Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And So The Real Adventure Begins!

I'm upping my rent next week, by a lot, actually, because I'm moving into my own house for the first time in almost a year and a half.
This means sticking to a serious budget. I've been accumulating tips.
Kim puts all her appliances etc on power strips and unplugs them when not in use. As a result, her electric bill for her studio apartment is never over 15 bucks/month. Genius! I'll be hitting up IKEA for cheap power strips on my next trip to Phoenix.
Meal planning! I've been trying to teach myself how to do this in a reasonable manner. It's hard, living alone, to make yourself nutritious and tasty meals that vary enough throughout the week; at least, it's hard for me. I think I'm going to devote Sundays to shopping and then cooking at least two "big" meals so as to be able to freeze the leftovers and have lunches etc. I suppose this means I will also need to buy a microwave? And some new tupperware on that trip to IKEA?
I need internet and I am rethinking my need for Netflix. It's kind of wasted on me now, and will be even more wasted when I'm alone, I suspect.

Do you have any tips for me? Turning my cooler off is out, as I am the proud cat mama of one exceedingly fluffy orange fellow.


  1. Use the big red box for movie rentals if you really want a movie. They're around at Slaveway and Circle K and other places. They look like a Pepsi machine but they'll rent you a movie for $1/night. And doesn't the library have movies?
    Meal planning is the best. I always scan the kitchen to see what I've got left on Sunday, then plan to make things that use up those items. Inevitably we didn't use all the green onions, or there are left over tortillas.
    Go thrifting with Laura more. Yeah.

  2. Maybe your new neighborhood will have free wifi? It's worth hoping with all those restaurants nearby.

    I like the big red box, but it's a dollar a day so you have to be quick with the return.

    I want to go thrifting too. Flippin' work schedule getting in the way.

  3. The red box was test marketed in Denver when I was in law school; I've experienced its evil when movies are out a week or so.

    I can't afford to thrift more than once a month! How bleak.

    (And, no free wifi... the "restaurant" nearest me is the Buffet. Nothing else.)

  4. If you want to get on the internet go to the library. Movies, well, there a waste of time aren't they and by that I mean, couldn't you be doing something more productive with your life?

    And keep that dam cat cool no matter what!

  5. Hi Sybil,

    Here are some more frugal tips:

    1) libraries have DVDs. Mine (in LA) charge $1 a day late fee, so keep that in mind. but, yes, I find myself reading more these days. I cut out cable, tried to converter box, decided it wasn't worth it, so now the only TV I watch is that which is available on the web or on DVD.

    2) you don't need a microwave for left-overs if you already have a toaster oven. Get a loaf bread pan. You can re-heat almost anything in one of those (in a toaster oven). Perfect for single-serve vegan mac & cheeze re-heat. If you're worried about something drying out, cover with tin-foil

    3) add a swamp cooler (wet towels, hang on clothes drying rack in front of a fan), so you can turn down your a/c and the kitty still stays cool.

    4) If you live in a particularly sunny place, you can put uv-blocking tints on your windows. I just keep the curtains drawn in the day - works about the same.

    5) Keep your fridge full. I brew tons of ice tea (so as not to waste $ or get diabetes) in lieu of buying soda. Let them cool on the counter and then fill up the fridge with them. Lightly sweetened with agave is a delight. Also, a full fridge takes less energy to keep cool.

    6) air dry your laundry. Dry your laundry in front of the fan and that will be a super-efficient swamp cooler.


  6. Hey Sybil,

    I've been thinking more about my break-evens. The difference between heating a cup of tea in a microwave vs on the oven is negligible. Real savings in the mircrowave are only realized if you cook actual means in them (something I doubt you do). So driving to IKEA and paying $75 for a microwave is a money loser unless you microwave a lot of your meals. Even then you likely will not break even on that trip for a couple of years.

    I should have a couple of extra power strips around my office that you can have (unless you are going to phoenix for another reason).


  7. I'm sure Clarke cooks her own meals and is as frugal as all get out. She probably hasn't posted any blogs for so long because she just cut down on everything, including (oh the HORROR!) the internet. Remember this is a young lady who went to law school, where only the strong survive! She is just fine so stop giving her stupid advice like "use a swamp cooler" SHE KNOWS HOW TO USE A SWAMP COOLER, SHE GREW UP IN ARIZONA YOU MORON!

    Ed Rothstein

  8. Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your post.
    I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

    Here is my page ... design your own bedroom
    my web site: home organization ideas