Sunday, June 13, 2010

A "Spend Zero Dollars" Weekend

Here was the challenge: after taking a look at the amount of moolah spent the last couple months (Nashville, a wedding, a vet trip, a visit home, etc) could I go one weekend without spending a dime? I was also looking forward to a low key weekend after a few go-go-go ones in a row.

Of course, what a terrible weekend to pick to do this! Blackhawks win, World Cup action, Cubs/Sox games. . .a lot of reasons to go out and celebrate. My only saving grace is that it was a rainy weekend so going out at night didn't sound like the most fun option. But alas, I made a commitment to myself and didn't want to break that.


So what doesn’t count? Things I already have sunken costs into like train passes and netflix. I was in movie heaven. . .between owning well over a hundred DVDs, DVR and instant netflix streamed through the Wii, we have no excuse to go out and rent one from Blockbuster (or, let's be more realistic, RedBox). I also managed to finish two books (book club book: Best Friends Forever, chick lit from Jennifer Weiner and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and spend some quality time with my two main men, Sonny and Fredo!

Friday Night
Leftover spaghetti and meatballs (recipe for sauce found here) and Evita - my night in is complete. For knowing all the words to Evita, it is a bit surprising I don't own the film, thanks Instant Netflix!

Funny story - when I saw Evita when it came through Chicago a few years back the Che character fell off the stage doing a knee slide during one of the opening songs. He fell into the orchestra pit and the music comically stopped abruptly. Luckily he was okay and the play resumed about 10 minutes later with a slightly more conservative song ending this time around.

Saturday:

Breakfast of Egg, Cheese and Bacon Bagel Sandwich. Homemade is going to beat the McDonalds version every time.

Volunteering with Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon as a “roadie.” Helped organize all of the volunteers as they came back from the school beautification projects by waving in the buses and then at the beer tent. A morning downpour made me happy I volunteered for the afternoon shift!

Movie of the Night: Withnail and I. I'm usually about all-things-British, but think I might need another viewing or two before I can see the "cult classic" in it.

Sunday:
Cleaning! What a sty this place has turned into – I blame the cats. Yes, even for the pile of laundry that we have yet to put away. A good 5 hour cleaning spree took up the afternoon. As long as the XM is piping through the ultra-catchy "California Gurls" by Katy Perry and Flight of the Conchords episodes are running on a loop it makes for not that bad a day.

Our last Dream Dinners meal (Coconut Chicken with Rice) came out of the freezer tonight. Luckily my sister and I have another set of meals coming next week! Looking forward to Calzones, Blackberry Glazed Chicken, Lobster Pinwheels and more!

Movie of the Night: A History of Violence. Should have expected a strange one with Cronenberg directing. Did not disappoint.

This did mean we put our console table plans on hold for a bit. And buying new pots for our tomato plants and flowers will have to wait. And I may have missed out on meeting friends out, but every once in awhile you need to skip the $60 bar tab and have a quiet night in. Just don't skip out on your $60 bar tab - probably won't end well.

It should be mentioned that having a "spend zero dollars" weekend does not equal being cooped up in the house - if I didn't have the volunteer activity on Saturday I could have checked out the free Lincoln Park Zoo or used my gathering-dust pass to the Art Institute. I say this every summer, but I really want to explore more of Chicago's neighborhoods (hmmm, maybe an upcoming, ongoing project for the blog??). I've lived here for 6 years and still have so much to check out. I love living close to Andersonville, it has to be one of the best neighborhoods to stroll through on a sunny day! A walking tour around the neighborhood is free, but the inevitable restaurant stop/boutique shopping is not. . .

Very happy with saving a little cash the last few days - makes me feel better about some inevitable spending that will happen next weekend - it's my BIRTHDAY!

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