Real life and real money can be daunting and confusing. It’s nothing like the Monopoly money you used to go out drinking on in college. Real life requires a budget; real life involves groceries and WiFi and cable and utilities and car payments and student loans and healthcare and wedding presents. Add in an international boyfriend, and soon all your un-allocated funds are going into the “Trips to Ireland” savings account. Real life can be a harsh wake-up call for all of us.
Therein lies the desperate need to save, save, save, and here at The Newport House, we’ve reached a new level of frugality. First up to the chopping block: the grocery bill. For weeks now, Carrie and I have been running dangerously low on our supply of Cottage eats, and so far, no one has really stepped up to the plate in the grocery department. First of all, it always feels like we just went to the supermarket a day or two ago (read: a week or two ago), and already we’re out of food. Second of all, we seem to get by fairly well when we manage to steal large amounts of food, toiletries, and other essentials from our parents. Third of all, Target just put out its spring collection last week – the grocery bill can wait! I can get by on a few meals of Lucky Charms and watered-down milk if I know that cute tank top with the fringe is waiting at the end of my suffering.
So last night, after we’d both polished off a grab-bag meal of eggs, leftovers, cheese, chocolate, and barbecue potato chips, I offered Carrie a challenge. I had just vowed that I would stop by the grocery store the very next day when my brain went into overdrive save mode, and I changed my mind.
“Or….we could try and get by two more days with no grocery store.” (I tried to suggest it casually, wondering if Carrie would break into tears at the thought of another dinner of cheese cubes.)
“Well, if we’re going two more days, why not just go all the way to Friday?” (She met my challenge with a steely gaze.)
“Well, if we’re going to Friday, why not make it Saturday night?”
“Why not make it Sunday morning?”
“Well, why not make it Sunday night?” (This would be her breaking point. I knew it – we would never make it to Sunday night without eating boiled onions for breakfast at least twice. She’d just have to give in and agree to go to the store.)
“I accept,” she said calmly, and turned back to her Pinboards, leaving me to stew over the prospect of boiled onions for breakfast.