Thursday, April 02, 2009

Can you grate your own cheese?

Grated Cheese

I dutifully answered my banker's call from the other day asking if I was interested in some of their products. Yes of course I'd be interested in a better mortgage rate (but thought mine was fine already), however going from the security of a long time corporate job to consulting where the annual income nor hours are clearly defined made me think that it may not be the best time to change the mix. However, I called anyway. What! I can save nearly $500 a month and still have a 30-year fixed?! No points, and closing fees that will be equivalent to less than the savings of three months of the new rate. How do I get on this train? Oh, you just provide your tax returns for the past and estimate current income? Well that's doable. So I found myself locking in rate that seems fantastically good for me, and now having a 60 day period while they go through the steps.

Which means I would like to make my records squeaky clean, so although I pay my credit card balance in full every month, I want it to look as low as possible whenever the loan officer looks at the balance. So beyond now having CSA box items to creatively cook with every week, I am looking to reduce the outflow of money to a trickle to have all look sparkly for the loan officer.

Translate: Fewer restaurant meals, more home cooking! I'm not abandoning my quest to enjoy a meal at every restaurant in Marin (a goal to which I'm actually pretty close), I'm definitely going to be reducing the number of meals out for the next 60 days. And have some fun seeing where I can economize.

Case in point. I bought a block of Organic Mild Cheddar Cheese at the Grocery Outlet for $2.49 a pound. For a long time I've been buying pre-grated cheese at Safeway for the convenience. I checked on the savings for a little elbow grease - ON SALE grated organic mild cheddar cheese (O Organics) is currently running $8 a pound (ungrated it is $7.04/lb.). I win!

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