Can I justify a tablet?

For the past few months, I have been contemplating a tablet computer. I have looked at them, played with them and talked to other people who use them. I have done research on different models to see what they can do. Now, Jeff has decided that he wants to get me one for Christmas… I am torn.

There are a lot of things I could do with a tablet that would make my life so much easier. It would be extremely helpful for bringing documents to meetings and taking notes with clients and in board meetings. It would allow me to get many of my magazines in digital format, clearing up a lot of clutter in my house. I could use it to write notes for my classes and bring the tablet to class when I teach. It would also be much easier to use than the laptop for storing and using recipes. I could even see myself writing blog posts and working on my novel (yes, I’m writing a novel) while waiting for appointments. There are certainly a lot of uses for a tablet that make it much more convenient that carrying a laptop around with me. Plus, I have a bad back and am not supposed to carry my laptop around with me.

There is also one huge con… the price. The tablet pictured above is a Samsung Galaxy which will cost me about $500. My other issue is that I always get the new technology in the house. Poor Jeff gets my hand-me-downs. When we get a new computer, it’s generally for my business and Jeff gets the old one. It would be nice for him to get the new toy productivity device for once. He has stated that I am the wife and I should get the new toy productivity device (he’s such a good husband).

It’s not that we don’t have the money. We actually saved up a bunch of money for vacation but due to our busy schedules, we aren’t going to be able to go. We’ll still have money left in the fund. It’s just the idea of spending that much money. I’m terrible about big purchases for myself. I was willing to drop $450 on a leather coat for Jeff (luckily we found one for 70% off that price), but I would never dream of spending that kind of money on myself.

Jeff has given me a week to decide if I really don’t want the tablet. I could use any and all advice on this one. I’m out of my frugal comfort zone. HELP! Also, if you have a tablet let me know what you think of it. Was it worth the money? How has it made your life easier?

Why frugal?

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days updating  the layout of my blog, including adding more pictures. It was a nice reminder why we live a frugal life. I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days and then I noticed that Katy had also written a post on the topic.

People ask me all the time why we are so frugal. We don’t spend money on fancy cars or expensive clothes. We don’t have the latest and greatest new thing that comes on the market. We don’t eat expensive dinners out or go to lots of shows.  So why are we so frugal?

To have moments like this:

Pointing to Naples

This is Jeff on the balcony of our room pointing to Naples. Being frugal got us here. We saved for this trip, which is something we’ve wanted to do since we first got together twelve years ago. We decided that this year, our tenth wedding anniversary would be the perfect time to go. Was it an expensive trip? You betcha. Did we enjoy every moment we spent together in Florence, Rome and Naples? Absolutely. Jeff and I love to experience life together, whether it’s at home or in Italy. We put more value on our time than our money.

We all have different reasons for being frugal. We’ve spent the last few years paying down our debt so we’d have more money in the future. I have one year left on my contract at work, so for the next twelve months the plan is to try to live on my husband’s income and use all of mine for to pay down debt and save. When my contract is up, I won’t have to worry about finding another full-time job. I can figure out what I want to do and see where life takes me. That’s the beauty of being frugal. We don’t need two full-time incomes. Yes, we could probably do a lot more traveling or have nicer cars if I continued to work full-time, but then I wouldn’t be around to make dinner or volunteer my time. I wouldn’t be as relaxed as I am today. I like the flexibility that our lifestyle provides. Plus, if we traveled all the time, I’m not sure pictures like the one above would be as special.

Jeff’s view: Feeding yourself when your wife is not home

When in the course of family events, it becomes necessary for one husband to feed himself and risk dissolving the bands that connect his stomach and currency, and to assume among the powers of Earth the ability to create a dinner that is not an abomination to the laws of Nature, with a decent respect to the wife’s laws of living frugal.

As a husband, the prospect of caring for yourself should not really rise to the level of a declaration of independence.  However, if you choose, with your wife, to live frugally it ruins many of the tried and true methods that men should use to feed themselves (a.k.a. pizza delivery).  Like my wife, I have come up with some important recipes that can help any man survive without resorting to breaking the budget. It is very important to understand that if this is going to work, you need drinks.  I recommend beer and soda; have her buy them to maximize savings. Let’s be honest if we go to the store it will be the first found, not the best deal.

Deluxe Popcorn

1 package Boy Scout popcorn, 1 bag price ??? (it doesn’t matter; it needs to be boy scout popcorn because it is the best)
1 pinch of salt, price ??? (who cares it is only a pinch)

First, you place the popcorn in the microwave (NOTE FROM WIFE: make sure to remove the plastic wrapper from the microwave popcorn before placing in said microwave) then press the popcorn button on the microwave.  You must remember that the door must be closed for the microwave to work due to oppressive government regulations.

Open bag of popcorn and slowly pour popcorn into plastic bowl.  I believe you can throw these away since they are not glass. IF YOU USE A GLASS BOWL NEVER THROW IT AWAY; WIVES DO NOT CONSIDER THESE DISPOSABLE.

This dish is best served with a glass of clear soda on a movie or tv watching evening.  You can also consider serving the popcorn on a bed of T-Bone steak if there is one in the freezer.

Special note: Also if your microwave does not have a popcorn button you will need to call you wife to ask how to set the microwave.  You do not want guess.  However, as you know, the microwave must be broken due to the lack of popcorn button.  You will have to work into your budget to replace the broken device ASAP)

Deluxe Bologna Sandwich

2 slices of Wonder bread
2 slices of yellow American Cheese (yellow American Cheese not valid in New England so you will have to use White)
2 slices of Oscar Meyer Beef Bologna
1 teaspoon of Yellow Mustard

First you will open the two slices of bread and place one piece of American cheese on each piece of bread.  Then on one side place two slices of bologna.  Dab the yellow mustard on the meat.  Finally place two sides together on paper plate with a side of chips.

This dish is best served with a lovely red soda.  You might also look to spice it up a bit by placing chips directly on the sandwich.  Once you are done make sure to eat the paper plate so you are not force to waste time going back to the kitchen to throw it away.

(This is the point if we had a lawyer they would force me to retract the last statement or point out it is a joke.  Well, it is a joke, DO NOT EAT THE PLATE JUST LEAVE IT ON THE TABLE)

I would like to wish everyone good luck when they are left alone.  I will follow up at times with more helpful recipes to allow you to keep your budget lean and your belly full.  Good luck and eat the plate. I was just joking about the warning.  It is really good fiber so eat it.  😀

My husband’s interpretation of yesterday’s grocery experience

There are two sides to every story. This is Jeff’s version of yesterday’s events:

The Veteran and the Wife were trapped in the muddy trenches of some place she called the “Grocery Store.” The Veteran coolly slipped through the jungle maze of food and deals when he finally saw their opportunity to escape. However, his plan was foiled as his wife started to engage a terrible foe called the cashier.

Her weapon of choice was her voice and eyes deceptively sweet and innocent, in truth accurate and deadly. He watched in horror as her shocked words and innocent looks flew down range at her poor young foe, “It looks like fresh breaded chicken to me are you saying your store sells bad chicken.” Followed by an even more devious and deadly round, “I am so sorry. I did not realize this coupon is no longer valid.” The Veteran was so moved by the ferocity of the “Shock and Cute Eyes” attack, he was pulling out his own wallet to pay her for the coupons the foolhardy cashier failed to take.

Before, the Veteran could grab his wallet, the wife reopened up with a bomb shell that almost took out the store, “I READ ON A BLOG THAT YOU ARE TAKING COMPETITORS COUPONS!” The phrase so powerful the veteran feared everyone in the store might have been taken out. He peered through clearing smoke and debris of the checkout aisle and was relieved to see his wife still on her feet. The veteran stood up brushing off the debris from his sales-soaked jeans to see an amazing site. The Cashier mustering the full might of his waffling and cracking teenage voice spoke, “I’m sorry lady that’s against store policy.”

The Veteran cringed seeing the deadly sweet look the Wife gave shot at the Cashier as she said fine and paid. The Veteran, clear of the foe, picked up speed and maneuvered the cart and couple into the long hall leading to freedom from the store. His eyes widened as the pair approached the light of the door. His excitement so much he failed to notice that behind the loving voice of his wife a predator stalked. Eyes devoured every sign for some proof until right before they reached the doors she pounced. Her arm striking forward created such a powerful shockwave, knocking over the cart, the veteran and setting ablaze a stack of plastic wrapped firewood.

The innocence had left her voice replaced with a righteous fury. With crazed bloodshot eyes she leaned down and looked the veteran in face, “Put the groceries in the car, I am going back in!” The Veteran’s eyes filled with fear and flushed with tears screamed out a warning to all that could hear, “My God, she wants her three dollars!”

Even more terror filled him as he could see all the customers start to flee like gazelle towards the exit. He rushed to get the groceries back into the cart hearing the screams of the head cashier who must of quickly fell. He got the last of the food in the cart out the door as the other customers sprung past him into the crisp clean air of northern Connecticut. He quickly loaded the groceries in the car watching as the roof started to collapse on the grocery store. He watched as the cashier tried to make a break out the door and was quickly enveloped in darkness and ripped off his feet back into the store as the walls collapsed.

Finally as the dust settled the figure of an angel appeared leaving the burning rubble. Her smiled filled him with love and joy as the Wife was waving their three dollars in the air. She ran up and the hugged him as the pair got in their car, turned west and started to drive towards the sunset. Proudly the Veteran looked in the rear-view mirror, seeing the ruins of the once proud store knowing that the maximum savings had been achieved. Proud that like a true warrior his wife used only conventional savings warfare and had not resorted to water boarding the manager.

He laughed a little wondered how they seemed to rebuild every week after our visit because this is the experience of the Veteran and the Warrior Wife every week.

When joining the savings battlefield of Northern Connecticut LISTEN. If you hear a man scream, “My God! She wants her three dollars,” just jump out the nearest exit. Because she will do it again . . . just like this . . . no exaggeration . . . “Scouts honor”.

I love my husband.