and one more

OK, I’m kind of enjoying finagling my way through this last bit of August. I’d enjoy being rich and carefree a little more, probably, but I’m proud of myself.

To recap, I had $73 in my slush budget and $35 in my pocket, and I needed to buy food for the next week and get a new driver’s license and register my car. Alas, the car stuff came to $96 (I went and did it yesterday.)

To make up for the $23 difference between the slush fund and the car stuff, I first “found” $3 by drawing it from my car insurance category for this month and next month (when I budget, I round up because it’s easier than remembering the exact number, which is $53.30.) Then I just had to see if I could buy all my food for the week using $15 plus $2 in loose change I scared up.

Spoiler: yes I could!

I looked around at my pantry again and thought about what I wanted to make. I had a few ingredients in place already (frozen homemade black beans, soba noodles, miso) so I settled on Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa and Cold Noodles With Miso, Lime, and Ginger.

I hit the grocery store first, for milk (got to have it for my coffee), quinoa, cilantro, ginger, limes, scallions, and a daikon. Total: $9.63. (The quinoa was a bit over 1/3 of that.) This morning, I biked (saving gas!) down to the farmer’s market. I spent $2 in loose change on carrots. I bought a cucumber for $.75 (probably a bad move, as I unintentionally bought a pretty seed-y variety, and I could have had a different variety for $.50). Then having patrolled the entire market, I found a guy who was mysteriously selling heirloom tomatoes for $1.29 a lb. At this point I was committed to spending my last $3 on tomatoes, so I picked out two that did indeed turn out to collectively add up to $2.50. I was talking with the guy, and I don’t know if he thought I was cute, or if I just looked poor, but then! he tipped an entire pint of beautiful little cherry tomatoes into my bag! I said “oh, that’s a lot!” and he said “well, we grow a lot,” and I guess he’s right, about this time of year a pint of cherry tomatoes more or less doesn’t make much of a difference to them, but it did to me! Very exciting. 🙂

Then I took my last two quarters and bought two little butter cookies from the Polish bakery stand. And I came home with a $20 bill still in my wallet.


The loot (with the $20 for evidence):

Not pictured: the ginger, because I forgot to put it in the picture, and the two cookies, because I ate them.

4 thoughts on “and one more

  1. Oh I love playing those games with myself. I need to start raiding the pantry (hey, it will turn into good posting material as well) because they’re jammed. It’s so odd to think how much food we actually have sitting around when we think “there’s no food”… what I mean is “I don’t want to have to prepare food… make it magically appear” 🙂

    Yay for being cute and getting free cherry tomatoes… I love eating those for snacks.

    1. I know, preparation takes FOREVER. Also in my case, pantry food always has to be supplemented in order to be palatable — in a complete and total emergency, I could live on my oatmeal and grains and beans for a week or so, I guess, but usually what I have to do is buy a bunch of vegetables to go along with them! So ‘there’s no food’ often means that for me. But you’re so right, it’s a crazy first-world phrase.

      I’m hoping it’s that I was cute. I feel positively ancient this week; the skin on my face and neck looks ollllllllllld to me all of a sudden and I’m trying not to freak out 🙂

  2. debt debs says:

    Well done, Cecilia! I must say! Nice to get the cherry tomato bonus too!

    1. I was sooooooo proud of myself. But let’s see if I make it through the week with that $20 intact!

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