Tag Archives: Camille Johnson

A Scavenged & Salvaged Porch Makeover

By Camille Johnson

Broke In Columbia does a really great job of providing information about where to go, what to do, and who to see when your bank account isn’t exactly overflowing.

The only problem is that sometimes not only is my bank account not overflowing, sometimes it’s what experiencing what most would refer to as a drought. That’s right, bone dry. Whether it’s the day before the next paycheck is going to be deposited, the weeks following an unexpected big bill (oh hey, I’m talking to you, new water heater), or you just simply don’t feel like going out and socializing, sometimes home is the best (and cheapest) place to hang out.

As someone who’s go-go-go, I don’t feel like this often, but when I do, I turn into full-on hermit mode. Here’s the thing though, hanging out at home isn’t that exciting (if it is at your house, please invite me over, I’ll bring snacks) and doesn’t always feel like something special, and it doesn’t have to feel like that. Making a place to hang out at home doesn’t have to be expensive (at all!) and goes a long way in making those homebound hermit days feel a little more special.

My way of doing this involves a $3 can of spray paint, patio furniture found in the trash, and whatever snacks I can buy at the dollar store with the change found in my car’s drink holders! I work downtown and in May all of the USC students pack up and move out of various apartments, houses, and dorms, leaving behind a slew of furniture in the garbage piles.

Sometimes these left behind pieces need to be trashed (better yet, burned), but sometimes you can find a diamond (or three!) in the rough. I found some dirty plastic patio chairs and a filthy plastic side table while running errands on my lunch break, and they were like this, but a bit dirtier. (I did not take a picture of the exact ones because it was lunchtime traffic and people were already honking…oops.)

Eh...Close enough!
Eh…Close enough!

I took my treasures home that afternoon and hosed them down after scrubbing them with a sponge, dish soap and bleach and let them dry (in Columbia heat that took all of fifteen minutes). I always have various paints, etc in my utility room, so I found what seemed like the fullest can and got to spraying (I didn’t sand or prime, just made sure all the pieces were completely dry). This paint sprays and covers really easily and is between $3 and $4, so it’s completely affordable too.



I was able to spray and cover both chairs and the table with just one can, but I’d recommend getting two cans, so you don’t have to stop in the middle of a project. (Later on I realized I did miss a tiny spot on the back of one of the chairs, but no one’s going to see it, so who really cares!)

I let the paint dry and cure for about three days under the carport (of course it monsooned during some of the days but it didn’t affect the paint at all) and now I have a pretty little place to sit, people watch, drink, read, do other hermit-y things on days I can’t afford to or don’t want to go out!

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$2 Tuesdays at Pizza Joint

By Camille Johnson

Hey Y’all! I’m new to the blog Broke In Columbia, but I’ve been broke in Columbia for a good long while. Since becoming a self-dependent (i.e. no one’s helping me pay for all the fun stuff now…WAH!) adult, I am constantly on the hunt for fun things to do (and if I’m being honest, most of the time this means eating or drinking) that don’t take up too much of my meager teacher’s salary.

One of the best ways to turn around a long school day is by heading to Pizza Joint on Tuesdays.  Pizza Joint (3246 Forest Drive) has $2 pints and slices every. single. Tuesday.  Tuesdays are normally pretty packed from 7pm onward, but if you get in before then, there’s hardly any wait. Even after 7, it generally only takes 15 minutes or so before getting seated. The pizza might take a little bit,  just because of the sheer number of people in the restaurant, but the pints come out quick!


Their specialty slices are the ones that are $2, and I have tried all of them, and they are all delicious. As in, so delicious that it normally takes everyone at the table 15 years* (actually seconds, but when you’re hungry it feels like years) to decide on what slices to get. There is a meat lover’s option, a vegetarian option, and everything in between. They are also extremely accommodating in taking off ingredients to make your slice exactly how you want it. These slices are HUGE, and about the size of two “normal” slices of pizza from other places, so one slice is typically enough (but let’s be serious, I’ve had two slices plenty of times, no judgment here!).

After choosing your slice, it’s time to choose your pint. There are typically between 16-25 beers to choose from, with everything from high-gravity beers to Woodchuck ciders. Certain beers (especially the high-gravity-can’t-believe-they-re-only-two-dollars-ones) run out quick, so it doesn’t hurt to get their early! The outdoor patio is awesome, especially for people watching, when the weather is nice, and the inside is has plenty of 6+ top tables in order for everyone from your work to be able to pack in at one table after a long day of work. The staff is super fast-moving but always friendly!


Need to unwind from an awful Tuesday (the worst day of the week in my opinion, it’s SO far from the weekend!) and celebrate that you’ve almost made it to Hump Day? Meet me at Pizza Joint. First round’s on me. (Don’t get too excited, I can only do that when your first round is only costing me $2!)