Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Diamonds On the Soles of Her Poo (sha na na na na)

When does one officially earn the title of "miser"?

I've got to be closing in on it any day now. After rounding "cheap bastard", I intend to slide into "penny pinching fool" any moment now. Here's my February spend:
  • $3 on quarters for laundry
  • $3 wasted in the vending machine trying to get quarters for laundry (aka Sun Chips, Coke, and one serving of air)
  • $25.09 at the grocery store (didn't know you could leave there for less than a hundred bucks. Huh. Learn something every day.)
  • $29.89 at the gas station (on gas, not on Hustler and sour Skittles. That was hard for me.)
  • $3.88 at Walgreen's (Gray says he's going to pay me back for the lube...er...Mountain Dew)
  • $4.26 at the Red Box for two Valentine's Day movies (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist: loved it, but what is with the PUKE in all the movies these days?)(Nights at Rodanthe: Eh, I love you Diane Lane, but this was no Under the Tuscan Sun, KWIM?)
  • $20 in quarters for laundry

So that's less than $100 more than half way into the month - not too shabby in my humble opinion. The only thing on this list of "expenditures" (another word that sounds awesome but really isn't) that we didn't totally "need" was the Red Box movie rental. Fuck it. I didn't get Gray a card for Valentine's Day, so it all evened out.

This is such a drastic change from my spending in January that I'm getting all these frantic emails from my budget website saying, "Unusual Spending Activity", and "You Are $500 Below the Average U.S. Household, Are You Sure We Don't Need to Send Over the Coroner?"

So far, this spending moratorium has been a piece of cake - THANK YOU DEPRESSION - because I haven't wanted to leave the house for any reason, including to stimulate the economy. I got both my state and federal tax refunds, and I got my student loan disbursement as well. So now that I don't need money to cover bouncing checks, I've got some padding in my bank accounts. Doesn't that just fucking figure? I'm just waiting for everything to clear the bank before I go and pay down some credit cards. They'll probably send over the FBI to investigate that shit.

Speaking of credit cards, I cashed in my few remaining rewards points and ordered a $5 gift card to Panera Bread, which I stopped to use last night on my way to class because I was about ::this:: close to chewing on my own arm, and I'm not even all that into cannibalism these days. All I wanted was a nice, hot cup of soup. Potato soup. Mmmmmm. Great, now my panties are wet.

Did you people know that Panera Bread sells magical, golden soup? I got 12 ounces of potato and water for $4.89. FOUR FUCKING EIGHTY-NINE! I had the gift card for $5, so it worked out perfectly, but I just couldn't believe I was spending five dollars on a bowl of soup. There was bacon in there, and believe me! I understand the value of the pork product. But I've got a package of bacon at home - an entire package! - that cost less than that one bowl of soup with the three crumbs of bacon in it. WE ARE IN A RECESSION PANERA! People don't have magical soup money just laying around anymore.

I went to Panera's website this morning to try and find evidence of this ludicrous price point, but the menu? HAS NO PRICES ON IT. You know how when you go to the fancy restaurant for a special occasion and you kind of hope someone else foots the bill because you've got $13 in your wallet but the menu has no prices listed next to anything so you know they're going to charge you a thousand dollars for that pat of butter? Because only people who have black AMEX cards don't want to know how much shit costs? Because if there are no prices on the menu, you just drink water so you don't have to worry about losing your house?

That's what Panera Bread is like, except instead of fine china and crystal, they give you plastic spoons and and make you come get your own food when it's ready. $4.89 for a bowl of fucking soup. I'm still thinking I may shit out a few diamonds so this all makes sense.