My Last $100: Anniversary Edition

I can’t believe it’s been two years.

Photo credit: Paul Keller, CC BY 2.0.

My boyfriend Lukas and I just had our two-year anniversary. This is a sentence I type with great joy because I never thought I’d find someone who knows me in all of my unlikeable aspects (of which I have plenty) and loves me anyway. More importantly, I never thought I’d find a partner who geeks out on personal finance as much, if not more, than I do. We’re very much experiences-over-things type of people—so, as is our custom, we celebrated two years of coupledom with two weeks of experiences. My share of our celebration cost just over $100.

$15.73: Tuscan bean with tuna, Veneto grilled panini, and Asian snap pea slaw salad from Metropolitan Market. One thing Lukas and I have in common is our shared passion for bougie/sexy/beautiful food places and grocery stores. Metropolitan Market is a Seattle-based local grocery store chain, and a new one just opened up at the Sammamish Plateau. I absolutely love Metropolitan Market, so we drove down there after work to window-shop, maybe eat breakfast, and finally go home.

Think of Metropolitan Market as Whole Foods’ try-hard but still adorable little sister—back when Whole Foods was the town beauty, and not the aging pageant veteran she is right now—with lower prices, hell-bent on sourcing locally as much as possible. We perused and passed their sad hot breakfast buffet (tough biscuits and eggs, congealed gravy, and oily sausages) in favor of their vibrant salads and luscious sandwiches. It’s always a fine idea to eat salads and lunch-y things for breakfast.

$29.83: Avocado salad rolls, sushi chef’s sampler, So Delicious yogurt, Chobani, Siggi’s Skyr, and Cherry Bombe magazine from Metropolitan Market. I’m absolutely incapable of going into any grocery store without picking up sushi or veggie rolls. The sushi chef rolled his veggie rolls as thin as Dominican cigars and, of course, I had to have some. Lukas and I are voracious yogurt consumers so he grabbed his usual Chobani; he’s also recently ventured into Siggi’s because of the lower sugar content. (We just finished watching a Michael Pollan documentary and now he’s obsessively reading nutritional facts on everything.)

Metropolitan Market doesn’t carry Kite Hill vegan yogurt, and I might have had a mini meltdown in the “natural foods” aisle about those bastards who never carry Kite Hill yogurt in their stores. I grabbed two So Delicious yogurts as a consolation prize, and threw away both yogurts after I got home because the texture and optics reminded me too much of petroleum jelly. I was still annoyed about the lack of Kite Hill yogurt, so I finally bought a copy of the new Cherry Bombe magazine featuring Martha Stewart, which I’ve meaning to buy since mid-May. Three of my favorite things in the world are food, magazines, and Martha Stewart. As an obsessive reader — I’ll always buy old-school magazines — there’s nothing more satisfying than reading in print.

$2.19: Bubble mailer. Whoever said there are only two sure things in life is wrong. There are three very sure things in life: death, taxes, and errands. Just because it’s our anniversary doesn’t mean everything’s bubble baths and chocolate-covered strawberries. We spent part of the morning running various adult-ing errands such as oil changes, car wash, depositing checks, and me running to Target to pick up a bubble envelope.

Last year, I cold-emailed a famous editor in the Philippines who’s the sister of a former college friend, because I saw she was a fan of Cherry Bombe magazine. Cherry Bombe doesn’t ship to Asia, so she was stuck with one back issue; meanwhile I have all of the issues sitting around the house begging for a new home. I told her I could mail her my old copies since I don’t like to hoard books and magazines.

In our correspondence, I mentioned I’m a writer and she offered me a writing gig in her esteemed publication, which was and still is my dream. I immediately imagined myself writing for this paper and video chatting with my editors during work hours in the Philippines. I had a whole new life in front of me, until I asked how much they pay freelancers and you can pretty much guess what happened next (cue: crickets).

Anyway, just to show that I don’t carry grudges against childhood heroes who burn a cigarette through my lifelong dream — I still mail her my old Cherry Bombe magazines. To be fair, she offered to pay for the shipping of the Martha Stewart issue which I’ll mail sometime next week.

$40: Papaya and cabbage salads, plus tea at Papaya Vietnamese Café. We’re pretty hungry so we went to one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants. Here’s a tip: don’t go to a restaurant before a holiday, lest you be subjected to surly waiters who clearly do not want to be working on a nearly-abandoned restaurant during lunch time. We both ordered papaya and cabbage salads with beef for him, and ahi tuna for me. Also, because we’re celebrating, we ordered a pot of tea even though it’s a terrible rip-off for $4. The ahi tuna was still mostly frozen but the beef was divine. Afterwards, we went to the mall to watch The Beguiled. (Lukas bought the tickets.)

$12.96: Fruit. Any man who watches Wonder Woman and The Beguiled within 30 days deserves a goddamn medal or at least to be treated to his favorite snacks. Wonder Woman was delightful and The Beguiled was… interesting… We went to the Filipino grocery store at the mall to pick up fruit snacks because The Beguiled was such a downer. We wanted happy snacks like strawberries, watermelon, and blueberries to get the taste of sadness out of our palates.

Total: $100.71. Maybe one day we’ll spend more on anniversaries but I don’t see that happening any time soon. We’re Team Frugal, and we intend to keep it that way.

Ruzielle Ganuelas is a writer, baker and PF nerd in Washington State.

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