Thursday, June 21, 2018

Growing Food From Scraps

This kind of thing is fun, but cuts into my wormbin scraps supply, but still, I want to try to do more of it.  This year I started ginger for myself and another person.

When asked how long it would take before it was harvestable I said "10 years" because I didn't know.

According to the chart below, it may only take a year.  Nice.

Below are things you can regrow from grocery items or scraps from grocery items.   A warning on the potatoes:  often they are treated with a "no-sprouting" chemical and won't want to sprout.  Buy those organic.  In fact, you could by everything organic and regrow it.

More after the chart...

I have regrown celery.  I got mostly leaves and dried them for winter seasoning.  I've planted organic/local garlic and potatoes that sprouted and had great results.  You don't have to wait for the garlic to sprout.  Just stick it in the ground.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

10 ways to save $10 a Week!

If you do all of them, you'll save 100$ a week. 5200$ a year.
If you do half of them, 50$ a week. 2600$ a year.
A half assed job at all of them, also 2600$ a year.
A half assed job at half of them...still 1300$ a year.

These aren't in any order and are because I'm doing a frugal touch-up and rereading The Tightwad Gazette. I don't know how many of these I can do but I'm going to try.

1) Make 2 homemade coffees instead of buying 2 fancy coffees per week.

Assuming $5.25 and a tip per fancy coffee, you could even use those spendy pod or cup thingies for the coffee.

I am already using my thrift purchased travel french press stainless steel mugs and a thrift purchased thermos of hot water (heated upon the butane burner I found for free in a former apartment like 3 years ago and using the cheapest butane I can get my hands on)

To cut that EVEN MORE, I asked for coffee for my birthday and my favorite Aunt...well, one of my favorite aunts...sent not the 1 lb I asked for, but 2 full lbs AND several little fancy roast samplers that I can get 3-5 cups from. Nice. I figure that's 3 months of coffee. After that I still have an lb of chicory blend coffee I bought for 6$ in Louisiana (I was there for work) as a gift for someone but ended up not needing. So there is a few more weeks of coffee.
AND I need to cut back to just one cup per day. More than that gives me hot flashes anyway. I do make a 2nd cup from the same grounds. It's not good, but I don't want to waste the last of the caffeine.

2) Cut out 1 restaurant work-lunch per week. 

 It's hard to get a restaurant lunch with a beverage for under 10$. In the past few weeks I've been invited to work lunches repeatedly.  I go because people expect me to be minimally social.  The trouble is, it costs $$.  The other trouble is, I eat too much and get fat and salty and tired and have hot flashes. I guess that's several troubles.

I am retrenching personally on this one.  I texted the colleague who most likes to do lunch, and knows the VERY best lunch spots.   I suggested that since I need to save $$ AND the delicious food was undermining my health goals and making me sweaty...we should meet up in the conference room with salads or whatever. Perhaps we could share lunch preparation.  We've tried to help each other in the past with cutting sugar content in the diets so this is someone sympathetic to at least the health part of the equation.   It's much cheaper to even buy bag of salad and some fancy tuna than to go out.

3) Cut 100 miles of driving.  

For reals.  At the current price of gas, a 50 mile round trip is costing me about 5$.   Actually a bit more. I drive 25 miles each way to work.   That's not very cuttable. I use my car for work during the week and am “on call” from the office to field sites so can't really share rides with people unless they want to not know what time they will be home at night. I could cut one trip to town (25 miles each way) and try to consolidate work trips each week. I can also walk more once I get to town for errands. This one is a challenge in the summer when I'm called out more. But, worth a try.

4) Cut food waste by eating what I have and eating all of what I buy.

Food waste….On the “Dollar Stretcher” website there has been a forum called Food Waste Friday where those who choose to participate can post what they wasted each week. Despite my efforts, I still chuck some of the fresh food I buy. Convenience foods tend to get fully consumed, but cost more. Buying fresh or at least not convenience and eating all of it would save the most money. Making the effort! It doesn't take much waste to add up to 10$. Since I try to spend 200$ a month on groceries, 40$ (4 weeks at 10$) is 20% of the budget! That's worth the effort and will more than offset any extra groceries needed by not going out to lunch.

5) Shop in my stuff before I shop at the store. 

 I have more often than I wish to admit bought a duplicate of an item that I already own, just because I forgot I had it. So, before I buy a clothing item, I will go through the clothing back stock and really see if I need the exact item or if something will work just as well. E.g. today I say a nice raincoat at thrift (5$), but thinking through it, I have a rubber rain coat (also from thrift) that works fine. Just doesn't look fabulous. Ultimately, not worth another 5$ to me to have a nicer looking less rubbery raincoat that might not be all that waterproof.

I've also bought medical supplies when I already HAD that medical supply (bandaids, elastic wraps, creams, etc). So, a few weeks ago I went through the box in storage marked “meds” and got out the aspirin I'd forgotten I had. I was out of aspiring at the homestead. I also went through the first aid kits at home and in the vehicles and made sure the stock was evenly distributed instead of all the bandages in one case and none in the other. This way, hopefully, everything will get used up at a fairly steady rate.

I periodically go through my clothes to see what really isn't getting used and can be donated, chucked, recycled, or in several instances...put back into circulation. E.g. I have too many pairs of lovely knee high wool skiing sox. I can't store them all in the homestead. So some are in storage. When the ones in full rotation get tatty, I try to remember to go through the stored winter clothes before buying new socks. In trying on all my pants to see what did/didn't work I found that one pair that I hadn't worn in a while, was actually presentable and fit reasonably well. They aren't my favorite pants, but no reason not to wear them. An old pair of work pants is just too big, but also pretty tattered so may be turned into a set of pouches with the waist band and belt loops still attached so I can use it when gardening to carry pin flags, seeds, tools, etc.

6) Cut back on entertainment expenses. 

 Mine are pretty well cut, but there is always more to be done!
I used to do a movie a week at 5$ (2nd run theater...1st run theaters are too expensive to even be considered). This year, I bought a 10 movie pass for 50$, which is a better deal than it sounds since their basic movie rate went up to 7$. I was also buying the 1$ popcorn. I can skip the popcorn. The 10 prepaid movies means I can see how many movies I want to spend on this year, it's already spent, and prioritize which ones I go to.

I get most movies from the library. I rent a few from the local video co-op. I will be cutting back on co-op movie rentals.

I also rarely spend on books anymore (says the woman who spent 20$ on a plant guide this morning….more on that anon). I get them from the library. Even audio books. Library. With interlibrary loan I can get pretty much anything. Today I asked about a book I wanted but could not find in the system. The librarian put in a “purchase request” for the book. If they don't buy it, they will look further afield to interlibrary loan it. If I find I check a book out over and over, I put it on the list for things to find used, at thrift, or ask for when it's gift time (holidays, birthdays). Just this year I got multiple books I'd been coveting (including a different plant guide than the one I bought) as gifts.
I don't go out to clubs or bars so that saves but that means it's also a spot I can't cut from the entertainment budget...already cut to 0.

Radio: don't under estimate it. I listen most days to get the weather and news. I don't have internet at my place or a smart phone. The radio is the basic info stream. No TV on the premises (movies watched on the laptop). One day I couldn't get the weather I wanted on the radio so I called information...that's a thing we used to use all the time and DOES cost a buck or so, and got the number for the local national weather service office. Sure enough they have a phone line where you can get the weather forecast for your area. NICE!! No need for a TV and cable to watch the weather channel. I programmed the number in the phone so it's a one-time cost for information.

7) Review car insurance coverages.

I recently did this and saved over 400$ per year. I had full coverage on one vehicle, including rental car. This made sense when I had one vehicle given how dependent I am on it (life choice that costs $$ but one I made with my eyes open). I would need a rental vehicle. NOW that vehicle is worth much less and I have a 2nd vehicle. I don't need the rental. Should I decide to make a long distance road trip, I will look into adding the rental coverage back in. You can do that. You can also suspend the insurance on the vehicle you aren't driving at the moment. I don't have the attention span to turn the insurance on and off depending on which rig I'm driving on a day, and often drive both in one day for different tasks. So, cutting insurance made sense. See what you can personally tolerate and see if you can cut back. Also, compare companies. That's my next step.

8) Use the discounts or coupons that you have AND that you need. 

 I won't use a coupon for an item I wasn't buying anyway. I won't go somewhere or buy something just to get the discount. I keep a list of what I need or choose to buy, then watch for a coupon or discount that will apply to that.

Today, I knew I had a 10$ off customer appreciation coupon for a local hardware store. It was good yesterday and today only. Yesterday I wasn't going to be in town and gas to town and back is about 5$ so ...not worth a specific drive to use the coupon. TODAY I was in town for multiple errands and tasks. I took my list to the hardware store. It included the above mentioned plant guide (it is specific to local native species and I am trying to restore native species on my property). I also needed a ground tamper and had compared prices during other trips to hardware stores. This store had one in stock and at the same price as elsewhere. So, the cost of the book and the tool met the minimum amount to use the 10$ coupon which maximized the value of the coupon. I went in, spun the wheel for a free gift (which turned out to be a free sample of dog treats...I don't have a dog but I can use them as bait in traps), grabbed the two items I had already identified as the best things to buy there with the coupon, and hit the check out. Then it was off to the next errand.

9) Keep a list and keep it on you. 

 I have a master list of things I need or want and have chosen to buy. I don't go to stores without it. This morning I had to get out of the car and go back up the hill to the homestead on foot (no driveway up there...too expensive) to get the list. No point in going to town to do errands without the list.

With the list, I can go to thrift stores and yard sales I may pass, and see if things on the list are available for cheap. Just yesterday I stopped by a yardsale and found a ground squirrel trap! That was on the list. I have a ground squirrel problem and have chosen not to poison them. The trap was 5$ at the yard sale. In full working condition. I looked online and new it would be 56$. I would never spend that much. I'd suffer with squirrels. For 5$ I will try it and if it doesn't work the way I like, I can resell it or trade it for something else.

At the farmers market and grocery stores today (walking from one to the other to save on the gas noted above) I carried the list and got things at the best price without duplicating or having to go back and return something when I found it cheaper elsewhere. TP at the co-op. There is cheaper TP but the co-op TP is one roll in paper, not 4 or 36 in plastic. I have limited storage and store things in tins. I can store 3 or 4 rolls, not 36. I also don't like to buy things in plastic if I can avoid it. I wanted stevia sodas this week as I get off the sweet restaurant food. Those are cheaper at a grocery store. As was mint tea. There was a 3rd grocery store. That one has the best “discontinued” or “discounted” food rack and the cheapest allergy stuff that was on my list. It is also near the recycling center with the free book bin. I got a free book and next time I'm through I will drop off a free book I'm done with.

10) Free stuff! 

 I love those little free libraries and the free book bin at the recycling center. I use them. A few times I year I actually find books on my list. That's always a treat. Sometimes I find awesome antique books like the vest pocket dictionary from the early 1900s that I have now been using for more than a year. It's tiny and handy and antique and free. I've found a few books from a home designer that I admire and have used ideas from them in designing my next home. The free book bin also yielded a honey cookbook that I've been using and may pass on if I ever stop using it. Today, I got a multi-cassette audio book about how to be a winner...I can't wait to find out how I can be a winner. The brand new used pickup has a cassette player.

At the community garden, in exchange for helping them while I learn new things, I am given greens and a few eggs. That's a win-win-win. They get help. I get educated. I get food.

Next to the community garden is a 2nd harvest food distribution center. The manager there is happy if we take pallets. Many pallets. I do take pallets when I need them. I try to remember to drive that brand new used pick up that day and load up on the pallets I can use.

At work, people open lots of boxes of stuff. Big boxes. When I'm setting up new garden beds or smothering thistle thickets, I take boxes. Leave them in the rain a day or two and the tape and other plastic peels right off. Then they go down where needed, often held in place with pallets that haven't been used on their assigned project yet.

Beware of free stuff with strings. If it's new and free, you may be the product. I don't sign up for free stuff on the internet if it requires my contact info. That means someone is selling my contact info and/or trying to sell me crap for NOT free. I hate that.

I don't take free things I don't also need.
Today at the library I used the free seed exchange. I took 6 asparagus seeds. I could have taken enough seed to grow a market garden feeding dozens of people, but I don't need that much. I want to see if I can start asparagus in a newly tilled up garden bed. 6 seeds should give me an idea about that.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Excellent Thrifty Food in Tensed Idaho

OMG!!!!!  I am beyond excited.
There are new owners at The Big Store in tiny Tensed, Idaho and the Mrs can COOK.

I stopped once to see the new stock and was pleased to see some almond milk and fresh fruit and veg.  Not much.  It's a big store, but they have everything from soup to nuts to fresh food and essential oils and a tiny cafe area so there actually isn't room for a lot of back stock.  Hence, buying not in bulk.  I always include the price of gas to get to another town when seeing is something is thrifty and it will be much cheaper to buy an onion or apple there on my way home, I drive by anyway, than running into Moscow or Coeur d'Alene for a single thing.

Now for the excellent thrifty food.
There was a sign out front advertising 4 tacos for 5$ so I slammed on the subaru breaks and turned in to the lot. 

These are street tacos made fresh to order with fresh chopped cilantro, two salsa options and fresh chopped onion that you get to put on yourself.  Nice.  The seasoned meat (I didn't bother to ask what it was) was fan-freaking-tastic.  I'm just back to North Idaho from a trip to Louisiana where people know there spices.  I was feeling a bit whiny about leaving the food behind.  Hence, my extreme excitement about the tacos.  I will be going back to try other options and the various specials.  I had these on a Saturday.  I don't usually drive by on Saturday and wouldn't want o spend the gas $$ to make a trip, but if I have guests then definitely.  When I mentioned that the owners, including the cook said they would change up the days things are offered.  Sweet!!!

I think I should mention the farmers market in Plummer and that we want some hot food served there....street tacos would be the bomb.

Go to the BIG STORE in Tensed, Idaho if you are on the way by!  Or make a trip.  Totally worth it.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

I Did NOT Change My Mind

This is a rant.  Because I am SICK OF IT.

To the many doctors who would not tie my tubes in my 20s because "You will change your mind" or "your husband will want kids" and to all those others who told me that I would change my mind, or die alone and sad (as if people WITH kids don't die alone and sad), or that I am selfish (that's rich!) for not having or wanting kids:  BITE ME.

I did NOT change my mind.  I didn't spawn and I'm glad.  I love it.  It's my favorite thing.

Those doctors sentenced me to 23 years of birth control pills and condoms.  I always use a minimum of 2 birth control methods.  No mistakes.  No accidents.  I spent thousands of dollars and untold hours to avoid pregnancy and unwanted children.  As if the world needed more unwanted children.  The world does not need any more children. 

What made those doctors think that I would marry a guy who wanted kids? And that it would be MY JOB to have them just because some asshole wanted some?  There are plenty of breeders out there for those guys.

What made those doctors assume I would get married?  To a guy?  I didn't.  And I'm fine.  Quite happy.

As for dying alone and sad; well, I suppose I COULD die happy in a a group but that's pretty rare.  Most people are the only one in the room croaking at any given time and very few are happy about it.
I know many people who did have kids.  Most of those kids don't want their mother or father dying in the living room in a hospital bed full of feces and urine.  Most of those kids moved on and are trying to lead their own lives (selfish little bastards...if one follows the above logic anyway).

How selfish is it to have children in order to avoid your own fear of death?  More selfish than me NOT having children and just dealing with the idea that some day, I'm going to die and that at some point before that, I will probably crap my pants and have no one at the ready happy to wash me down?  According to my accusers, I should have had a kid and made it super dependent so it would stand me up in the shower and hose me off  (Mom:  I will totally hose you off if you need it because I know that is NOT the reason you had me.  You were young and stupid, that's why you had me).

One woman in particular who accused me of being selfish and of changing my mind later (mind you, I was WELL into my 40s at the time so that ship had seriously sailed) had gone to great lengths and tens of thousands of dollars in infertility treatments and adoption procedures in order to make her family.  Good for her.  She invested in getting what she wanted:  children.  She did not see that as selfish but me NOT bringing unwanted children into the world, she does see that as selfish.  To her I say:  BITE ME. 

To the fish and other beings poisoned by the decades I spent peeing out excessive estrogen from the birth control pills:  I am sorry.  I did consider this when going on the pill.  The other option was destroying you through bringing kids, who may have produced ever more generations of children to decimate the limited resources of our planet and kill you that way.  If I'd been given the tubal ligation when I asked for it in my 20s, I would have saved enough to retire on and saved the planet. 

Instead I was patronized and told that I would change my mind and it wasn't reversible and on and on and on.  Even at Planned Parenthood where they were happy to prescribe the pills or an IUD or jam tubes of estrogen in my arm.  Anything but tying the tubs.  To them I say: BITE ME.  BITE ME. BITE ME.   


I declare today, the day before mother's day to be
"Happy People Who Did Not Overpopulate the Planet Day"

A series of cheesy/sappy cards will be coming out soon.
Appropriate gifts include anything but a giant vase of dead flowers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Oh's new bees!!!

The title is for one Miss Carol who had been wondering about the bees.

The bees are dead. Long live the bees.

The bees I had died.  ALL OF THEM.  Dead.  Deader than a door nail.

Best use of the phrase and a pretty accurate representation of midwestern curmudgeonhood.

Anyway.  Many many beekeepers around here lost many many bees.  Lots of dead bees.  It was a Bee-pocalypse.

But the grant that got the group of us started with bees thought we should soldier on and they got us more bees.  So far 2 hives are set up.  One is carniolans which I had before.  One is saskatraz.  Hybrid with some canadian cold hardy stock in the background.

Soon we get more bees from a local guy with his "survivor queens."   Those are queens that have made it in local conditions and god only knows who the baby daddy is.  But he's local.

I had 2 of their hives before but they were AGGRESSIVE and died out.  One may have had a laying worker because the population petered out and they were a**holes!  A hive needs a queen to stay organized and calm...well, calm for bees.

The ones I have so far are doing well.  The carnies have stopped bothering with the sugar syrup supplement.  There are tons of dandelions out and yesterday the hawthorn trees started to bloom along with some random shrubs that may be small hawthorns.  That means plenty of food for them.  I fed the saskatraz again since they had emptied their syrup jar or it all leaked out.

Both hives are pretty calm.  I can feed them without disturbing them much or opening the hive at all so I didn't suit up or even put on the hat and veil (that's the face screen thingy that keeps bees out of your face and hair and hopefully from going down the cleavage).  I won't try that with the local bees.  They are hardbitten redneck bees who will cut you just for looking at them (or so they were last time...we'll see).

Monday, April 30, 2018

Oh Honey...It's a Good Thing You're Pretty...

So I went to a local "outfitter" store (which has sold it's soul and become a purveyor of overpriced over "hacked" outdoor campy stuff and kitchen stuff for people who don't really camp or cook).

I needed butane for the wee burner to heat water for coffee and tea and a wash.
It's CHEAPER at restaurant supply stores, but I shan't be at one of those for a week or two. I just needed a can or a few to get me to my next big stock up.

I picked up 3 cans and the total with tax was $9.51.
I handed the clerk dude a 20$ bill.  Before I could grab a penny out of the penny tray on the counter, he had pushed in "$20" on the register.  It told him that my change was $10.49.  Because the register can do math.

The clerk dude however...well, it's a good thing he's pretty. I said "Here's a penny."  He stared dumbly.   I said "Then the change will be $10.50."  He said, "Yeah....     ...."
Then he told me that he couldn't take it because he already put in that I gave him 20$ and it would throw his count off at the end of his shift.  Then I said, "....    ....."   I had no reply.  Finally I said, "No, it won't but just give me my change."

I KNOW most people don't count change back like in the old days.  But to not understand that putting 1cent in the till and taking 1cent out of the till would result in a balanced till...well, as I've noted in the title:  It's a good thing he's pretty.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Testing Testing: Basic Economy on United Airlines, GEG to SFO

So, I'm cheap.  BUT I like to travel.  Well, I'm thrifty and I have itchy feet.  Same difference.

Last year I visited my favorite Aunt* in Bodega Bay, California but I was sick. Sick sick sick.
I've been trying to get back there and see if the place is just as good when one is not just sleeping, drinking tea, and taking showers.

It is.

Back to cheap.  I mean thrifty.

To make this trip, I put an alert on google flights (which I like) for a reasonable ticket.  A notice came up that I could get a ticket on United for a doable price.  Of course when I went to buy it, it was "Basic Economy"...the new steerage only with less food.

It is a big risk because there are tight restrictions on changing or refunds.  Those restrictions are: NOT.  No changes. No refunds. No nuthin'.
If the car breaks down on the way to the airport, as far as I could tell, that would just be too bad.

This was my best shot to test the fare in general because it was a vacation and missing it would be sad, but not a major life challenge.  If I missed the return flight, SFO is a big place and I could probably get SOMETHING to get me home.  I flew out of Spokane because that is my best possibility.

I did have to get a hotel near the airport before the flight out.  That is normal.  It's 2 hours from my house to the airport in perfect weather.  I try to take the first flight of the day on a given airline because that flight will have an airplane.  GEG can be foggy and icy and seems to be an airport that is not on the top of the service list if there are shenanigans elsewhere in the country.  Sometimes the planes don't come in.   It was a surprise that I had to get a hotel room on the return flight. It was supposed to get in at 9pm ish.  I can JUST make it home before falling asleep if I get in at 9pm.  The flight was rescheduled about 2 days after I bought it to come in at 11pm or later.  I went in to the system to try for something better but the system said, "Seriously, you are in steerage with the cattle.  Suck it up." or something like that.

I booked the most reasonable hotel I know of that doesn't have bedbugs (Quality Inn, Liberty Lake, WA, 71$ tax included)

Now for the "Basic Economy" portion of our blog.
I LUCKED OUT.    One can not pick one's seat on that ticket.  Unless one pays 25$ to check a bag, one may not check in online.  One may take a personal item on the flight (small backpack OR briefcase OR purse, pick one or none.  NO regular size carry on.  NO checked bags without paying at least 25$ per direction).  The personal item MUST go under the seat in front of you.  You may NOT use the overhead bin even if all the overhead bins are empty.

I usually travel with a backpack that is about the size allowed.  So I used that and underfilled it a bit to allow for squishage if they made me test it in the carry on and personal item tester thingy at the gate.

I went through the online process as far as it would take me and then just showed up the full 2 hours ahead for my outbound flight.  I went right to the counter.  It was 4am so no line.  Then RIGHT through security.  That was a good idea.  Minutes after I went through apparently security got backed up.  People missed the flight.  It was supposed to be 100% full.  I was randomly assigned a window seat which was fine and the people in the other two seats in my row were stuck in security.  After take off, a woman from the sardine like row behind me moved up and took the aisle seat.  Not bad.  Plenty of room for me.

ALSO!  The new thinner padding on the United steerage seats means more leg room. I have a 34 inch inseam (long legs at 5'6" tall..) and a flat butt.  If I had a bubble butt I would still have been OK in these seats.  

I was allowed to have the "snack" and a free beverage.  Just like the regular economy people.

On the return flight, check in was a bit tougher.  SFO is a bigger airport and it was later in the day.  There was no line and NO ONE at the counter other than the "premiere" counter.  So, I went to a kiosk.  That is allowed.  BUT (there is always a big 'but'), to finish check in even at the kiosk, I had to have an agent come use a badge to confirm that I am not sneaking on a real carry on.  There were 3 agents having a long chat about 10 feet from me.  My credit card was in the machine and it told me that an agent would come.  They just kept chatting.  I had to go get them, turning my back on my credit card in the machine.  I don't like that.  Finally one came and grudgingly did his job.  Sorry to interrupt your day with my shitty ticket.

Then, on through security.  Since I was in boarding group "go to hell"...I mean "5" (keep in mind that group 1 is AFTER military, people needing extra time, people with kids, anyone who paid more for a ticket, anyone with some sort of premiere membership etc etc etc so functionally one is in group 20 or so.  They hadn't started boarding yet but it was close and I ran to the bathroom and right back.  When I get back, there is no one in the gate area and the door to the flight is open so I ask the gate agent if the flight to Spokane is boarding.  He says "yes."  I say "which groups?"  "all of them".  The flight was 25-30% full.  EMPTY.  I had again been assigned a window seat.  Just behind the wing.  The attendants kept announcing that the "economy plus" seats are ONLY FOR THOSE WHO PAID FOR THEM and they'd be happy to let us PAY to sit in a slightly less shitty seat.  No one did.  I ended up with a whole row to myself and sat sideways with my feet up for the whole flight.  Again...just dumb luck.

I got the snack and the attendant gave me the whole can of gingerale.  That is rare these days but I think he just wanted to not have half a can to pour down the tiny sink in the galley.  The miniature bag of pretzels is awaiting adjudication by the Guinness book of world records as "World's Stingiest Freebie."  The same service as the rest of economy.

So basically Basic Economy on this United flight worked OK.  I would not do it if I needed to check a bag or have a full size carry on.  The extra fees would outstrip the savings.  I would not do it if I needed to actually get somewhere on a particular date.  Nor in winter when the odds of getting stuck on the way to the airport are fairly high.

It was fine for this or for any other non-crucial flight but the savings are minimal and the risk of being uncomfortable, inconvenienced, or out of the ticket cost are a bit high.

*All my aunts are my favorite.