Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Eating and Living Like a Writer, Part 1

Living on nothing as we writers tend to do I have some tips for all the other, more normal people who now find themselves financially at sea:

-Make your own "meat." One cup of vital wheat gluten makes 1 lb of "ground beef" in less time than it takes to go to the store and buy it. With a bit more effort, I make convincing "barbecue" and fried "chicken."
-Substitute Velveeta for cheddar, or learn to make "cheesy" sauce out of cheap ingredients like a potato and a carrot. You'll find such recipes in vegan cookbooks. You'll learn some real neat "substitution" tricks in them, and you don't have to be a vegan to use 'em.
-Shop ethnic markets for reasonable deals. Their regular customers won't stand for price-gouging.
-Don't dine out, or go to cute coffee places that sell individual cookies for, like, $2.25.
-Don't order in. No pizza is worth $17.
-Read magazines in the library.
-Pack your lunch. Because I work 10 to 6, most days I pack lunch AND dinner.
-Buy corn tortillas; a stack of 36 is insanely cheap, good for you, and you can do 1000 things with them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
-Attend free events, such as literary readings. Sorry, but you will just have to miss Joan Baez.
-Eat more bean-and-grain dishes and potato dishes, meanwhile telling yourself it's glamorously South American.
-Close off the rooms you don't use much. (Why do you have rooms you don't use?)
-An electric blanket is essential.
-Be aware that your car has a 13+-gallon tank and that keeping it filled adds lots of extra weight.

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