If you work, go to school, or otherwise exist at all in the real world, you can find free pens. The only conceivable place you can’t successfully pilfer pens from would be the bank, where the assholes chain them to the counter. In retribution for this miserly practice, steal all their shitty lollipops instead.
My favorite thing in the world (besides windsurfing, making nachos and hypercompetitive foosball) is to survey the event flyers pinned to the bulletin board at the grocery store, honing in on the words “refreshments provided” like some kind of freeloading heat-seeking missile. Being a cheap little sleaze, I am of the opinion that if I can find greasy 12-cent shortbread cookies and hazardously bitter instant coffee prepared in a gurgling, rusted coffeemaker so old the Spanish conquistadors brought it over in the Elizabethan era, it would be foolish of me to ever buy my own.
3. Bottled water
First of all, do your research. By law, all tapwater in the United States must be maintained to be clean and safe to drink. But as with Taco Bell specials and movies starring Dakota Johnson, what is promised is not always provided. Make sure that the area you live in has safe water, and if it doesn’t, buy your water in containers no smaller than a gallon and carry around a reusable water bottle. This strategy has the added ego boost of feeling like you’re saving the planet (kinda). Mostly, though, it’s a good way to save money, which is undoubtedly more important to those of us with our priorities straight in life.
4. Moleskine notebooks
I’m a writer (*cries softly*). I’ve fallen prey to the appeal of a smartly bound, thick-paged, super-sleek, hipster-approved notebook. But it’s a trap, and you should back the fuck away from it and back yourself all the way out of Barnes and Noble and into K-Mart, because a $1.33 college-ruled ledger intended for a moody high schooler’s poetry binges will serve you just as well as an overpriced Italian product named after the skin of a hideous rodent.
Try this cool trick: Walk up to a group of friendly-looking smokers (this works best if you’re nonthreatening and/or pretty). Convince them to lend you a lighter, ostensibly to light your own (hopefully nonexistent) cigarette. As soon as you have it in hand, run like it’s middle-school gym class and the last one done with the mile has to do 50 burpies and roll up the wrestling mats. Actually, run faster than that. You now are the proud owner of a free lighter, and you can keep the 80 cents + tax you would’ve spent on a lighter from the drugstore. This tactic also holds the additional bonus of making you a lot of sketchy enemies.
6. Handheld fans
Unless you’re on a Caribbean cruise, these are not only unnecessarily embarrassing, but also ineffective. I’d like to see one of these things work better than waving a stack of grocery coupons in front of your face at a California farmers’ market in August. Also, if you’re on a Caribbean cruise, there is more at stake for you than your poor choice of personal air-conditioning appliances; a little classism and introspection is probably wise at this point.
7. Online data storage subscriptions
You do know this shit is free on Google, right? What the hell is wrong with you? Internet illiteracy makes young people like me simultaneously indignant, self-righteous and despairing for the future of the world, and universally turns us into hot fuzzy balls of frustration. It’s our version of the emotional torture inflicted upon an old person by the sight of the swaggy-pants punk kid on the corner.
8. Throw pillows
I understand the appeal of Pottery Barn catalogues, but there needs to be an understanding among the general populace that those houses don’t actually exist, and they really shouldn’t. Besides, the marital friction created by the presence of said pillows on every conceivable surface can be entirely avoided. Being basic and proud is one thing. Being a fucking weirdo is another, and if you have an excess of decorative pillows, that literally no one will ever use for any purpose whatsoever, I would find you to be the latter.
9. Beats by Dr. Dre
Go buy yourself a toolbox, because you belong inside one.
Do the words “public library” mean anything to you? Secure signals are only necessary if you sign onto unsecured pages; look for https:// instead of http:// at the front of every web address you look on, and you should be golden. If you still want to use secure WiFi, 9 out of 10 people use the password “dragonmaster123penis.” You’re welcome.