I am so cheap

by Captain Walker

Categories: Humanities

A couple days ago, someone suggested that I get out over the bank holiday weekend to a local restaurant. Calm down – they weren’t inviting me out or hinting at an invitation. They suggested I get a nice steak. I said, “No way. The restaurant would charge me about £20 for the same meal I could do for a fiver.” Even though I said I was totally cheap, they continued on a bit with suggestions. So, I appeared to be partially interested just to be polite.

Coffee

Some people at work spend £1.55 for fresh brewed coffee. I was so cheap that I bought some exceptionally good ground coffee for £5. Over the last two weeks I must have gotten about 8 cups and there is 3/4 of the packet still left. They provide milk and sugar at work so I don’t have to pay for that. So lemme see – 8 x 1.55 =  £12.40. That’s for 1/4 of the packet. So the whole packet is worth 4 x 12.40 = £49.60 of coffee at the hospital shop. The small 1-person cafetière costed £10. So I reckon I’m £39.60 quids in for starters. Let’s say I make 8 coffees per week. Over 6 months that’s 8 x 26 = 208 coffees. At the shop that would be 208 x 1.55 = £322.40. At this point I hear somebody out there bawling “I’m just terrible with sums!

But wait I don’t have to spend £5 per packet of cafetière coffee. I could spent £3.50 for basic and good – not exceptional coffee. Each packet is good for 32 coffees that I would make, and would last about 1 month. So cost of ground coffee over 6 months would be 6 x 3.50 = £21.

Total cost of ground coffee (21) + cost of cafetière (10) = £31.

Cost at the shop £322.40

Therefore total saving is £322.40 – 31 = £291.40. I happen to like that money kept in my pocket – even if I could afford to splurge it on various things.

Cooking

I’ve been cooking more – on the cheap! As some will have seen I’m one of those ‘troglodytes’ who unashamedly makes a bee line for the reduced food section around 5PM on any day of the week. I certainly can afford to spend £100 on a meal for myself but I don’t! Yeah – my middle name must be Scrooge! Look, I just don’t believe in wasting money.

Proper midday and even meals at a hospital canteen are around £4.50 each. Breakfast and a coffee would be around £3. I’m coming in at around an average of £1.50 per main meal and around 30p per breakfast that I make myself.

Instead of sliced bacon, I’ve been buying cooking bacon. I can slice that up but not as thin. Some people don’t realise that sliced bacon does not remain sliced when it is chewed.  So instead of £3 for 8 slices, I’m happy to spend 75p for double the weight of sliced bacon.

That piece of nice Sea Bass above was one of two pieces, reduced from £3.86 to 76p! Mr Troglodyte grabbed that and put it in the deep freeze. Then out it comes two weeks later. Yes I ate it and I’m still alive!

People often say that veg and meat are expensive. Then if I say ‘buy frozen meat and veg..it’s much cheaper.‘, I get all sort of arguments like ‘frozen food is not healthy..I don’t know what’s in that!‘ – at which point I shut up. The only sort of idiot I have any arguments with is the one who tends to pop up on this site.

Look, I’m not even going to do the sums on the above – I’m saving a lot.

The point

If I can – other people cannot! Apparently ‘life’s too short‘, for people to make breakfast and pack lunch for work. That’s brilliant – waste money cuz ‘you’re lazy’!

Well I like saving my money to spend on other things I like. Like? Software and technology etc. But even in that department I’m demanding on quality and low price. Yes – I know how to find good quality at low cost. It is called bargain-hunting. And no one is about to get told how to do it! eekend I spent a couple hours cooking for the week ahead. But apparently, some people are working all the time even on weekends so they don’t have time to cook. What they’re really working at is Facebook, Instagram and Netflix!

The big issue

The big issue is that every penny will count for most people come this winter. With energy, transportation and food prices heading up very steep curves, it is going to be very hard. Those who do not act now will suffer – and they won’t be getting any sympathy from me!

I’ve been doing the penny pinching to prove a point – that people can save money for hard times ahead, if they get their act together. Easier said than done.

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