Friday, June 16, 2006

Can You Keep a Secret?

Ok, so here's some personal info I'll divulge: I am a cheapskate.

My cheapskatedness is partly the reason why I have not finished packing yet. Here's the deal:
I refuse to pay for boxes. They're just garbage, and I'm going to throw them away myself, so why should I pay for them? A classmate of mine gave me a hot tip on where to score some free cardboard a few weeks ago. She said to check out one of the local hospitals and to try Petsmart.

The hospital turned out to be a good lead. Every day they throw a bunch of boxes in a fenced area in the back to be compressed at the end of the day. I called their Materials Department, and they even were kind enough to tell me to help myself whenever I wanted to. The problem? There's quite a variety in the boxes put out from day to day. Some days there were small boxes with divisions from the pharmacy that were perfect for heavy textbooks. And today I scored some good-sized boxes for clothing and other light items. I now have a variety of sizes to choose from when packing, but it took quite a few trips there to accumulate them.

Petsmart it turns out, is run by teenagers. Depending on whom one talks to, they either have a policy against giving the public boxes, suggest you coming by in the evening, or suggest a specific time and then have a puzzled look on their face when you actually show up to pick up the boxes.

I did finally break down on Tuesday and purchased four boxes and some rope from UHaul, as I needed some wide, but flat boxes for framed posters and a painting. The cost? $31. One can do a lot with $31. That's about the price of a full tank of gas for me, although it was less than $20 when I first bought my car.

Like I said, I think it's a big scam to buy boxes. However, it has taken a good bit of driving around and sweaty cursing on my part when trying to flatten and compact said boxes into my already compact car.


My other act of thriftiness/procrastination has been sorting through my CD collection. I had 3 boxes packed full of CDs and decided that I wouldn't mind parting with about 1/3 of them. To do this, I went to a local chain that trades and pays cash for used CDs and DVDs. The problem here was that the buyback demand lists for all 5 of their locations was not linked, so I had to drive from store to store with my box of wares to see what each location would take. I also went to an independent store as well. Overall, I earned over $200 in store credit, which I spent mainly on movies and television series... as people keep voicing the opinion that I won't have time to watch regular television during my intern year.

However, I still have about 10 CDs left that absolutely no one will take, so I'm unloading half of them on The Phoenix, and the others I'll probably just throw away. I was going to donate them to Goodwill, but even I am not cruel enough to inflict things like the Boyz II Men Holiday Album on the less fortunate!

So perhaps a whole day was spent wandering in and out of used music stores.

In keeping with today's cheapskate theme, here's a recipe from college that I'll share with you:

Kate's 25-Cent Tuna Salad

2 packets mayonaise (preferably you've been refrigerating these and not keeping them in the car!)
1 packet pickle relish
1 can of tuna
4 packets of crackers

To pull off a 25-cent meal requires a lot of forethought, so don't expect to be able to do this in one evening. Throughout the semester, stash away extra packets of relish and mayonaise from convenience stores or fast food chains. (Relish is particularly tricky to find, so when you come across it, GRAB it!) When you eat in the cafeteria or at a buffet, always grab an extra packet of crackers with your salad. When making a beer run to the grocery store, be sure to walk down the canned food aisle, and keep an eye out for 25-cent tuna!

Open tuna can and dump contents in bowl after straining off gross oily stuff. Open packets of pickle relish and mayonnaise and mix with tuna (I like to do this with a plastic knife, also conveniently obtainable from the cafeteria). Open crackers and arrange fashionably on plate surrounding tuna salad on bowl, so you don't look so pathetic. Apply tuna salad to cracker with plastic knife like spackle, and enjoy!


And on a separate note, I was looking at some of the statistics for my blog on, and do you know how some people have been finding my blog?

I was listed by Google for both the words hermaphrodite and Squamish.

So here you go: hermaphrodite, hermaphrodite, Squamish, hermaphrodite, Squamish, Squamish.

I anticipate many more site visits in my future.


Chris said...

Two other great places for boxes:
1) Liquor stores. They are sturdy boxes, plus you meet the most interesting people behind a liquor store. Seriously though, hit your local liquor store.
2) Grocery stores. Don't talk to the bag boys or cashiers. Ask to speak to the person who manages the stocking operations. They can hook you up. A $5 tip at either of these places will get you $50 worth of boxes.

Kate Kooks
Wow, ummm, yeah. OK, I thought you were kidding about your cooking skills. Alexis and I are on our way to cook you dinner.

I have a tasty recipe for salted banana slugs with a side order of apaphallation.

My Blog

ru said...

Ketchup sandwiches are usually free at your local Wendy's. Don't forget the courtesy cup of water and a couple of disguises so people won't kick you out or make you pay for something.

ru said...

aha! I noticed you have been leaving out some of my comments. Apparently censorship does not only exist in the presidency.

ru said...

I love hermaphrodites! Especially apophalla....yeah,whatever.