Monday, April 11, 2011

Home Economics?

Did anyone else take home economics? I just don't think the lessons they are teaching are the ones we really need before we go out into the world.

Like, how to sign a lease? How to buy a car? How to grocery shop? Where are those lessons? I've had to learn things the 'hard' way, now that I'm on my own.

Like today, for example. I've been sweating in my house since Saturday night, when my air conditioner froze. As in, BLOCKS OF ICE! I freaked out. The cost of replacing the unit ran through my head, and I nearly had a panic attack. I got a repairman to come to the house today, and do you know what the problem was? DIRTY AIR FILTER. NOBODY ever told me I have to check/clean that! How come they don't hand you a book when you buy/rent a place that tells you things like that? Price of lesson: $55.

A few other things the should teach in home economics...

*Maintain your car. Change the oil when you need to, check your tires/alignment, replace the fluids and windshield wipers. It will all make your car last longer! Also, make friends with someone who knows about cars, because it's a lot cheaper than taking it in to the shop.

*Kitchen odors can be solved with the most basic things. A box of baking soda in the fridge, grinding up a lemon in the garbage disposal, etc. With the garbage disposal, flush with hot water and baking soda monthly.

*MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASER. My mother taught me this one... takes marks off walls, furniture, even shoes. Just add water! Also, Resolve is GREAT for when your cat barfs on the carpet, or when your sister decides to paint her nails and spill the bottle on the floor... :)

*Make a spreadsheet of all your expenses, especially all the bills you pay. WHO KNEW there were so many people to pay every month! No one told me this. Also, look at your bank statements regularly.

*Groceries are expensive! Getting the Sunday paper isn't just good for comics, but for getting coupons. Pair coupons with what's on sale in your grocery store's weekly ad (available online!) and you can save TONS of money on things you buy all the time. Make a list, and stick to it! I read the paper online, but subscribe for Sundays only; the coupon savings pay for the paper within a week.

*You can cook! Cooking is cheaper than takeout/delivery, and it's so much healthier because you don't cook with as much salt/butter/heavy cream as the restaurants do. I love the simple recipes I find online for FREE, plus you can read reviews. I love my cookbooks, but with the Internet you don't even need to buy them.

*You can save LOTS of money by not running your heater or air conditioner when you don't really need it. Just wear shorts when it's warm, or a sweatshirt when it's cool. I hated this growing up, but Mom was right.

Got any lessons learned to share? Leave a comment below!

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