Mysteries Solved & Frugal Purchase

We are exhausted! The past few weeks have been a marathon of travel, errands, going through the storage unit, helping people move, visiting family and friends, etc. Monday was the same. More errands and then went back to Sarah's for dinner and fun with the family.

Tuesday we finally connected with the repairman that had been recommended to us by the insurance adjuster to fix the damage on our slide. Happily, he wasn't nearly as far away as we'd thought - only 30 miles. He's pretty sure he can fix it but is having to research to see what he can do about 1 particular part. The manufacturer of our unit (2000 Fleetwood Prowler 5th wheel) is out of business. He'll call in a couple of days to tell us what he's found and set an appointment to fix it. He'll have to have it a week so we're debating on using the allowance for housing from the insurance company or just staying with Seth and Corinne.

We stopped at Hometown Buffet on Bald Hill Road in Warwick on our way home for lunch. In the same plaza is a Harbor Freight store so, of course, Mike had to go in and drool over the mini-lathes. He's really wanting one so he can turn things as we travel; needs to keep his hand in woodworking. I keep watching Craigslist for a good used one but so far no luck. Found just what he wanted on the Craigslist here but we've tried both calling and emailing with no response so assume it's been sold.

While we were in Harbor Freight, I checked to see what they had for space heaters. We have two 30 gal propane tanks in our rig; both were empty Tuesday morning. It was COLD in here! We've been getting up in the morning to temps in the 40's with clouds and drizzle. But running the propane furnace a lot is going to be expensive due to the lack of insulation in the walls. Electricity is cheaper. We found a rotating tower ceramic heater for $50 but decided to look around a bit more first.

On the way home Mike was complaining that he was soooo tired. He said, "There must be something wrong with me." I laughed and told him to think back to what we'd been doing the last few weeks that we hadn't recuperated from. So, yesterday was a 'do nothing' day. We read, did a little work on the computer, made French Onion Soup (recipe is on this site), napped, just generally took it easy. Hoping that today will be as easy - although we do have to do laundry somewhere.

Last night was Bible Class night. The hall is right down the street from a Wal-Mart so we went there first. Mike needed a new battery in his watch. While he was doing that, I decided to check on space heaters. Because of the season, they were nearly out but what they had left had been marked way down. Ended up buying one for $9! Good frugal buy! It will do the job nicely and be cheaper to run than the furnace. If we have another day like Tuesday, we'll close the door to the bedroom area and just heat the living space where we are.

Bible Class made me smile last night. It was on materialism and how we shouldn't make 'stuff' our focus (God and His Ways should be our focus). We need to ask ourselves before we buy something, "Do I really need this or do I just want it?" This world really works at convincing us we should have something because "you deserve it". We, ourselves, actively work at justifying things we want. We end up encumbered with things we really don't need. Stop and think about it...People's homes are bulging with 'stuff'. Self-storage unit facilities are booming because people can't store all their possessions in their homes anymore.

We got rid of all our credit cards about 7 years ago and don't miss them at all. Paying cash for everything really makes you put things in perspective when making a purchase. We have a debit card on our checking account that can be used as a credit card if need be but it still comes directly out of our checking account. (BTW, the checking account is free because of our age.)

We're not as prone to buying brand new if a good used item can be found instead. Craigslist has become a great resource. Have found lots and lots of good deals, as well as selling a lot on that list. Freecycle and it's sister Cafelist are great for both finding and getting rid of stuff. When I do have to buy something 'new', I do my research first and then check eBay and Amazon, etc. Even with shipping (lots of times it's free shipping), I do better than buying locally. I know, I know, it's good to help the local businessman. But anymore it's big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc., that's carrying the item I'm looking for so if I can buy it online cheaper, I don't feel guilty. After all, it's *my* pennies we're talking about.

Mike and I have gotten rid of a lot of 'stuff' since the first of the year. I can't speak for Mike but for myself it has been liberating. Yes, there were a few things that made me sad watching them go out the door. But it was purely sentimental reasons in all cases and I quickly got over it. In the end a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Yes, we've still filled 2 small storage units with 'stuff'. The plan is to go back to Missouri in the Fall and have a joint yard sale with friends to get rid of more. Hopefully, all we'll be left with is some things that will come in handy down the road if the economy completely tanks and we end up in a stick home of some sort. Trying to be very practical when deciding what to keep.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout


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