Why I turned down Comcast cable, phone AND internet for $50 a month, but how you can get this deal!

We have been subscribers to Comcast for cable since we moved in, internet shortly thereafter.  We added phone service this past year.  At that  time we got what I thought was a great deal – $99 a month for six months.  That was less than I was paying for just cable and internet!  There was much rejoicing!

A few months ago that promotional rate ended, and I was in that icky place where we weren’t eligible for a promotional rate.  I had marked my calendar for the date when we could get a better rate again, and unhappily paid a bill that was $70  more per month.

When we decided to move I hoped we’d be able to move up our eligibility, given it was a new address.  I didn’t  really want to start a new account because our main email address is @Comcast, and it  would be a huge pain to change that.

I was in for a shock when I called Comcast.  They don’t serve the  city we’re moving to – the one about 10 miles west of where we are now.  Our new city is one of only two cities in our county that is not served by Comcast.  So, no new Comcast promo rate, no getting to keep our email addresses, no getting to keep our telephone number…

Ugh.

So it was with some trepidation that I contacted the cable company that serves the two lone wolf cities.  I was happily surprised to find out that we’ll have a few more channels, and we get the same $99 rate we used to have with Comcast.  And, we get that rate indefinitely.  So, I’ll be spending less again, for the foreseeable future.   Yay!!!

But what about that $50 rate in the title of this post?

Well.

I called Comcast the other day to cancel service, and though they attempted to talk me out of it they backed down when I explained that I would no longer be in a Comcast service area.  We scheduled the cancellation, made arrangements for the equipment  to be returned and that was that.  Or so I thought.

Yesterday there was a message on my machine from someone wanting to make me a special offer if I decided to keep Comcast.  Though keeping Comcast wasn’t  a possibility I didn’t ignore the call because I wanted to see what they would offer to entice me.  So I could share it with you.

You smart readers already know what the offer is.  $50 a month for cable, internet AND phone!!  For a year!!  I’m sure you also know how irked I am that I couldn’t get that rate to begin with.

But perhaps you can.  Perhaps you’d like to call and schedule a cancellation a few weeks away.  Perhaps you’ll get a call offering this super-dee-duper-doo-please-don’t-leave-us-or-the-stockholders-will-crap-a-brick rate, too.

Let me know if you get this great deal.  You can e-mail me at one of my all-new web based email addresses (I’m not going through changing main email addresses again.  Egad!).

And I shall save vicariously through you.

Frugal Lemon Leads to Frugal Lemonade

Frugal flops.  We’ve all had them, haven’t we?

I’ve probably had more than my fair share.   Mostly because I love a deal, and I’ve been known to overbuy a time or twelve.  Now that I am packing and reaching into every nook and cranny the sheer numbers of deals purchased and quickly forgotten are embarrassing.  I’ve filled an entire closet at the new house.  And I’m not done yet.

But this latest frugal lemon wasn’t about a deal, or overbuying.  In this case my eagerness and excitement spurred me to make a bad choice…

See, we’ve been planning to move since before Son was born.  As a result I never really decorated Son’s room the way I wanted to- though I wanted to desperately.  But why would I when we were about to move?  His furniture is my pre-marriage master bedroom furniture – whitewashed wicker.  Using the dresser as a changing table was a frugal choice that worked  perfectly well, and placing the full-sized bed in his room so guests would have a place to  sleep wasn’t a pretty choice, but who cared?  We were  moving! I did manage to put some picitures on the wall and an alphabet rug, but it wasn’t the room I’d dreamed to give him.  Not even close.

Well,  we didn’t move.  And then we didn’t  move.  And then we did not move.  For 4 and 3/4 years.

Now we finally are.  And now Son will have a room that’s just his, decorated for just him.  And I’m so frickin’ happy and excited about that.    A little too happy and excited…

I chose a really bright green paint for the room, but only put it on 1 wall.  I went to Ikea and chose curtains and accessories and built more new ideas.  With the paint I’ve spent about $100 so far.  Woo hoo!

The furniture in his room now will go in the guest room at the new house, so I decided he needed a new dresser and a desk.  New to us, at least.  So I looked on Craigslist for a wood dresser and desk that I could paint either white or bright green or blue – I hadn’t decided yet.  And I saw something that could be perfect – it had a really nice whimsical shape – and it was only $40 for the dresser AND the desk.  And it came with a headboard with cubbies (which I didn’t need so I was either going to re-sell it or saw off the bottom and hang it on the wall as a shelf).

I went to go see it and was disappointed to see that it wasn’t in great shape.  The headboard was in fine, but the dresser was scratched quite a bit.  The desk had water damage at the bottom (water and fiberboard don’t mix) and the fiberboard top was worn away in one corner.

I hesitated, thinking about all of the work that would need to be done.  Then I said to myself, “Well, the scratches don’t matter because I’m going to sand it before I paint it.  And I can put molding at the bottom of the  desk and just attach some 1/4 inch plywood to the top of the desk and viola!  And it’s only $40 for all three peices!!!”

So, I bought it.  And when Husband saw it he was unhappy.  He said it was crap furniture  and that he’d do the work but not be happy about it.   I saw my vision for it in my head and was undeterred.

But he was right.  It was crap.  And it was going to take soooo much work to have it match my vision.

I began to have buyer’s remorse.  My overexcitement led me to a bad decision.  The furniture was CRAP!  What was I thinking???  It was a frugal lemon so big that it took up half my garage.

Oy.

I began to think about getting him a good piece of furniture.  Maybe even new.  I looked on Craiglist, I went to Ikea.

And I decided to get rid of the crap.

So I listed it on Craigslist.  And I sold it to someone else.  For $50.  Yes, that’s more than what I paid for it.

I still haven’t bought a dresser for Son.  But I’ve calmed down and decided to take my time. There’s no place for emotions in frugality and wise spending.

It was a good lesson.  And I paid myself $10 to learn it.  Not  bad.

Not bad at all…

Thank you, Craigslist advertiser!

Dear Craigslist advertiser,

I know you want to get rid of your stuff.  I know there are a brazilian listings in our area, so competition is fierce.   I understand that the furniture is at your estranged husband’s house and you need to get it out of there.

It’s true, I did call to inquire about your “Very nice! leather couch, loveseat, chair and ottoman in very good condition!”  I decided against going to see it, having reconsidered schlepping a half hour to see it, and spending $500 right now when we really could leave the living room mostly empty.

I appreciate you contacting me, telling me that you’ve reduced the price to $250.   I was planning to try and talk you down to $200, and was excited about the prospect of taking the furniture.  I was wondering how we’d get it to the new house. Your husband gave me excellent directions, and your in-laws met me at the door.

What I didn’t expect was the smell of cat that permeated the apartment.  See, I’m allergic to cats.  But I soldiered on into the garage, risking itchy, swollen eyes , in search of a great bargain.  Hey, bairgain shopping is not for the weak of heart…

I was shown the couch.  You remember your couch?  Are you sure?  The one with all of the tears in it that were not shown in the photos, or mentioned in the ad?

See, I don’t care that the loveseat, chair and ottoman are in perfect condition, and no, I don’t want to go into the other room to see them.    I wanted the entire set to be usable.  Silly me.

So I high-tailed it out of there, peeved that I’d wasted my time and gas money to go look at your furniture when if you’d been honest  in your ad I’d never have bothered.

But  I learned a few things:

1.  When buying furniture always ask if they own a cat. No sense in me buying a couch that will make my eyes swell shut.

2.  Ask if  there are any rips and/or tears or other damage to whatever I’m inquiring about. There’s a chance – however slim – that the ad placer will find it less easy to lie over the phone than in writing.

3.  Son apparently isn’t completely done with naps.  He fell asleep in the car on the way there.  Made my heart smile.

So thank you, Craiglist advertiser, for being such an asshat.

You expect me to post while I’m arranging a move???? Blasphemy!

I know, I know.  Not enough posting.  At least I hope you  think so!  I realized there’s lots of stuff I haven’t filled you in on, so here we go!

We’ve found renters! A nice couple has signed a lease and given a deposit.  They know we are first-time landlords and have told us that in future years we’ll remember them as the best tenants we’ve ever had.  From their mouths to G-d’s ears!

We have a moving date! In sixteen short days we will be moved to the new house, and the new tenants move in here a week later.  That means we’re packing, and Husband is rushing to get as much painted at the new house as possible.  I’m foregoing a Mother’s Day celebration to give him guilt-free time to paint.

I made a frugal decision. We need a kitchen table and chairs, and with brown tile floors I decided  that a wood table with antique white legs would work best.  I found one I really liked at a local chain store that would have set us back $1000.   Instead I found a similar table with 6 chairs on Craigslist for $200, and it included a hutch.  We picked it up tonight.    I’m not fond of the hutch, so I’ve listed it on Craigslist for $75.  If it sells for that I’ll have gotten the table and chairs for only $125.

I love Oops paint! If  you’re not already aware, Home Depot  and other retailers sell gallons of paint that others have selected and abandoned at a great discount – gallons go for only $5 – about 80% off the retail price! I found two cans of a very similar green in the Oops section , mixed them together and used  them to paint one of the guest rooms at the house.  It’s gorgeous!  I have enough left to do a hallway or perhaps a bathroom.  I love Oops paint!

Friends and family are very good to have. Our best friends have a printing business, and a 14 foot box truck.  They have offered it to us for the move, saving us $100 – $150.   Even though we want to have everything but the furniture already at the house by moving day, will we’ll likely still need to do two trips (only because of Husband’s train layout, which is very large, and very delicate. AND these wonderful friends (along with several other terrific friends and relatives) are  going to help us move.    That means the entire  move will cost us gas plus food and drinks for our crew.

So much to do.  So little time!!!!

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