Friday, July 17, 2009

*Crash* *bang* $40

One of my friends recounted yesterday the ironic tale of how trying to save $4.50 cost her $40. The gist: To save the cost of a round-trip subway ride, she borrowed her roommate's bike -- then inadvertently blew out a tire. Sometimes, the transit gods, they laugh and smite.

I had my own version of that this evening. For possibly the First Time Ever, I am aiming to stick to a weekly budget. This is not a budget in the traditional (and, from my admittedly spoiled viewpoint, impossibly restrictive) sense, with pre-assigned totals for each category of spending. This is simply a fixed weekly number I'm trying to stay in sight of.

So, in the pursuit of frugality, I decided to cook in this evening, even though David is out at a baseball game and that's usually my cue to go eat somewhere he hates. I stocked up massively at the Red Hook Fairway this weekend (aka, Supermarket Nirvana), so one quick trip through the supermarket in my office building's basement later, I had a $3.90 piece of wild sockeye salmon and all the ingredients I needed for dinner. Once home, I hacked up some cauliflower to caramelize, washed a few dishes, and set things to roasting.

And then, from the corner of my eye, saw a fast gray blur of leaping kitten and heard a gigantic crash of glass.

Ashley, who this week got big enough to leap onto the kitchen counter, had just had his first encounter with the dish rack. The blender lost.

My first thought was "!$%@$$@$! I will never keep us all from stepping on a glass shard." My second was "well, I never much liked that blender."

I'd be much crankier about this had I not been thinking idly for years about replacing my very inexpensive blender with something flashier -- or maybe even, dare to dream, with an actual food processor. I've wanted one for ages, and it wasn't the price that stopped me, it was the idea of surrendering counter space to a new gadget.

I'm off to Amazon in a bit to price food processors/blenders/combo gadgets (does the iPhone perform blender functions yet?), but I'm bemused that my adventure in frugal cooking in has likely necessitated the blowing of my brand-new weekly budget to finance a blender replacement. I know "accident" is a category we have to budget for, but is there anyone who doesn't get annoyed by the unexpected expenses they incur?

I guess I'll just go be grateful I don't own a car.