If I had any money, I would be trying to save as much of it as I could these days. Because I never seem to have any cash, I had to find other ways to show the world that I am trying to do my part to cope with the insidious recession that seemingly has engulfed our entire planet.
I wear sneakers every day. I just like sneakers. I find them comfortable and they help me run fast and stop quickly when I need to! My favorite sneakers are probably twelve years old. They have definitely seen better days and they definitely look the worse for wear but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them. They are now quickly becoming candidates for one of the best miracle repair products in all the recorded history of mankind – duct tape! I will soon be using that magic, grey tape to reseal the sidewalls of the right one and to repair the toe section on the left one. When things get too bad, I guess I’ll be wrapping the entire body of both sneakers, negating the need for laces! It doesn’t do anything for convenience but it keeps the sneaks from falling off the feets!
Laundry detergent sure has gotten expensive these days. You do a couple loads of wash every weekend and that seven or eight dollar bottle of detergent seems to disappear pretty quickly. Now I know that I didn’t come up with this idea by myself because I’ve seen lots of kids wandering aimlessly around shopping malls or grocery stores with their tee shirts turned inside out. When I first saw that fashion statement, I thought that perhaps the poor kids had gotten birthday or Christmas gifts from grandma that didn’t quite suit their life styles. I know that not many sixteen year old girls enjoy walking around with My Pretty Pony shirts and I know for certain that most teenage boys are not going out in public with Pac Man or Pokemon shirts. To avoid lying to grandma when she calls and asks if they are wearing the nice shirt she sent them, they just turn those outdated shirts inside out and tell her that they wear them every chance they get. Well I took that strategy a step further. Most of my tee shirts have some print message on them – sports teams, logos and decorative prints. I can wear a blue shirt with the name of a western New York football team emblazoned across the front on Monday and then, I can wear a plain blue shirt on Tuesday. Wednesday could have me being a walking advertisement for an imported beer while on Thursday, I am advertising nothing other than a shirt that happens to be the same color as the one I was wearing the day before. Another way to save on that laundry detergent is by hanging those shirts in an open window overnight. That and, don’t brush against anything dirty. Don’t sweat, spill anything on yourself and don’t let any lady wearing stinky perfume give you a big hug. This manner of saving cannot be readily applied to shirts with collars and buttons. The solution to that dilemma is of course not wearing shirts with collars and buttons.
I remember going out to eat dinner. I remember doing it a lot! The thing is, the folks who own the restaurants are in business to make money. The easiest way to accomplish that is by luring you into their establishments and taking yours. Be honest, you can be easily swayed into buying dinner out just by driving by a restaurant and smelling the aromas being vented from their kitchens through exhaust fans. I think the really devilishly intelligent restaurant owners install super powerful exhaust fans to blast all those frying bacon and chicken or baking pie scents as far into the atmosphere as possible. Even if you can resist a gauntlet of restaurants on your way to the grocery store, you then have to find that inner fortitude to resist the three inch thick strip steaks and t-bones; the giant, stuffed pork chops and all the wonderfully attractive selections at the Chinese take out bar. You stretch your grocery budget the furthest when you can convince yourself that you can find a half dozen creative, tasty chicken recipes. My wife and I have developed quite a love of marinated, grilled chicken breast. We grocery shop on Saturday and I immediately place our chicken purchase into a covered, plastic container – awash with the marinade of our choice for that week. On Sunday, I grill the whole mess ‘o chicken at the same time instead of grilling every night, thereby stretching my propane gas supply as far as possible. Then, if I have not gone overboard and purchased something special to make for Sunday dinner, we enjoy a nice serving of warm, grilled chicken with a couple of vegetables on the side. Tuesday brings a serving of cold grilled chicken with those side vegetables. Wednesday through Friday brings an assortment of chicken sandwiches, chicken salads or chicken surprise. The surprise is usually discovering something that tastes good with cold chicken! I hope when my time here on earth is over, that Heaven’s gate keeper does not have a pet chicken!
One last method I have of saving what little cash I have is allowing my lawn to go natural. My front lawn is not an issue with all the kids trampling over it day after day and the mailman and the meter readers using it as a short cut from my house to their stop next door. My back yard however, can hide a covey of quail! The grass, the pretty yellow flowers – some people call Dandelions a nuisance but I call them ground cover – and all the lawn furniture obstructing the view of the lawn itself, make for quite a scenic urban setting. If my wife does not look out the back windows for an extended period of time, I can go weeks without her telling me how raggedy it all looks.
Yes, I’m doing all I can to keep as much of my hard earned income in my hands as possible. I may look funny with my duct tape repaired sneakers and my inside out tee shirts and my every day chicken breath and my luxurious looking lawn but I don’t care. I still have the extra three dollars I had last week. Can you say the same? I do truly hope that financially, things start getting back to normal soon, I’m getting really tired of walking the thirteen miles to work every day. I’d like to be able to afford gas again soon so I can get my twelve year old car back on the highway.