Pharos-Tribune

July 19, 2013

WOLFSIE: How to save a buck


Pharos-Tribune

---- — My wife is always leaving me lists ripped out of magazines or printed from the Internet. She puts them on my desk chair, or in the bathroom, or as a placemat at the dinner table. The last one she planted was the “25 Best Restaurants in Indianapolis.” I looked it over and we have not been to 12 of them. The other 13 we’ve never even heard of.

The newest list I have been subjected to is AARP’s fourth annual Great Ways to Save Money. For those who don’t want to wade through the 99-item list or who can’t find their bifocals, the editors summarize their findings this way: “The key to saving is spending less.” Not exactly a groundbreaking concept, but more insightful than their recent mall-walking article with advice on how to improve your time circling the shopping center by moving your legs faster, stopping less to shop, and not taking a nap on a bench.

Lists of anything bore me. Google will point you to 100 Ways to Invest your Money; 100 Ways to Make a Burger; or 100 Ways to Pass the Science Regents Exam. But, search for “List of 101 Ways” to do something and you get 101 Ways to Murder Your Boss, Impale a Zombie, or Cook Worms. Much better reading. Trust me.

Mary Ellen thinks we could save big bucks if I just followed a few dozen of AARP’s hints. No. 1 on the list actually cost me real money. It suggests getting only 50-dollar bills from the bank because people will be less likely to spend them. I did try this, but the clerks at stores kept making change for me, and that kinda ruined everything. The few 50s I did save ended up in the washer and dryer, like all my pocket money does, so instead of destroying several one dollar bills, I now have three 50s the size of Monopoly money.

Here’s another one. If you have something that is flea-ridden, place the infested item in a plastic garbage bag in a hot car with the doors and windows closed. That will kill the fleas, they say. But it will also scare the heck out of your dog who has been sitting nervously next to you trying not to scratch.

And my favorite: “When you are finished gassing up your car, invert the pump nozzle 180 degrees because there is an extra ounce still in there that you already paid for.” So, the next time you see a little old lady tangled up in her gas hose, racked in pain over her broken wrist, well, there’s your typical cheapskate AARP subscriber.

I’d like to offer my own saving tips to AARP. When the bottle of skim milk is half empty, fill it to the top with water.

This changes it from almost tasteless to completely tasteless.

You could also stiff your waiter, buy one refillable soda and split it with someone, steal artificial sweetener from a restaurant and enjoy a free lunch by tasting every sample offered at Sam’s Club. If AARP uses these suggestions, it would get them up to 104 Ways to Save for next year. That’s more ways, even, than how to murder your boss.

Dick Wolfsie is a television news reporter, syndicated humor columnist and author. He can be reached at Wolfsie@aol.com.