By: Revanche

Just a little (link) love: Cheap milk and Vimesian Economics

April 16, 2014


I’m half-watching an Animal Planet show that was on lemurs, craggy cliffs and hawks (I think), and it’s now turned into something on tenrecs. Apparently they can have up to 42 offspring at a time!

We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, and while we’re there, staples like milk and OJ tend to make their way into the basket. It’s cheaper there, comes in the plastic jugs that I like better than the paper carton version that had to be torn open, but carefully or you’d spill, and, well, cheaper.  By 33%. But here’s the thing. That dratted milk always went off within a day or three of the date.  Always. It seemed like the faster we drank it, the faster it went off the next time.  The first few times, I took it back and got a refund with a vague feeling of triumph for not having been cheated.

But it kept happening. And after a while it hit me: I was buying the cheap boots and having to replace it more regularly, wasting time and gas. Good grief, I don’t want to go to the store twice a week, every week, for free/new milk!  Quality guarantees with full refunds are great until it’s clear that the quality isn’t actually going to improve.

So now I go across the street and pay a dollar more for the same amount of milk, in a paper carton with a nice twist off cap because they do that now, and just figure, I pay more for good milk I’m actually drinking.


I’ve been seriously exploring new investment angles and chatting with a friend about real estate rentals, he shared this site that compares rents. It’s neat! Also, egads, I love talking about investing and money with friends who actually know this side of me, we geek out over money philosophies like whoa.

SaverSpender on the value, over time, of negotiation. Seriously, probably one of the most valuable things I’ve learned from the PF community & PF mentors?  Negotiate. Obviously I have to do it differently than say, men, who are expected to negotiate while women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t but all things considered, if I’m going to be damned anyway? I’m going to be damned WITH the money, thanks. My approach has changed a lot over time and with experience, and with different working relationships, but I’ve gone into every job in the past 8 years eyeing my opportunity to grow and to grow my salary.

This article on testing the social signaling (if you’re REALLY rich, you’re confident enough to wear frumpy, hobo-like clothes to go shopping) described in this article was interesting. I’d enjoy being mistaken for super-rich as far as service goes, but believe me, the assistants in Nordstrom aren’t fooled by my bopping-around clothes, I surely wouldn’t be looked at once, forget twice, in a truly high end store. (hattip Katherine) I am rich in confidence though… 🙂


Lester Spence: Tragedy, White Supremacy and American Politics (hattip Cloud)

Speaking of Cloud, I loved this post on her daughter, Pumpkin, turning seven.  This is the kind of thoughtful, truthful and hopeful post that makes me feel a bit better about the future and the idea of parenting. My view of parenthood is irrevocably colored by my family’s experiences, and mostly stark and heartbreak-colored; I look to smart, engaged parent friends to show me that there is good in it too.

Tungsten Hippo on short ebooks. I’ve always disliked short books because they end too soon (and I hate goodbyes) but looking at them as a taster flight is a great recalibration.

John Scalzi on the four levels of discrimination (and being sexist versus being A sexist)

Cara, a photographer I adore, on 5 days with her children, firmly reinforcing my belief that we should never be outnumbered by our kids & also I don’t know how friends do it.


Anne Hathaway and Jimmy Fallon Put a Broadway Spin On Rap Songs

Frenchie puppy talking back

Partly a GoPro commercial but an amazing video nonetheless

10 Responses to “Just a little (link) love: Cheap milk and Vimesian Economics”

  1. Thanks for the link love. I’d rather be damned with the money too — it’s a good way of looking at it.

    Honestly, negotiating has never been a problem for me. Maybe it’s just because I’m naturally a little aggressive / overconfident to begin with, but I get really indignant if I am not given / paid what I think I am worth, young woman or not!
    save. spend. splurge. recently posted…Women also have to step up and take responsibility for their careersMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I should qualify that with the fact that that’s only the case when I actually close the negotiations successfully – which isn’t a given. But certainly it tells me something about the workplace if the negotiations on my compensation are where we break down, just for the act of negotiating.

  2. NZ Muse says:

    Unsurprisingly, that rent site looks to be US only. Surprising how many Auckland St/Dri/Cl/Rds etc there are in the States though!

    Have you ever tried negotiating and had it be a complete and utter failure?

    I was all set and had steeled myself to negotiate for my new job. As it turns out that didn’t really go as planned – the application form asked for my minimum salary requirement upfront (I put down an amount that was my true minimum plus about $3k, which is about current salary plus $5ish?) I kinda wanted to round up another $2k to the nearest $10,000 but chickened out at the last minute (facepalm) which was the number I was really hoping for . But they came back with an offer that was basically the number of my dreams that I didn’t imagine was really likely (current plus about $13kish).

    However this place actually has HR and regular reviews so I plan to definitely negotiate for raises.

    This will be my 5th year of fulltime work and over that time I’ve increased my income more than 50pc (or will have once I start the new job in a couple weeks). I was lucky in that thanks to the union and the shifts I worked at Job 1 I actually wound up taking home like 40pc over my base rate every fortnight. In Job 2 I knew I couldn’t really expect an increase but I was able to lock in a salary that was on that level. Job 3 I did wonder if I could’ve asked for more off the bat; research was so hard because these are new jobs whose titles don’t even show up in salary surveys, and of course titles vary hugely in this field as well and the same title can apply across various levels/responsibilities. I am personally happy with the outcome though.
    NZ Muse recently posted…Random stuff I’ve gotten through work over the past few months (aka what I’ll miss)My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      1. Yes, I didn’t specify it was a US only site but I hadn’t spent much time on there yet so now we know. 🙂

      2. Depends on how you define negotiating being a failure. Have I negotiated and not reached a mutually satisfactory resolution? Yes. Have I negotiated and lost the job as a result? No. Have I failed to negotiate at all? Yes.

      In the first instance, I compromised and took the job anyway, and got enough salary increases later to make up for it. Took more time than I would have liked but over time I went up 30% and it was instrumental to getting me to my favorite job yet.
      Second, luckily, whenever I’ve gotten an offer, we’ve made it work.
      Third, first job. NOVICE. Got over that and got a seriously mega-increase a couple years later which also made up for it, mostly.

      Re Job 3: Yeah it’s definitely harder to negotiate when you’re working in newer fields with not much data to go on, but I also look at that as potential opportunity if I can figure out how to swing the argument to highlight my competence.

      Re New Job: I always say don’t negotiate against yourself and don’t say no to yourself – let them do that! But obviously it’s not always that simple and I’d say your outcome was probably ideal 🙂

  3. SP says:

    YES. We stopped buying milk at trader joe’s for the same reason. “Normal” milk usually lasts a bit past the date. Although I still do sometimes get a small amount there if I think we can use it quickly and I’m also too lazy to go elsewhere.
    SP recently posted…Minimizing costs for unexpected last minute travelMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I don’t understand what’s wrong with them! It’s not like it’s super-special organic, highly sensitive milk, that I know of. Anyway. Annoying 🙂

  4. Cloud says:

    I’m late to the party (I blame the insanity that has been the last couple of months….)

    But thanks for all the link love!

    The thing with the milk- milk in plastic goes off faster than milk in cartons. I buy 1.5 gallons of milk every week (sometimes 2 gallons, my kids are big milk drinkers) and the plastic gallons always have a closer use by than the cardboard cartons. I think it *might* have something to do with light, but haven’t cared enough to research it.

    Anyway, we buy TJ’s organic in the cartons when we go to TJ’s and it lasts just as well as any other carton milk as far as I can tell. Not that our kids let it last that long to really test it….
    Cloud recently posted…More Than a FeelingMy Profile

  5. […] Revanche says she’d rather be damned with $7000 more in her pocket per year! […]

  6. […] said before that if I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t, I’ll take being damned with the mone…, but yes, I was being a little flip. I’m not foolish enough to think that means that […]

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