Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Penny Pinching 101


Times are tough. As a teacher and the primary wage earner in my household, things haven’t changed. I’ve been scraping by on peanuts for a couple of decades. So if you’re new to the scraping by on peanuts business, take a little advice from an expert peanut scraper.

· First, if you have golf clubs you need to throw them in the lake. That’s what I did seventeen years ago. Fifty bucks for a round of golf? You got to be kidding. By the way, once you’ve made your statement, fish the clubs out of the water and sell them at a garage sale.

· Second, cancel magazine subscriptions. Buy two-week old magazines for a nickel at the library. Also, you can read magazines on line – if your eyes can take the stress.

· Read the paper on line too.

· Check out books and movies at the library.

· Get rid of cable. OK, that’s extreme. At least get rid of the expensive movie channels.

· Make your coffee at home.

· Bring your lunch to work.

· If you forget your lunch, go to Subway. A fully loaded meatball sandwich is just three bucks.

· Don’t eat. OK, you got to eat. How about eating less?

· If you live in Arizona, eat the free grapefruit. Grapefruit is ubiquitous out here. Everyone’s got a grapefruit tree. The streets are lined with grapefruit trees. Why just this morning, I was strolling along the sidewalk and a grapefruit fell from a tree and hit my on the head. What did I do, you might ask? I ate it.

· Drink tap water. Tap water is arguably safer than bottled water. Bottled water it the biggest scam of the last hundred years.

· Buy the cheap beer.

· Never purchase ketchup, mustard, hot sauce or Parmesan cheese. Shove as many of the packets in your pockets as you can when frequenting fast food establishments and pizza joints.

· Sell your dryer at a garage sale. Hang your clothes up to dry in the bathroom.

· Grow a beard. It saves on razors.

· Sneak into your neighbor’s yard and pick flowers for your wife.

· Steal the change from fountains and wishing wells.

OK, I’m out of control; don’t steal anything. But the other measures I’ve listed will save you no less than seven-hundred thousand dollars over the course of the next decade. Don’t believe me? Get a calculator and do the math yourself.

Oh, there’s one more thing you can do if you live in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix. You can take your family to the Pollack Cinemas. I’m dead serious about this suggestion. Admission to the Pollack Cinemas is three bucks. An extra large popcorn and soda with refill privileges are eight bucks. My wife and I can take our three youngest girls to the movies for twenty-three bucks. While a trip to the corporate movie theater is forty-nine bucks. That’s a twenty-four dollar savings. Why go to the corporate theaters?

And Pollack Cinemas are cool. They joint has atmoshere. The owner displays his massive collection of quirky memorabilia on the premises. There is a full-scale diorama of a scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean. Life-sized celebrities are scattered everywhere. Some of my favorites are the Blues Brothers, Marylyn Monroe, Tony (Scarface) Montana, Bat Man, Laurel and Hardy and Ronald Regan. Pollack’s got his vintage lunch box collection displayed in glass cases. My personal favorites are The Partridge Family, The Sons of Will Gannon and Kung Fu. How cool is that. Snatch the pebble from my hand baby!

Selling your dryer, giving up shaving and stealing your neighbors’ flowers might be a little over the top but Pollack Cinemas is the real deal. I think I love you, Mr. Pollack Tempe Cinemas owner man. You are an American hero.


Query Emails Sent: 207
Rejections received: 37
Under Consideration: 15
Miscellaneous: 1


Sorry, I've decided to pass on your work. I receive 5,000+ submissions and queries every year; I can accept only a few new projects. Unfortunately I'm unable to provide specific comments because of the number of submissions I receive.
I suggest checking the agent and publisher listings in JEFF HERMAN'S GUIDE TO BOOK PUBLISHERS, EDITORS AND LITERARY AGENTS. This reference book is published annually.
Best of luck with your work.

And Jeff Herman’s guide can be purchased for a mere $29.95.


Jason said...

HEY! I think you went too far with the cheap beer comment. Some of the finer things in life just aren't worth scrimping over - haha!. And, next time, if you order me a cheap beer, then the beer might literally be on you this time. Don't say you weren't warned. Keep writing - you're going to have a following world-wide before long.

#167 Dad said...

Good to hear from you! So far I think you're my only reader in the continent of Asia.Spread the word. Help me build an Asian following. By the way,how much is beer in Asia?

Clif the Lawyer said...

As an unpaid intern at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, I implemented the condiments trick. My roommates and I kept separate bowls in our refrigerator full of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauce packets from Del Taco, In-N-Out Burger, etc.

When combined with ramen noodles, an endless variety of culinary joy can result.

beFrank said...

I'm still reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

Clif the Lawyer,
It's good to know you're reading. Now you have me thinking about possible Top Ramen condiment combos.The mixture of ketchup,mayo,mustard,and horse radish might be interesting...

WZ Snyder said...

Technology has me by the throat. I can't even respond to a comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm still writing my you know what off.

Jason said...

Beer in Asia...well that depends. You can head over the backpacker area and get ice cold bottles for about a buck fifty, but who knows what kind of disease you're submitting yourself to, which in the end, might end up making it the most expensive damn bottle of beer you've ever had. I hit an English pub up for happy hour about 4 days a week. Ice cold Heineken on draft for about $2.50 - not bad. Good music too!
Keep writing - I am enjoying it!

#167 Dad said...

Sounds about the same as Arizona happy hour. English pubs in Thailand? Do you have American sports bars over there too?It's good to a following in Asia - even if it is one guy...

David C. said...

Was the rejection letter written by Jeff Herman?

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