Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nickeled and Dimed

Pathetic. My lack of writing in has been just sad.

I have still been collecting and recycling cans. I have not kept up my full vigor of peeking in trash cans every time I fill up the gas tank. I have become more timid when battling the office cleaning lady, a friend of mine, who came up to me angrily and said, "Someone emptied the recycling this weekend!" I told her it was me. It was getting overfull and I felt I was doing her a favor. She felt I was taking her recyclables.

It seems to be a battle for every nickel nowadays. My husband and I had a date to Olive Garden last week, because he'd won a gift card there. Our friends who were thoughtfully watching our kids lamented that we weren't going to a nicer, fancier, flashier restaurant. And my thought was, "That would cost at least twice as much as our gift card. Do you KNOW how many cans that is?" And I chuckled to myself. I don't think of everything in cans, really I don't.

But I was not surprised this past weekend to find another family, a man and his two kids, about 10 and 12, unloading about 6 trash cans full of recycling. They made over $60. (Although they did hold up the line for quite a while, using both machines.) It seems recycling has been catching on. And for others, it has been a steady, though minimal line of income. A man came up and recycled 30 cents worth of cans. I don't know what he was going to do with that 30 cents. Maybe he was going to save up. Probably he didn't have the means to keep carrying around those bottles all day. Another man who seemed to know him mentioned, "It's been really hard to find cans lately." People are making every nickel count.

And though I am lucky and get paid around $22 an hour when I can get the work, I still like to use this way of savings to go to my kids. I've been picking up extra hours lately, so my husband dropped off the cans last month and just this week I dropped off about 7 bags of assorted recycling to pick up $20.35.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to do this when I have the work, but when I don't, like when things slow waaaay down and our clients just don't have any assignments for us, it's something to make sure we can still put something away.
Also, it always makes sense to recycle.

The total after this week's recycling trip: 407 cans, $20.35
GRAND TOTAL: 11,649 cans, $582.48

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