Eight dollars and fifty cents



I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with the North Kildonan area, but I hail from East St. Paul and spend a lot of my time travelling up and down Henderson Highway.

There are two gas stations I visit on the regular, the Red River Co-op at Strood Avenue and the Esso in East St. Paul. Many a Saturday or Sunday morning have included embarrassing myself at either one of these two establishments, but I have to confess one of the lowest moments was this past weekend when I pulled into Esso to get gas.

$8.50. Eight dollars and 50 cents in gas. Not kidding.

As ashamed as I am about the contents of my car (way too many empty boxes of Naked Grape Pinot Grigio, a family-size bottle of sriracha, three half-pairs of shoes, and various items of clothing), I almost hoped the attendant would peek in and see the backpack and pencil cases and come to the conclusion that I am a student.

We’re nearing the end of the semester now, and funds are at an all-time low. Homework, meetings, projects, and other out-of-class commitments have really interfered with my work schedule over the past few months, and my bank account is now drier than that pork chop I tried to barbecue once.

I make sure I always have at least enough for a glass of wine at all times — priorities — but there are some drastic measures I’ve had to take to keep the grape flowing.

For example, and I hope the Highlighter Jackets don’t nail me for this, I have found a way to park at school every day for a very reasonable rate. Impossibly reasonable. You might even call it “free.”

I probably shouldn’t have published that.


Try to bring a lunch almost every day to avoid the temptation of bagels smothered in herb-and-garlic cream cheese, but on the days you sleep in (not such a rare occurrence for me), swing by the Red River Mercantile for a hearty cup of Mr. Noodles. It’s less than two dollars and, provided you have hot sauce on deck at all times, you can spice it up until your mouth burns so bad you don’t think you’ll ever eat again.

Other budget-savvy tricks include: 

• Crying in your room at night instead of going out for dinner and drinks with your non-student friends

• Never turning on the heat in your car to save gas

• Searching the furniture at your local coffee shop for spare change

Hang in there guys, only a few weeks left. Good luck!

Answers to Fletch, Betty Spaghetti, or Hey You.

Long, shaggy blonde hair.

Slightly aggressive at first but usually warms up after she smells you.

Feed her pizza and she’ll be the most loyal friend you’ll ever have. Follow her