No Post Day | The Last Twenty

copyright banner salted photo header



I barely managed to find enough quarters to put together twenty bucks for food today. Being so tired over the past few months has led to some lapses in judgement, including spending most of my disability cheque before the first week of this month was over.

So this month I had to roll quarters so I could feed myself… for the past week it’s mostly meant cereal, and bacon and egg sandwiches.

Having no money at the end of the month is nothing new for me, for most of the 1990’s I was almost always searching for coins and rolling tobacco from old cigarettes by the tenth of the month. It just hasn’t happened often over the past few years.

But it sucks just as hard as I remember.

I probably have a hundred dollars in nickels, pennies and dimes left over in various jars and cans, but they’re a pain in the ass to roll, plus it takes forever to roll enough so it makes sense to take a trip to the bank.

Grocery stores hate pennies, so there were a few times when I ended up in line at the bank with eight rolls of pennies in my hand. That’s four dollars. Back then I think it would have gotten me a loaf of white bread and four cans of tuna, which would have lasted three days.

Thankfully I only need enough food to last me until Thursday, when my federal disability cheque ends up in my mailbox. So now I’ve got three apples, a tomato, a loaf of whole wheat bread, four hamburger patties, eight generic oatmeal cookies, blueberry yogurt, 1L of 1% milk, 2 cans of V8, and 2L of Diet Pepsi.

A veritable feast.

But I had to fight against the urge to order out for General Tzo’s chicken and some Hunan Beef. It would have meant dropping some nickels and dimes into the delivery dude’s hand, but totally worth it.

I probably would have if my cheque was coming tomorrow, but two full days plus the general uncertainty of receiving government cheques on time, was just too much to risk.


So my questions for this sacred No Post Day are:

1. When was the last time you were holding your last $20? (re: “holy shit, I’ve only got $20 left until pay day?!!”)

2. What’s the most money, in coins, you’ve brought into a bank?

Bonus points if you’ve got a recipe for something that costs less than $20, but there has to be enough to last three days, or six meals. Extra special bonus points if you come over and cook it…




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, No Post Day, Poverty. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to No Post Day | The Last Twenty

  1. Soire says:

    I paid to repair a tire and the oven last week, and that left me with $25 until payday.

    The most money in coins was … $76.50 – I was waitressing, and that was my coins from the night.

    Under $20 recipie:

    – 1 doz eggs, boiled hard * can be made devilled, or into egg salad with bag of salad.

    – Club pack of pork chops on last day sale, plus 1 can cream mushroom soup, 1 can mushrooms, and 1 box of minute rice = Pork and Mushroom Rice.
    – 1 bag fresh baby spinach, 2lb ground beef, small pkg cheese = – The onion and garlic are optional if you don’t have them.

    I buy a fair amount of last day meat, and throw it right in my freezer until I’m ready to cook it.

  2. markps2 says:

    1. When was the last time you were holding your last $20?
    This month . It was a bad month due to the cost of my legal pursuit of revenge on my former landlord.

    2. What’s the most money, in coins, you’ve brought into a bank?
    I never accumulate coins. Spent on washing machines or to pay to ride the bus . At the casheer checkout I make everyone wait while I find 4 pennies or whatever, so I get silver coins back.
    In some stores I have seen machines where you can dump in all your jars of change into. I don’t know what the machines put out afterwards, cash or a voucher to buy stuff in THAT store.

  3. thordora says:

    It’s been a long time since I haven’t had the household credit line to lean on-but without it, I’d constantly be there. I’m terrified that will happen now with kids-when it was just me, I didn’t mind the ramen and peppers, but with kids, that feels like…the lowest place or something…always cognizant of food groups I.

    Something I make that’s pretty cheap, and for one person can stretch with a loaf of bread-

    1 or two chicken breasts or thighs, in inch pieces, browned

    Dice 3 or 4 potatoes into cubes, chop a medium onion and throw this in the pan, saute until the onions do that glisteny thing. (You can throw garlic in too, but I just use the garlic salt on this one.)

    Toss a can of cream of chicken/mushroom/celery/whatever you have in the pan. Add stock or water until pretty liquid (gotta cook those potatoes, and some noodles too) Throw milk or cream in as well.

    Add garlic salt, and pepper to taste. I like lots of both.

    Simmer until about 3/4 liquid is gone and potatoes have achieved deliciousness. Then add about half a bag of egg noodles, boil til soft.

    VOila. Tasty, especially in winter, and you should get a few meals from it. I make it bigger when need be, and frankly, I prefer it when using one breast. I like it with less meat.

    Also have a fab vegan shepard pie that’s SUPER cheap and filling, if you like that sorta thing. Aside from grating carrots, not much work.

    I don’t keep coin, but last time I emptied Vivian’s piggybank (where mine goes) there was 37.00. I couldn’t believe it.

    Do you have a slowcooker? Totally cheap. And I second the last day meat sale. I make a habit of going on Tuesday afternoons when I can beat the old ladies to the sale steak. 😛

  4. Gabriel... says:

    Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage… the cutline for the photo was modified slightly from Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins — “The world is a vampire, sent to drain…”.

    If anyone wants a kittie my girlfriend has four — two orange and two tabby — she’s giving away. The orange ones are almost pink, and the white part of the tabby’s has an orange tint.

    Thanks for the recipes. Cheque day actually came early this month because this Monday is a provincial holiday. So the day I wrote this I actually had a cheque for $551 in my post box. But I didn’t know.

    But since then it’s been non-stop banana muffins, orange juice, humus, apples and oranges.

    Hi Mark… those machines usually charge a percentage of the money you dump into them. It’s usually two or three percent. The machine spits out a receipt, which you give to the store person who has to give you the cash. But check with the cashier just to make sure.

    Ten years ago I brought a couple of small bags — about the size of a Crown Royal bag — and a cookie tin of change to see how the machine worked, and I walked out with $140.

  5. SwirlyAura says:

    In college I used to give plasma regularly when my check ran out. Turned out to be a pretty cheap way to get a buzz as well.

    After I left abusive-ex-fiance-who-ran-up-my-credit, I had no money. I was working social work with at-risk youth and social work doesn’t pay shit. I crawled back to my parent’s house with my tail between my legs.

    Ummmm…spaghetti and meatballs.
    –1lb beef (i like to cut half and half with sage sausage)
    –1 sm onion
    –2 eggs
    –plain breadcrumbs (1/2c in them and another 1/2c to roll meatballs in)
    –1/2c olive oil
    –spaghetti sauce (i get a cheap can and spice up with some onions and mushrooms)

    Combine meatball ingredients, frm into 1-in balls) and brown in pan on stove w/oil (could bake as well for healthier eating and less taste:)…)

    Cook sauce and spaghetti (sautee mushrooms and onions if using in sauce before adding).

    This should make a lot of meatballs….i freeze some before cooking so that I have meatballs to use at a later date.

  6. SwirlyAura says:

    forgot to add pasta to ingredient list….der

  7. Melanie says:

    Love the kitty shot! Glad to hear I don’t need to drop by with left over sheppard’s pie. Take care…

  8. bats0711 says:

    1. When was the last time you were holding your last $20? (re: “holy shit, I’ve only got $20 left until pay day?!!”)

    As a matter of fact TODAY! Pay day for us, since I don’t work but hubby does is when he is able to sell something, he works off straight commission and well nobody has the money to buy anything at the moment; although I do wonder about all those families at Walmart buying big screens.

    2. What’s the most money, in coins, you’ve brought into a bank?

    As embarressing as it was for me and stressful for the bank teller, I had to pay my electric a few months ago or we’d be stuck without it so had to turn in about $ 500 worth. But well it’s money and they are the bank. HA!

  9. The coin machines around here charge closer to 9%. Bit rich for my blood.

  10. exactscience says:


    I have been left holding my last $20 way too often for my liking. The last time it happened though was about May this year when a banking mix-up meant I paid more money than I should.
    It sucks but I am kinda resigned to it for the time being.

    I have never taken a lot of change to a bank but I did manage to get $40 from a change counting machine. I took right months worth of change.

    As for meals. Nothing special. Cheap crunchy veg and then some flour and water/cheap lager made into a loose batter and you’ve got yourself some tempura-which is cheap. Have it with some miso soup and you’ve got a meal going. I’d reckon you’d get two days worth of good eating for $20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s