Let me count the ways...

Posted April 24th, 2006 by Penny Wise

Am happy to say I survived Saturday night’s gathering – and so did my bank balance! There was enough food to feed an army (I haven’t had to cook dinner since!), my new French Onion Chicken recipe from the Vault went down a treat (it really does smell delicious while cooking in the crock pot, just as the lady says) and the kids happily guzzled their way through six litres of watered down orange juice without batting an eyelid. Best of all, there wasn’t even much mess to clean up when everyone had gone – what a bonus! My little homeopathic first aid kit ended up being an unexpected topic through the evening and was used on several guests, all of whom were surprised at the results. Maxine was keen to give it a go first to try and ease the painful neuralgia she had been suffering from for several days. A nurse herself, I thought she would take some convincing – especially when I joked that the remedy I was about to give her looked and sounded a lot like garden fertiliser, but she had got to the stage where she would give anything a go to try and fix the problem. Before she took her homeopathic dose, she had been taking Panadol every four hours for relief. Even she was amazed how fast the remedy worked and rang me the next day to tell me that she couldn’t believe how good she was feeling and hadn’t had to take any painkillers since! Another guest had laryngitis and had barely any voice to socialise with, so once again I consulted my little book and found her a suitable remedy, which certainly seemed to help her last out the evening. Next up was my Mum, who had been suffering from digestive complaints for four days and was really feeling grotty. It took her less than 10 minutes from the first dose to feel the effects and the second dose sorted her out completely. It’s amazing to watch the remedies at work! What with the guests dabbling in homeopathy and poring over my Destitute Gourmet books, it turned out to be quite a Simple Savings themed party!

Hard on the heels of celebrating my super low cost party, the TV decided to pack in. At least this time I knew what to do when buying a new one – the same method which saved me hundreds on buying a new aquarium last year! I went to the Vault and found Rob McGlinn’s hint entitled ‘Shortcut to the lowest price’ and followed his instructions to print out and fax a detailed quote request to various companies for the television models and sizes I was interested in. It didn’t take long for the faxes to come back with the completed quotes, and what a difference there was in price. It was just a bit inconvenient that the best prices were also the furthest stores away from us. We already thought we had made a decision on the best price and model and were about to set off on the hour long drive, when Noel found details of another store special on the same model in the newspaper – the same TV was $200 cheaper still! Remembering another Simple Savings tip, I had an idea. ‘Why don’t we go to our local store first and see if they will match this price? If they do, we won’t have to drive any further!’ Noel thought it was a good idea, so off we went to our local branch 20 minutes away. We were super polite and friendly and sure enough, they agreed to match the price – but only if we had brought the newspaper with us for proof. Noel groaned, he hadn’t thought of that – but I had! The deal was done and using Rob’s fax hint and the newspaper, we managed to save a total of $398 on our new widescreen television. On top of this, the TV wouldn’t fit in our car with all the family in it, so the salesman offered free delivery and no sooner had we arrived home than the truck followed us up the drive with our new purchase!

Noel was pretty impressed at my purchasing savvy and once again we were thanking Simple Savings for saving us a lot of money. It just goes to show how much of a mark-up these companies make on their items. Imagine how many hundreds of dollars extra we needlessly fork out through not opening our mouths and simply coughing up? I realised that my Simple Savings subscription was nearly up and thought about all the ways that I had learned to save money in the last year. Apart from the $834 savings I had already made on the TV and aquarium thanks to Rob’s hint alone, I went around the house and listed all the items I had managed to save money on using my Simple Savings knowledge in the last year. Ahem, how long have you got?

Handwashing soap, toilet cleaners, floor cleaners, washing powder, fabric softener, Spray n’ Wipe, clothing, stain removers, dog food, paper, printer ink, picture frames, books, magazines, Internet providers, phone and mobile, power and water, paint, plants, garden ornaments, petrol, toys, games, doctors bills, medicine, exercise equipment, gym memberships, videos, shoes, dishwasher powder, washing up liquid, rubbish bags, dumping costs, vet bills, entertainment, takeaway food, shampoo, conditioner, hiring a builder, plants, potting mix, decorating, storage solutions, impulse buys, make-up, perfume, school holidays, family activities, eating out, supermarket shopping, professional cleaning services, calendars, bank fees, Christmas and birthday gifts, greeting cards, wrapping paper, special occasions - the list goes on and on, not to mention the savings of at LEAST $100 a month I have learned to save on food and drink and I’m sure I have forgotten heaps more things. Most of all, the countless times I have trained myself to say ‘NO’ and put things back or not pick them up in the first place. My year’s worth of savings has run well into the thousands. A pretty significant profit on the cost of a Vault membership, don’t you think? At only $17 to renew I’m aiming for an even bigger saving next year!

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