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Yesterday, I hit a financial low point which could only be described as inappropriately hilarious. I have been seeking a full-time job for some time now which is somewhat difficult. At any rate, I am flat broke pretty much 100% of the time. I don’t mind it too much. I have plenty of things to do at home (cleaning, crafting, baking, etc) or I can easily take a walk around the neighborhood because that’s always free, but I digress. Onward with the story!

I was at work starving because the only thing I’d eaten that day was some $1 burger from Sonic. It was all I could afford, and I had to dig around for enough change to make the $1.08 that it would cost after taxes. I managed to find another $1 of change in my purse (Go figure!) and bought some Skittles once I got to work. Now, we get these small tokens as rewards for doing an outstanding job at work. It’s all on a scale and depending on how many outstanding jobs you’ve performed, you can pick a “prize”. With that being said, I quickly used up some of my tokens to grab a Tanka stick which is basically beef jerky made with buffalo. (They’re really good. You should try one if you’ve never had them.) Are you keeping up here? So far my food for the day consists of $1 hamburger from Sonic, single serving bag of skittles, and a stick of jerky. It’s not a whole lot, but it’s what I can afford. As I’m enjoying what I have, a co-worker/friend of mine comes up to me with the normal “How are things?” conversation, so I inform her of my situation. That’s when she comes up with the brilliant idea to check our food stock to see if anything is expired. GENIUS! For those reading that don’t know, anything that is expired, we can have for free and eat at our own discretion.

I literally skipped on over to our freeze dried foods to start checking dates. SCORE! I get a few things. It’s all vegetarian and organic, but am I going to complain about free? NOPE! Afterwards, I head on over to our energy bar type selection. At this point, my manager and another co-worker see me looking at stuff and ask what I’m doing, so I inform them, “I’m really broke, so I’m looking for expired food. I gotta eat, ya know? I’m on a mission!” to which they give a friendly laugh and carry on with their business. I’m going through checking everything including things I don’t even like. Beggars can’t be choosers here. Eventually, it hits me. “Hey stupid! Check all the marked down bars. They’re probably marked down because they are expired or expiring soon.” I walk around the gondola and start looking through all our clearance bars. JACKPOT! I find over 25 bars worth of expired food which is good enough to last me through next week! I am overcome with excitement at this point and start putting everything in a bag. I ask some people if they want any of it because it’s the nice thing to do, and I am pretty sure that I really don’t need ALL of this expired food I’ve just found.

The night goes on and the store is about to close. The manager is walking around, and I let him know of all the “goodies” that I’ve found. He starts to laugh and shake his head like “I can’t believe you just spent time trying to find expired food.” I quickly remind him how broke I am and without hesitation exclaim “BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET!” to which he again shakes his head laughing saying “Stop. Just stop. You’re ridiculous.” and walks away.

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