It feels so good when it stops.

I like watching TV in the late afternoons and evenings. I’m up at 6:00 AM. My “work” is done and over by 2:00 PM at the latest. (That’s an eight-hour day right there.) I deserve it. I deserve to be able to just—as my mother would call it—“sit around on my ass.” (When I was a kid, she would tell me to “get outside and get some of the stink blown off.” That still makes me laugh.)

So I record everything. I will be grateful forever to a friend, a son from another mother, for giving me the idea. (♥ Troy! ♥) I don’t have to worry about missing any of my favorite shows anymore. Or, to put it another way, saving myself from death by boredom.

My TV provider allows me to record several shows simultaneously in the background, whether my TV is on or off.


  • if I nod off—er, when I nod off—while watching a program, I can rewind;
  • I can save several episodes and binge watch—or not;
  • I can go for a walk, go out to lunch/dinner, go visit relatives and friends at any time of day, night or week and not stress about missing an episode;
  • I can do whatever I want when I want and it will not be geared around program times for fave TV shows. (Not like the old days, eh?);
  • and most necessary of all, I can fast forward over the commercials.

Why do I find it so necessary to skip the commercials?

Commercials are manipulations that make us (a) spend/waste money on stuff we don’t need, (b) re-clutter our abodes, and/or (c) order in food that’s going to probably kill us eventually.

FYI, someone told me years ago—I think it might have been a marketing expert giving a talk at one of the places I worked when I was typesetting/graphic designing—that commercials are aimed at the audience the program lures. That is, the marketing experts are controlling us. At least, trying to. They’re trying to turn us into mindless, robotic consumers.

Thus, a commercial is a marketing tactic that attempts to make us keep manipulators wealthy. And if you think about it, it seems like “everybody” these days is crying out, “Tax the wealthy.” Um. What if we stopped buying stuff we don’t need that they sell? That would work, too. Maybe even better?

Enough of my spiel on commercials. This is all leading up to…

Shopping Tips and Tricks

If you buy in bulk, you’ll save on:

  • cost of product (less $ packaging $)
  • time shopping (= more fun doing what we want)
  • vehicle fuel/bus fare
  • money spent on fast-food (and eventually on medications for resultant illnesses after years of eating fast food, right?)

Oh, and by the way, my fridge’s freezer is spacious but I also have a freezer-freezer.

I drink my coffee half caff and half de-caff and this is for safety reasons. (That’s a joke, of course, but I do tend to become rather, shall we say, “impatient” when I drink pure caff. And, as I mentioned in another post, there’s no point to drinking de-caff.)

Pre Plague I was able to go to a store and buy two equal sizes of tins of pre-ground coffee, one caff, one de-caff. But online, they are only available from two different brands/sources and they come in different sizes. (I’m not pushing the brands in the photo.) To get an equal mixture, I have to order three + two, and this combo actually works out equally. I mix a large “zip” bag’s worth and double bagging that, and squishing the air out, I keep it in the freezer until it runs out then I mix another batch from the tins (that I keep in the freezer once opened, too). Not shown: I keep a few days’ worth of coffee in a small container beside the big pot there. A few days of exposure to room temp doesn’t destroy the taste.

I use filters instead of cleaning the “sieve” thingey in my coffee maker. That’s just a personal choice. (Both filter and grounds can go into the compost; filters can be used for many other things according to Facebook posts I’ve seen; etc.) And I use a big coffee maker not one of those pod ones. A pot can go into the fridge for my iced coffee, or I can reheat mug by mug in the microwave. (If we cover the pot, the coffee tends to stay fresher. I use a dishcloth with a doubled and folded paper towel barrier. Coffee stains.) Of course, I don’t have to make a full pot each time.

A general rule is: Don’t buy food in bulk unless you are able to either keep it frozen or freeze it yourself.

Why not?

If “they” are able to make food (lettuce for example) last for days and days until you use it all up, I recommend you ask yourself what kind of preservatives “they” put into it. Example: Why is it that when I make my own bread it goes stale and starts to grow things very quickly, but when I buy it at the store, it’s still lovely and squishy and eatable a week or more later? Hmm. (I slice my homemade bread into… well, slices… but also cut the end portions into “buns,” then into the freezer it goes. Note to self: Save up to buy one of those actual bread slicer things. My slicing abilities are slim to none! But the only one around to complain about it is moi.)

I highly recommend getting a bread maker. It’s totally cool to make bread, buns, pizza dough, pasta dough… And it’s obviously healthier than consuming whatever “they” put into stuff to make it “last longer.” (I won mine in a contest years ago for my poem, “Grandma’s Bread.”*)

Remember at the beginning of The COVID Plague, yeast was as hard to find as toilet paper? I still have a lot of yeast left from the two-pound bag I ordered online. (It was the only choice.) I make sure I close the bag tightly after each use—squish the air out of it—keep it wrapped tightly in two plastic lunch bags, then inside a “zip” bag in the freezer. (I should write a horror story some day about yeast, eh? About how you can freeze it and it’s still aliiiiiive, two years later…)

Thank you, oh great big huge bulk seller company that we can order absolutely anything from online and who shall go unnamed! ♥ (In my defense, I have no car and since I have emphysema (if you don’t smoke, don’t start), I can’t wear a mask, so taking public transport is out during The Plague. I’m now double-vaxed but not everyone else is, so…)

Buying in bulk means you’ll always have a spare on hand = no pressure to go shopping. As mentioned in a previous post, I take doctor-recommended vitamins, and pain killers. I always have one unopened bottle as a backup. The moment I open the second-last bottle, I purchase a new one.

Same with anything I can’t get by running across the street to the corner store.

Use facial tissues for quick swipes instead of paper towels. Pluck versus (1) grab, (2) position, (3) tear = time saved. (Thank for that trick, my dear friend ♥ Pat ♥.)

The paper towels that let you select the size you need, last longer and this means less shopping, less money paid out. Like foil wrap, paper towels can be re-used, depending. I set aside a paper towel that I might have used only to dry something with. Meaning, it’s still clean. Later, I can use it to wipe something off with, then dispose of it.

I buy my milk in bags from the corner store and freeze them. NOTE: Take great care not to bang the frozen bag on anything. I thaw them in a plastic container, just in case they spring a leak. It has happened to me. Then I put the bag into a milk holder thingey and snip the top corner.

Very often, when these bags come out of the fridge, especially in summer humidity, they won’t go all the way into the holder thingey. This is where chopsticks come in handy. Take two chopsticks and stuff one into each side of the holder thingey and slide them back and forth GENTLY alongside the bag of milk. This will release the bag and allow it to slide down.

I keep my supplies in big plastic containers. That way, I know exactly where they are. No excuses.

And yes, that’s a fridge. When I moved in here, I brought my own with me. The landlord wouldn’t take theirs out so I put it in my storage area and use it as a pantry. Hey, why not, eh? I store my flour, sugar, and other things that might draw “unwelcome visitors” into my inner-city apartment.

A Couple of Hints

Cut off the top bit of a frozen vegetable bag and use that as a tie.

After trimming off the top of a bag like the one below—the ones that zip closed—trim a “curve” on one side so you don’t stand there for 10 minutes trying to open it the next time. (See above: Why I don’t dare drink pure caff coffee.)

A Shopping Thought

Do I extra-shop because I’m lonely or, bored? Do I shop because I’m a shopaholic? Or do I shop because I’m out of stuff?

Throw all that guilt aside, ladies. And instead, let’s program ourselves to resist our very natures. Yes. It can be done.

Remember my previous post when I mentioned hunting and gathering? That the females did pretty much all the gathering because they were “back home at the cave looking after the kids”?

It’s in our DNA to gather. The only disadvantage these days is that it’s not free for the gathering anymore. We need to learn how to resist the commercials. It can be done. Easiest way, like I said at the beginning of this post, is to record all your TV programs and fast forward over the marketing ploys. (I can hear rumbling in the background from the marketers but to that I reply, “Too bad so sad” and stick my tongue out at them.)

This week’s tip: Hints and Tricks for Gettin’ ’er Done, Part 1.

Until next time.


Old fingers knuckle deep in dough,
Floured kisses age my youthful hair.
Grandma’s making bread, you know.
Odours linger in my mind somewhere.

Now my old hands form silk-smooth mounds,
And memories of Grandma’s love back then,
Images of crisp, gold, buttered rounds
Rejuvenate, make me young again.

© 1998, Sherrill Wark
Winning poem in a CJOH Noon News contest, read by Leanne Kusak, co-host. Prize: a Black & Decker breadmaker.

Illustrations from

Photos by Sherrill Wark