Tourist Pass

I was getting off the metro stop today and riding the escalator back to the surface. Wow, those are some steep escalators. Anyway, as I was walking out of the exit, I ran into some tourists who clearly were confused. I offered to help them find out where they were going. They were actually looking for the airport. I showed them on the map where they needed to go and the quickest way to get there. They had plenty of time before their flight, but they still seemed anxious to get to the airport just in case. Despite having done this out of the goodness of my heart, and understanding how confusing it can be at times in D.C., they gave me a very nice reward. They gave me one of their commuter passes. They had put too much money on it and they weren’t going to use it again. So I got an extra $23 worth of free travel. It was a good day.

Laundry

How do you do cheap laundry?  That is a very good question and I wish that I knew the answer.  I try to extend the period of time I can go between doing loads by changing out of clothes right after I wear them.  If I have only had my slacks on for a few hours, I hang them back up and put them in the closet again.  Now, I never do this with any sort of clothing that is stained or has the appearance that it has been worn before.  However, by hanging up clothes again and occasionally spraying Fabreeze into the closet, I can go at least three weeks without having to do laundry.  I cut down on the number of loads too, which means that when all is said and done, I save around $12-15 a laundry cycle.

Warm Weather Recipe

I found this recipe for a really warm and hearty casserole dish.  I tried making it the other day and the cost was great compared to how filling it is.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-ich cubes

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided

1 can (16 oz) refried beans

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained

8 flour tortillas (I only needed 6)

1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained

2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

In large skillet, saute the chicken, cumin and salt in 1 tablespoon oil until chicken is no longer pink.

Combine the beans and tomatoes; spread 1 cup into a greased 11 x 7 x 2 in baking dish.  Top with tortilla strips; layer with half of the corn, bean mixture, chicken and cheese.  Repeate layers

Using remaining tortilla strips, make a lattice crust over filling; brush with remaining oil.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

I found that around 23 minutes was optimal.  I think if I had left it in there any longer, the top would have gotten burnt.  It makes around 6 servings, or so the recipe says, but it looks like I’ll be able to go about 10 servings.  Part of frugal living is going further on smaller portions.  Enjoy!

Seasonal Shopping

The seasons have begun to change.  At least inside the stores they have.  While it remains frigid on the streets of Washington D.C., consumers are finding warmth inside shopping malls.  As I’ve said in earlier postings, I’m not a very big shopper.  I don’t really enjoy the process and I don’t usually have the money to waste on extra items, especially clothes.  I am very much a sale shopper and right now all of the winter stuff is on sale because the stores want to clear room for the summer collections.  I stopped by JCPenney yesterday and picked up three fall/winter skirts for $65.  According to all the original tags, I saved $75 over the prices before the sale took effect.  What a deal!

Law School Socialism

You might not expect this to be an entry about frugality, but I assure you that it is.  When I first arrived on campus, I was overwhelmed with all of material they presented me with.  I am only now, six months later, getting through all of it.  One of the most useful pieces of information I found was that there is a Law school-wide listserv that people post items on that they are giving away for free.  It is amazing.  People put their books on there, electronic items, CDs, computer programs, and a variety of other goods.  The books are the best part since everyone follows a similar sequence of courses and law books are really expensive.  The best part about the listserv is that it is called ‘Law School Socialism – Help a J.D. out.’  I already have three hits on some books I listed and I am getting a new set of snack trays.