my parents aren’t teaching me life lessons.
I’m an adult.
Some shit about life, from a bonafide adult:
- even if you get along great with your family you will get along even better with them after moving out
- generic is almost always just as good as name brand. But there are some things you never buy generic, including: peanut butter, ketchup, liquid NyQuil, Chips-Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies
- just imagine the person on the other end of the phone hates talking on the phone as much as you do. Even a receptionist. I worked as one and I hate talking on the phone
- at least once in your life you will go to Wal-mart to buy something under $20 like an ironing board or something and your debit card will get rejected. No one will judge. Everyone at some point in their lives has had $2.98 in their bank account.
- thrift stores
- everyone else is too busy panicking about everyone else noticing every tiny thing that could possibly be wrong about them to notice any tiny thing that could possibly be wrong about you
- you will screw up. a lot. you live and you learn. and when you start to think too hard about that embarrassing thing that happened and how you wish you could change it, just tell yourself that what’s done is done. There’s no changing it, so just forget it and move on. It’s the only way to stay sane.
- do the dishes before the sink grows its own ecosystem
- you can’t put Dawn dishsoap in the dishwasher.
- if you are the only one in the aisle at the grocery store, and you need to get from one end to the other without even looking at anything in that aisle, then you should totally cart-surf down the aisle. Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional. Hold on to the little things. They make all the difference.
- never try to make cake from scratch at 3am. You end up with a topographical map of Middle Earth.
- 15% tip.
- the best way to get money for food is to tell your grandparents about how you basically live on microwaved mac and cheese. Their horror may result in twenty bucks and orders to go out and get yourself “a real dinner”.
- sometimes life sucks, and knowing that it might get better doesn’t always make it suck any less, but you’ll never get to the non-sucky days without enduring the suckiness.
- no seriously, NEVER put Dawn in your dishwasher
Do not buy generic brand spaghetti sauce either.
Always check the type of light bulb that goes in lamps. A 60w is not interchangeable with a 40w.
Dollar store batteries work just as well as store brand.
- Reward yourself from time to time when you do things that you needed to get done. It’s a good way to remind yourself to do them. Going out to pay a bill? Get Starbucks or something you don’t get often. Rewards don’t have to be huge, they can be small things like that.
- Rice, pasta, flour, sugar, cheese, eggs, milk, a pack of chicken, a pack of frozen veggies and a well stocked spice cabinet go a long way food-wise. Splurge and get the biggest container of rice you can. You don’t have to go back and buy it again anytime soon and it makes a TON of meals in the meantime.
- Rice can be cooked on the stove. You don’t need a fancy rice cooker. Two parts water to every one part rice (two cups water for one cup of rice for example). Get your water boiling, add rice, put a plate or lid on it, put it on low for 20 minutes. It should be done.
- Keep a calendar on your pc of bill due dates. If your bills are set up at inconvenient times, like all of the services started on the first or something, then call up the company and find out if you can get your billing date switched to something more manageable. A lot of places do try to work with you.
- There is no shame in calling a company and asking for an extension on a bill. Let them know what you can pay, pay that amount, and they arrange when the rest of the payment is required. This can stop you from having services shut off man. It shows responsibility on your part.
- Take time to eat, even when you don’t feel like eating. Your body needs energy to live.
- Wash or rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. It prevents gross caked on junk.
- “The Works” is an excellent cheap toilet cleaner.
- MAGIC. FUCKING. ERASERS. THEY WORK ON EVERYTHING JUST DON’T SCRUB HARD. I took the ring out of our bathtub with one. Also generic ones work just as well.
- Keep some bleach around but if you use it for cleaning? Dillute it. There’s rarely ever a case where you need to pout straight bleach on anything. A cap full or two in a bucket of water works just fine.
- DO NOT MIX CLEANERS. Chemical reactions are can be very dangerous. Here’s a good list. (Note that vinegar and baking soda can actually be a good combo for removing smells from things but it’s not very good at actually -cleaning-.)
- If you drink? Don’t take meds at the same time it’s just not good.
- Make sure you check the dosages on your pill bottles. No one wants to accidentally overdose on cough syrup or ibuprofen.
- If you have a uterus make sure you have a heating pad and ibuprofen on hand for the pain. Hot baths also generally help and Ginger Tea is excellent for any nausea.
- Buy a first aid kit. It’s worth it in the long run.
- You can often do your taxes online at places like TurboTax.
- Here’s some good sex ed resources because I had to explain what a yeast infection was recently.
- Petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline) is good for chapped lips and you can get a decent sized tube or tub of it (generic brand version) for cheaper/same price as Chapstick.
- KEEP TRIPLE ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT IN YOUR HOUSE FOR CUTS AND SCRAPES AND SORES.
Over the counter medications (stuff you can buy right off the shelf no prescription needed) have a name brand and a generic name. ALWAYS buy generic if it’s available it is literally the same thing and way cheaper usually.
Some names to remember when you’re looking for meds!
Acetaminophen = Tylenol
Used to treat pain and reduce fever. Do not take with Ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen = Advil, Midol, Motrin
Used for pain and fever, is an anti-inflammtory. Is good for period cramps because it is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Naproxen = Aleve, Naprosyn
Treats fever, pain, arthritis pain, gout, period cramps, tendinitis, headache, backache, and toothache. Is also an NSAID.
Acetaminophen + Asprin + Caffeine = Excedrin
Usually marketed as “Migraine Relief” as a generic.
Asprin = Bayer
Use for pain, fever, arthritis, and inflammation. Makes you bleed easily so should not be used for periods. Might reduce risk of heart attacks.
Triple Antibiotic Ointment = Neosporin
Used on cuts, sores, and scrapes to reduce risk of infection and promote healing.
Also a general mutli-vitamin isn’t a bad idea and if you don’t get a lot of fruits or milk/sunshine in your diet you might want to get vitamins C and D specifically for daily use.
Sales, coupons, and loyalty cards are your friends. Take full advantage of them.
Do your laundry as often as time and finances allow, and pay attention to those labels! Clothes will last longer if they are washed properly. Also, if you have sensitive skin, there are detergents for that. Nobody wants itchy clothes.
Own at least two pairs of comfortable shoes. One should be for walking or jogging, the other should be for nicer things like the office or going out to a nice restaurant. Your feet will thank you.
Those unmatched socks whose mates have fecked off to Paris or something can be reused as dusting sleeves. Pull it over your hand, spritz it with some Pledge or other dusting cleaner, and wipe down your furniture and surfaces.
It’s important to dust and vacuum regularly. It prevents the build-up of allergens, mold spores, leftover sick germs, bad smells, and general yuckiness. If you can thrift or secondhand a vacuum cleaner, DO IT. They can be expensive, especially if you’re on a budget.
If you have pets, clean up after them DAILY and make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water. Wash out their bowls at least once a week.
If your tap water smells like pool water or doesn’t taste right, don’t drink it. It may be palatable, but some areas may have chemicals or heavy metals in the water supply that can cause you lots of problems. Purchase gallons from the store if you need to, and don’t skimp on giving it to the pets.
Invest in a set of baking dishes and a decent set of tupperware. They’re fairly inexpensive (a set of Corningware runs about $40 USD) and you can always ask you folks for it for Christmas. Baking dishes greatly increase the number of things you can cook quickly and easily, and those storage containers will hold leftovers.
Invest in a durable set of pots and pans, a package of sponges, decent oven mitts, and a few potholders. You will want them.
Never leave wooden utensils in water. They will soften and warp. These need to be cleaned immediately after use.
Sticky pots and pans can be soaked to make scrubbing easier. You can also get a little scrubby brush to help take the crusty bits off. Just be careful that you don’t scrub off the nonstick coating, and NEVER use soap on a wok or a cast-iron frying pan.
Buy quart-sized freezer bags and use them to store single pounds of ground beef, pairs of chicken breasts, fish filets, frozen fruits and veggies…anything that needs freezing. You can save a lot of money on food that way. Just make sure that you press the air out of the bag before sealing it and write on the label what’s in the bag and the date you put it in the freezer.
You can “day-dot” with leftovers too, so you’re not wondering if that Chinese takeaway is still good when it’s on the point of gaining sentience and needed to be chucked three days ago.
On that note, takeaway food is good for about two days as leftovers, if you get it into proper containers and into the fridge right away. If you leave it sitting out all night, it’s no good.
If you’re going to reheat something in the microwave, put a paper towel over it to prevent splashing, especially if it’s something like chili or pasta.
A small slow-cooker can be a lifesaver. This is another good one to ask for as a housewarming or Christmas gift, but they only run about $20-$50 USD, depending on size. You can prep easy meals, stick them in quart or gallon-size freezer bags, then just dump them in the slow-cooker and turn it on Low while you’re at work. You come home and voila! Dinner is made.
Check allrecipes.com for easy meals you can make for very little money or with whatever you happen to have in the house.
Ice cube trays. Always have two and keep them filled in hot weather.
Put a pad of paper somewhere in your kitchen that you use as a grocery list. If you want to make a certain dish, write down the ingredients before you go to the store. If you run out of something, write it down for your next trip. Few things are more frustrating that getting home from a trip to the market and realizing you forgot something you really needed.
Buy toilet paper and paper towels in bulk whenever possible. Just do it. Trust me. And ALWAYS replace the roll the second it runs out, or you’ll regret it later.
Clean your bathroom at least as often as you clean your kitchen. There’s a similar amount of daily activity going on in there and just as much opportunity for grossness to happen. A simple spray cleaner, some disinfecting wipes, a few paper towels, and a Magic Eraser should get the job done. (Seriously, those things live up to their name!)
If you or a roommate get sick, clean EVERYTHING the second you get better. Use disinfecting wipes on things like sinks, doorknobs, and tabletops. Try to keep dirty tissues contained; plastic grocery bags are GREAT for this and you can just toss them when they’re full.
If your financial institution offers online banking, USE IT. Check your balance daily. You don’t have to know to a penny what’s in your account, but you should be aware of where your funds are, when your bills are due, and what you can afford to spend on groceries.
I think this post has helped me learn to adult more than my parents have.
Go to the store later in the day, especially for things such as meats/bread/vegetables. you will often find the prices reduced to try sell as much as they can before the day is over
Clean out your fridge regularly. don’t leave things sitting in there for extended periods, especially fruits and vegetables. One rotten item can quickly ruin more, best to toss it as soon as it starts to go bad.
Same goes for your freezer, freezer burn isn’t fun to deal with. if something is starting to show signs of it, plan to use it.
it’s often easier to cook for slightly larger numbers than it is for one or two, Having friends over for meals can be a great way to socialise without even leaving your house.
Food handling is very important, knowing many of the basic principles will possibly save you a lot of grief one day. (food poisoning is not fun kids!)