I had an emergency root canal last year, and when I got to the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions for pain killers and antibiotics, the pharmacist was like, that'll be $180.00. Now, mind you, I have one of those magical grocery store pharmacies that literally provides 6 different antibiotics FOR FREE (with or without insurance, it's glorious). I got on the horn immediately and told my dentist to change the script. And he did. People, you do NOT need to abide by whatever script your doc prescribes, unless he has a VERY good reason for doing so. But with something like antibiotics, there's almost always a generic form or a strong version out there that you can get for way, way cheaper.
So I feel suddenly ashamed, because I had no idea until recently that it is customary/expected to tip housekeeping! I just simply did not know it was a "thing" that people do. And apparently no one else in my life that I have ever shared a hotel room with (and that's a long list of friends, colleagues, family, and lovers), knew about this either! Or at least didn't tip to my knowledge. Am I all alone on this? Yikes. Noted, will do better in the future.
I definitely keep a list of staples that I buy from my local Aldi every other week. Things like coffee, extra beef/chicken broth, grains/pasta/dairy. There's always eggs and cream and cheese in my fridge, and other things vary depending on my mood and the season. Living in the midwest, most of my meals are meat-centric, and I like it that way! I like to keep a loose meal plan, but I usually shop the meat sales and then plan my menu around what I pick up! When my local grocery has their $5 meat sale, it's ON! I'll stock the freezer with a variety of cuts of chicken, pork, and beef, and then google recipes until I find something that meshes (or can be modified) with what I've got in the fridge! I try to plan my meals around meats and vegetables, with starches to a minimum, and I rarely buy snacks -- too tempting for me to keep stuff in the house! Almost everything in my fridge/pantry needs to be prepared in some way, but I find that taking the time to actually cook the meal keeps it interesting and keeps me eating healhfully and mindfully. I also try to go to the Farmers' market once or twice a month because its cheap, and fun, and I get the opportunity to see what's in season. I'm single and live alone, but I often have dinner guests, so I keep my grocery bills around $300/mo. Lunch is always leftovers plus fruit. Breakfast is usually a quick egg burrito and fruit and coffee. Pretty standard, but I'll switch it up with some fresh herbs every now and then to get a little fancy (this morning was rosemary!)
Still on the family plan at age 29, and still 100% NOT AT ALL ASHAMED about it. The only mild irritation is that I have to go through my dad occasionally to make changes, and he did hijack my upgrade (But I hijacked him right back so it all evened out in the end). And honestly, when I hear about my friends having $100+ phone bills, and I have an iphone (and all that entails) with only a $38 bill, yea... I'll let my dad occasionally hijack my upgrade. He saves me thousands by being awesome! I fully intend to stay on the family plan until I make my own family plan.
I'm a lawyer entering my 4th year of practice... and my last friend-classmate without a job just recently got one. like 2 months ago. Things might be getting better, and I might actually love and feel fulfilled by my profession, but I still discourage anyone seeking my advice from actually going to law school. Right now the cost-benefit balance is way out of whack.
While I don't have food stamps, i know the farmers' markets in my area accept them -- though each vendor decides individually, I've noticed more and more of them with signs stating they accept EBT. Meanwhile, I shop there because I can a) support local farmers, and b) fill my fridge with a week's worth of veggies for about $20 -- win win!
This is also great timing for me! I'm getting ready to move next month, and while I have a microwave now, I won't have one when I move ... and I don't think I'll get one! Honestly heating things up in a skillet takes just a few minutes, and it does taste infinitely better! Especially if you're heating up a cream sauce... it won't break like it does in the microwave. Though I use a microwave on the semi-regular now, I'm curious if I'll miss it when it's gone...
When my friends and I travel, we usually have the same roles over and over, and it works really well every time! One person (usually the same girl every time) is designated the "treasurer" and handles all major expenses/purchases. This means she books the accommodations, travel, vehicles, etc. on her card. She then divides these up and we all pay her -- easy! Usually the other roles deal with planning, logistics, etc -- whatever works for our personal strengths. When we did this on a recent girls trip to Europe, it worked out wonderfully. I handled planning/logistics, and my friend handled the money. With all major items pre-paid and out of the way, it was much easier to then just take turns picking up the tab for dinner/drinks/snacks. Since we all had similar eating and drinking habits, it wasn't a big deal to split hairs over the dinner bill or a round of beers...at least in a small group. One of the best things we did, which I will always do for future road trips over a lengthy period of time, is to designate a certain amount that we all "pay in" for gas, tolls, etc. When the trip is over, we just divvy up whatever is leftover. That way there's no splitting hairs over how much of a "tank" each person paid for upon filling up. When we plan our annual 12-person camping trip, again, we have one treasurer who books and pays for everything, and everyone pays her back. We have a second "meal person" who sets the menu for the week, and then divvies up items for each person to bring -- it all ends up pretty even, and then individually we are on our own for certain meals, booze, gas money, etc.! I've worked off the same system for many years with the same group of friends, and I have to say, it's super easy and relatively stress-free! And it works out well for the treasurer, who takes on the money-stress, to get her airline miles.
Congratulations!! I know that feeling all too well... when I got mine about a year ago (After about an 18 month search as well) I literally jumped up and down for like 5 mins, and maybe cried a little. Feelings of self worth and normalcy restored :) :) GO YOU!!
Ohhh NEW question -- and I've seen this vary so widely -- what do you do about tipping when you order carry out from a restaurant you would normally tip in? I always feel obligated to tip (usually the bartender) SOMETHING, but I feel like the standard 20% is too high bc...well I'm taking it to go. Thoughts?