Archive for ‘Top 5’

11/09/2012

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Grocery Shopping.

Food is expensive. We all know that, and it’s only getting more so all the time. So with that in mind it surely makes sense to take a thrifty approach to our grocery shopping? Well, I’m going to assume that you’re still reading, and responded to that question with a loud, clear “Hell Yeah!” Here are my five top tips for keeping that grocery bill under control.

1: Eat before you go food shopping. Going food shopping on an empty stomach is a really silly thing for anyone to do. Hunger taps into your reptile brain in a way that makes you want all the food in the world right, frikkin’, now! And grocery stores know this. That’s why they smell so often of fresh baked bread, a scent which, I guess, taps in to the bready doughy centre of our brains. So don’t go shopping hungry.

2: Be very careful before you buy anything that’s in a stand away on its own. these are usually “Special Offers”, often only being special for the company selling them that is. Look selling anything is a science. And the people who study that science know that we’re programmed to go after the lame member of the herd first. You know, the animal that’s standing away on it’s own, trailing well behind the herd, because that’s the one we’ll expend the least energy killing. So something standing out on its own in a shop is going to be “Special”. Sometimes these are genuinely good buys. But often they’re a “new” product, which is in fact an old product in new packaging, at a higher cost, for less.

Which leads us nicely to…

3: Pay attention to the price by weight part of packaging. Here we’ll use toilet roll as our example. There are two packages of toilet roll. Four rolls per pack, but one pack is 5% more expensive. Which should do you buy? Well you don’t really know until you look at how many sheets there are per roll, and work out the price per sheet. The same goes for buying most other things which we tend to buy in bulk. In fact the same can be true of buying just about anything. Whenever you can find out the price by weight, it could save you a lot in the long run.

4: Try to buy special offers, which really are special offers. Super Mega Frikkin’ Euro Stores is having a special this week on a your regular washing powder. Buy 5 boxes for the price of 3. Do you buy it? Or do you think to yourself “How much washing powder do I really need? And then I’ll have to carry it home, and store it, and the cost…nah I’ll just get the one pack.” WRONG!

Look, in my first article in this series I spoke about rounding up your weekly budget slightly to build up “just in case” money. Well this is one of those just in case situations. The fact is that if a special offer appears on something which you use constantly, which is a genuine bargain, then get it. You WILL use that washing powder. You WILL work your way through all that toilet paper. You WILL use all that dry dog food, unless scruffy runs out in front of traffic, in which case you can use it to pebble dash the back yard wall. So be smart, if it really is a bargain for you, then buy it, and save yourself some money in the long run.

5: Don’t shop for everything in the same place. Humans are at heart lazy animals. We’re all the descendants of a species which, barring special exceptions (the Da Vinci’s, Columbus’s etc) has lived by the creed “If there’s nothing needs doing, then do nothing.” Which as all dog owners know is the rule most adult dogs live by, and is I believe the source of the harmony which exists between our species. They like to chill out, and so do we. But if you have to live a thrifty life, you don’t have the option of the lazy route.

Sure, your fresh fruit and veg are cheapest in shop A, but fresh meat is cheaper in B, and cleaning chemicals are best bought in C. The problem is that it takes time, and effort to shop in all three. Your conscious brain says “I’ll save 20 Euro’s if I spilt my shopping.” your lazy primate brain is saying “Ya, but we could be home 45 minutes sooner to watch The Big Bang Theory, while our puppy is all cute, and snuggled up against us.”

Don’t listen to the lazy monkey brain. Let’s make the savings even more modest. You save 5 Euro’s on your weekly shopping by splitting it, and because the shops are close enough together it only costs you time. That’s 260 Euro’s a year. Or in another way of looking at it, that’s a really nice Xbox for Christmas.

Now ask yourself, this…

What would the (adorable) Master Chief do?

Advertisements
19/07/2012

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Christmas Planning. (Part 1)

So with only 158 days ’til Christmas it felt like time to talk about getting ready for that most expensive of holidays. And at this moment several of you are staring at the screen in utter disbelief. Right, reread the title of this post, it’s okay I’ll wait. *hums*

See? “Poor Girls Guide…” if it still doesn’t make sense that I’m about to speak about Christmas in July then you need to read the first article in this series. Don’t worry we’ll still be here when you get back.

Right, does it make sense now? Good.

The fact is that Christmas is coming. And no matter what you do, if you have anyone at all you care about in your life then it’s going to cost a significant amount of money. It’s going to cost a hell of a lot more if there are children in your life. So assuming, like a lot of people right now, you’re living on a pretty tight shoestring it’s time to start planning ahead. You’ll thank yourself for doing so later.

So here are my top five tips for a less financially stressful Christmas.

 1: Make a Nice List. Right now you know with a high degree of certainty who you’ll need present’s for. Sure it’s possible one or two extra people will pop up between now, and then, but in truth you mostly know who you’re buying for already. So make a list of those people, order them in importance, and make a little note of ideas for their presents.

 2: The Summer sales are a great time to gather presents. It’s not just clothing stores that have sales at the end of the Summer. So do electronics stores, music stores, book stores, they all do. And better still they don’t all have their end of season sales at precisely the same time, so sales season can go on for almost a month. So if you buy just one present each week you’ll be able to get good quality at knock down prices.

 3: Remember that many businesses still have a lay-away system for larger purchases, and that 10 Euro a week is a lot more manageable than say 200 in one chunk. So if you have to spend large amounts of money on one or two purchases discuss this option with the retailer rather than adding to your debts.

 4: If the person you’re buying for has the right sort of attitude keep an eye out for something extraordinary in your local thrift shops. Some of my favourite gifts ever were found for me in local thrift shops by my Partner in Crime. Not just clothing either, these shops often have exercise equipment, DVD’s, books, CD’s, jewellery, even furniture donated to them.

 5: It’s not just about planning for presents try to also put a little money aside for your Christmas food shop as well. This can be a small amount, even 2 Euro a week will add up by the time Christmas week rolls around. And speaking from experience, even an extra 20 quid can make a huge difference for that particular shopping trip.

Christmas will always be expensive no matter what you do, but with some careful planning, and a sharp eye for a bargain you can at least spread out the cost. And let’s face it anything that makes Christmas easier is a bloody blessing.

17/05/2012

Five Songs to Cry to…

I think that almost everyone must have their own song that for no apparent reason will always put them in floods of tears. But there are also songs which most people will probably agree on simply being heart wrenching to listen to. So in the spirit of shared total misery, today I have decided to make as many of my readers as possible in to tearful wrecks. You’re all so very welcome.

Anyone who actually has these on their MP3 player, is verifiably nuts, and hardcore masochistic.

5: Who Wants to LiveForever? – Queen.

Originally from that classic 80’s movie “Highlander”, this song is to be the most heart wrenching ever sung by Freddie Mercury. Seriously I challenge anyone hearing this for the first 50 times not to end up teary-eyed. I know I never did.

Best listened to with a sword in one hand, and a box of Kleenex in the other.

4: When Somebody Loved Me – Sarah Mclachlan.

Have you watched Toy Story 2? Have you watched Jessie’s flashback to her first owner? Did you listen to that song? Did you cry?

You didn’t? Really?

You frikkin’ liar!

Best listened to just after you realise that your puppy is aging 7 times faster than you. Damn that’s depressing.

3: Winter Song – Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson.

Like probably 90% of it’s fans, I first heard this song at the end of the final episode of “real” Scrubs. It played to a flash-forward of J.D.’s life after leaving Sacred Heart. And you know what because of this piece of music it took me 9 attempts to be able to watch that scene through without breaking down into tears.

Best listened to while walking along a canal, noticing all the death, and decay in the hedgerow alongside it. (Emo or what?!)

2: The Calling – Regina Spektor.

Yes, I know, it’s from the soundtrack to Prince Caspian. Let’s forgive the female singer, who happens to have the coolest name ever, her need to earn a crust. This song just tears me apart when I hear it. The lyrics are tough enough on the old emotional centers, but when she reaches the chorus I just end up curled in a ball on the floor.

Best listened to…well someday best listened to when thinking about god children I don’t have yet.

1: Dance With my Father Again – Could be several people…

Okay speaking of my Partner in Crime, this one’s for her. I have no idea which version gets to her the most, but I went with the Luther Vandross version, because it’s the only one I know. Anyway I’m guessing I better have the tissues, and tea on standby after posting this.

Love you Rosie.

Best listened to from the kitchen while making tea for a tearful Rosie.

24/01/2012

Five more awesome things about being transsexual.

No sooner had I finished my original list of awesome things about being transsexual, then I suddenly realised how I’d only barely scratched the surface. After all there’s just so many wonderful aspects to being transsexual, why stop at only ten? So here we go again. This time no numbers, no count down, just another five of my favourite things about being a transsexual, though in some cases they’ll equally apply to any gender squishy person. This list will be a bit more personal, so it will probably be even more oddball than the last one. Well regardless enjoy, and I’m sure we’ll be revisiting this yet again in the future.

———-

So let’s start with, breasts. Let’s face it boobs rock, and jiggle, and bounce, and feel oh so good when you…*coughs* Well let’s just say that after 26 years without a pair I was delighted to be gifted by the boob-fairy with a honkin’ pair of double-d’s. And they truly are Weapons of Mass Seduction.

———-

Of course being transsexual gives you a perfect ready-made explanation for that very natural exploration of your own sexuality.

“Look Mom, I’m who I want to be. I have a great pair of boobs, long legs, and an ass that jiggles quite nicely when it’s spanked. And I wanna find out what I really prefer in a partner. So I’m going to partake of the boys, and I’m going to partake of the girls, hopefully sometimes both at the same time. Yes Mom, some of the girls will have pretty girl-cocks. Sheesh. No Mom I’ll be careful, never mind a condom I’ll wear a Wellington boot if it’ll end this conversation sooner!”

———-

And so very little beats the looks of confusion in sex shops when you ask to see their selection of fleshlights.

“Taking a trip away?”

“No, why?”

“Oh well I thought you were getting a little “Don’t miss me.” present for your boyfriend…”

“Nope, just buying  a little present for me. I’ll need to see what your selection of vibrating glass, and metal buttplugs is like as well please. Oh and lube, lot’s of lube. Strawberry flavour if you have it.”

———-

One of my favourite personal moments of the last eight years has to have been the moment I realised I had my dream butt. Seriously, I have the butt I dream of having on a girlfriend. Not too big, not too small, nicely rounded, firm, but with just the right amount of jiggle. Last night in fact I realised to my joy that it jiggles ever so slightly when I wash my teeth. Not visibly you understand, but just enough that I can quite clearly feel it. That was a really great moment, and one I definitely would not have experienced without a huge amount of hormone therapy, patience, and the careful, scientific  application of chocolate. Now if only I had someone to worship my perfect bum. *sigh*

———-

Finally, for this time, I get to enjoy the wonder that is my ability to pee standing up in a public restroom. As horrible as male restrooms are, sometimes women’s can be even worse. I remember, back in the dark days of B.B.B. (Before Big Bewbs), how horrifying using a men’s restroom could be. The badly spelled graffiti everywhere. The way urine was sprayed seemingly everywhere, sometimes apparently including the ceiling, as if the urinaters had spent their time having a huge make-believe lightsaber battle, but with penises and their piddle. Then there were the sometimes disturbingly large holes in the stall walls, and the…organic objects that would sometimes be shoved through *Karate Chop!*. And last but definitely not least the way some guys seemed to think stall door was meant to be used as toilet paper.

Well in these halcyon days of A.B.B. (After Big Bewbs) I’m equally horrified by some of the women’s restrooms I’ve had the misfortune to enter. Those that are in bars, and restaurants are usually fine. They can be a little grubby, but at the very least you can be reasonably certain nothing is going to try to crawl up out of the toilet bowl before trying to invade your body, from below as it were.  However there are some which are, let’s call them interesting. Where you don’t just wipe down the toilet seat before you sit, you instead fire it up liberally with a flamethrower from across the room, before you even think about entering the stall. You’re sure you saw something moving on the floor…no OH GODDESSES that’s not carpet, that’s the actual floor, and it really IS moving.

In these places it’s a bonus to be a well-adjusted transsexual of the futagirl variety. There’s a toilet seat that makes you want a hepatitis test, just for looking at it? No problem just lift your skirt, a little jiggery pokery in your undies, and you too can safely pee without having to touch bare skin to eldritch horror.

Admittedly you will have to touch the flush handle, but hey you can always cut off that finger at home later, if it shows any signs of demonic possession. Better make it your little finger you use, just in case.

12/01/2012

My Top 5 songs to play EVE Online to.

I love EVE Online. Nothing beats chasing down a pirate, and giving him a hot depleted uranium enema. But just as important as having the right weapons payload is having just the right set of tunes on your media player while you do it. So here are my own personal favourites to listen to while playing, along with the situations they’re best suited to.

5. Night Ranger – The Secret of my Success.

Originally used in the soundtrack to a wonderful Micheal J. Fox movie of the same name, I find this piece of music most conducive to making vast sums of money by playing the in-game market. Though admittedly I usually get distracted by something shiny and explodable before I make much money at all.

Best listened to screaming “GREED IS GOOD…BOOMS ARE BETTER!”

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLv6RjnyvVc%5D

4. Heather Alexander – March of Cambreadth.

Any one who has read John Ringo’s Legacy of the Aldenata is familiar with this one. Filled from beginning to end with crazy piping, heart pumping vocals, and one of the best choruses ever screamed by a transgirl on an exercise bike, this is the song to play when you send your destroyer screaming in for a knife range fight with a dozen pirate frigates.

Best listened to while slaughtering everything around you.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCrnF844_ww%5D

3. Bif Naked – I Love Myself Today.

Sometimes even in a computer game a girl just has to stand in front of a mirror, and consider a new look. A change of hair style, maybe a new color of lipstick…well whatever the change may turn out to be nothing helps get those “Damn I look good!” juices flowing like this gem from the delicious Bif Naked.

Best listened to naked while dancing in front of a mirror, and singing into the hilt of a sword, because you couldn’t be bothered to find a hairbrush. (yes I know that description is worryingly precise.)

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdpJh_zc6k8%5D

2. Blue Oyster Cult – Veteran of the Psychic Wars.

For everyone the day dawns when the battle is going against them. No matter how well set up your ship is, or how quick you are getting the right commands clicked. It just so happens that the bastard in the other ship has you outgunned 3 to 1, out-masses by 10 to 1, and has reinforcements on the way. You’re screwed, you can’t escape, and your clone hasn’t been updated so you’re going to lose weeks of character building. Those are the “everything has gone to hell moments.” Those are the moments tailor-made for this treasure from the back catalogue of one of the rock greats.

Best listened to when your back’s to the wall, and you know the gods of EVE have decided you’re time to suffer has come. But don’t worry you can go out swinging and come back for vengeance later.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mWGmzduYnU%5D

1. Within Temptation – Stand my Ground.

Sure for some this is a game of commerce, for others a way to make-believe exploration fantasies. For me it’s all about finding those Thermopylae moments. The one against many. Swooping in between some waste of genetic material, and the total newb he’s been torturing for hours, then opening up with everything you have. It’s like most MMO’s a way to let out that inner warrior, without winding up in prison with the nickname “Glove”. Well for those moments, when you find a set of Hot Gates to stand at, and someone worthy to protect for a few moments nothing I’ve found beats this wonderful piece of music by Within Temptation.

Best listened to while kicking some cyber bullies testicles so high that he’ll speak with a squeak for the rest of his gaming career.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sCkAvh50Vs%5D

%d bloggers like this: