” and leave your initials. 

A Fitness Update

I haven’t written lately about My Fitness Journey. I think I checked my last entry and it was two months ago.

My Easter basket might have looked
like this.
I have been persevering, and despite the fact that Easter was last week and I have decided that kids have too much Easter candy, so therefore the adults must help them eat some of it. Otherwise, the kids wouldn't come down from the ceiling until we take them to the Fourth of July Parade. We've come a long way since my childhood, where my parents (later with our help) did the eggs and we got baskets from Grandma. My Easter basket consisted of a Little Golden Book, a small—by today’s standards—chocolate bunny, some jelly beans, a few of those “chocolate malted eggs” (anyone remember them?) and maybe a peep or two. Not an M&M or a Reece's peanut butter egg to be found!

Today the Towhead got one basket from Gpa and Gma, another from Nana, another from Coach and RN, a “hunt” from her parents at home (candy-filled plastic eggs, of course), and then we went to her great-uncle’s home where we had a picnic with friends and two of his friends made two more baskets for her! With my BA degree, I think that comes to FIVE!!!

Today's Easter basket might look
like this---five of them?
So, a kid needs some help. When we have more grandchildren, I can’t imagine what it will look like!

I have been “retired” for three months. The first month I did not feel very well and was kind of a bomb at the gym. However, I didn't feel like eating either, so I would say the month was a wash.

In March, I did begin again in earnest; but I had to listen to my body. I just could not do as much. I was worn out after 30 minutes. My choice was to exercise more often during the week for smaller amounts of time. Classes are usually an hour. Oh, I did go to some, but I had to adjust and sometimes just plain stop.

We also had some issues with medicines—and it took me some time to realize that one med HAS to be taken in the morning, with food, and that works out to be at least two hours before an exercise class. We went through a period of trial and error, and somehow I don’t think this will be the last time. But for now, this is under control.

The schedule at the gym changed some, and I know there will be changes when the teachers are out for the summer. I am making this time be about me, and my fitness is of utmost importance, and I am not taking on a bunch of other projects. On the days that there are no classes, I go in and exercise myself. I do some arm work at home, lifting weights. I take Sundays off.

I have been able to go to Hustle and Flow, Zumba and “PoundFit©” classes as well as “adjusted” Boot Camp on Saturdays. There is a new class starting that is Hustle and Flow “Lite” but I am not worried about “Lite;” I will add weights and step it up—as I am able. This is exactly where I need to be at this time.

Pound is interesting. You can Google this and it’s a workout with weighted drumsticks. Of course, these are not 5, 8 or 10 lb. free weights, but you are TIRED when you are done with this workout. I love it for something new. This is something that I recognize about myself. I can get bored easily.  I am grateful for this variety.

I am also grateful for the support of the staff and fellow “students.” They have my back. They will be honest with me.

After several starts and stops, I am able to report that I can do 60 minutes of class, do not have to sit down, do not throw up after the class (yes, I did) and under normal circumstances, can do this four times a week. There will always be other things going on too……

I still have about five pounds to lose to be back to my June 1, 2013 weight; which is what I consider the time frame for when all hell broke loose. I’m not worried about losing it; but I do want to tone and get back into my summer clothes. Remember when I wrote “I’m Wearing a New Size?” Well, I want to get back to that size—and then go from there.

My motto is “Strength is the New Skinny,” because it is imperative that I work on strength and flexibility as the medicine that I am taking for five years (Arimidex, an estrogen-blocker) WILL cause osteoporosis. We just want to minimize it as much as possible.

My blood pressure has been good and thus far, my blood numbers have been good. My sugar is under control, and that is a lifelong issue, which has nothing to do with cancer. However, it DOES have to do with Easter, Halloween and Christmas……

Right now, I just want to get into those capris.

Monday, April 21, 2014

We ALL Want Our Independence!

The other day I was shopping at my favorite dollar store and I needed to get one item, milk and I bought one item, milk. I did get sidetracked and looked at the Easter candy I will be getting soon and we all know WHY I do not buy it too early, don’t we?

As I moved around the store, I noticed an older woman with her stroller, and this woman could barely move. I seriously doubt that she drove herself to the store, but she was doing her own shopping, as slow as she was moving.

Being a social worker who worked with the elderly, one of the things we did was do everything possible to keep folks independent in their own home. That was the Mission Statement that I put on all my assessments: Goal: To keep the client living independently in their own home for as long as possible.

So I watched this lady and I was in no hurry that day. (I love retirement!) As slow as she moved, she did everything herself. She was not to be denied that independence. The “rest of the story” that I do not know is how much cooking she does independently, whether she needs help with movement in the home, or whether she did indeed drive herself to the store. (I hope not)

I did not look into her cart. I just watched her move, hanging on to the stroller like a walker, one foot in front of the other, in a shuffling mode. She was short for her weight and I identified with her and wondered if I was looking at myself in twenty years.

I know this: I will want to be as independent as possible, and so will everyone reading this. And when we see the elderly out and about as we go through our day, we must remember that they were young once, but now they just do as they are able. The running thread is that they want to do as much as possible for themselves.

When I was a younger woman, I took girls aged 6-12 from church to a nursing home. I told them that every lady they met was once a young girl and to try to see that in them. I know that helped these young ladies process what was the first experience of this nature for many of them.

As we age, it’s important to respect older people and learn patience. It’s not beyond us to help if the situation arises. Our adult children, and especially our grandchildren are watching. We are modeling the behavior we want of our children and grandchildren long after we are gone.

Right now, I am busy trying to teach an almost three-year-old that I am her mommy’s mommy. That’s enough for the day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Fashion Statement

The other day I went to a meeting. The participants sat across from each other and I noticed a woman that I have known for at least thirty years. This woman is hardly overweight, although I would imagine she’s put on between 5-10 lbs. in the last thirty years. She is also a little older than I, up to ten years. I really don’t know.

She looks great for her age and she deserves no criticism of any kind.

Yet…..I  noticed that she had those new low cut “jeans” and a nice springy top with it. They were fresh and lovely….but the design showed what little rolls she has in certain places.

A true friend will tell you the truth.
At the weight I am currently at, I am the last to throw a stone. It’s about the styles today, not about her or me. It’s one thing to see a late-teenager or early twenty-something standing in front of me in a line, pouring out of a pair of pants because she thinks that’s cool. (And it’s so NOT!) I did stupid things as a young adult also. But it’s another thing to see a fairly slim, well-proportioned senior citizen, who has the blessing of a healthy body just not fit into the clothes, even I would presume she is wearing the correct size for her.

She’s just not the type to pour herself into anything.

Where is this girl's mother?
So, I wear “Grandma Jeans” and I am darn proud of it! They COVER the rolls that I am working very hard on reducing, but as I write this, they ARE THERE, and I don’t feel like sharing the image with anyone. IF I WIN, I may wear something else, but it won’t be until that day arrives.

I don’t wear tight tops although I do wear dressy t-shirts for the summer. I like blouses as “jackets” too.

The problem is, you go to any department store, and Grandma Jeans are almost impossible to find. We are at the mercy of someone in the fashion industry, and that someone is just darned not telling me that I am going to wear something that is unflattering. I still have my LLBean, although they have all different styles, they do have what I need.

I am just amazed at how many women wear clothes that are at least one size too small. I sympathize with the new mother who hasn't got the baby weight off, but WILL, and I certainly sympathize with that person who is in the process of losing and hasn't QUITE arrived. As a social worker, I know I NEVER know the whole story, and try to give the benefit of the doubt.

But it certainly seems to be an epidemic out there! And when it actually involved a pretty skinny person, I had to wonder if it’s the fashion….

……or it was just a bad winter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

That Green Monster

One of the downsides of social networking is the green monster. Everyone posts pictures of the flowers their husbands give them, places (vacations) they are enjoying together, and status reports other news that can’t help but make the reader feel SOMETHING. In our humanness, we compare. I personally believe this is why our Creator came up with the tenth commandment. He knows us.

The SubHub has not approved this message. I don’t care, I am writing it anyway.

He does like to buy flowers, but they are destined for being planted outside. They are NOT a dozen roses that will end up in the trash in a week. The lives of the plants will continue to decorate our yard and bless us for the years of their lifespan. In other words, the gift is meant to be long-term.

I have very little jewelry, he gave up on buying me clothes a long time ago—although I get gift certificates—and he hides the candy for himself. We call it “Grandpa’s stash” and usually the Towhead finds it. Grandpa is turning into his own father, and watching it is hilarious to me. My father-in-law had to hide his sins from his wife. History repeats itself.

But, here’s the real story. We have lived a life of thrift; and NOW we are able to make choices. I am able to quit and focus on my health. Many women may have a closet full of clothes, shoes, purses and jewelry, but even when thrown a curve ball like illness, cannot even consider the option of quitting. I’ll take the latter, thankyouverymuch.

I’ll take the guy who in 2013 paid an OBSCENE amount of money out-of pocket for my treatment and doctors’ appointments, NEVER ONCE COMPLAINING. Never! The vows are “in sickness and in health” and I am reminded that I took those same vows!

No, there were no flowers waiting for me after surgery, but he was there to take care of me. In a quiet, unassuming way, he just goes about his day, doing what needs to be done.

We have a weekly dinner (or lunch or breakfast) date, go to things we both enjoy (like concerts and baseball games) as we are able, but the most important thing is just having time to spend together. Talking is good, but silence is good too.

Every once in a while, he scores tickets to a great show that I have been wanting to see. Once, he bought me a MLB jersey of my favorite player. That was MAJOR husband points right there. Most of the time, though, we are settled into our routine, and I appreciate it very much.

I think he’s a keeper.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Beyond Expectation

I doubt Mark Zuckerberg could ever imagined what would become of Facebook when he and his friends came up with an idea for college students to be able to connect with each other.  Could he have imagined “old people” finding long-lost friends and feeling wonderful about it? Could he have imagined “friends” connecting over interests that they have found that they share? Could he have imagined families connecting and sharing pictures of today; let alone digging through boxes or photo albums, and embarrassing their siblings and cousins?

I may be wrong, but somehow I don’t think so.

As I have said before, I set up a profile so I could follow the friends of my son that were going off to different colleges, and I was genuinely interested in what they were doing. I watched these guys grow up, I wanted to see what they were up to. My first friend was our neighbor’s son, who was teaching in Spain. My second friend is the young man who eventually served as my son’s best man. (I was on Facebook before my son).

Most of my peers had not joined FB yet, but they came along in time. A buddy of my son did say, “The parents are taking over Facebook!” and we most certainly DID. In fact, eventually OUR parents, not to be left out, joined Facebook.

There have been reunions planned on Facebook, and in my own life, I have found folks that I am quite sure I would never had heard from without it. People from my first years of life that were very important to me, people I worked with many years ago but didn't know what became of them, and of course, high school and college friendships.

Could anyone have imagined how every single business would have a Facebook page? How we would set up our feeds to become our literal news feed. The local newspaper, the local government, my congressman at any given time, regardless of party affiliation. The local schools as well as the system my son teaches in, sports teams, favorite singers and shows, the church (mine as well as the kids’ churches) as well as favorite authors—the list is endless.

I know when I got into Facebook, I just wanted to know what various people were doing. It has become so much more in terms of news and marketing.

It pays to keep informed about privacy issues and one of the best sources that I have found is Naked Security from Sophos. By following them, I have accessed a wealth of privacy issues, as well as computer information in general. It is a great concern to me, but I also realize that I don’t put anything on Facebook that is really private. There is email for that, and of course, the question remains if anything is REALLY private! It’s just something to keep in mind.

I think Facebook, and social media in general has gone beyond what anyone could have imagined back in the day. The simple truth is most people like other people and want to keep up. This is how we do it—at least today, in 2014.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More or Less

This is NOT a book report, but I did read a book recently that gave me pause to think about things that are larger than thrift, like the excess Americans live with.
I am referencing “More or Less” (Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity) by Jeff Shinabarger. It is available here. While it is about far more than just a thrifty lifestyle, it had some interesting experiments that I might suggest to a reader. And of course, you will report back to us.

Jeff and his wife took on a challenge that they would not buy any food except milk, until they went through everything in their freezer, refrigerator and pantry. They didn't have children, and they had a big bill that came up unexpectedly. They thought they could go through a month without buying groceries, and thus the experiment began. It lasted seven weeks before they ran out of food. Jeff freely admits he gained 7 pounds from all the carbohydrates and doesn't recommend living like this. But if begs the question, “What’s in your pantry?” and most of us, if we participated in an experiment such as this, would be amazed at how much we have on hand.

He met a woman who conducted an experiment with her clothing. She wondered how many days she could go without wearing an outfit twice. Now do remember, bottom halves (slacks and skirts) were used more often, but with wearing her tops only once and then laying them in another place—so they would not be worn more than one time—and how many days do you think her experiment lasted? One hundred and fifty-six days!

Order the book if you want the rest of the story, but essentially the book is about the excess we live with in America, compared to the rest of the world. It certainly gives one something to think about.
Later, we’ll take up what to do about it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How Homes Have Evolved

Today we will have a short history lesson. I have always been interested in architecture, and how it’s changed over the years. Actually, I was quite the child prodigy, with the things I observed about building in general. My father was a carpenter and brick mason, I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not, but I was always fascinated with how things were built, the styles that have evolved over the last 55 years of my life, and how they reflect life.

Within the context of this blog, it is no profound statement to say that we are building bigger and better. Our children today do not share bedrooms (we don’t have as many children either). Kitchens have evolved. Bathrooms have evolved. A cursory reading of the real estate ads espouses the glamour of the “open concept” living spaces.

My son (Coach) and DIL RN are building a house as I write this. We used the same builder and I do recommend them. This home has four bedrooms, two and one half bathrooms, and living room, dining room and kitchen, plus a family room. It is going to be absolutely gorgeous!

The first house I lived in was built by my father in 1955. It had three bedrooms and one bathroom, and in reality the living area was “open concept.” My mother wanted the kitchen to look over the front yard (to keep track of us) so she had a galley kitchen and dinette in front and the back of the house was a pretty good sized living room. There was no family room, although we had a full basement to play in. My mother’s washer and dryer was down there—and I vaguely remember a wringer washer—and my dad had a home office tucked into a corner of the basement. It was pretty basic but there was a phone down there.

When I think of how homes have evolved over the years, the first thing I think of is how much stuff we have today vs. then. The second thing I think of is how families interact with each other. Certainly, this is different at different stages of life, and depends on the size of the family. My husband and I have always had two living spaces (living room and family room) but one was a MAIN area and the other auxiliary. Today, as retirees, my husband and I like our space too. For us, it’s very healthy. I can’t imagine being my great-grandparents sitting in one room of an evening listening to one radio program. But again, how many choices were there in those days? Today we have 200 channels and I don't have to watch sports!

One type of home that has always fascinated me is the Sears home. These were catalog homes that you could order and have the kit delivered to your lot and you either built it yourself or you sub-contracted. Or both (think digging a basement). These homes were available from 1908 until 1940. They are in every town in the Midwestern state that I live in. I did some research on them and quite a few were very close to homes my grandparents and my aunt and uncle lived in. The one I am going to use as an example is VERY close to the home my aunt and uncle lived in from the time I was 0-3. When I was an adult, we were talking about this house, and I drew this floor plan on a napkin and my aunt was astounded—that I could remember this much from less than three years old. As I said, I was different.

You can Google “Sears homes” and find lots of examples and a quick look will remind you of homes that you have seen if you live in the Midwest.

Well, back in the day we didn't have as much stuff. The closets were small and there weren't as many rooms. My aunt and uncle lived in a kit home. The house I am talking about (by the time they moved) had two boys 6 and 9 and a girl 2 living in it. I know I spent time there when my brother was born and I was only 2. Sears homes cannot be illustrated without permission, but I surely am allowed to share a LINK!

I do remember this: the living room jutted out and the porch was only a half-porch. I believe that the one bathroom was between the bedrooms on the left side of the plan, not the back of the house. There was no second floor, although I assume there was a basement that I never went down into. I wonder what my aunt and uncle paid for it in pre-1953 days?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

This morning, several of us were having a conversation about pride and humility. My first thought was that at this time last year I was feeling pretty good about myself—weight loss and exercise—and then I get cancer. There are other illnesses, of course, but cancer is the type of illness that brings you down to your basest of levels. You realize how vain you really are, you realize that stamina and general health are not to be taken for granted, and in a very real sense, you are knocked down!!!!!

While not beating myself up over it; I do remind myself that had I NOT been eating better and exercising, I would have been in worse shape as I began the “battle” (which I consider the treatment) against breast cancer. Cancer didn't bother me at all, the surgery was surgery and I have recovered from worse surgery than this, and radiation is a snap, really. It’s just what it does to your body.

So, fundamentally this battle has been the last twelve months since my first (routine) mammogram was April 25th. (You can bet I know that date as we work together to schedule my test for this year!) I have been brought low and I have had to physically and psychologically deal with the aftershocks as a result. Now, I’m doing better, truly.

But, this morning, as I was thinking about pride and how it can rear its ugly head in more aspects of life than the physical, I thought of my blog.

I want to make this most perfectly clear. While I enjoy saving money over here, so I can spend it over there, writing this blog is in no way a matter of pride.

Or, is it?

I watch the hits. I want readership. I am not in this to become wealthy; but I am not doing it for therapy either. I want to share and definitely—BE SHARED WITH! I can’t be everywhere at once!

I do a lot of reading. I can speed read and look for what I want. However, when I reference, I have read the whole thing! (At least the chapter of context) There’s lots of good ideas out there, and some will be interested and others, not so much.

This stuff is $20 a tube.
I'm going to use every bit!
I definitely make mistakes. There are things I/we do that you might do differently, and vice-versa. What I want to address in my writing is the totality of thrift, not one thing or another. Hopefully, I am humble. I certainly intend to be. I don't want to be the writer than thinks if you don't save tinfoil, there's something wrong with you. Actually, I might be inclined to think the opposite. But I do want to discuss thrift as the larger issue, and eventually we'll be discussing waste too, as well as giving.

My ditty for the day. I use Mary Kay© cosmetics. I like them and they are more expensive than the dollar store stuff. This morning I cut my tube of foundation in two and I will use Q-tips to DIG OUT every last bit of make-up that I can! And by the way, my sales consultant does the SAME THING!

Just sayin’………

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Look Around You!

There’s a good reason for thrift. You do what you can in the areas that you can, and when something comes along that is just irresistible, you buy without guilt. It’s ALMOST strawberry season, but not quite. I found a great deal on them, and then SubHub comes home with some that he paid about twice as much for.

He won. He got what he paid for. They were absolutely delicious. Fabulous! And in every way, healthy for us too.

These days come upon us. We take advantage of them, and because we've practiced thrift in other areas, it’s very much OK.

Then there are other times, when you just get plain old tired of looking for coupons or deals or whatever. I've felt that way too. To that person—looking at myself in the mirror—I would say, “the more you make yourself aware of what things cost, the better you are able to recognize a good buy when it presents itself!”

Some examples for the week:
  • I bought some chicken breast strips today, 40% off and I am going to fix them tonight. I know that per pound, they are more expensive than buying a whole small chicken to boil or bake and use the meat. However, we will eat every bite of these chicken strips. There are no bones to factor in, and take out, there is no dark meat, wings (UGH!) or liver to throw away. I doubt I come out ahead, but I have NO WASTE and I eat what I want.
  • The SubHub spent a ridiculous amount of money on orange juice at one of the drug chains. I about croaked. However, when taking into consideration the things he was able to buy at dirt cheap prices while he was there, and factoring in gas money to get to the appropriate store to buy the orange juice, I say he comes out ahead.

(You probably notice that there is some competition going on. I think it’s hilarious! We haven’t had a hobby together since we bowled thirty plus years ago in a league. Attending children’s athletic and other events DOES NOT COUNT!)
  • As I have mentioned in previous entries, I have learned that some of these marketing techniques online can bite you in the patootie. Some things are just not worth the hassle. Life is meant to be lived.

Reading is important. Making yourself aware of what is out there when you DON’T need it, can be as important as finding a sale. Watch the ads on TV (torture sometimes, I know), but somehow develop that awareness of what is what where you live! I can write to someone in the Southwest and my Midwestern slant on things is not going to impress them at all.

My simple thought for the week is LOOK AROUND YOU.