And I like it.
I’ve tried to quit multiple times and the fact it, I enjoy the products. I know that makes me the devil or at least a terrible human being. And I’m perfectly ok with that. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t looked for ways to cut back for the sake of saving some money. In the last couple of years, I’ve managed to cut my tobacco spending in half!
I’m an outside smoker. And it was starting to get cold in the evenings. As someone who was working third shift at the time, I’m sure you can see the dilemma that I was facing. After almost 20 years of forcing myself out into the cold to get my nic fix, I decided it was time to make some adjustments.
Switching it up
The first thing that I did was move from a full flavored cigarette to an organic full flavored cigarette. It was pretty powerful. In fact, much stronger than the normal smoke. So I dropped down to the light version and that’s what I’ve been smoking for the last two years. The organic smokes don’t have the brand loyalty-inducing extra chemicals, so I was able to cut back naturally. Making this switch took me from a pack a day down to 12-15. Which is good, but not great.
I had dipped in college in an effort to curb my smoking. It worked for a while. I decided to give it another go. The colder it got the more dips I put in. I’m a single man so I don’t care about having tobacco on my breath or in my teeth. That’s not my concern. My only concern is how I’m going to get my next fix on the cheap.
Hi. My name is Matt. I’m a nicotine junkie.
And I don’t care
Shortly after I started dipping again, I noticed that my cigarette cravings were on the decline. So I decided to try something. It was just a theory. But it made sense in my head in that weird, junkie- justification kinda way.
What if I only smoked half a cigarette at a time?
That way I’d only be out in the cold for half the time I ordinarily would be. I fancied myself a clever boy as I decided to put this theory to the test.
It was a bit rough in the beginning. I found myself wanting to smoke entire cigarettes more often than not. Yet my resolve didn’t waiver. I found that I wanted an entire cigarette when I first woke up, while I was walking my dog, or while I was driving to work. I studied these instances, and myself. What was the key? The one when I first woke up was obvious. My body wanted nicotine on the fly. Being a proper junkie, I obliged my addiction upon waking every afternoon.
But the whole smoke while walking the dog and driving to work perplexed me a bit. Why was it so important for me to have the extra chemicals at those times? The answer was incredibly simple. And also, stupid. I discovered that I didn’t have a way to conveniently put the cigarette out. That’s why I continued to smoke it. How dumb is that?
What I did to fix it
As far as driving, I just stopped. I started leaving half a cigarette in a potted plant at work. LOL. As soon as I get out of my car, I marched over to the flower pot, yanked out the half a’ smoke, and downed it relatively fast. It took months for me to get to the point where I could do that. Breaking the smoking while driving habit was insanely hard. What really annoyed me is when some other broke nic junkie would find my half cig and decided to treat themselves. These people are lucky I never found out where they lived…
As far as Walking the dog, it just depends. If I’ve got half a cig laying around, I’ll take it. If not, I’ll smoke a whole one. Here’s where things get funny. I force myself to smoke it. That’s right. I get to the halfway point and I’m ready to put it out. Me, being the frugal waste-not type, continues puffing away.
I have even started tackling the morning urge to smoke. When the project started, I’d smoke half and I would put it out. Ten minutes later I was back outside to finish it. A few weeks went by, and it was about 15 minutes. Now I’m sitting at about half an hour. I know this seems like a very small hurdle, but if you’ve ever been a pack a day smoker, like I used to be, you know this is a huge deal. HHHHHUUUUUGGGGEEEE.
Well. I’m not really sure. I haven’t been keeping exact numbers. I have been buying cigarettes by the carton and dip by the log. I re-up roughly once a month. The cost is about $80 a month. As a pack a day smoker, I was spending roughly $150.
The craziest part
Buying tobacco once a month is saving me money on gas. Approximately $25 a month. I used to be one of those guys that would get in the car every day, drive to the store, purchase my fix, then drive back home. I never thought about it. Never realized just how much it was costing. Not until I went on the frugal warpath. The discovery was a complete accident, a good one, and yet another reason to continue down this road.
Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion.