5 things I pay more for…

Ok, in all fairness there are some things that I pay more for than I really need to. I don’t get the rock bottom cheapest version of everything so here are a few things that I will pay more for.

Syrup: In the past, I bought the cheapest syrup the store had to offer. In an effort to eat better, I switched our family to real maple syrup. I will admit that it took some time to get used to the flavor (it seemed too mapley for me) but now that I am converted, it’s the only way to go. The upsides are that you use a lot less syrup so it goes a lot further. The downsides are the price and the fact that my kids don’t like it. I am able to get fake syrup, which is really just maple flavored corn syrup, for free or almost free most of the time and real maple syrup cost around $6 a bottle for store brand. I do still pick up a bottle of fake syrup for the kids but they eat so little of it that I don’t worry over it.

Tires: Safety is very important to me, so I am willing to pay more for tires if it is a safety issue. John is actually the buyer of tires in our household and I trust his judgement. When he tells me it is time for tires or which ones to buy, that is what we go with. I normally can find a coupon for our local car repair center that atleast makes them cheaper than paying full retail price.

Computers: Ok, this one is a brand preference issue. We are a Mac family even though they are more expensive than comparable Windows computers. I waited over 2 years to get my current MacBook Pro when I could have gotten a new Windows laptop a lot sooner. I just prefer the Mac interface and will pay more and/or wait longer to get it.

Dog Food: In the past, we bought our dog the cheapest dog food available, which tended to be the Walmart brand. But, our experience has shown that if you buy a better dog food, you end up with less doggy waste which is worth it in my book. We feed Barkley Blue Buffalo dog food and he seems to process it better and eat less of it so in the end it is worth it to us.

I guess I am cheaper than I thought, since I could only come up with 4 things that I pay more for than needed. There are times when you have to make a choice in favor of healthy, safety or preference even if it costs you more than what you could get.

What are some things that you pay more for?

Making cuts….literally

Ok, how far will you go to save money? Will you cut the cable? Will you cut out the eating out? Will you let your husband cut your hair?

Ok, most people will go for the first two options but cringe at the third option. Once upon a time, that might have been me but not anymore. Last night I ventured into a new frontier…..I asked John to cut my hair. I know, I know – I can hear you gasping as I type that statement. I even know what you are thinking “WHAT?!?! You let your husband cut your hair? Are you crazy???”. No, not crazy, just tired of spending $50 to cut 1″ cut off my long one length hair. That to me is crazy. And it was not just about the money. It is also about the time it takes to go get a haircut, which it just torture to me. I put it right up there with clothes shopping – Ugh! So, I went and bought a $10 pair of hair cutting scissors and very nicely asked the love of my life to cut my hair.

Now, I know that not all marriage could survive such a task but I am blessed to have a husband who is very patient, kind, gentle and meticulous when it comes to taking on a task. I knew that by asking him, he would not only do it but do it right. And I have to admit, it is probably one of the best haircuts that I have had. He didn’t go all crazy and artistic, he simply cut off the amount that I asked him to.

My sweet hubby prepared for his task by watching a YouTube video on how to trim long one length hair. He had it down to a science and zipped right through it without any hesitation. So, here is a big shout out to him for his wonderful haircut. If he ever wants to change careers, I think he could make it as a hairdresser. Now, I wonder if I can convince him to put in a few highlights for summer?

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

I love garbage day. I love the fact that things that are cluttering our lives are moved out and room is made for the things that we need. I also love to see what my surrounding community puts out as their “trash”. I don’t intentionally drive around looking for good things in other people’s garbage but if I happen to spot something that is left out by the can, I am not too proud to stop and pick it up. I have gotten several good things this way with the latest being the hose reel pictured above.

I was just driving through my neighborhood the other day on my way home from the kid’s school and I happen to see this little beauty sitting out with the trash. From my perspective in the car, it looked as though nothing was wrong with it so I stopped to pick it up. We have not had a hose reel on our front yard hose in the 5 years that we have lived at our house. It is one of the things that I have wanted to have but just haven’t wanted to put the money toward. It is also on my list of things that I look for when I am out at yard sales but I had not seen exactly what I had wanted – until now.

I got this beauty home and quickly realized the problem – the connector from the hose reel to the faucet was slightly misshapen. I am not sure how it happened – it looked as though something rolled over it and just bent it but not enough to make it unrepairable. So, off I go to find John’s pliers and mold it back into shape. It only took a minute or two and I had it back to it’s original shape and ready to use. I wound the hose onto the reel and we were in business. It feels good to meet a need that our family has for no money and to keep something out of the landfill.

Does anyone else have a good find from the trash? I can’t wait for the next garbage day, it feels like a treasure hunt!