“As a fixed-income trader,” writes Sarah, “I’ve always understood your $10 bottle of wine vs. $108 case example” [wherein one can technically earn a 177% tax-free return on one’s money], “and I certainly put those principles to work in my own shopping (thank you www.NetGrocer.com ) but NOT ON WINE.

“If I buy 12 cans of Starkist Tuna fish when it’s on super sale, I cheapen up my per can cost substantially. Same with the 12 pack of toilet paper. But if I buy a case of wine, we drink twice as much! (Basically we have wine with tuna, wine with pizza, wine with everything.) Some items simply cannot be effectively stocked!

“Conversely, my fiance said over dinner last week: ‘Your garden has saved us a fortune.’ I immediately knew what he meant. It wasn’t that my tomatoes and peppers were any less expensive — after fertilizer, soil, etc., I broke even or spent a little more. But staring at all that fresh produce made us find reasons to eat in rather than racing for the nearest take-out menu (ah, Manhattan) or going out. Life, and saving, works in odd ways.”

A.T.: Ah, Manhattan, and ah the million-dollar-plus apartments that have terraces for a garden. Or Billy Joel’s old apartment that a crazed real estate agent once showed me in the daft hope I might actually abandon my $41,000 long-ago digs for this unusual one-bedroom-with-a-greenhouse on Central Park South that was a steal at little more than $1 million but came with a $50,000-a-year maintenance fee.

But however they grow this stuff, Sarah makes a charming point.

Which brings me to the recent cover story in the Boston Globe Sunday magazine profiling Edgar Dworsky. Every worthwhile movement needs its extremists, and the more crazed penny-pinchers among you might enjoy reading about him, as I did, and how he beat the Wiz (this one left me with mixed feelings), by clicking HERE.



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