Photo courtesy of bored roommate and reporter in the field Jess.
I never want to work for a place that can't declare a snow day. Snow days are the most indulgent type of day-off ever. A snow day is an excuse to wear favorite pajamas all day, cook every single thing that's in the kitchen without doing the dishes, and spend the remainder of one's time in the most frivolous ways possible. So far today, I slept until nearly noon, drank chocolate milk (pre-snow day grocery store runs are all about self-indulgence too), watched last night's episode of Bones, made and consumed some lunch, and read a bit. My afternoon if full of more of the same. Bliss. If I had some chocolate, I might die from contentment.
I went to the grocery on Tuesday because I was making dinner for my sweet Uncle Don who drove down to Little Rock to take a shot at fixing my broken dryer. I didn't plan on going back, no matter what the weather might or might not do later in the week, but yesterday afternoon, I had to make another Kroger run to buy orange juice to take to Our House (a local homeless shelter) to go along with the brinner that we were serving last night. So since I found myself at Kroger with all my weather-concerned neighbors and standing in line for one thing was going to be just as annoying as standing in line for multiple things, I bought the indulgent chocolate milk and the ingredients to try my first Pioneer Woman recipe.
Have I talked about my girl-crush on the Pioneer Woman here yet? You know the part about my winning a $75 amazon gift card in one of her contests. And I feel like, without doing the archival research, that I've talked about here other times too. But maybe you don't know the depth of my admiration/stalking. P-Dub cracks me up, and I want my blog to be just like hers when it grows up--without the livestock and the fancy camera and the homeschooling. Her recipe posts are awesome, full of step-by-step pictures of what things should be looking like at each stage. It's a delight. So this week when she proclaimed that she had perfected a non-chunky salsa recipe, I was definitely intrigued.
Tostitos Restaurant Style, which they stopped making for a few years but is now back, I'm happy to report. But if sensible, frugal Ellen is leading the grocery shopping expedition, impulsive, salsa-loving Ellen doesn't get to pay $2.79, plus another couple of bucks for chips to enjoy a salsa experience. I don't know why frugal Ellen gets so hung up about this. I hate frugal Ellen. She never lets me have any fun. Luckily PW-loving, cooking enthusiast Ellen can sometimes show frugal Ellen who's boss.
This morning frugal Ellen got curious about the cost of buying all those separate ingredients, so she got got out her receipt and did some math. I already had the onion, garlic, salt, sugar, and cumin here at home, so the cost of those are not figured in, but the truth is, I always have those things at home, and I used such small amounts of each that the cost seems negligible for those ingredients. Anyway I made 48 ounces of salsa for $3.78. The jars of Tostitos are 16 ounces, I'm fairly certain, so technically I saved $4.59 by making my own. Take that, frugal Ellen. The only bad spot is that I'm almost out of chips and I'm committed to these pajamas.
In other news, I didn't actually make it to the homeless shelter last night to serve dinner after making that special trip to Kroger for o.j. Yesterday morning I woke up with a ridiculous amount of pain in my neck from sleeping on it funny. I tried to let the shower pound on it some, which is usually all my aches and pains need, but this was serious. When I made the reflexive move of throwing my head back after removing my wet-hair towel, I thought I would hit the floor in agony. It was bad. I went to work and whined all day, and after the Kroger run, I decided that I couldn't take it any more. So I sent the juice to Our House with Jess and made a date with my bed, some ibuprofen, and a heating pad. I could make myself comfortable in various positions, but when I got up later to eat dinner and make the salsa, it still hurt, and this morning when I finally dragged out of bed, it still hurt. It still hurts now. I should probably take more ibuprofen. Instead, I'm going to complain. I don't like being old.
Frugal Ellen won another victory yesterday, besides the salsa incident. Jess and I are moving to a new place. Last week, our friend Dee told us that the other half of her duplex was about to be empty, so I put in a call to her landlord immediately. We hadn't seen Dee's place at that point, but we knew she had two bedrooms and we knew she payed $225 less in rent than us. That was definitely worth pursuing. We were able to see Dee's house, which is a mirror image of her neighbors on Saturday, and we liked it enough to stay interested. We were able to see the one that would actually be ours yesterday afternoon, and we're sold. We're not moving until mid-March, which works out great for the remainder of our lease here. It's in North Little Rock, which is closer to Shane and closer to work for me, but further for Jess. She says she's fine with that. She also says she's fine with the smaller closets, but we'll see about that. The kitchen is small and has some storage and space issues, but I have too much stuff, so here's an opportunity to work on that. Anyway, we're excited. It's going to be fun to live next door to Dee--and not feel too worried that we're being too loud for the neighbors. And it's going to be a delight to pay $112.50 less in rent every month. Frugal Ellen's heart sings.
Now I've got to stop this ramble. More frivolous entertainments await. Wherever you are, imaginary readers, I hope you're warm and snug and safe.