Money does not grow on trees like I previously thought. Sometimes my fantasy world is a lot happier place than my real world. In the real world I go to work every day, get a paycheck (not much) and pay bills. Prices for everything have escalated but my income has stayed right where it has been - stuck in the mud.
In Japan restaurants have compensated for these tough economic times by employing monkeys. Yes, monkey waiters. Perhaps we should give that a try. We may get better service and we can tip them with peanuts.
I have tightened my money spending by no longer feeding the birds this includes the seagulls at the beach. 'Let them fend for themselves', is my new motto. When dining out, usually at a fast food location and always from the 99 cent menu, I make sure to get extra napkins, utensils and condiments. I no longer have to purchase napkins, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper or mints. It has been a great savings on my grocery bill.
I have found a fantastic way to have dinner out without spending a dime. Some stores give out free samples of food. I know all of them. The kiosk in the mall are big on this during the holidays. No one has said anything to me about the grazing although some of the food preparers give me strange looks. One does have to make several stops at the same pizza sample station. The pieces are very small. The deli's are my favorite. They just place the food right out there with no one watching or passing it out. It's a help yourself buffet.
Another fantastic meal is the financial seminars. They are usually held at great restaurants but you must listen to the speaker for at least an hour. There is one financial planner that has his seminars at a steak house. MMMMMM. Always ask for more rolls and butter to take home with you as it makes a tasty late night snack. If you are lucky you can attend three or four a month without ever spending your hard earned cash.
Harry and David's is an all time favorite. They even have coffee. Their cups are way too small so one day I just took in my own cup. Ice cream parlors is another favorite. You can sample every flavor they have. They will not let you sample the toppings - darn! Making the rounds at these food giveaways is a real night out for hubby and me. Pickings may be slim after the holidays so the movie Wedding Crashers has given me another idea.