First things first:

I made a slight edit to my post from Wednesday ;) my dad reminded me that it’s probably not a good idea to suggest that people leave their wallets in their car (to avoid spending money on a shopping trip) because duh, you shouldn’t leave valuables in your car. That’s just asking for trouble. Soooo I edited the post slightly ;) thanks for looking out for everyone, Papa J!

 

 

Second:

I’m about to THROW MY INTERNET OUT THE WINDOW. It keeps cutting out like, every 4 minutes. It is SO FRUSTRATING. I keep using capslock because I want you to understand JUST HOW ANNOYING IT IS when you’re searching for something online and every other page you click doesn’t load and then you have to sit there for 30-60 seconds while the internet reconnects. Anyone else in Rochester having this problem??? (cough cough Kate? Emily?)

 

 

Third:

The thing I was searching for when the internet was crapping out was freakin’ health insurance. Side note: shopping for insurance IS TERRIBLE. Especially when your internet is questionable, haha.

 

 

 

Anywayyyy. I will stop complaining about things because, duh, it’s FRIDAYYYYYY yay! Tonight Mike and I are meeting his parents and going to a hockey game, woohoo!

 

christmas-tree

And I’ll probably spend the rest of the weekend trying to sneak our Christmas decorations up from the basement because I think late October is perfectly acceptable to start decorating for Christmas… right? Sadly, Mike doesn’t share that opinion. So I’ll have to sneak ‘em up. Wish me luck ;)

 

 

Oh, okay so seriously. Onto the point of this post.

 

I have recently discovered that you should really never get an oil change unless you have a coupon for it. Did you know how many places offer coupons for oil changes?? Um, I’ll give you a hint… LIKE, ALL OF THEM! Have you ever searched for one of those coupons before getting an oil change? Until this week, I never had.

 

But seriously. Next time you need an oil change, google around to see what places are near you, then look to see if they offer coupons on their website. They probably do! I found a ton of places that were offering $19.99 oil changes, and I even found a coupon that included a tire rotation! So that was cool.

 

You could also keep an eye out in those obnoxious flyers they stuff into your mailbox? Sometimes there are good coupons in there, too.

 

Moral of the story = You don’t really have to ever pay full price for an oil change (unless you have fancy oil or you like going to one particular place, or something like that). Do some research and you’ll probably be able to save yourself a few bucks!

 

midas-waiting-room

And then also be sure to hang out in the waiting room and eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. I listened to these two people jabbering for like 20 minutes about their whole entire life story. They even ended up sharing phone numbers and made plans to meet up at their beach houses in Florida this winter. I told Mike that if I was an identity thief or generally shady individual, I probably could have stolen both of their identities and/or broken into their beach houses. They shared phone numbers, their full name and spouses’ names (spelling included, haha), the exact location of their beach house AND when they would / would not be at the house… ummmm probably not good things to be sharing with the entire Midas waiting room, guys.

 

 

cake-batter-chapstick

Oh, and my other tip for today? I shared it on my Instagram but just in case you missed it… this chapstick is really good.

 

 

 

Do you look for oil change coupons?

Whats your favorite chapstick flavor?

Mine used to be the blue moisturizing kind, but cake batter might have just replaced that…

 

 

This is part of an ongoing series of “How to ______ without spending a billion dollars”. Catchy title, I know ;)

Did you catch the first two posts? I covered going out to bars and eating at restaurants!

 

 

Here’s something I realized after college: hanging out with people gets significantly harder as you get older.

 

In college (at least in my experience) it was easy to hang out with friends. You’re all in the same place– I mean, you’re probably no farther than 2 miles from anyone at any given point. Maybe even closer, especially if you’re living on campus. You invite your friends over to your dorm room or house, you meet up at house parties, meet up in the dining hall- whatever, it’s all easy peasy.

 

Then you graduate and everyone scatters. You’re lucky if you happen to be within driving distance of your friends! You used to be 2 miles away? Now you’re 20 miles away. No longer do you invite someone over to your house– either because you’re living with creeps from Craigslist or because you feel bad making your friend drive the 40 mile round trip to your house. Now you’ve got to come up with a different “meet up” location and activity.

 

 

 

What to do if your friend wants to meet up for a coffee date:

 

As a bit of an intro to this topic- first things first. I try to only go to coffee shops with other people. I made it a rule that I almost never got Starbucks unless I was having a particularly rough (or awesome) day. Never just, “oh I’m a little tired this morning, let me swing by sbux to get a $5 latte!” So when people DO invite you for coffee, it’ll be an exciting experience for you too.

 

free-peets-coffee

Ok, with that being said… coffee dates are a really cost effective way of hanging out with friends. As “friend dates” go, I’m a fan of this one. BUT! You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it.

 

For example: do you really have to get the $5 mocha frappachino, or can you get something a little cheaper? When meeting up with a friend, it doesn’t really matter what you’re drinking. The more important part is that you’re hanging out with your friend. So don’t think you have to buy the most expensive drink on the menu. (unless you really want it!)

 

frapp-happy-hour

In my case- I really do like frapps, but I also like $2 iced coffees. No matter if you’re spending $5 or $2, you’re still hanging out with your friend. (in the picture above, we got frapps because it was buy one get one free!)

 

Also: does your coffee shop have a rewards program? Get on that ASAP! (remember my post about how awesome Starbucks’ rewards program is?) And then suggest that coffee shop whenever you meet up with your friend, so you can continue to take advantage of the rewards :)

 

 

 

What to do if you friend wants to meet up for a shopping date:

 

You’ve been reading my blog for awhile, so you know that subjecting yourself to the temptation of shopping isn’t a good idea. What do you do?

 

target is the best place ever

If possible, avoid the situation entirely. I make it a point to stay out of places where I might be tempted to spend money (I’m looking at you, TARGET). If a friend suggested a shopping trip to Target, I would probably do everything in my power to not go. (maybe suggest a coffee date instead? haha)

 

target exit

If you can’t avoid it, you can decide that you won’t spend any money at all. Then tell your friend that, so she knows not to talk you into anything! As an additional line of defense, leave your wallet in the car so that you really, truly, can’t buy anything. ha :)   {edited to add: don’t actually leave your wallet in the car. That’s probably a bad idea, because then you’ll sue me when your car gets broken into and your wallet stolen. Maybe just tell yourself that you left it in the car ;) ha!}

 

Or if you do want to partake in the shopping (nothing wrong with that!), try giving yourself a dollar limit. “I’m going to spend no more than $20 today. If I can do that, I’ll reward myself!” And then tell your friend, so she knows not to talk you into anything more than $20 :)

 

 

 

Do your friends suggest coffee or shopping dates?

What’s your favorite kind of “friend date”?

 

 

 

Ummm… I can’t even believe that there are only 11 days until Halloween! When did that happen?!?!

 

Mike and I realized that yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of finding our dream apartment! I can’t believe that one year ago we still weren’t living in this apartment. Insane! (our lease started November 1… which means I’m only 11 days from actually fulfilling a lease, something I haven’t done in like 3 years… oops :)

 

Anyway.. so it’s almost Halloween. And it’s on a FRIDAY this year– that’s huge! I have no idea what Mike and I are going to do, but I suppose we should start thinking about costumes.

 

Remember when I wrote this post last year about cheap Halloween costumes? I just looked at it again and remembered how great some of those ideas were :) The funny part is that I didn’t even use any of those ideas… I went as a devil {all black outfit + devil horns and tail that we found at Mike’s parent’s house}… and Mike went as a hockey player. ha!

 

Soooo yeah… I might be revisiting some of those ideas this year. Let me know if you have any clever costume ideas! :)

 

 

Alsooooo… funny story, we attempted to take in a roommate this weekend! (but a good roommate, not like those mice roomies…)

 

red-hiding

A cat! Remember when I talked about the little wild kittens that we were contemplating adopting? Well…. we ended up taking one of them (his name is Red!) home with us on Saturday :)

 

Red was a little (okay, a lot) scared of our place… we brought him over around 9pm Saturday and up until we returned him (about 6pm Sunday), he cowered in his little carrier :( We just felt so bad for him! We thought he would explore a bit but he just seemed way too sad/scared. So we decided to take him back.

 

kittens

This was the cats a few months ago– Red is in front :) How cute, right?

 

It was a good experiment but I just felt bad making him so sad. (and Mike’s parents told us that the other two cats seemed bummed, too– maybe they missed Red?) I’m sure eventually he would have gotten used to our place, but what if we end up moving and can’t have pets in our next apt? Would we dump him back outside with the other two cats and make him an outdoor cat again? That would have broken my heart!

 

So. That is the story of the 24 hours we had a cat :)

 

 

What are you going to be for Halloween???! Share some ideas with me, por favor! :)

 

 

WHY DO SOME PEOPLE NOT TAKE LEFTOVERS WHEN THEY GO TO A RESTAURANT?

 

No seriously. Tell me. WHY?????!

 

 

leftovers-box

 

I mean, you go to a restaurant, you spend money on a meal, and then you eat until you’re full, and you still have some food left on your plate… what do you do? Tell the waiter to take it away (aka “please throw all this wonderful food in the trash, thanks!”) OR do you tell the waiter to BOX IT THE HECK UP?

 

(I hope you know my answer)

 

I mean, helloooooo, you’ve already spent money on the food, why not just take your leftovers with you??

 

 

The only times NOT taking leftovers is okay:

 

1– You don’t have a place to store them. Maybe you’re out of town and don’t have a fridge. Or maybe you’re about to run errands and can’t leave food in your hot car for hours.

 

2– You didn’t like the meal.

 

Yup… that’s it. Those are the only two reasons I can think of. Please let me know if you can think of any others ;)

 

 

Just take your leftovers, people. DO IT.

 

leftovers

I realize that this is an unattractive picture but it was REALLY delicious so I wanted to share. This is half of an amazing cheese calzone. Why on earth would I have NOT taken those leftovers home?! It’s just as awesome for lunch the next day!

 

PS– I think it’s even okay to take leftovers home on a first date. In fact, I did it with Mike (on our first date at Chipotle!) and he still talks to me. So clearly it’s not a deal breaker!

 

 

 

Do you take your leftovers? (maybe you shouldn’t admit to NOT taking them, because I might shun you…)

 

PS I’m getting ready to (finally) continue my series on “How to _____ without spending a billion dollars”. First two, if you recall, were how to go to restaurants for cheap and how to save money when going out at night. What do you want to see next?

 

The other ideas I have on my list are coffee shops, friend-dates like shopping (do people still do that? call up a friend and say, “let’s go shopping!”), mani/pedis, or movies, other big events like sporting events or concerts… but I want to write about whatever’s on your mind right now. So let me know what you’d like to read about! :)

 

 

So we have a new roommate… one I’m not so happy about.

 

A FLIPPIN’ MOUSE IN OUR HOUSE!!! (or perhaps more than one, but I refuse to admit that there could be multiple… ugh)

 

A few weeks ago Mike mentioned seeing a mouse, but I didn’t believe him (because I was in denial). Then this past weekend we were standing in the kitchen and A FREAKIN MOUSE RAN ACROSS THE KITCHEN. Still gives me the heebie jeebies when I think about it, ugh!

 

mouse-invasion

Scene of the crime. The mouse ran from the left side (behind the trash can) to the right side behind the radiator. He was a quick little guy.

 

So we went to Walmart looking for mouse traps, but unfortunately all of those were the non-humane type. And, I mean, I don’t like having a mouse/mice in our kitchen… but I do have a soul and don’t actually want to kill the poor little critter(s)! These mouse traps were so terrible– even the packaging was like, “KILLS MICE DEAD!” uhhh what about people who don’t want to kill a mouse in their home??? Perhaps the usual Walmart clientele don’t care about that… haha. I was looking for something more like this, I guess.

 

 

diy-mouse-trap

We decided, instead, to improvise a mouse trap.  A little bit of peanut butter on the inside of a glass jar, perched precariously on a piece of cardboard. Idea is that the mouse will smell the PB, go inside the glass, then try to get the peanut butter. As soon as their weight hits the side of the glass, the cardboard falls and traps the mouse underneath!

 

But alas, it’s been 3 days and we haven’t caught a mouse. But I know they’re still there… so perhaps it’s time to suck it up and get that real mouse trap (the humane one). I don’t deal well with small critters sharing my space and it’s time they get relocated from our humble abode.

 

 

Lesson to be learned?

Sometimes it’s good to DIY and save a few bucks… and other times, it’s worth it to suck it up and spend a few bucks. Especially if it might free you from a mouse infestation.

 

 

Ugh.

 

 

 

Have you ever had MICE in your house? What did you do?

Related: can you recommend some deep breathing exercises before I pass out from thinking of rodents in our house? haha