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From the Editor's keyboard
By Lynda Duffy
Musings, thoughts and ideas from Lynda Duffy, editor of Williams/Grand Canyon News.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ask me and I'll tell ya

 Lynda Duffy
Former Editor

"Where were you on Friday?" several friends asked me several Monday mornings ago.

Actually, in my life, this has becoming an increasingly common question every Monday morning.

"I just felt like chilling out at home and staying in," has become my standard answer.

See. I used to go out nearly every Friday night to blow off steam and connect with friends. So that's why folks are asking. This summer, I've been MIA.

A few weeks ago, I told the truth. A friend called on the phone and when I told the truth, I actually heard said friend gasp on the other end.

"I don't want to afford this any longer," I boldly said.

I heard another gasp.

"Really, the truth is, I don't want to spend 70-plus bucks," the recently truthful Me said.

I went on to explain .... I'll cut the quotations at this point.

We had purchased a gift for someone dear. When I came home, the 70-buck gift had arrived. I was admiring it when someone said, do you know how we just paid for this? It's Friday, and we didn't eat lunch out today, and we stayed home tonight, saving us roughly $125.

This makes sense, and it's becoming more and more common at our house.

I used to eat lunch out every day. It's easy to do with so much scrumptious food readily available, especially at lunchtime. Lunch out for one is a minimum of $10 per person in a sit-down restaurant. And that's if you drink water.

Then, every Friday, we'd go out for dinner and drinks. Easily another $70. That adds up to 120-plus bucks each week. Multiply that by the average four weeks in a month, and if we skip these treats, that's a savings of $480 each month, or over a year's time, $6,240 at a minimum.

These figures are on average. They fluctuate. Sometimes, friends would buy treats for us. Other times, we'd buy for the friends. We would take turns purchasing stuff for one another.

Recently at our grocery store, pork chops were 99 cents per pound. This is a no-brainer. The $5.99 steak on sale was left at the store. Thus, we ate pork for three nights.

In these tough economic times, our lives are changing. We are forced to pick and choose what is important.

Until a few years ago, I colored my own hair. Now, I would never do such a thing ever again. My hair looks much better, thanks to a great hairstylist. I also love my long nails, which are possible with a gel overlay. My dogs and cat love going to the groomer. All this is still possible. However, there is a trade-off here. And, it's not all bad.

A few months ago, I started losing weight. Once the fast food and sit-down lunches left, so did a few chunks of me.

Now, at lunchtime, I go home and eat something fast, yet quite slowly. It always tastes better when someone else cooks. Especially if it is not Chef Boy R Dee. Sometimes it's a potpie. Sometimes it's bologna and cheese. Sometimes, it's Spaghettios. For obvious reasons, I'm eating slower and as a result, less. However, in the end, there's funds left over, so I can truly enjoy personal splurges.

After talking a shocked friend's ear off over how much money can be saved, he said, "That's the best reason I've heard yet."

Ask me and I'll tell ya.

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