Life on the Cheap
How to spend less and get more out of life
Before I adopted my dog, Joey, I wasn’t very good at dealing with stress. In fact, I did all the wrong things to try and relieve it, like smoking cigarettes, buying a new video game or drinking beers. All these “techniques” just left me even more strung-out and unmotivated—and cost a lot of money!
Bill Thurlow is perusing the booths set up in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier's Drawing Room, part of a meet and greet between Ottawa restaurateurs and local farmers hosted by Savour Ottawa, an organization that promotes local eating in the city. He's guzzling coffee and seems to know everyone in the room, slapping backs and trading smiles. The old farmer ambles into my periphery, fresh cup in hand, and asks, “Now, would you like to try the best honey in the world?
Now that we’re clothed and fed with hundreds of dollars to spare, what should we do? Why don’t we have some fun with friends and—you guessed it—save even more money in the process?
What better way is there to spend your evening than to go out for dinner? You and your date can enjoy each other's company in a pleasant atmosphere, have your dinners prepared and brought to you, and allow that bottle of wine to soothe your day's worries away. I have to admit, a restaurant is one of my favorite places to be—unless I'm on the other side of the equation. Yes, I'm a server, and I have been for almost four years.
If clothes make the man then I'm a winner—a cheap winner, but a winner nonetheless.
I'll admit it: I'm an obnoxious food snob, and even though I’m usually cheap I have no trouble spending money on good food. So as soon as I heard mutterings of a wood oven pizza place opening up on Ottawa's “Epicurean Row”—a string of trendy restaurants along Wellington West that includes the Wellington Gastropub, Petit Bill's Bistro and Absinthe—I had to see how it fit in. My financee Erin and I called up our friends Adam and Sylvia and we set a date to dine at Tennessy Willems, “The Wood Burning Pizza Joint” (1082 Wellington St.).
From Benjamin Franklin's immortal adage, "time is money," to the Wu-Tang Clan's declaration that "cash rules everything around me," money has been—and will continue to be—one of the most powerful influences in our lives.