Weekly Woot & Grumble: That One Time I Forgot My Lunch and Our Car Inspection

Grumble

Well, this was the week of me doing dumb things. It all began with a forgotten lunch…

Real live unicorn

Real live unicorn

Last week, I shared that Mr. Frugalwoods and I had the incredible opportunity to speak at NYU, which was amazing and wonderful! And filled with unicorns leaping over rainbows! Perhaps not quite leaping, but certainly rather excited unicorns.

We returned home late Thursday night and, being relatively responsible people, packed up our lunches for the next morning. Friday began like any other Friday with us up at 6am doing our calisthenics reading blogs messing with Frugal Hound writing insightful words, and things progressed normally from there.

However, upon arrival at my place of employment, I made a terrible discovery: my lunch sack (which is a tote bag advertising mammograms that I received for free at a flu shot clinic 2 years ago) contained NO rice-and-beans.

In layman’s terms, I’d forgotten my lunch. In frugal weirdo terms, I’d committed an EPIC sin. Frugal people DO NOT buy their lunches out, which means frugal people DO NOT forget their homemade $0.39 lunches that their bearded husbands hand-crafted for them with love.

The rice-and-beans I left behind

The rice-and-beans I left behind

I broke into a sweat. I ransacked my desk–not a scrap of food to be found. Totally thwarted by my own refusal to buy packaged foods! I did have my salad of greens, my carrots, and my banana. But I suspected this wouldn’t suffice for the entirety of the drudgery know as 9 to 5.

However, hope was not lost. Why? My office is home to notoriously fantastic leftover food (which I often take home for dinner–we call it my “cooking”). So, I bided my time, consulted with my free food sources and waited.

You see, gentle reader, I always know exactly when and where free food will appear. How? I give rides to work (free of charge) to a younger co-worker who lives in our neighborhood and is responsible for ordering food in our office. Never underestimate my cunning when free food is at steak (oh yes, I said steak). Sadly, my informant let slip that there were no prospects for food that day. And so, I toughed it out until 1:30pm thinking perhaps I could limp by with my salad and carrots. But no. I am an eater and this would not do.

Guilt

Guilt

It’s with much embarrassment that I confess to you fine and frugal people that I BOUGHT MY LUNCH in the CAFETERIA. This is easily the first time in at least two years that I’ve forgotten my lunch, but still, I felt a burn of shame. I’m not even kidding–I felt guilty walking through the cafeteria and hoped no one would recognize me (then I remembered that I was at work where no one knows I’m Mrs. Frugalwoods). Nevertheless, I have a frugal reputation to uphold.

To make matters worse, I was so famished/embarrassed that I ended up buying what can only be described as caloric-laden deliciousness: an egg salad wrap with potato chips. It’s possible you don’t know about my situation with egg salad and potato chips, because I try not to admit it with any frequency. In sum, I’m a diehard addict. Something about the eggy mayonnaise with those salty, crunchy chips. Sigh. I was in heaven. After consuming this feast, my heart was beating fast and my face was hot. Guilt, shame, and elevated cholesterol all in one fell swoop.

What you should really be laughing at is the fact that I had to take all these photos in the cubicle hoping no one would notice

What you should really be laughing at is the fact that I had to take all these photos in my cubicle hoping no one would notice

Now I realize many folks will respond–what’s the big deal with forgetting your lunch? It was only one day! Well, the big deal is that for me, that’s how the slippery slope commences. If I were to allow myself to “forget” my lunch in favor of munching my fave egg salad/chip combo periodically, I guarantee you it would become a regular habit for me.

Oh egg salad-y

Oh egg salad-y. We had some good times.

I find that, for humans, deviation from routine often spells the downfall of things like New Year’s resolutions, savings goals, debt repayment, diets, and homemade lunches. It’s far too easy to let ourselves fall into thinking it’s a one-time thing, when it’s really a twice a week thing, or a daily thing… As I  came down from my egg salad high, I reflected on how unhealthy, expensive, and pointless it would be to buy my lunch every day. Despite the fact that I’m already bought into frugality, a jolting reminder isn’t bad from time to time.

Needless to say, I shan’t be repeating this mistake again.

Grumble #2

If the egg salad transgression wasn’t enough this week, on Monday I was pulled over by the police! While driving the Frugalwoods-mobile! Again, perhaps not a big deal to some, but frugal weirdos don’t get pulled over. Why? Because tickets are expensive!

I really couldn't resist including another one of these...

Frugal Hound 100% fell down on the job of reminding me to get the ‘mobile inspected

Not to toot our own horn, but neither Mr. FW nor I have ever received a ticket of any type for a moving violation. It’s a point of pride for us both. So, more than anything, I was bummed I’d have to surrender my perfect driving record while letting Mr. FW reign supreme.

But no! This was no moving violation, folks. This was an idiocy violation. The police officer pointed at my vehicle inspection sticker and said, “ma’am, your vehicle inspection sticker is 7 months overdue.” I gulped. Vehicle inspection sticker? Did I get Frugalwoods-mobile inspected? I had a vague recollection of me in a garage receiving a sticker, but was it here in Cambridge? Back in Washington, DC? Clearly I had no clue.

This interaction was the culmination of just about everything I fear in this world: confrontation, disorganization (on my part! the horror), disobeying authority (through neglect!), and the potential for a monetary fine! Not to mention I was going to be late to my yoga shift. I hate being late! Throw in some spiders and it would’ve been my perfect storm of terror.

Moi? Guilty?

Moi? Guilty?

Since I truly didn’t realize that Frugalwoods-mobile was derelict in her inspections and, I imagine because I was extremely polite (and very confused) and my license yielded a perfect driving record, I was released with only a warning and no fine. However, I was chastised and reprimanded, which if you know me, is punishment enough.

The cop warned me to take the car in post haste, which I did. Reason #230,495 why our mechanic down the street is the absolute bomb (in a good way). I rolled in there with my illegally expired inspection tag and they didn’t bat an eye. They inspected the ‘mobile and found that all she needed in order to pass were new wiper blades, which they sold to me for the same price as I could get on Amazon. Those guys are amazing.

All’s well now with both my lunch and Frugalwoods-mobile, but it’s been an un-frugal few days around here. I plan on walking everywhere all weekend and avoiding anything resembling egg salad.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done in recent memory? Come on, make me feel better!

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112 Responses

  1. Alicia says:

    I understand your love and total guilt over egg salad sandwiches. I can’t imagine how delicious it would be paired with salty regular chips! I might need to try it 🙂

    My recent “duh” moment probably had to be when I dropped my keys in the toilet at work, including the car FOB. Everything made it through the ordeal, but I was majorly skeeved out by sticking my hand in the public restroom toilet. Thankfully it’s work so it’s not quite as gross as it could have been (small female population at work, so slightly less “public”) There was a lot of soap and washing, and I might have even pulled out some lab-grade hydrogen peroxide.

    • Okay, dropping your car keys in the toilet is not so great. But how does locking your cars keys inside your car WITH THE CAR STILL RUNNING sound?

      Sad, sad to say, I have actually done that 3 times in my life. (Not for a long time, though.) Solutions included an embarrasing phone call on a Saturday to a co-worker to come to the office and unlock the door so I could get my spare keys out of my office, prying open the car hood to unhook the battery wires, and… well, why go on?

      I finally figured out why this would happen to me. It was because my mind would be so engrossed in other things, that I would not think (literally) about what I was doing as I catapulted out of the car and flung the door closed.

      It took some retraining, but I got over that habit. Thank goodness!

      • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

        Oh no! While the car is still running! Haha, that’s pretty rough 😉

        • Valerie says:

          That’s the worst!
          ….except for maybe that one time I was traveling to my hometown for a cousin’s wedding with my dog in tow and stopped in a church parking lot about a half hour from my destination to let my dog out; after putting the pup back in the car, I decided to throw some travel-snacks trash in the dumpster ‘real quick’ and inadvertently locked myself out. Dog inside, car running, AC on, phone inside, windows up……!…….
          Luckily one of the kind nearby residents was outside, knew my family and let me use their phone. The one number I knew (mom’s cell phone) kept going to voicemail and the only other people I knew with a number in the phone book were my Grandparents, who weren’t answering because everyone staying there was getting ready for the wedding–which was to begin in a few hours. Finally my Uncle answered and was able call my Dad to come rescue me……consequently I’m a bit paranoid about checking to ensure I’ve got my keys before exiting my car now.
          That was definitely a duh moment. After reading this I became a bit worried about my own inspection and had to go check! I moved to VA from IA where there’s none of this inspection business so I’m thinking I should probably just add ‘get inspection’ to reoccur yearly on my calendar before I inevitably forget!

          • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

            Oh no, Valerie! That’s definitely one for the record books! At least the AC was on for the pup 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Ugh, I feel your pain Alicia. I probably would’ve busted out the hydrogen peroxide too ;). Glad it still works though!

  2. Mrs. PoP says:

    Forgetting your lunch once in two years! Pretty good in my book. =) I forget mine more often than that, so I try and keep tupperware with oatmeal and raisins in my desk as a backup. Not quite as filling as my usual fare, but adding water from the hot water spicket and I’ve got enough in me to (barely) make it through the afternoon. If I have raw almonds in my desk (another thing I try to keep around for snacking) I’m totally fine.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      You’re wise to maintain a store of oatmeal and almonds. Much can be accomplished with those two foods :).

  3. Trista says:

    I’ve got one!!! I’m taking a cake decorating course with a friend at Michael’s. On day one of the course we were supposed to be decorating cupcakes. I arrived to the class 15 minutes early and realized that I had everything else needed for class but had left my cupcakes on the counter. The worst part is, I also had my friends cupcakes. So I had to boot’er across town and get the cupcakes. In the end I was 10 min late.

    Who forgets to bring cupcakes to their cupcake decorating class? This girl!! 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Haha, that’s a good one! At least you’d actually made the cupcakes and hadn’t forgotten that vital step :). P.S. that sounds like a really fun class!

  4. JD says:

    So sorry about the mishaps. Actually I can’t tell you about some of my most recent boo boo’s, not enough time and space and I don’t want to put that information out there in the public. 🙂

  5. I forgot my lunch this week too. For shame. I had a prepackaged meal ready at my desk for such an occasion, but it was not good and not filling. To make it through the day, I went to Chipotle and got 1 taco with all the fixings I’d get with a full burrito, just smaller. Total cost $2.66. Much better than the $7+ lunch everywhere else. Happy Tummy, Productive Afternoon.

    Egg Salad is the best. You could frugally make it at home as a special treat. Eggs are frugal, though the mayo is cholesterolly. … and now I want Egg Salad. mmmm.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Mmmmm TACOS :)!!!! $2.66 is pretty good for a lunch out! We’ve made egg salad at home a few times, but somehow it’s just not the same… probably because it lacks chips 😉

  6. Amy@DebtGal says:

    Oh, I have a passionate love affair with egg salad, too! I find it’s one of those foods people either love or hate.

    I know it’s wrong of me, but I have to admit to feeling a glimmer of relief after learning that one of my frugal role models is indeed human…

  7. I looooove egg salad sandwiches. I understand why you’d need to teetotal that craving lest you give into it every day (I certainly would). However, I wouldn’t worry too much about your two transgressions this week. I mean, in total they cost you like $10 tops?

    The silliest thing I’ve done with my money lately is giving up on trying to negotiate with Comcast. They recently upped our bill and after 3 freaking hours on the phone with them I think they upped it AGAIN. I don’t have the patience to deal so I’ll be paying the extra $10/month until I’ve recovered my strength.

  8. LOL I forgot my laptop at home this morning! And I realized when I got to work. Yay! At least I got to listen to more podcasts. It just slipped my mind with all of the extra snow, the (free) rental car (long story), and not having any real food to eat today!

    You see, we’re normally very good about having lots of meat cooked and then I can just build a meal around that. For whatever reason, we didn’t cook anything last night and now I’m going to substitute my usual 4oz of meat with 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 cheese sticks. The issue? I normally have a snack with a hard boiled egg and a cheese stick (some nuts and an apple too) every day. So now I’m going to have to eat 3 cheese sticks and 3 hard boiled eggs. I didn’t really want to grumble about it until I read this. You’re helping me commiserate!

    Side note: On the wiper blades, I once told a Midas shop who completed our inspection that no, I didn’t want to pay $35 for wiper blades and installation when I could buy them from the AutoZone that was LITERALLY an attached building for $12 total and install them myself. I asked, and they hadn’t ever had anyone think of that before.

    Extra side note: Just yesterday, my wife saw a spider inside of our toilet, dangling from the seat. She said it was basically her worst nightmare. She didn’t like my jokes of her having company in the bathroom.

    You’re ruffling some memory feathers this morning!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hahah, oh no! The forgotten laptop sounds like a royal pain. And, that’s a lot of egg and cheese! But hey, at least its frugal + healthy. Oh the grumbles of the frugal ;)!

  9. I totally feel you on the slippery slope- happens to me if I let myself take a break for working out more than one day in a row. Suddenly justifications and excuses become SO much easier 🙂

  10. Tracy says:

    I have one that will surely make you feel better. My husband is in the Army Reserve. He went away for 3 weeks for training. Day one he goes to get dressed and he has……….. no boots, no belt, no hat & no dog tags. Luckily he was on an Army base and was able to purchase those items to the tune of $185. Ouch!!!! Not sure how he forgot to pack those things but there was nothing we could do but rebuy them.

  11. Mr. 1500 says:

    Did you take your car to the Good News Garage? Please say ‘Yes!’ so that I can live vicariously through you!

    Egg salad is just great. Its 7am here now, but I really, really want an egg salad sandwich.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I wish! Our mechanic is *almost* as awesome. Egg salad can/should be consumed anytime, anywhere, and under any conditions.

  12. bev says:

    At first when I was reading this, I was thinking that you need to give yourself a break or lighten up. (And yes, I know, who am I to tell you what you should do in life! As a matter of fact, I’d tell you NOT do anything I did with my life, as yours is in waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better shape than mine at your age!). However, as I read on, I thought, “no, she’s right. When you start slipping up with the small things, they start to accumulate. One small thing here, another little one there, and pretty soon, you’ve lost all the momentum you’ve worked so hard to build. I appreciate your honesty in this post, but don’t beat yourself up too much, because you are human, and you both are doing so well in life. I also love egg salad and haven’t had one in a while. Hmmmm, dinner anyone?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      This post is written tongue-in-cheek ;). So no worries, I’m not actually beating myself up at all :).

  13. On the one hand, I successfully resisted the urge to buy lunch this week, the day after our move when we had no food in our house at all. Instead, I went to the grocery store that morning for an apple, canned soup, string cheese, and crackers.

    On the other hand, I backed up into a truck (a flatbed-trailer type thing, not readily visible in the rearview, though of course I should have seen it getting in),detached the corner of my bumper and took out a taillight. Estimated repair cost: $178. Sigh.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh no! Growl for that! What a bummer. But hey, I’m super impressed with the grocery store lunch!

  14. Fiby says:

    I think you’re a bit too hard on yourself for buying a lunch when you forgot yours! If you’re worried about the slippery slope, it’s ok. You publish monthly expenditure reports and I will be glad to cast judgement for eating out for a weekday lunch ;).

  15. I feel the same way about tuna salad and potato chips. The best combo!

  16. Someone take your frugal card away! 🙂 All kidding a side, it’s those little mishaps that sometime snowball into bigger spending if you let them, glad your back on the frugal bandwagon and the PO was forgiving.

  17. MandalayVA says:

    Another egg salad fan here! I eat it for breakfast quite a bit. I make my own mayo with avocado oil and it’s supremely tasty. I’ll have to try it with potato chips sometime.

    A couple of months ago I got to work. Ice was predicted so I left everything in the car while I lifted up the wipers so they wouldn’t freeze to the windshield. I was walking back to the driver’s side when I heard a beep and a click. Yep, locked my bag, lunch and KEYS in the car. Fortunately Mr. Mandalay works in the same building and I was able to get his fob to open things up, but I still felt like an idiot.

  18. Oh, mine is WAY more epic. I have an emergency plane trip to help out/visit my friend, and I’m leaving today. You know when I bought the tickets for originally? NOT TODAY. So several hundred dollars worth of change fees later, I am in fact leaving today…and feeling like a total dumb@$$.

  19. Uht oh, if the spiral continues, you’ll have to change the name of your blog!! Maybe “The Consumerist Rule-Breaker”? 🙂

    I’m trying to think of something dumb I did lately, but if that happens (very very rare) I usually try to block it out of my mind and not dwell on it.

  20. Be careful these things usually come in 3s. You are lucky officer friendly let you go with a warning, I have had to fight all of my tickets (and got out of 3/4). Trial by written declaration FTW!

    Egg salad is delicious…as are deviled eggs – any eggs for that mater. I hate forgetting lunch but for another reason. My office has TONS of free food for us cubicle dwellers, but it is all the sugary, salty, calorie-filled junk. If I forget my healthy lunch, I will take more steps towards being Chubby Mc-Wellfed and no one wants that.

    Speaking of, this makes me want egg salad now. Thanks, Mrs. FW. Thanks a lot!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hahah… EGGS! Deviled eggs are also incredible. I love them nearly as much as egg salad. You’re wise to avoid the endless parade of free junk food–I’m glad I don’t have that at my office!

  21. You know Lindsay Lohan started off her downward spiral with forgetting her lunch and having her car inspected. Just saying. It’s a gateway drug to un-frugalness. 🙂

  22. Mary says:

    It is so easy for me to slip into eating “bad” things if I allow myself one. Sugar is horrendous for me and every so often I get a dark chocolate candy bar. Then the cravings begin. I like being in the ‘company’ of others who are also strong enough to stay strong in the face of their cravings/slippery slopes. I have to agree with so many others who say they love egg salad. I have to give up eggs for three months as they came out as allergic on a food test. Hopefully I can go back to them in June!

  23. Mrs. Maroon says:

    Two grumbles and no woot?!?! Combined with the extreme un-frugalness of this week, what is becoming of the dear Frugalwoods?

    And the dumb things I do on a daily basis would take a whole post. Good thing I have an extremely well-practiced selective memory. I push those things aside as fast as I can. My brain has a hard enough time keeping up with the normal goings on. I can’t afford to allocate precious space to remembering my stupid moves!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I know, two grumbles–oh the shame ;)! I like your strategy of forgetting dumb actions. I have to remember mine at least long enough to write about them–then they’re toast.

  24. Shannon says:

    Oh man, we love egg salad here too! That is my quicky no-cook dinner on occasion. With lots of chopped up pickles in it too.

    “What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done in recent memory?”

    I backed out of the garage right into my husband’s Subaru recently. I was in such a hurry and I couldn’t even stop the car and get out to give a decent apology. Instead I was yelling out the window to him “So sorry! Gotta go!”. Later we got two hairdryers and turns them on enough to make the plastic bumper more pliable. Then we popped out the plastic bumper ourselves. A few black skid marks, but no cracked taillight or broken bumper!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Mmmmm, yes to pickles in egg salad!

      Nicely done on the hairdryer-induced bumper repair. Very clever!

  25. I demand my Woot! Let’s kick these gosh-derned grumbles out of town.

    The dumbest thing I’ve done recently is start a new blog! It is getting addiciting!

  26. Julie G. says:

    I am sorry that you took all that energy to make and prepare a lunch only to leave it in the fridge…at home. This reminded me that I must get the car inspected post-haste. I come from a state where there is no inspection, so it always slips my mind. Hope that your weekend is much better!

  27. Girl, we need at least one Woot Woot in there! Forgetting your lunch is the worst feeling (especially if that food could go bad on the counter) and I hate being pulled over too. Hopefully your weekend goes off without a hitch & you’ll experience a lot more Woots!

  28. Joanna says:

    Mmmmmm… Egg salad. Put that ish on a warm croissant and that will really blow your hair back.

    Frugal fail of the week: I’ve been struck down with some awful infection and had to get meds. On my way out of the doctor’s office, I noticed I’d been prescribed a med that always makes me throw up, so I asked them to call the pharmacy and change it. I picked up and paid for all my meds and didn’t realize they gave me both the throw up pills and the replacement ones. $8 for pills I can’t take and can’t return. Grr… I blame the sick haze for not noticing.

  29. Tarynkay says:

    On the bright side, that looks like a really delicious lunch. I love egg salad and potato chips and that wrap looks fantastic, especially for an office cafeteria. Isn’t it nice you got a
    lunch you love? What if the only option was both expensive and gross?

    Ooh, I love potato chips dipped in potato salad, too. Do you like that? My husband thinks that is just wrong, but it’s so good. Oh, and French fries dipped in mashed potatoes! So wrong and yet so right.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Yes to potato chips dipped in potato salad–YUM! And, huge yes to French fries in just about any format 🙂

  30. PJ Ryan says:

    Oh man, I can sympathize completely! I’ve been furious with myself all day because I made our favorite weekend splurge-but-still-frugal meal last night (crustless veggie quiche – ~$.80/meal!), took it out of the oven to cool, and then promptly forgot about it and went to bed!! I woke up in the middle of the night with a gasp, thinking, “Surely I didn’t really do that…” I have no justification or explanation, just a ruined quiche that was supposed to be dinner tonight. I think that as punishment, I’m going to make one of my husband’s favorite meals (that he only eats when I’m gone because I hate it) for dinner tonight. Otherwise, I’m worried this will become a habit.

  31. They must do things differently in your neck of the woods. I have never heard of a vehicle inspection sticker. We do, however, have to have our emissions checked every other year and our tabs are not issued until it is done. Maybe it’s the same type of deal?!

    You would probably faint if you saw all of our non frugal ways. We do what we can, where we can and then let it go! In the past, I have gotten stressed to the point that I needed doctor visits and massages;0) Lol! My hubby reminds me when I’m getting stressed that it could result in more money. Lol!

  32. Richard C. says:

    I have a bad habit of forgetting my lunch because of hectic mornings with a child. But, having two desks at my cubicle, I have storage for many goodies. This week when I forgot, I ate low sodium fritos, oatmeal, and carrots I had stashed in my community work fridge. I have sometimes give in and go to Subway with a coworker, but snacks keep me from cheating most weeks.
    I normally have available:
    Carrots
    Sunchips or Frito’s
    Peanut butter cheese lance crackers
    Cashews
    Oatmeal
    Cinnamon
    Raw Sugar
    Whole leaf Black Tea
    Whole Grain Fig Bars
    Fresh ground peanut butter
    It doesn’t bother me to go out once a month.

  33. Ha! I love that forgetting your lunch felt like such a dumb thing to you. For years, I NEVER brought my lunch from home and purchased it out everyday, so I would say that was the dumbest thing I did in recent memory. 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Haha–I think my dumbest is the vehicle inspection, but I did feel pretty stupid about my lunch 🙂

  34. You big spender, you. Getting an egg salad wrap at the work cafeteria. Tsk tsk tsk… 🙂

    Mrs. RoG used to dine at work occasionally (and the prices were pretty moderate and not a lot more than buying ingredients from the grocery store). Then she realized she wasn’t very hungry at lunch and didn’t even eat her whole lunch and it wasn’t even that good. Now we can spend those “grab a bite at work” dollars at places that are actually delicious!

  35. Mr. FSF says:

    This must be one of your better articles to date. It’s written so passionately, I actually felt really sorry for you! We are completely on board with you regarding the home made lunches though, never leave home without one, it would be a frugal sin. But that expired car license, ouch………

  36. This post made me laugh, but I can see your point as when it’s true for me. When I deviate from my newly formed frugal (or health-ful) habits, that’s when I get off the wagon and have a hard time getting back on track. Thanks for the reminder.

  37. I would love to show this post to the average person just to see their reaction. “Guilt and shame?!? I buy my lunch everyday.”

    I recently ate a bunch of miscellanous snacks that were hiding in my desk. Didn’t forget my lunch, just been really hungry this last month of pregnancy 🙂 The supply will need replenishing when I get back from maternity leave . . . ya know, everyone talks of emergency funds, but what you really needed were some emergency snacks.

    So whatever happened to the rice and beans, still sitting in the fridge?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Emergency snack supply–yes! That’s where it’s at! Thankfully, the rice-and-beans keep for quite some time, so we just ate them the next day.

  38. Jan says:

    First of all, I’m so glad this blog exists. It makes me feel like less of a weirdo. Secondly, I bring my lunch to work every day as well (what egg salad and chips?), but I really struggle as it seems like every two weeks it is a colleagues birthday and I feel really obliged to follow the herd and go out to the birthday lunch with them (which in Sydney lunch costs is about $25 each time!!!). How do you deal with this? I don’t want to come across as rude or uncaring of my colleagues but I have an increasing bitterness toward people who simple expect everyone to fork out that much on the reg for their birthday. What should I do Mrs Frugalwoods?

    • Completely agree with Jan – there are times that I feel socially obliged to follow the lunch herd, or else my coworkers would think i’m aloof, detached, etc (we all know the feelings), how do you deal with that and how do you politely reject?

      • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

        That’s a great question. I think I luck out because we have a cafeteria in our building that most of my co-workers eat at and, since it’s within the office, it’s fine to bring a lunch from home to eat there. So, I just take my homemade lunch and join them with their cafeteria lunches. On the rare occasions when people go out to a restaurant for lunch, I politely decline the invitation. The expense is just not worth it to me!

    • Brittany says:

      I hate this situation! If it’s a close coworker, I usually bring them in a hand-made treat instead, i.e. cookies or fresh juice or smoothie.

  39. Tara says:

    oh lordy…. I am a freelance opera director, and I just started a new month-long gig. I arrived in Atlanta after driving 12 hours, popped the trunk of my car, and realized I HAD LEFT MY ENTIRE SUITCASE AT HOME. WHAAAAAAT? I had to bribe a pal to go to my house, get the suitcase, and FedEx it to me. Painful in a lot of ways, financial only one….

  40. Eileen says:

    I definitely have been in the zomg-no-lunch boat before! It is not fun. But. If you like egg salad that much, why not occasionally put it into your packed lunch repertoire? Eggs are cheap and the salad-making is super easy, and that way you don’t have to feel bad for eating something you like. My favorite egg salad has radish (cheap and tasty!) and fresh dill. Here’s the recipe: http://hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com/2013/06/perfect-picnic-egg-salad.html So good.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      We definitely rotate through egg salad at home sometimes–it’s just that it’s not quite the same without the chips ;). Thanks for the recipe, looks super tasty!

  41. Isabelle says:

    See? That’s why I prepare my lunch in the morning, I can’t forget it, that’s the last thing I do before I leave… Seriously, one lunch at the cafeteria should be enjoyed as a treat, it shouldn’t be something that worries you so much. Take a few minutes to enjoy it and then go back to your regular routine. The egg salad should put a bit of joy in your day, not shame.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Haha, very true! This post is written tongue-in-cheek ;). So no worries, I’m not actually feeling any shame 🙂

  42. Mrs. FI says:

    I’m sorry, you forgot your lunch ONCE over a 2 YEAR PERIOD? You should receive a medal for your ability to remember for that long! It seems like I forget either my breakfast or lunch (I eat both at work) at least once a week. Which is terrible because, like you, I get “the food guilts” and either don’t eat lunch or find some snacks around the workplace to suffice until I leave at 430. Sometimes I’ll break down and buy some oatmeal from my work cafeteria (although I can forego lunch sometimes, I cannot survive the morning without breakfast) because it’s only $.75 and they provide all kinds of delicious toppings as well as giving you “health coins” that can then be used later towards more food. So on the days that I do forget my lunch and there are no snack foods lying around, I can use 4 of those coins to get a free, loaded salad for lunch. And I am not above asking coworkers if they have any coins because they often don’t even use them! Frugal Blasphemy, I know.

    Thanks for another amusing post and hopefully you’ve hit your max of bad-luck/forgetfulness for the month!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That oatmeal sounds like a pretty good deal–nice! Yeah, I’m hoping I don’t have any other major forgetful moments on the horizon… 🙂

  43. Even Steven says:

    I feel you on the car maintenance/registration/tickets, I loathe how much items like this cost each month and year. We received an annual summary on the wife’s debit/credit card and the amount made me want to sell the great Sachojowia for a permanent bike to everywhere. It’s paid off and all that good stuff, but I still don’t like it.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Word. I hate spending so much on the ol’ Frugalwoods-mobile, but, like you said, at least we don’t have a car payment!

  44. Gwen says:

    All this talk of egg salad makes me want some! I have all the ingredients at hand and the eggs need to be used up. Hmmm…. I spy egg salad for lunch in my near future…

  45. Ack! I forgot my lunch last week, too, and it DID lead me down the slippery slope, basically for the whole week! While it was delicious and glorious, I felt immensly guilty and was feircly back on the bandwagon this week.

  46. brookst says:

    My dumbest thing recently. Yesterday I was in England (holidays) and as we rolled down the street with our suitcases I checked to make sure my boyfriend had the money I had put aside for subway tickets to the airport. He said no. I was pretty sure they were in the suitcase and was going to suggest we get on the subway and pull them out there…but a little voice in my head said check now. We went back into the hotel lobby. The envelope of money was not in the suitcase. All of a sudden a light went on and I remembered the hotel safe, which also contained our passports. If we had gotten on the subway it would have been a disaster. I can’t believe I didn’t even check the safe before leaving, I will crawl under beds to make sure we have every sock.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oooo that’s a good catch! You were smart to listen to your intuition. I too have been known to check under hotel beds for socks 🙂

  47. Norm says:

    Too bad I didn’t read this earlier. I find myself in this same predicament this morning! Since we are leaving for Peru on Wednesday, we are trying to run down our food supply, and have been living on leftovers for a week. To my surprise, there was nothing left to take today. Whoops! I do have the makings for oatmeal, so it looks like oatmeal for lunch!

    I have a Google Alert email me so that I never forget that inspection.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Peru! How exciting! Hope you and Marge have a fabulous time :). Good call on the Google alert for the car inspection… I clearly need to implement that system as well.

  48. I can totally relate! Sometimes, when we go out for lunches on Monday, we continue it to Tuesday, Wednesday, until the week ends! Definitely bad for my diet and my wallet!

  49. I could roll around in a vat of egg salad munching on potato chips all day long! I don’t know how you avoid the temptation so often. Just knowing it was in the cafeteria would be too much for me to bear! :0

    The dumbest thing I did lately ~ I literally screamed when Jay opened the garage door this morning and a giant lizard ran up the wall next to me. Giant? Okay, bigger than the usual ones I have to avoid stepping on on the way to the front door. I felt so stupid. People in this neighborhood can be rather disdainful of the weaknesses of newbies.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hahah, I’d join you in that vat! I probably would’ve screamed with the giant lizard too. And I’ll believe you that it was GIGANTIC 😉

  50. Kim says:

    I am the same way if I forget my lunch. I can’t remember doing it any time recently, but it’s like a slap in the face when you packed it and then it’s not there. Doh! I paid a credit card bill with the wrong account last week. We have one account that save money in for annual expenses like life insurance. It’s linked to our credit card because we try to pay everything we can with the card to get points. I did not pay attention and clicked the wrong account, which did not have enough money for the bill, and got a $25 fee. I’m thinking they will waive it because I called the next day and made a new payment from the correct account and we haven’t gotten a fee in years, but still. I feel like an idiot!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh bummer! Happens to the best of us. I feel a little better now knowing that someone as organized as you has those moments too!

  51. Alyssa says:

    I’ve been pulled over for expired registration before, all because I didn’t pay attention and thought someone else had done it 🙁 When I “inherited” my car, we updated the registration, which took place in March. But in Illinois, an already registered can only be re-registered until the original registration was for…which was apparently July. Flash forward to November, when I get pulled over and have a completely dumbfounded look on my face when the cop asks if I have updated tags. All I could think was that they were due in March…because I didn’t pay close enough attention. The cop was nice enough (and I must have look thoroughly confused) that he let me off with a warning and I drove right to the DMV, and paid the late fee of $20. But now I pay more attention to my car’s deadlines, if that can be an upside!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Sounds like exactly how I felt when they pulled me over! Moi? Couldn’t be! Glad you got yours sorted for minimal expense.

  52. Monkey Jenga says:

    Oh man I just realized today after walking an hour from work that I left my apple in the fridge. Facilities throws everything out on Friday’s. I never remember.

    Egg salad on a bagel is my favorite hangover food, and even though I kicked alcohol to the curb last year, I still occasionally get sympathy/sleep-deprivation hangovers. I shovel that eggy, carby goodness down my throat with vigor. VIGOR. I am now craving egg salad but don’t want to spend any more money on food this month…

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh I feel your pain on the left-behind apple! Ouch!

      Egg salad is just one of those amazingly yummy meals–so glad to hear there are so many fellow devotees ;).
      P.S. congrats to you for being sober–that’s awesome.

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