Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do the little things add up?

Sometimes I feel as if the little things I do to save money are getting us nowhere. Using manufacturer's coupons seem to save an average of roughly $5.00 per trip to the grocery store. I think I could up that by shopping among different stores, especially for health and beauty products, but that's tough to do right now with the girls.

I love, and I mean LOVE being thrifty. I'm really proud of my role in saving our family money. But I kind of want more bang for my buck (pun intended).

Our car is paid off and has $62K miles and as much as I want and lust after a mini-van, I just don't want to take on the car payment necessary to get it. I don't even like riding in other people's mini-vans because they inspire such envy in me. We don't do any car-pooling so we don't really NEED one, but it would make life much easier at times. It's never had a tune-up, there's a slow leak in one tire, and so I figure that I can make a big impact by researching car care and staying on top of it.

Our washing machine also has a problem in that it isn't spinning the clothes properly so they are still sopping wet. I spent about an hour today on the internet researching what the problem could be and how to fix it. I know to have a repairman fix it would be about $350, so I figured that even if I break it trying to fix it, it's worth the try. David helped me pull out the machine and I sat down on the basement floor with my wrench set to try and take off the rear drain pipe to check for a clog. Well, I couldn't see what I wanted to, so I was going to have to take out the interior wash drum. Still, I was up for a challenge and valiantly forged ahead until we realized that we were missing the proper size hex screw bit (but we had 8 other sizes - all wrong!) So, $350 it will be.

I would hope that at his point that we would have an additional $1000 or so in the bank from all my savings efforts. It's just so hard to quantify, so I guess I'll just have to be proud of my good efforts!


Rachel et Natalie said...

I'm very impressed really.
Now I know whom to call for technical problems.

Laurie said...

I know what you mean about the conservation efforts. Sometimes with coupons, I'm sure I end up buying stuff that I wouldn't have purchased at all so the coupon actually cost me money. Now I only go by my list. And at home, I used to feel so good about washing all dishes by hand...until I was told that I was probably wasting more with the hand washing water than the washing machine+energy to run the machine. Great job on all your efforts!

Elaine said...

I used to think they added up, and sometimes I still do, but mostly I agree with Ed that the energy spent isn't worth it. However, if I get a parking ticket (or some other stupid expense that I should not have gotten), I make a point of riding my bike to work enough days that the savings from my metro ride offsets the cost of the ticket. Is that ridiculous or what?!?

Silvia said...

I'm super impressed with you and the washing machine!! I don;t think I;d even recognize the parts you referenced.

AwwwTrouble said...

If you decide that you want to try again with the washer, I may have a hex bit that fits. We have this happen occasionally, and it was because the clothes load got out of balance in the drum. Does it do it consistently? - Rich

Rachel et Natalie said...

whaow, it is great to have a guy among the moms. We get extra technical tips too
This group is too great

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