April 7th, 2006

fox sit

Frugal Friday Five

Little habits of thrift I got from my parents:
  • Squishing slivers of soap together to make another bar of soap.
  • Squeezing and flattening the toothpaste tube and then cutting open the mouth of the tube to get that last bit of toothpaste out.
  • Adding a little water to an empty shampoo bottle to get the remaining shampoo out.
  • Reusing plastic shopping bags as garbage bags.
That last one makes sense because I don't usually have very much garbage, so it would be a waste to buy those large garbage bags. The first three though... I don't know... except that by stretching it out, I can put off going to the store to get more soap, toothpaste, or shampoo. Yeah, that's it. Laziness.

On a different note, how did I end up on the NJ GOP mailing list?

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morton blvd

If it's not the gigginning, it must be the end

My auto insurance renewal arrived in the mail today. Seeing as how I got an online quote at GEICO a while back that was about $400 per year lower than my current insurance policy, I gave them a call this evening to see if that quote was still good. Turns out that I'll actually be saving $700 per year! Of course this depends on GEICO doing a more thorough calculation and getting back to me with the final figures, but unless it comes out a lot more, I'm switching.

Gas prices in New Jersey have gone up roughly 16% over the past month. The explanation for that is by order of the Federal government, refiners have to switch from MTBE to ethanol as the clean-burning fuel additive. Since we have so little slack in refinery capacity, doing anything at all that cuts into production will send gas prices skyward. And certainly any change in gasoline formulation that requires refineries to go offline temporarily to reconfigure will do just that. So I shudder to think about what would happen if we have a repeat of last year's Gulf coast hurricanes. We definitely need more refineries.

Anyway, I won't dwell on supply considerations tonight, as I noticed that because of the steep jump in gas prices, pump attendants are suddenly giving far better service as though apologetic for the price hikes. As you know, there are no self-service gas pumps in New Jersey, so any improvement in pump attendant service matters a lot to me. So this evening, I filled up and purchased about 5 gallons of regular. Then when it was time to pay, the pump attendant brought me a printed receipt (Until today, if I didn't ask for a receipt, that would never happen!) even though I was paying in cash. Then after I paid up, he said "Gigginning!" It took me a while, but I disentangled that into "Have a good evening!" I think it's almost worth paying a few dimes more per gallon to hear "Gigginning!" :)

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