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Tryin’ to Make a Dollar Outta Fifteen Cents

June 16th, 2009

I’ve got about a hundred posts today and, provided I can get my housework caught up (Do you have any idea how utterly counterproductive panic attacks are?  Seriously.  I got nothing done yesterday. Not even the dishes I started.), I plan to inundate you with them until my fingers fall off.  If I was intelligent, I’d save some for Thursday.  I don’t wanna.  But, thanks to the slow drip in my neighbor’s ceiling, I might not have a choice.  So much for twenty-four hours notice.

Master and I have been doing a lot of penny-pinching, lately.  It’s really not like us.  Really not like us.  We’re not well-off or even comfortable.  We live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes are counting change and taking back bottles to get through the week.  Sometimes we live on eggs, hot dogs and Ramen.  And we still manage to hemorrhage money.

One of the few real life friends we have who isn’t a total loser (Oh and while I’m thinking about it, we asked our company to leave and lose our number.) invited us to his wedding and neither of us have anything to wear to a wedding.  I want a nice pants suit but I’m betting Master is going to insist on a dress.  And heels!  This wedding might just be the death of me.

I don’t even know what one wears to a wedding.  I haven’t been to one since I was sixteen unless you count mine.  And mine really doesn’t count because it was casual.  As in, almost everyone was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.  And, to be honest, I think I wore the same dress to the last wedding I went to that I wore to my grandfather’s funeral.  My mother was too cheap to buy me a new one.

And!  I wanna look hot!  This is an extremely rare occasion for us.  We never do anything fancy and special.  We’ve never got the money or opportunity.  I’ll still be my normal lewd, crude and socially unacceptable self, but I want to look hot!  And I don’t even begin to know where to start.

Frumpy housewife kitteh is frumpy!  Halp!

So we’re pinching pennies.  Trying to figure out how we’re getting there, how we’re getting clothes, how we’re getting home…  And how we’re paying for all of it.

Let me tell you, it’s rough.  We both have a thousand things we want and a thousand things we need and trying to filter through all of them and prioritize is a pain in the ass.  It was so much easier to spend too much and hope against hope that Master or I picked up a side job before the next paycheck.  To walk through the aisles thinking, “Better to be happy than have money.” and not pay attention to what we were dropping in the cart.

Our biggest saving grace, though, has been leftovers.

Until recently, we almost never ate leftovers.  The only exception was fried chicken, pizza or lasagna.  Other than that, they just sat in the fridge until they were growing.  I have the refrigerator-keeping skills of a twenty year old bachelor.  Lately, though, I’ve been freezing any meat we didn’t eat unless there wasn’t enough to bother.  I’ve found I can make whole meals for $0.60 with leftovers.  And occasionally, if I’m diligent about putting them away and reminding Master about them, I’m able to make whole meals for nothing.

Last week or the week before, we had money but didn’t want to spend it at the grocery store.  We wanted to spend it on something fun.  Like a couple 20 oz. Smirnoffs.  Or pizza.  Or a new game.

We had some ham in the freezer.  It’s been there a while, so naturally, the slave had to test it.  And it was scrumdiddliumptuous.  The day before, we had a roasted chicken with macaroni and cheese, stuffing and my twice baked potatoes (stay tuned for the recipe).

We’re horrible about too many starches with chicken.  M really likes having macaroni and cheese and some sort of potato with it.  My little bit of southern bellness has rubbed off on Him, I think.  And I can’t live without stuffing once in a while.  Besides…  Stuffing makes the chicken taste better!  So, whatever.  It makes us happy.  *grin*

It also leaves tons of leftovers.  There’s only two of us, after all.

I made an entire meal with the ham a day or so later and didn’t spend a penny.

There was still ham left over Sunday night.  We also had a little bit of frozen green beans left over from the last time M made vegetable curry (I’ll probably post that recipe soon, as well.).  Not quite enough for two servings, though.  So I sauteed some onions and garlic, tossed in about two tablespoons of soy sauce, about a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of salt and cooked the green beans in the mixture.  It was delish.

The final addition to this poor man’s ham dinner was a package of noodles in garlic sauce we paid $0.60 for a couple weeks earlier.

The best part?  This was the last package of frozen ham. There were two others after we had the original ham dinner.  Those other packages went into sandwiches, omelets and scrambled eggs.

We really should do ham dinner more often.  Initially, it’s expensive.  The price tag can seem daunting.  But the leftovers we have from just one ham stretches months if I package and freeze it correctly.

A lesson learned, I guess.  We won’t be throwing away leftovers anymore.

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