That’s how much is left. 9 days to go. If you subtract the $30 copay for baby’s check-up, that leaves $101, $11 a day.
I could probably stop the e-mail there for accountability purposes, but as you know, I must elaborate.
Here’s what we spent this week.
$17.45 Harris Teeter More super doubles
$7.67 Pull-ups from HT. I weep to pay this much, but it had to be done. Also, Dylan will never be potty trained. I am now sure of it.
$2.16 CVS (The newspaper)
$4 Tickets to see Prince of Persia at the $2 movies for datenight
$3.28 McDonalds for date night: 2 Mcdoubles and 2 apple pies. We were going to get water, but as they now charge .25 for a cup, we didn’t have enough.
Total spent for the week: $135.50.
However, $45 of that money (gas) was earned this week by J’s sales of various electronic stuff on Craig’s List, so in celebration and desperation, we went on a date.
Now, I must speak about this date because we actually discussed how you, the readers, would react to this cheap date. Was it lame? Is it sad to eat at McDonald’s and see a $2 movie that we may or may not have actually wanted to see just because we are so insanely eager to get out of the house and away from our children?
No. It is not sad at all. Because . . . we have low expectations, which were not only met, they were exceeded. Not “Oh- poor- us- and- our-sad-life” expectations. Just generally lower expectations. Our expectation is that our fun will not come from what we spend, or eat, or do, but that our fun will come from something else–our own fundamental awesomeness. We don’t just have low expectations this summer, but in general. This is one of the key elements of the frugal philosophy that is essential to truly making it work. We focus, or try to focus, on the true point of the evening. Escape. And pie.
Pie, which is actually quite good for $0.50. Moreover, it is pie which is definitely not $5-$7 worse than slow food pie.
After the expensive $.50 tap water thing at McDonald’s, we joked about going over and holding the soda fountain water button for each other while the other held our face under the nozzle and drank. Honestly, we got quite a chortle out of that. It quite made the evening. J even said, “Don’t you have something in your purse we could use?” As if I carry around a cup? But then, I remembered, my Gram B., heroine of frugality, used to have this collapsible cup that she carried around in her purse, and dang it, if that didn’t seem like a great idea right about then. But we got to really giggling and laughing about that, whipping out the imaginary cup and uncollapsing it with a shake of the hand, like a light saber or something.
Then we watched another couple come in with their two small children and struggle through the drill of feeding them at McDonalds. And we did not envy them. We laughed at them.
And then we took a short walk through a local park and saw a teen couple. The boy, I guess in punk-style, was wearing tight rolled jeans and white girly looking Keds. Since that was my eight grade outfit of choice, we had a good laugh about that too. (Laughing at others is really the foundation, I’m starting to realize.)
We asked ourselves on the way home, did we have a lot more fun on dates where we spent $30-$50 on dinner? Sure, the food at atmosphere may have been better at that type of place, but after smuggling in popcorn and skittles from home to eat in the movie, we weren’t that hungry anyway. I don’t have a picture of our date at McDonalds, but I will show you another one to illustrate the point.
Now looking at that picture, you might think that this anniversary date was infinitely better than our McDonald’s date last night. After all, we are at a nice restaurant eating expensive food during a getaway to Hot Springs, NC in the beautiful mountains during October.
HA HA! Little do you know that J had a wretched sinus infection and was so cracked out on sinus meds, he can hardly recall this vacation at all. I forced him out of the cabin to this restaurant after spending the whole day watching St.Elmos Fire and Say Anything on the movie channel. I was horribly, terribly uncomfortable because Dylan, only 4.5 months at the time, was left with my parents, and the pump wasn’t cutting it. For those of you who don’t know me, I may look perfectly normal, but as friends are clearly able to distinguish, I am on the border of explosion, jeopardizing the entire valley with a flood of breastmilk. Hence, our smiles are fake, the curry I am about to consume was not spicy enough (though the coffee was good), and the meal was, let’s see, I will unearth the info from Quicken, $53.94.
In contrast, after McDonald’s, we were healthy, happy, satisfied, and most importantly, in budget.
And when we came home the kids were asleep. Kudos to the grandparents! It was a beautiful thing. It’s all about the expectations . . .
I should add, for those who are hardened snobs against fast food, that I have a special place in my heart for McDonald’s and I always will. (No, it is not my inordinately high cholesterol! Someday I will write a post about why I love McD’s. And someday I will write a post about why I don’t believe in cholesterol either.)