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Archive for May, 2008

When poor folks have better crap than you

May 21st, 2008 at 06:41 pm

"It's bad enough trying to keep up with the Jones; when you have trouble keeping up with the guy living on the wrong side of the tracks, it's a source of constant aggravation." -- from an old blog entry by a fellow named Philip Brewer

www.wisebread.com/when-poor-folks-have-better-crap-than-you

There have been a lot of sob stories in the media lately, revolving around high gas and food prices and the mortgage mess. The one people are discussing in the forums happens to be about food stamp recipients. When you're feeling stressed about your own finances, it can be really irritating when you're asked to feel sorry for someone else who's made dumb choices yet still enjoys luxuries you don't have, or has walked out on the kind of responsibility you are fulfilling, or is getting help you aren't getting. I know I've gotten riled up at times.

But Mr. Brewer says something I hope I can remember:

"When people around you make unwise choices the appropriate emotion to feel is compassion, not ire. When you find yourself wishing for better crap the appropriate emotion to feel is gratitude for the crap you've got, not envy for someone else's."

He says it's the Buddhist perspective. All I know is, I'd rather learn to think that way than have my blood pressure spike up!

He also has a good piece on how voluntary frugality and poverty are two different things--even if the poor person and the frugal person are living on the same budget.

www.wisebread.com/voluntary-simplicity-versus-poverty

Resisted temptation and added $70 to savings

May 17th, 2008 at 10:27 am

There are two special purchases at Aldi that I've been itching to buy--a paper cutter for $20 and a metal detector for $50.

I decided today that if I could dig up the money to pay for them somehow, then I could just as well afford to move the money into savings instead. I've already spent quite a bit this spring, and our emergency account balances are low.

Still, I always find it hard to put money aside for vague reasons like "emergencies." Maybe playing mind games with myself like this is the only way to get it done.

No spend day, yesterday!

May 14th, 2008 at 07:24 am

I hardly ever have these. I've been spending way too much on coffee at work, even at 50 cents a cup. Yesterday I drank water instead. Smile

Life has calmed down a little, so I'm trying to get back to some little frugalities. I made macaroni salad over the weekend, and am using it up even though it's rather bland. Making a pitcher of iced tea in the mornings to keep from going into my diet soda stash. Having toast instead of bagels or English muffins, because the price per serving is about half. Using up home-made soup I have in the freezer instead of opening a can.

I'm planning my driving trips more carefully--I actually made it through the past week on $25 worth of gas. This morning I'm in the mood to go to Aldi's before work, but I'll wait til tonight. I can combine the trip with getting my hair cut. Tomorrow I'll hit Petsmart on the way home from work, rather than making a separate trip. It's kind of aggravating when you want to go NOW, but I'm sure I can get used to it.

I've also changed some computer settings so my pc goes on standby sooner when it's idle, and turns itself off earlier at night. May save a little electricity, I hope.

Nothing more exciting going on right now--which is a GOOD thing.

Comprehensive Aldi Price List

May 7th, 2008 at 05:23 am

A blogger named Homeschool Dad came across a printed price list in his local Aldi, and posted it online!

I've been trying to keep a price book of Aldi prices, based on my receipts. At one point I even put it up online hoping it would be useful for other people to use as a comparison for sale prices at other stores. But I never managed to put together such a comprehensive list as this one.

Here's the link location as of today (it will open an Adobe Reader .pdf file)
http://a.slickdeals.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=88642&d=...

Homeschool Dad had to take the file off his own website because he got too many hits. Go, Aldi fans! Smile

Homeschool Dad's blog--
http://homeschooldadblog.com/04-12-2008/complete-aldis-price...

I've never seen a printed price list at my Aldi, and I've never noticed some of the products on his list. OTOH, the special seasonal stuff isn't listed, just the stuff they have all the time. The price list also says every product in their store has a price tag on it--not the case here in NJ.

Happy comparison shopping.

It makes a difference

May 3rd, 2008 at 05:16 am

Yesterday as fate would have it, I walked into the supermarket behind a mother and adult daughter, and ended up in the checkout lane behind them too.

Before I left home, I looked at the store flyer, made a list, and gathered my coupons and rainchecks together. They grabbed the flyer on the way into the store, and seemed confused about which week it was even for.

We both had fairly full carts. Their total was over $100, and the cashier told them they saved $3 and something today. My total was $52.92 and my savings, as the store calculates it, were $36.58.

If I ever needed a reminder that it's worth the time to plan ahead, this was it!