What I Did For Love

To be able to travel and still pay the mortgage, most people have to find creative ways to save money.  I am one of those people.  Living on two teachers’ salaries–soon to be one teacher’s salary–saving money becomes an art form.  Many of my friends may have noticed that I don’t look as well-put-together this year.  I’ve not been shopping.  Those same friends may also notice that I never go out anymore, and when I do I don’t stay for nearly as long.  Two hours less at happy hour equals $40 more for the year-off-to-travel-and-write fund.  But last night I hit a new low.

My husband worked late; I needed to have dinner without him.  In a past life, I would have gone to one of my favorite restaurants.  I really like White Orchid, an upscale Thai place in a local preppy-outdoor-lifestyle mall.  But last night I attempted to save money–by making hamburger helper ($1.79).

I ate this in college a lot, but back then I didn’t eat meat, so I often made carrot-and-onion helper.  Trust me, it is better than it sounds.  I’ve been out of college for eight years now, so it has been a while since I’ve experienced ‘Helper’ of any kind.  As I’m no longer a vegetarian, yesterday’s Helper was made with 99% lean ground turkey breast ($5.99).  I didn’t notice the box until after I got home.  If you didn’t look closely the first time, scroll up and look at it again now.

Hamburger Helper is currently featuring a 4-box collector’s set, featuring a Nascar panorama.  That’s right.  I said Hamburger Helper, collector’s set, and Nascar all in that same sentence.

I almost didn’t make it after I noticed that freakish feature.  But that would have been a waste of money.

And in case anyone was wondering–it was not good.  Next time my husband has to work late–tomorrow, actually–I shall go to the take away Indian restaurant down the street.  For the same amount of money, I can get a meal I’ll actually enjoy in a package that causes less shame.

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