Best laid plans...

Posted November 26th, 2005 by Penny Wise

It's all very well leading a frugal example, but I do wish the rest of the family would follow suit. Take yesterday - the weather has been so foul since setting foot back in NZ that we decided the perfect way to spend yet another rainy afternoon was to take the boys on a 'mystery tour', which turned out to be going to the new Harry Potter movie. I was determined to make this as low cost an event as possible and had prepared well in advance, cooking up bags of home made popcorn, making up bottles of cordial and even making sandwiches and snacks for the hour-long journey home. The movie was fantastic - who was to know that once we had ventured back into broad daylight we would find a parking ticket stuck to our windscreen demanding we pay a $21 penalty? We had been parked for almost three hours in a 30 minute parking zone, not realising that the parking meters in the city still operated on Saturdays.

Never mind, I commiserated with Noel; at least we saved heaps on not having to buy munchies at the cinema, thanks to my careful preparations. How was I to know that he would soon send this logic out the window when he turned in at the nearest KFC? Yes, we may not have had KFC for ages, but it soon added another $29 on to our outing, resulting in a grand total of $50 unnecessary expense at the end of the day. I was gutted to be honest after all my efforts to keep costs down!

At least I have managed to chalk up another few savings on the board for the week in other ways. I am proud to say I saved on calling a plumber out by fixing my own dishwasher, which has been playing up for months. In what Noel would call a 'hissy fit', I decided enough was enough. I was sick of removing so-called 'clean' dishes from the dishwasher that came out looking ten times worse than when they went in. I had tried all the cleaning hints from the Vault but the problem was bigger than that. Even Noel had tried tinkering with it but to no avail. In the end, I decided I had nothing to lose and took the whole darn thing apart, bit by bit and cleaned every last thingummy-wotsit. I had no idea what I was doing but figured nothing could make it run worse than it already was, and my gamble paid off! Now I can't wait to unload my dishwasher so I can marvel at its sparkling glassware and dinner-free plates, courtesy of yours truly. To think I almost paid $80 just to call a plumber out to do what I did! Unfortunately I'm still going to have to call him out anyway, as the upstairs shower has once again started leaking through its little trapdoor in the ceiling and dripping puddles on the kitchen floor below. How reassuring. As this will be the third time in two and a half years that this has occurred, I think it may be time to look for a different plumber - or do you think I should give it a go myself, being a dishwasher expert and all?!

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