Monday, February 04, 2008

Dumb Money, Smart Money, Fat Money

I don't know where my head was last week. I ate dinner in a restaurant Thursday night, and paid for it with the Visa card I use all the time. Then on Sunday afternoon, I went to buy a couple of clothing items I'd found on sale (Ann Taylor Loft!) and freaked out when I couldn't find my Visa in my wallet. It took me a while to remember that the last time I'd used it was that Thursday dinner. The funny thing is that I actually did "use" it Friday night to pay for a delivery of Indian food, but since I have the number memorized, I didn't need the actual card itself and didn't notice it was missing!
Fortunately I was able to call the restaurant and they were holding onto my card for me. And no unauthorized charges had appeared on my account, much to my relief as a friend of mine just had to have her card suspended because of $7,000 worth of fraudulent charges at gas stations in Florida!
I didn't spend all that much at Ann Taylor, but I was a bit annoyed to have to put it on my Amex instead of the Visa. I was trying to rack up all the frequent flyer miles I could in hopes that I could reduce the cost of this year's big vacation trip... but I just called United and discovered that I couldn't get award seats on the flights I'd need anyway, so no great loss. Maybe next trip!

Part of the reason I didn't need my credit card the rest of the weekend was that I did some cooking with a friend. We bought the ingredients for two big batches of lasagna, for which she taught me her own recipe. So Saturday dinner, Sunday dinner and Monday lunch have been lasagna, and I have plenty left in the freezer. This was definitely an economical way to cook, but given the huge amount of cheese that went into this lasagna, I'm not sure it's all that healthy! If I keep eating like this I'll need to keep buying more new clothes, in ever larger sizes...

10 comments:

RacerX said...

Glad you found it!

It can be such a pain to turn all of these off, plus you keep finding things over time that ey did with the card!

Worth a couple of miles...

Not sure the lasagne will kill you as you walk all over the city burning it off!

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

*nods* Glad you found it too.. I'm always paranoid about losing my cards, I check them every time I leave a store to see if I have it.

I used to just throw them into my purse but now I actually put them back into my wallet safe and sound

TJ said...

Even though no unsavory charges showed up, I'd suggest still calling Visa and reporting the card as stolen. It's painless, and who knows who saw your credit card number in those 3 days. They may wait weeks or months before they finally start using it.

SandyVoice said...

On those occasions I feel like cooking, I make a big pot of stew, with lots of veggies and chicken. It's easy to make, your house smells great while it's simmering (and even the next day), it's low fat, it can be frozen in portions if you don't expect to eat it up within a week, and all you need to add, if you feel like it, is some rice, pasta, or a potato. (I'm always happy to add some rice, pasta, or a potato, myself.)

I don't do this often, but when I do, I really enjoy having something yummy and healthy in the fridge. And boy oh boy, is it cheaper than eating out!

Ryan said...

Lucky for you that you found it!

SF Money Musings said...

what about using less cheese and more veggies such as spinach and peas with tofu and heavy on the tomato sauce? i've made tofu spinach lasanga sprinkling cheese on the top and just layering with lots of tomato sauce.

unisprise said...

for tofu doubters- I concur that you can substitute silken/soft tofu for the ricotta- just as tasty- no where near as much fat.

Madame X said...

SandyVoice-- I'd love to get your stew recipe!

SFMoneyMusings-- this actually was a vegetarian lasagna featuring spinach and mushrooms, it's just that the mozzarella and ricotta ratio ended up getting a little out of hand!

Fred said...

Since you mentioned Amex and air miles, I was going to suggest the Amex Starwood card. But then you mentioned United, which converts at a lousy ratio on Starwood (2 points per mile), so that idea's out. It does work well on all airlines except United and Continental, though.

jyinyang said...

There are a variety of ways that people calculate the value of their miles but I often find that using your miles as upgrade instruments returns the best value on United, given how hard it is to redeem free tickets these days. Obviously, this doesn't apply quite as much to international flights because you can only apply it to two fare types. However, if you're looking to upgrade a destination like Hawai'i, this is a way to do it, especially since the vacation seems important to you.

You may already know about this site but just in case - flyertalk.com is considered one of the best resources for many things considered travel. It has an especially vibrant United-flyer community on there and I've been able to find answers to all sorts of common and strange questions (routing, booking, rewards redemption, and general elite status questions)