Wednesday, March 17, 2010

50 things to do with 5 dollars?

I picked up the current issue of Woman's Day this week because I was interested in the article 50 Things to Do With $5. I was rather disappointed.

Quite a few of the "ideas" boil down to "go get something at a store that sells cheap stuff". There were two entries just for Walmart, and the list also included Crate & Barrel, Target, and Ikea. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods share an entry. I wonder if the mag is getting a kickback for these?

And speaking of kickbacks:
Pull an "awesome mom" move in the checkout line. ... What kid doesn’t love an unexpected sweet treat?

And have fun the next time you go to the store with your munchkin who is going to try to wrangle this treat again. (I don't have kids, but I passed this by Mom and this was her reaction)

Maybe I'm just not the type, but this one sounded depressing:
Enjoy a posh cocktail hour with friends the way [one woman] does: "Dress to the nines and trot down to the bar at a luxury hotel. One drink may be all you can afford, but you can eat all the nuts you want."
Really? Stand around pretending you're one of the beautiful people while you try to make your one drink last a couple of hours? Am I the only person who thinks this sounds pitiful?

Other ideas just seem uninspired: hide the five dollars, give it to your church, buy lottery tickets.

There were a lot of interesting URLs - is amusing, but may be NSFW.

There were only a couple of ideas I liked -

  • Buy five dollars worth of lemons and use them for a centerpiece

  • Get a deck of cards and play penny ante poker

  • Get glow in the dark sticks and have an after dark game of tag

  • Get some cheap cards and write loving messages to your closest friends

This makes me think about what I expected from an article like this. Certainly not recommendations to go to Wally World, or buy specific items, or give your kid a "treat" that only took 5 seconds of your time. Give me ideas that may take a little extra time, but give me a lot more quality for my buck. If it is going to be a specific item, make it something that most people know can be bought, but never think of buying outside of certain parameters (For instance, does anyone but me buy themselves flowers, just to enjoy?)

What do you expect from an article like this?


  1. Lame, incredibly lame. The get dressed up and go to the hotel bar is pathetic as a suggestion for "cheap". Or maybe it's a suggestion for a different kind of "cheap".

  2. I agree, the article is lame. I liked some things like the lemon centerpiece. For how long though do the lemons last before rotting and attracting fruit flies?? How about going to a museum on a day it has free admission. And buy yourself flowers that are on sale. The other day I got 20 stems of daffodils that cost me only 4 bucks, I cut them every day and they lasted for a week. Instant spring and mood improvement.