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Archive for August, 2008

Bartering Mysteries on Craig's List

August 21st, 2008 at 03:27 pm



Quite some time ago, I bought a case of Fancy Feast cat food at Costco. But the little kitty didn't like it; she really prefers her dry food.

I thought I'd go to Craig's List and try to trade my 19 cans of Fancy Feast for a bag of dry food.

First, one woman expressed interest but eventually dropped out. Then I reposted. Another woman responded and said she didn't have a bag of dry food at home, but she could go to the store to get me one and asked me what brand I wanted. I told her my cat's not too fussy and I gave her my number to schedule the trade. She never called, and I figured it was because at some point it dawned on her that she wasn't really saving much money when you factor in the time and gas needed to run to the store for a single bag of cat food.

Then a third person responded, and we did in fact, finally accomplish the trade-off, although he, too, said he'd have to go buy the bag of dry food. I had priced the little tins of Fancy Feast and saw they could be purchased for as little as .55 a can, so that's about $10.45 worth of canned food. So when he asked me what kind of dry food I wanted, I asked for a bag of Iams, Hairball Remedy.

I was surprised that he showed up. He left the receipt in the bottom of the bag and I saw that he paid $7.99 for it. So you could say he made a $2 profit, but of course, he had to drive to my house and to the store. (There were no other items listed on the store receipt.) So WHY DID HE DO THIS?

I just don't get it. I guess some people just like the idea of barter, but it only makes sense to me if you already have an item to trade.

I'm happy I managed to convert something that had become worthless to me into something that will feed my cat for about a month.



Garden Growing Pains

August 17th, 2008 at 10:07 am

At some point earlier in the season, I decided to keep track of how much produce my modest garden generated.

If you're a vegetable, you're just hitting your stride now in Zone 6, when both days and nights are warm and often humid. And here in the Northeast, we've gotten a heck of a lot of rain, saving me at least one chore.

The garden plot is just about 6 x 6, not over-sized by any means. I threw seedlings and seeds in the ground so quickly that I forgot how large the plants would become, so now the entire garden, with its flimsy deer netting and spindly wood posts, is slowly imploding toward the center. I can't walk inside to weed, but I can pick produce by reaching over or under the flexible fencing.

So here's what I harvested so far:

2 large servings of lettuce
several large servings of snap peas
2 zucchini
9 cucumbers
25 tomatoes
6 green bell peppers

Not bad for such a modest space, and I project my overall harvest will double by the end of September, at least if we're talking tomatoes!

As for expenses, this is only an estimate, but the cost of seeds, seedlings, fencing, posts and Miracle-Gro must've come to about $46. And I have plenty of seeds and more deer netting, left over. I will have to come up with a better fencing system, though, when I expand the garden.