Category Archives: Food

Free Pretzel Day!

Tomorrow is free pretzel day at Aunt Annie’s.  So, now all the times of walking through the mall and fending off the horrendous/marvelous mass-produced buttery goodness smell – you can walk right up to Annie and ask for a pretzel.  In fact, demand, and she will surely hand it over – FOR FREE (from 10-3) http://www.freepretzelday.com

Where and why did I find this delicious piece of cheap incentive?  My two favorite places – yelp.com and LA Weekly.  Every now and again I make sure to browse through my event sites because you never know when you’re gonna find something you LIKE or more importantly NEED.

For instance, last year, I happened to stumble upon “Hot on Yelp” which is 50% off of selected spa services – just as I was looking to buy my friend a facial for her birthday.  I’ll try to keep you updated on the kitschy-goofy giveaways, and hopefully we’ll find some gems too!

What are you favorite resources for free events in your city?

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Bars and Parties

It is my birthday this Wednesday (thank you, thank you), so I was stuck with the inevitable “What do I do? Where do I go? Is everyone gone for Thanksgiving?”

Where to invite your friends to spend money has always been a real challenge. I really hate when I get invited to a super fancy $15-20 cocktail joint with a cover charge. Or even worse, the dreaded overpriced meal and you end up splitting the bill evenly.

These scenarios used to REALLY stress me out. But I’ve learned to deal with them a little better.

How to deal with it?
1. Buy one drink and nurse it.
2. Offer to take your friend out on another night
3. Always ask to be on a separate tab

It also depends on what kind of friend you’re dealing with.  Boyfriend or girlfriend – you BETTER be buying!!

You’re not being a douchebag by not overspending. If you have a tight budget like me, it would be supremely irresponsible of me to drink my rent money away. So be proactive and think ahead, so you don’t end up paying $50 for your  crab cake appetizer.

So, how do you pick a GOOD place? Good question, thanks for reading. It’s all about prioritizing what’s important. Who’s coming? What day of the week? What vibe do I want? Do they serve food? Indoor/Outdoor seating? Price range?

1.  Know your friends:  If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably not sipping champagne on your Rolls Royce (and if you are – send funding!).  Are your friend starving artists who can deal with a dive bar?  Or do you have a mix of work and play friends?  Know the mood of your party – because there are bars that have $1.50 PBRs (Cha Cha’s Lounge in Silverlake has a super cheap Sunday night – all night long).  Or, you can go to other places that have food and drinks that are reasonably priced ($5 beers/$9 cocktails)

2.  Day of the week:  Fridays and Saturdays are more expensive.  There are usually no specials and it’s super crowded.  No thanks.  The earlier in the week the better.  I had my birthday on a Sunday, which is a great day to have a party.  It’s not going to be a “party til 4am” vibe, but hey, that’s ok with me.  We had lots of space and attentive bartenders.  Faaaantastic!

3.  Food or no food:  I prefer a place that serves food.  Not only do you know they will have seating if you want it, but it will give your friends the option if they want to spend the dough – but don’t have to.

I ended up at Mixville in Silverlake.  It’s attached to a restaurant and they serve average priced beers ($5-6) and fancy cocktails ($9).  They also have great food ($10-20/entrees).  They had a beautiful outdoor area (it was a little chilly).  It was a perfect vibe for all my pals and I had a great time.

When the bar or restaurant doesn’t get in the way of you enjoying the company of your friends, than you’ve chosen wisely, Jedi.

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Filed under Events, Food

Water Bottles Suck!(ing your wallet)

An unknown silent robber-of-the-wallet is WATER!  There’s been enough in the media to convince me that I never have to purchase another water bottle again (I mean, unless, of course, I’m desperate).  What, with Dansani being basically recycled water (and wasted plastic) or Fiji being branded as “fancy pure water” (you catch my drift), but they abuse their employees in South America.  Dudes, it just seems like we were all duped into putting about $1-$4 down for something we can get for FREE.

I’m going to watch this documentary – http://www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com/ – it’s about how water is being privatized for profit when poor people in third world countries can’t get fresh water for free.  Doesn’t sound like a great date night movie for most people, but my boyfriend and I love it.  Scratch that.  I love this stuff and I’ll trade a subtitled Japanese film for a heavy documentary!

So, we’re past all the gloom and doom.  We live in a country that has lots of free water that is clean.  Just remember we’re super lucky and if there isn’t a water fountain or water cooler, the faucet is just fine.  That’s right, EVEN THE BATHROOM FAUCET.  It all comes from the same place, so get used to it.

Buy a plastic or metal water bottle that is super cute and convenient to carry around.  I got suckered into the whole metal bottle trend (I know, I know plastic realize carcinogens, but really guys?  What doesn’t?)  Anyway, I went to Target and bought a slender one with skulls and argyle on it.  I mean, right?  Who wouldn’t want their water bottle to say, “bad ass but also kind of collegiate.”

Anyway, it’s small enough to fit in my purse and it doesn’t leak.  I also bought another one (black with large, bright circles – so artsy) that I leave in my car, just in case I forget it at home.  I’m very forgetful.

So plopping down an initial $10-$20 on a cute, reusable bottle can save you tons of money.  And you can also be sneakily green at the same time.  Let’s do the math.

$2 per day on water bottles X 365 = $730/year

$20 on two reusable water bottle X 1= $20/once

So if the green factor or the guilt factor don’t get you to stop buying water, maybe the good ol’ cheapskate facts will.  Give up your water bottle habit and you can save up to $710/year. That can buy a whole new wardrobe or a guitar lessons or a vacation or a nice sum towards your retirement.

We cool?  I’ll see you in the bathroom, filling my water bottle.

xo

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Filed under Food, Money Saving

Leftovers!

I love having leftovers – one less meal to cook.  And I really hate wasting food.  Matt (my bf) and I recently had a boatload (well, a tupperware load) of rice left from our dinner the other night.  So I looked up some recipes for leftover rice.   Here are my favorites from about.com:

Rice Pudding:  Super easy.  Mix milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla together and toss it in the oven.  It takes about 30 mins total.

Rice and Bean Burritos:  This didn’t even occur to me until I saw it.  Basically heat up the beans and rice, roll it up and eat it.  You can also add garlic, veggies, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro…

Rice Soup:  This is what we made.  Basically, we sauteed some onions, garlic, cilantro, carrots, peas, and carrots.  Then we put in 3 cans of veggie stock and a cup of rice.  Let simmer for 20 mins.  Instant, delicious meal.

If I was more ambitious, I would totally make grape leaves or the rice quiche – but naaaahhhhhh.

CheapTip:  If I have Chinese food, I always take the extra rice home.  It’ll save you time and you might get a second delicious meal out of it.

 

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