Thursday, August 11, 2011

Frugal decisions -

Frugal Decision #1

Two months past the one year warranty (NOT frugal), I make a long overdue call to the appliance store to say our "new" dryer isn't drying very well. She suggests prior to sending a technician for an $85 trip charge, I disconnect the dryer from the vent system and try one load of towels. So I do, and sure enough, rather than needing two and a half full cycles, all six towels are dry in 50 minutes. So I look into the vent system as best I can, where it curves into the wall, stick my hand in and feel a LOT of lint.

Next I look for vent cleaning services, and up pops "Vent cleaning scams", so I check the local listings for good reviews and find one that got 28 positive reviews and no negative. They charge $179 to clean the dryer vents, sounds pricey, but they got good reviews, and my dryer vent goes all the way under the family room, has three 90 degree angles, is almost 20 feet long and I know hasn't been cleaned in at least the decade we've lived here.

The tech comes and can't get his "magic wand" through. He has to take apart each piece of the pipe work (ripping off the duct tape), and shows me it's so clogged with wet lint (stinky too) that barely a pen could fit through the middle. He completely empties the entire line - almost three grocery bags full of wet lint, puts it all back together and my dryer is working great. Lesson learned, and I think, money well spent as I wouldn't have been comfortable taking apart all that tubing.

Frugal Decision #2 -

Kai's training wheels, which I'd gotten for 50 cents at a garage sale, finally gave way. We bought another set for $10, and they lasted all of about a week before bending when he hit a curb. A person recommended a bike shop that I think of as pretty expensive (think Trek bikes) to see if they could help. I went and asked the tech and he said they had a pair they'd taken off another bike that I could have for free and would just have to pay the $10 installation fee. Happy to do so, this new pair, as he showed me, was almost three times thicker metal than the first.

Frugal Decision #3 -

We're biking almost everywhere. Cheaper than gas, better for the environment, and makes for healthier mom and kids;-).

Frugal Decision #4 -

Working in spare moments, I'm finally making some progress on the book. Today I set the timer for one hour and told Kai if he played quietly for an hour, we would go to the lake. He found some dinosaurs and I was able to get in some writing and sketch out a scene. So happy all around.

Frugal Decision #5 -

Staying at home a lot more this summer and really enjoying our pretty home, yard, and neighborhood as well as the local parks, beaches, lakes, and neighborhoods.

Frugal Decision #6 -

Having too many times missed opportunities to get something I needed because I forgot, I now keep a list in the car of stuff we need, and errands that need to be run. I used to keep this list on the refrigerator door (I still keep the grocery list posted so the minute the butter is out it's on the list) but I find glancing at is as I'm about to run to the library and see "need nails for picture for Living Room" is all I need to be way more efficient.

Good wishes!

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