What I want to understand is the spam-guest-post offers that I get. They go like this: "I was just going through few sites and blogs yesterday and came across your site. I really liked the way you have presented your site. I was reading some of your content and really found them interesting and informative. So I was just wondering if I can also do something for your site. Actually I am a freelance content writer and I love writing articles as a hobby on topics related to [topic]. What if I provide you with an unique article as a Guest Post. An article that will be informative for your readers. The article will be related to your website and will be appreciated by your readers. It would be great if you can add a small BIO of mine at the end of the article with my related site's links. I guarantee you that the article will be 100% copy scape protected and will be of around 700 words. Please let me know if this sound good to you, so that we can start working on your article." I get that this is SEO - they want that link in the bio - but how can that link be worth a free 700-word original post, plus the time needed to email me? Do they have people locked in a dungeon writing this stuff? I've started replying saying "we will run this story if you tell me what the scam is." No one writes back.
@DON WHAT? When I drink whiskey for dinner, I have an enormous and very specific appetite for bodega egg on a roll the next morning.
@werewolfbarmitzvah Downtown Manhattan and brownstoney Brooklyn? I don't know, I'd guess that most sit-down restaurants there have entrees starting in the $15-$25 range; two $15 entrees + two $5 drinks + $3 tax + $8 tip = $51 and all of those numbers are on the low end. Two $10 apps + two $20 entrees + two $10 drinks + one $10 dessert + $7 tax + $18 tip = $115 and that's not, I think, outrageously extravagant. Zagat's notoriously understated cost figures have an average meal for one at a NY restaurant at $41 and change, or $83 for two, which is in the middle of my range.
I like this advice but I think #8 gets it backwards. First of all, small quibble, but the math is misleading. If a cup of coffee is $2 at a coffee shop, a cup of coffee at home is not $0. I like strong coffee and go through a $10-$12 pound in the French press in maybe 12 cups; add the cost of milk and you're saving $1, tops, making coffee at home. So $260, not $520, a year. Compare that to cooking at home instead of going to a restaurant. In New York a meal for two at a neighborhood restaurant is hard to do for less than $60 and $100 is more normal. Say it's $60. You can cook something pretty fancy at home for half that, saving $30 a meal. Do that once a month instead of restaurants and you've saved $360 - more than you'd save making coffee every day. Of course you could do both - but the advice was "start small." To me, "start small" means once every month, find a really fun recipe and make it as an adventure and an experiment - not "change your routine every single day to do a repetitive chore first thing in the morning when you haven't even had your coffee yet." Sam Sifton's NYT Magazine recipes are deliriously complicated, closely replicate some of the best restaurant dishes in the world, and can be followed by complete novices - the instructions are clear and workable. They will make you something way better than you'd get for $60 at a New York restaurant. Cook's Illustrated - others have mentioned America's Test Kitchen - also has fantastic recipes that are totally foolproof for beginners and make amazing meals. The other 29 days a month, proceed as you've been doing. Get coffee wherever you want. Obviously this is a matter of personal preference but I feel like a lot of people are given the "make coffee at home" advice as a starting point, disheartened by French press clean-up, and never move on to cooking for themselves for real. For my tastes, making your own coffee every day is drudgery, rarely as satisfying as going to a coffee shop, and doesn't save you that much money. Making your own adventurous weekend meals every once in a long while is fun, frequently more satisfying than going to a restaurant, and saves you a lot of money. That's where I'd start. If you like it and it saves you money, you might even move on to making your own coffee. (Also - real cooking teaches skills and creates patterns that can be extended. You cook enough fancy meals and you'll end up making yourself an omelette when you're exhausted on a weeknight instead of ordering takeout. You make enough coffee and you'll just be sick of making coffee.)
@mishaps Me neither in my Brooklyn condo, but this sort of thing (and more) is common in Manhattan co-ops. And is part of why Manhattan never had a housing crash: people who buy in NY can usually afford to, because their co-op makes sure of it.