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View Full Version : Share your frugal victories and/or frugal flops


kfeuer
09-07-2005, 07:54 PM
I used to be on a frugal living board and this was always a great thread topic. Share your budget triumphs and setbacks (and especially any suggestions on fixing frugal flops). I'll start:

Frugal victory: Found Olay Total Defense moisturizer that normally sells for $13.99 on clearance for $3.49 at Walgreen's. After using manufacturer and Easy Saver coupons, got 2 bottles for $1 apiece :cool1: I was so happy because I love this moisturizer but am too cheap to pay anything near full price.

Frugal flop: My 4-year old needs major dental work, and they're going to have to sedate him to do it. We have dental insurance, but they're quoting me $491 for our share of the dental work PLUS $200 for every half hour of sedation--and they think it's going to take 2.5 hours...$200 X 5 = $1000! Plus, I'd have to pay it up front and then submit it to my insurance. I'm trying to figure out how much of that my insurance will cover. I'm also thinking about calling some other dentists. Is it just me, or does $1000 for dental sedation seem insane? Of course, this is not just nitrous oxide, it's heavy sedation, but still! I can't believe I have to fork over almost $1500 for teeth that will fall out in a couple of years!

barkley
09-07-2005, 08:43 PM
medical and/or dental costs have ceased to amaze me. my daughter was in the hospital for surgery. 1 day. the hospital bill (not the surgeon, anesthesioligist, pathologist bills-the bill separatly) over $45,000.00 :earseek: thank heaven i had insurance that paid for all with a $25.00 co-pay.

my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes

ReneeQ
09-07-2005, 09:12 PM
Kfeuer,
YES check with another dentist! That is INSANE! I am THE BIGGEST WIMP when it comes to anything dental. I am completely and totally terrified and cannot conquer it. So anytime I need something extensive done, I have IV sedation (which I am sure is what you are talking about). You are actually "awake" but have no memory of it. The medication is administered via IV and you are hooked up to a heart monitor, etc. A nurse trained in this procedure is with the patient the entire time.

I have had this done at my regular dentist's office and it was a flat fee of $250. This was just last year, so that's not an old price. It was not covered by my dental insurance, but was worth every penny for my peace of mind.

Also last year (it's been a bad couple of years!) I had a more extensive procedure done by an oral surgeon. Something my regular dentist couldn't do. They "only" charged a flat fee of $350 there for the IV sedation.

I've never been charged by the half hour. I would definitely check other dentists for prices.

Friendly Frog
09-07-2005, 09:15 PM
my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes

You are my Hero! :cheer2:

tazleiten12
09-07-2005, 09:25 PM
medical and/or dental costs have ceased to amaze me. my daughter was in the hospital for surgery. 1 day. the hospital bill (not the surgeon, anesthesioligist, pathologist bills-the bill separatly) over $45,000.00 :earseek: thank heaven i had insurance that paid for all with a $25.00 co-pay.

my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes

I love that story! :cool1:

travelbug
09-07-2005, 09:25 PM
my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibesThat was really clever! I never would have thought of it. Way to go!! :rotfl:

Cyndiu
09-07-2005, 10:50 PM
my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes
That is awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I love it!

gr8ful4Him
09-07-2005, 11:05 PM
Frugal flop: My 4-year old needs major dental work, and they're going to have to sedate him to do it. We have dental insurance, but they're quoting me $491 for our share of the dental work PLUS $200 for every half hour of sedation--and they think it's going to take 2.5 hours...$200 X 5 = $1000! Plus, I'd have to pay it up front and then submit it to my insurance. I'm trying to figure out how much of that my insurance will cover. I'm also thinking about calling some other dentists. Is it just me, or does $1000 for dental sedation seem insane? Of course, this is not just nitrous oxide, it's heavy sedation, but still! I can't believe I have to fork over almost $1500 for teeth that will fall out in a couple of years!
I would definitely get a second opinion...even if it costs you for an initial visit, it may save you alot more $$. I can't imagine spending that much on "baby teeth"!

i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes
How awesome it is to outsmart them at their own game! Oh, and to see the look on the service manager's face must have just been the icing on the cake!
Well Done!

LetsgoDisney!
09-08-2005, 03:54 PM
That is THE BEST Story!!! My DH used to work as a mechanic and gets so frustrated when he takes his truck in "and they can't find or can't duplicate the problem". I showed him this and he thought it was great! I bet the managers face was priceless!!!!! Way to GO!!

Took
09-08-2005, 04:45 PM
THE FOLLOWING IS A QUOTE: "my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes[/QUOTE]


THIS is pure genius!!

RADOPT
09-08-2005, 05:00 PM
Frugal flop: My 4-year old needs major dental work, and they're going to have to sedate him to do it. We have dental insurance, but they're quoting me $491 for our share of the dental work PLUS $200 for every half hour of sedation--and they think it's going to take 2.5 hours...$200 X 5 = $1000! Plus, I'd have to pay it up front and then submit it to my insurance. I'm trying to figure out how much of that my insurance will cover. I'm also thinking about calling some other dentists. Is it just me, or does $1000 for dental sedation seem insane? Of course, this is not just nitrous oxide, it's heavy sedation, but still! I can't believe I have to fork over almost $1500 for teeth that will fall out in a couple of years!

I paid $800.00 about 4 years ago to have my daughter put out (like a light!). You might want to see if you can have it done in the hospital. Some dentists have hospital rights and then the sedation would be under medical. Good luck! We have to do it again soon.

stepmom3
09-08-2005, 05:50 PM
I work for a pediatric dentist in the Alpharetta area. We do sedate children in the office but we charge a flat rate. Sometimes it does take multiple appointments, but you know that up front. We also put children in the hospital for a one time fix everything. But not all kids need to go in the hospital. If you are interested, PM me and I will give you my office info. What ever you do, please take care of your daughters teeth! I know a lot of people think they are just baby teeth and you should just pull them out, but that is a terrible thing to do. It creates a lot more problems down the road!

luvsmickeymouse
09-08-2005, 06:05 PM
good for you! I would have never thought to do that with my car!

mjh8955
09-08-2005, 06:19 PM
I absolutely loved the car story.

I found Laura Ashley designer wallpaper border remnant for my kids' room at a going out of business sale in a small town hardware shop. I got it for quarter. Alas, it was just inches short of what I needed. But then the story gets better.

Shortly after that I was at Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago on the way home from a conference. At the Laura Ashley shop I found the same designer carousel wallpaper border for a bazillion dollars a role (not exactly but it might as well have been). I asked the sales person if they would consider cutting the roll for me, because I only needed 15 feet to do one wall. She GAVE me the whole roll. The person I was shopping with stood there with her mouth open, she couldn't even believe what she saw. Nobody gets anything for free at Water Tower Place, but I did!

txgirl
09-08-2005, 06:48 PM
Kfeuer,
YES check with another dentist! That is INSANE! I am THE BIGGEST WIMP when it comes to anything dental. I am completely and totally terrified and cannot conquer it. So anytime I need something extensive done, I have IV sedation (which I am sure is what you are talking about). You are actually "awake" but have no memory of it. The medication is administered via IV and you are hooked up to a heart monitor, etc. A nurse trained in this procedure is with the patient the entire time.

I have had this done at my regular dentist's office and it was a flat fee of $250. This was just last year, so that's not an old price. It was not covered by my dental insurance, but was worth every penny for my peace of mind.

Also last year (it's been a bad couple of years!) I had a more extensive procedure done by an oral surgeon. Something my regular dentist couldn't do. They "only" charged a flat fee of $350 there for the IV sedation.

I've never been charged by the half hour. I would definitely check other dentists for prices.

I am so glad I am not alone in this! Friends say, "come on you've given birth" and I try to explain it to them. The anxiety is overwhelming and I am having trouble getting myself in for my next appointment which was about 6 months ago!!!! :rotfl2:

mantysk8coach
09-08-2005, 06:57 PM
My husband and I both work at a hospital, and I recently WON tickets to a fundraiser gala that I really wanted to go to that costs $300 a couple. It is pretty formal, so DH had to rent a tux, but I found my dress for $12.00!!! It was originally $130.00!!!

That is probably my best bargain of all time!

The gala is tomorrow night, I'm so excited! It will be fun to watch the doctors try to outdo each other on the auction items!

MELSMICE
09-08-2005, 08:02 PM
Love the car story. That's the best & something I'm going to remember for sure.

pearlieq
09-09-2005, 09:34 AM
my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes

That is the best idea I've ever heard!!!

staceyfe
09-09-2005, 06:00 PM
The car victory is one of the best I've ever heard!! You GOOOOOOOO!

HaleyB
09-09-2005, 06:27 PM
I am so glad I am not alone in this! Friends say, "come on you've given birth" and I try to explain it to them. The anxiety is overwhelming and I am having trouble getting myself in for my next appointment which was about 6 months ago!!!! :rotfl2:
Count me in on the total wimp head count. It is just the dentist, I have had 7 major surgeries and 5 or 6 minor ones in my life and I am always fine with those, but the dentist is another story- that and the dang MRI machines.

I am 2 years late for some dental work now... I am going to have to take care of it soon, it is starting to bother me...

HaleyB
09-09-2005, 06:37 PM
Sorry for the thread hijack :)

Hmm, I once 'recovered' some household items from a dumpster and then I had a garage sale and sold it all. All stuff left by a family that was moving. I made $800 on that garage sale! Some people are so wasteful.

This whole year will be a failure budget wise. My son is a Freshman in college and is in New York (we are in Texas). I went about $400 over budget setting him up in the dorm when I dropped him off. Pure guilt. Today I booked him a flight home for a long weekend in October...another $400 not in the budget. I knew we would be bad this year, that is why I booked a trip to WDW. Intresting logic, no? But I figured we were going to have to sell some stock to cover tuition anyhow...

Atotty
09-09-2005, 08:09 PM
I had a good frugal day yesterday. We're going to Disney next month and dh has just about worn out all his shorts this summer. I told him Wednesday he needed to buy some more. As I was shopping yesterday at Walmart, I found shorts his size marked down to $1 a piece. I got 5 pairs of shorts and 4 bathing suits for a total of $9.

barbeml
09-09-2005, 08:21 PM
medical and/or dental costs have ceased to amaze me. my daughter was in the hospital for surgery. 1 day. the hospital bill (not the surgeon, anesthesioligist, pathologist bills-the bill separatly) over $45,000.00 :earseek: thank heaven i had insurance that paid for all with a $25.00 co-pay.

my frugal victory-our car was nearing the end of the warranty period. i had complained about several odd sounds and it not driving correctly (nothing major-it just felt "off"). of course each time i take it into the dealership they can't detect any problems. i got tired of taking it back and forth, and having delt with a dealership before on repairs after the warranty period ended...i decided to take matters into my own hands. i waited one evening until i knew that the repairs portion of my dealership was closed, i then went in to the sales department and started looking at the new models-when the salesman approached me and asked if i needed any help i asked if i could see what kind of a trade in i could get on my car. within an hour they made me an offer on my car. i asked why it was so much lower than what i thought was the value-they (of course) tell me EVERYTHING they detected as wrong with it. i asked them to make a list "to show to my husband". the next day i went in and asked to speak to the service manager about the "undetectable problems"-i showed him the list. he turned white as a sheet. they ended up inspecting the car from top to bottem, correctlng everything on the list (plus a few more). :goodvibes

Brilliant!

gr8ful4Him
09-09-2005, 08:49 PM
I found shorts his size marked down to $1 a piece. I got 5 pairs of shorts and 4 bathing suits for a total of $9.
:Pinkbounc That's an awesome shopping spree! Gotta love end of season clearances ::yes::

Pat
09-10-2005, 10:39 AM
I love the frugal car story. You are brilliant!

djkeenan
09-10-2005, 08:50 PM
OK, I'm one of those people who spend way too much time planning. I want to be sure we get the best deal and don't miss anything. With that out of the way... here's my story:

We want to take my sister and her family with us to WDW this winter. We picked the middle of Jan since we hate crowds and hot weather. We decided to rent a vacation home for all of us and I spent more than 100 hours studying all aspects of VRBO (vacation rental by owner). I determined that there is an over abundance of properties which is bad for the owners and great for us rentors! Using a few tips I picked up here, I was able to get a beautiful 6 bedroom home, (check it out: http://www.sjsvillas.com ) with our own heated pool, game room, full kitchen, laundry etc, etc. For less, actually a lot less, than a moderate room on-site! It turned out to be so easy! (feel free to ask how)

DW went looking for airfares and found us non-stop flights from South Bend, IN to Sanford/Orlando for $59 each way.

Using our kitchen and eating out only once a day should save us enough to pay for admission.

Bottom line: these deals will save us over 50% of our original budget.

3DisneyKids
09-10-2005, 09:01 PM
Frugal victory happened just today: bought Pal Mickey for just $13.99 (brand new from Character Premier). You know what a huge savings that is.

Frugal Flop happened today, too: Bought THREE Pal Mickey's...one for each kid! LOL

When I originally though about buying Pal Mickey for our next trip, I naturally assumed I would buy just one for all us to share and take turns with, etc. Then, I saw this price and boiught multiples! With shipping, I still paid less than one new version of Pal Mickey, but not much...

OceanAnnie
09-11-2005, 09:52 AM
Great car story! :)

OceanAnnie
09-11-2005, 10:01 AM
Oh. I just thought of a frugal victory I had yesterday. :)

You know about those clothes organizers that hang in your closet? Great for kids. Their clothes are all picked out for the week and ready for each day.

Well, Lillian Vernon sells them for $19.95. I wanted them but kept putting it off. I needed 3. I just couldn't see spending $60 on them.

I went to the Dollar Tree they had the same thing (minus the days of the week labels) and it has an extra pocket, for $1 a peice! Wow. So instead of spending $60, I spent $3. I love the Dollar Store. :)

kaytieeldr
09-11-2005, 12:16 PM
You are my Hero! :cheer2:


Mine too, Barkley! Will you go car-shopping with me when I'm ready? Please? :sunny:

hsmamato2
09-11-2005, 10:41 PM
How did you get Pal Mickey for 13.00? Did you order from character premiere- or do you live near there? If you did order,how? I thought they were just a reg. store... :bitelip:

LauraR
09-12-2005, 12:16 AM
My best find was a dress at Salvation Army by a Parisian fashion designer. The price tag (Bergdorf Goodman's) was still on the dress, and it read $1,399 marked down to $749! I got it for $5, down from $10 because it was half price Wednesday at Salvation Army! And the dress actually makes me look thin...

Also, I once got roundtrip tickets to Greece for my husband and myself for $250 apiece. We went for a week and spent $1,500 for the whole trip.

I too want to offer my kudos on the car repair story. That was absolutely brilliant! I never would have had the idea OR the nerve to pull it off.

3DisneyKids
09-12-2005, 08:35 AM
How did you get Pal Mickey for 13.00? Did you order from character premiere- or do you live near there? If you did order,how? I thought they were just a reg. store... :bitelip:

Yes, I ordered from Character Premier. They do mail order. Same with character warehouse. Just called them up and did it all over the phone. Shipping for one = $8.95, but I ordered three and shipping was $10.95, so the total was about $18 each.