Friday, May 30, 2008

day two- the proof is in the pudding

fridays when i am heading out to the jersey house can be a bit hectic.

wake up early (or not so much)rush around the house trying desperately to not forget anything for the trip and then run off to work. all the while getting in a shower, watering the plants for the weekend and drinking enough coffee to stay alert.

suffice to say, i was late for work and it being a warm friday work was pretty slow, which usally means more work for me. i was however able to get my atm card back which was fun as all the same people were there and were wondering how the blog was.

it was a bit difficult to figure out what to buy today as the goal is to buy things (in as much as possible) that i would not normally purchase, further helping to stimulate the economy. i was kind of rushed with work stuff and the hussle to port authority to catch the bus out to budd lake so i could not really find time to shop.

when we arrived in budd lake, new jersey we made a quick stop over at the krasdale on 46 and wolfe road for a couple of forgotten supplies. i was thinking of getting an air freshener for my satchel. it's old and i think beginning to smell. i need a new one, but i have had it ever since i moved to new york so i am pretty attatched to it. this idea was nixed by jen as she thought it would make my bag and my person smell awful.

the krasdale is a convenience store trying to be a grocery store but without any fresh produce or meat. nothing was looking good or interesting.

then finally out of the gloom...

my-t-fine pudding and pie filling came into view with its logo and label that i think have not been changed since the 50's as well as a price that could not be beat.. a $1.49. there was a little bit of dust on it and we had to check to see if it was fresh. there was no expiration date listed, but the upc symbol said to me it was not from the 50's. no food tax was charged so that adds another 15 cents to the kitty.

i don't normally make pudding, therefore i don't normally eat pudding.
but i have been thinking about showing revenge of the nerds this week for movies on the roof so i thought it was a good choice. i think they might appreciate a pudding pie. or at least 7 people might.

all i have to do is add milk and we are good to go.

plus buy revenge of the nerds.


here i am further stimulating the economy all from a purchase of 1.49.

on the side, this post has been very frustrating. writing it on a laptop with controls i am not used to has been turning me into an angry monster. there was some more i wanted to say. i have been doing some news reading on how the rebates are helping the economy. i will get into that tomorrow. on a desktop.

but moving forward..

598.71 at the start
buck49 spent
597.22 left to go.

the kitty stands at fiddy cent

maximum spending tomorrow


i can spend that extra tomorrow

you can't stop me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

day one. what to buy?

for my first purchase.. flower seeds? maybe kind of out of left field for some of you.. well at this point as those who are reading are people i know personally then you might not be surprised.

a little backround on this purchase.. and please don't be fooled by the listed price. they were marked down at the k-mart. $1.99 was really $1.19. with tax? a buck29 leaving 35 cents in the kitty.

a little more backround.

so i live in the lower east side of new york city.. same apartment for 5 years. its been a good deal. right across from the projects on the pitt so the rent is not skyrocketing (like everywhere else around here) and the apartment is kind of a rockin place to live.

basically its a six floor walk up and we are on the top floor. the apartment is 3 bedrooms.. the rooms are small... there is no real living room but we have a really nice roof deck and for the most part no one from the building comes up on the roof. our deck is "semi private", so we share it with the immediate neighbors but they are the same neighbors i have had for years. in the years i have lived here the roomates come and go but the neighbor is still there. its the kind of situation many people in nyc wish they had, but never could find. i found it by accident and i love it. great neighborhood. great place to live.

so back to the roof deck. with all that space and all that sunshine its the perfect place to build a nice roof deck garden. we started last year with some planters and a whole lot of dirt (all purchased by my neighbor) and this year its being taken to the nth power. we have tons of plants and vegetables. 40 something pepper plants. 11 tomato plants, 4 cucumbers.. herbs out the wazoo. basically everything you need for a salad or salsa except for the onion (pain to grow up there i tell you). i did a lot of research and so this year we will have so much of a harvest we will be giving most of it away to friends i think, but i like to tend to my plants. jen, the lady, says they are my babies and my mom says that gardening is in our peasant blood so i really don't have a choice in the whole thing.

I liken myself to my "far far" (swedish for father's father) who was always puttering around in his garden. its good and this year i want to make the roof a nice green spot, hopefully viewable from google earth, 70 feet up in the les.

back to those moon flowers.

we planted a bunch of morning glories on the fence and some snapragons and some dusty millers and etc. against the fence that make our roof private but i wanted to make a canopy of flowering vines that goes overhead to really bring the green home. hence the moon flowers. at a maximum length of 15 feet they will be perfect for an overhanging area of green.

a big plus?

their flowers only open at night which will be nice in the evening. and will be a nice addition to movies on the roof.

i planted the seeds a few hours ago in some pots and dirt we had leftover. hopefully no crazy acrobatic squirrels will dig the seeds up.

i have already planted a few moon flowers i started them in my house this winter... they didn't do so good. i hope these do better.. you do too.

and so for my first stab at stimulating the economy.. one day at a time.. i purchased 18 moon flower seeds which will provide shade, ambiance and enjoyment for months to come. at first frost they will keel over and i will have to rip them down. but for now it is a buck29 well spent.

600 dollars at the start.
a buck29 spent.
598.71 left to go.

the kitty stands at 35 cents.

maximum spending tomorrow..

a buck99

i can spend that extra tomorrow.

you can't stop me.

the check has arrived or photo op at wachovia on 42nd street foiled by potential bank robbers

so i got a text from the roomie yesterday telling me the check had arrived. this meant that buck64aday starts today... or as soon i can get to the bank and cash it and start spending.

here is the story.

so i squeezed out of work early today to go cash the check. I had all these plans for fun photos of me cashing the check.. and they were all pretty much foiled. but having your plans wrecked for security reasons is just a part of living in nyc.

back to the bank.. i arrived armed with check and camera and walked up to the teller telling him i had a strange request. basically the idea was to get them to take photos with myself and check.. then photos of myself, "the check" and the teller. after that i was going to cash the check and get a big old wad o'green with photos identical to those listed above.

from the bank's floor manager (who was sympathetic) i got the big no.

not even my standing as a 2 decade bank customer got me to where i wanted me to be.... where i wanted you to be.

he thought the blog idea was great but due to security issues wachovia bank does not allow pictures to be taken inside the bank. he was helpful though as he sent me to the newstand outside the bank on 42nd and lex to ask the guy there to take my picture.

the guy at the stand was very helpful and after showing him how to use the picture he took the picture... if you look carefully you can see enrique waving in the backround. he really wanted to help me with my quest. especially after i told him about the blog. when i told all the bank tellers about my idea and how their check really only netted them a buck64aday they were quite enthusiastic about the whole idea. i think one of them said something to the effect (after a little bit of thought) " that's pretty bad.. a buck64?"

so back into the bank check in hand. enrique took the check and put the government goodness right into my "rebate" account.

well most of it.

i took six dollars and 56 cents with me for the next four days.. I am headed out of town for part of the weekend so i figured i might need some dough for the weekend.

i said my goodbyes to all the folks at wachovia-the42nd and lex branch and headed aound the corner to the wachovia atm to withdraw some of my real money.. you know the kind that comes on fridays when the paychecks arrive... got my cash and headed home.

when i got off the train there was a message on my phone...

its from wachovia... the 42nd and lex branch.

it seems i left my bank card in the atm card in the machine. according to the message i have three days to claim it before will be destroyed.

it seems i will be back tomorrow.

i just wish i had set up the website for the blog already. then i would have had some stickers to hand out. i gotta spread the word about the government and their gift to us. gotta spread the word about what it means.

anyway .. i got my money.. now its time to spend spend spend. a buck64aday at a time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

waiting for the check to arrive...

Many people who work for me have been coming into work all excited about their checks arriving... eyes are alight with the things they are going to buy with their newfound cash and for the most part i don't really blame them.

many of them work very hard for the dough they get and they deserve a little cash freedom. me? i'm still waiting and of course since i am being so sensible with my tax rebate i cannot really get all that excited. i work very hard for my money just like them but in order for me to fulfill my goal of only spending a maximum of $1.64 i need to keep it simple. I have been thinking about this long and hard and really i could use the cash for other things.. i mean really who couldn't. who doesn't want a new tv, a better couch.. a trip on carnival cruise lines the most popular cruise line in the world. everyone.

am i being all high and mighty with this mission? do i hope that people will read it and think about what they have done with their cash and maybe they could have gone a different route? do i hope to give the government a sarcastic look over all this?

of course i do. after all 1.64 don't get you much. not much at all, and i live in new york city. manhattan. a buck64aday pays my power bill one day at a time for a month and that month would be october. thats not much but i am going to get out there and consume.. consume like i never have before. I was never one for frivolously spending cash and for one year it seems like i must. I am determined to see how far i can go. of course you might think..

"well who doesn't spend a buck and change through out the day?"

truth be told not me. I am not one for picking up a paper and a coffee on my way the train. I am the guy who slings back his daily allotment of coffee before he leaves the house and leaves the those cheap ass nyc papers right where they belong.. at the news stand.

I work in the food industry and take my midday meal there as well. I would not call myself frugal as i do like to consume my cigarettes and booze but i dont call these things daily spending as i try to buy in bulk.

now i need to change my way of thinking.. my lifestyle.

stimulating the economy a buck64aday at a time. and i will be helping because i really have not done this before. our nation's economy was not expecting me to chip in but here i am all patriotic and shit to lend it a hand from the BFS.