Misery loves company and frankly, it's nice to share my current financial crisis with the rest of the world. Recession? Depression? You betcha baby! And it's happening right here, right now.
My soon-to-be-ex-husband and I did share a rather timely joke once. We said that if we ever broke up, it would be a real fight for the house:
"You take the house!"
"Shit no! You take the house!"
Thankfully, the house has a reasonable mortgage payment and for all it's drafty windows and dying water heater, it's our last bastion of shelter. I want to stay in Duluth until my kids get out of high school and I am not an apartment type of gal. I have a tendency to be a tad spontaneous. Landlords don't like spontaneity. They also don't like purple paint and newly dug garden beds.
So, if everything else hits the fan, we will at least have a house. I'm not sure if we'll have water and heat, but frankly, I think society has blown their importance way out of proportion.
I've been on a crusade to cut costs over the past couple of weeks as my obligations to police and social workers have waned. Obsessions can always be called "hobbies" and hobbies are a great way to wile away the hours, ask any cutter or bulemic.
We gave up satellite tv a long time ago. We gave up netflix. I gave up getting any books not stamped with Duluth (or Superior) Public Library. I've been harvesting yarn and fabric from my stash. I've been staying away from any recipes that force me to purchase something "special" which I will never use again. I've been injecting my children with growth retardants.
Yeah, we're living on the hairy edge.
And this is where I'm starting to get pissy.
I shop around for internet rates and call up my provider and say "Hey, I can get a better rate with Joe Schmoe and they're $15 a month cheaper, what's up with that?" And they fall all over themselves and lower my rate. I am grateful.
And I call my garbage company (whom I dispise as much as any one individual can dispise a waste disposal conglomerate) and I tell them that I can go with a local company for $15 cheaper a month ($15 is the awnser to life, the universe, and everything). They also fall all over themselves and offer to lower my rates. Because I dispise them, I tell them to fornicate themselves and go with the local company.
I am now onto investigating what assistance is out there for heat and water. I will probably not tell MN Power to fornicate themselves although I am guessing they have enjoyed fornicating me all these years.
When it comes to edibles, I have already investigated food stamps and even though we have an order for protection against S-T-B-E-husband, the lovely people with the state of MN will go back three months and count all income for our household. We will be allowed to go hungry for three months. After that, we will apply for food stamps. Before that, we will make due with oatmeal, peanut butter, eggs, milk, and wallpaper paste. (It's always good to know your history and if history taught me anything I've learned that wallpaper paste can be used for food when your city is under siege. Also, rats can be quite tasty after you've exhausted your neighborhood supply of guinea pigs and hamsters.)
We're not yet in a position to visit the food shelf but I'll be honest, I've made enough deposits over the years I'm not ashamed to make a withdrawl in the near future. Unfortunately, the food that most people donate to food shelves is loaded with sugar and preservatives and makes no concessions to dietary restrictions. I'm actually considering approaching the CSA that I purchased produce from last summer and asking them if they would trade a one person share for a few weekends of farm labor. A one person share is enough vegetables and fruit to keep our family happy. I'm also going to gear my garden this year to crops that can be canned and preserved.
So after all this, I must ask for other ideas. Is it really worth my while to purchase a Sunday News Tribune for coupons when I very often buy brands that are cheaper than the discounted brand to begin with? And really, am I the only one who feels like I need to take a shower after handling the Duluth News Tribune these days? I'm willing to sell my cooter but damn, purchasing the News Tribune would be sinking REALLY low.
And on the subject of selling my cooter for food, in our present situation, that might not look too good on the parenting front either.
Yes, damnit. I am kidding. Wipe that look off your face.
So, other money saving ideas? Tips? Just how much CAN I make selling my plasma?