Saving Money : even when you have to spend it / & they don’t make ’em like they used to

I don’t have a lot of luck in regards to stoves ( in this decade. ) When I moved here I brought my old stove and had to pay someone to come and hook it up. ( Gas )

Two years down the line, on Christmas Eve, it stopped working. I was beside myself because I host Christmas and I had no extra money.  And I had to cook!! My oldest son did have some extra money at the time and offered to go halves. I had to enlist a neighbor and his truck, and my brother-in-law for hookup, and we had to go buy whatever stove was available in the store at Lowes on Christmas Eve. I started a charge and got one of those interest free deals so given that I only had to pay for half of it, it was paid off in a few months.

I chose a black Frigidaire and some nine years later it’s already going out the door. They don’t make appliances like they used to, do they.

Early Style Wedgewood

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So there I was back at Lowes the other day for a stove again! I’d checked out stoves and prices online and went there for one that was on sale. Looking at my old Whirlpool refrigerator that is rusting out ( can you say ‘chippy / shabby refrigerator? :)  but still running, I thought “HMM…maybe I’ll go with the Whirlpool that is on sale / not too fond of the Frigidaire brand at this moment! ”

The Whirlpool was marked down 80.00 and with my preferred customer Lowe’s charge card I could bring it down 5% more to 406.00.   If you have not shopped for a stove lately do you realize that there are stoves selling for thousands of dollars? And WHY would anyone spend that since the lifespan is about 8 years nowadays? The saleslady at Lowe’s confirmed this lifespan to me!  NOPE, they don’t make ’em like they used to…

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At that point I was offered a kit for hookup and an installation package. The kit was 30.00+ and the installation was 130.00.  IF you have a husband that would normally do this, fine. I do not. However there is no way that I was falling for this. For one thing, I already have a “Kit” on the back of my stove which could be disconnected from the old one. Furthermore, I intended to ask my brother-in-law to disconnect the current stove, and then if he was not available to connect, I know that a local company would do this for far less.  I informed the person at Lowes that I knew that installation was necessary but that I also knew that they hired a contractor and then marked that up, so no thank you!

Sure enough, a local guy would hook up for 70.00….so that gives you an idea of the Lowes / Home Depot markups in regards to their installation fees.  I went through a similar scenario in the spring…I had laminate installed in my dining room.  I shopped both stores then made the one store meet the other’s match, and then I picked everything up at the store versus having it delivered and saved a lot of money that way.

( No I am not strong enough for that : They load it for you at the store and then you bake a pie and lure one your sons over to unload :)

My brother-in-law is someone that I only bother in dire emergencies…I try to keep my requests to him at a bare minimum. He unhooked my old stove for me and offered to come over to hook up the new one and save me the 70.00 …..He’s going to be off the day they deliver the new stove and running errands in this area. I am lucky in that regard, but even if he were not able to do that, I’d have saved money by not taking the Lowe’s installation package. So sometimes even when you have to spend money there are ways to save how much you spend.

( By the way, my Lowe’s card was declined and I had to reinstate it! Reason ? I’d not charged anything there for over 5 years! Yes I shop there…garden center mostly…but cash only ! I find it is good to save the charge cards for emergency and only for emergency :)

 

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Now of course, I am craving food that can only be baked in an oven or cooked on a stove and I’ll have to crave it for at least two more days :)  I guess that the stores do not keep as much inventory in stock any more as the stove that I purchased had to first be shipped from a central location and was not at the local Lowe’s ( aside from the floor model )

Oh I want to bake a pumpkin pie  right now….or how about some cookies. :) Fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, boiled broccoli, oven fried chicken, meatloaf with roasted potatoes, spaghetti noodles boiling away on the stove for pasta, sweet Italian sausage with peppers and onions….see what I mean ? :)  Suddenly I really appreciate stoves : ) It’ll be crockpot or microwave for a few days.

You might also enjoy : Grandmother’s Handwork : Embroidery  or  Sunday Special November / Thanksgiving  or Nothing Says Fall Like a Wooly Bear Caterpillar

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Glorious Fall Weather, Scenery, and “Slice of Life” Ongoing Yard Work Before Winter

Halloween was chilly, windy and rainy but did not deter the trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood. This was the first Halloween since my grandson was born, 4 years ago, that I did not have him, and a houseful of family & friends to entertain before and after trick-or-treat.  ( Dad was working and the mama took him & his older sister to another neighborhood with a girlfriend and her children. )

As we headed into November, while the wind remained, thankfully there was a period of milder weather with sunny skies…while short, it was much appreciated.

Sun and Lovely Clouds

Beautiful Clouds in Collage

What one would call a “glorious fall weather day” :)

scenes from glorious fall day

scenery collage

Country Collage

Uncle A place

We had our first heavy or ‘killing’ frost about a week ago. After that first one, my cleome, a few zinnias, and an odd flower here or there still hung on, and did so through the next night ( another 30 degree night ) as well. By the third day, they were all dead, but still, this sweet alyssum had hung on and was happily blooming on November 5th as well as the sedum.

sweet alyssum and sedum nov 1

The flowers on the porch ( marigolds etc ) are all still doing well. I love how these were capturing the morning light…

morning light on flower petals nov 1

Ongoing Yard work:

Time for some new shoes…the most comfortable in the world…

Time for new shoes

I never throw old shoes out…they get designated for yard work.

Here is a pile of cleaned old shoes ( cleaned of mud, grass and dog poo ) that will be re-used next year until they entirely fall apart. THEN they’ll get pitched.  Most of them are on their way but should last through a few more grass cuttings in the spring.

The yard work shoes

With this summer’s bountiful rain, my bushes have all grown immensely and each week I am trying to get some trimming done, enough to fill a few garbage cans for the weekly pickup.  This barberry bush is very pretty in the spring, throughout the summer, and into fall. It is producing little berries right now.  It also has horrible long thorns and is no fun to trim.

Prior to trimming :

Barberry Bush Prior to Trimming

Ouch, but afterwards two cans were full of the branches ( too sharp to PUSH down into the cans …so I had to use two of them. )  Did I manage to get a thorn, or two or three, stabbed into my fingers even with gloves on? You bet :)  Still,  it is such a lovely bush, with the variegated colors….pink, salmon, rose and burgundy in the spring and summer, and the vibrant red and orange in the fall, that it is worth the trouble.

The next morning when I went outside to get a picture of the squirrels I noticed this. Ooops! Can’t be good for the car…

Barberry Bush and Car

In the end I had another round of 5 garbage cans for the pickup…one regular garbage and the rest various trimmings and cleanup.  I am making headway but far from done. I do not think that I considered how much my bushes would grow when I purchased them years ago :)

You might also enjoy : Joy in Gardening : Sunflowers  or Pillow Covers : Jacobean Fabric  or Simple Meals Using Fresh Ingredients

 

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