Friday, September 14, 2012

Great Deals at Old Navy!

This morning I realized that my son is in need of some new jeans.  The size 7 that he had on fit perfect length wise, so now I need to go through his dresser and laundry basket and pull out all the size 6.  That means that I had to go in search of a jeans sale and Old Navy didn't disappoint!

Old Navy jeans are just about the only jeans my son will wear now, because he loves the way they fit, and he became an especially big fan when his five year old fingers had trouble working a button through a button hole on other brands.  Old Navy jeans have a snap closure (that looks like a button) all the way up to a size 8.  Another thing we like about them is that they have an adjustable waistband.  My son is tall (the tallest kid in his class), and pretty thin, so an adjustable waistband is a must.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It Feels Great to Pay Cash!

My husband and I have been married for over 7 years.  When we got married, he had his wrecked S10 sitting in Missouri, and a Dodge Ram that was financed.  I had a Chevy Cavalier that was also financed.  When I was about 5 months pregnant with Elliott we decided we needed a 4 door car to make it easier to get him in and out.  We also had 2 dogs and knew we were getting ready to take possession of a cat that our neighbors didn't want anymore.  With all the traveling we do, we decided that the single cab Ram and the Cavalier would neither one work, so off we went to the dealership.  We traded in the truck (and were upside down by over $5,000!) on a brand new Malibu Maxx.  We gave my sister a small sum of money to make up the difference in what we owed and what the Cavalier was worth and she took over payments (the car and loan were both primary in my dad's name anyway, and he didn't want to do all the paperwork to just get a new loan anyway).  We just used the one car since we lived on base and both worked on base.  It was no big deal for one of us to get rides from someone else if we needed, and my husband even rode his bike a lot of times.

Fast forward to last year.  We had traded in the Malibu Maxx (which we still regret) on an Uplander to make traveling with three dogs, a child, two adults and a cat easier. We still only had one car, and my husband's unreliable truck, but knew that with Elliott starting school, we needed a second car.  We live approximately 17 miles from his school.  The bus is an option, but not one I wanted to use.  It was just too much time away, and since he really needs a lot of sleep, it would have cut too much into our family time.  So we bought a 2005 Impala, but still ended up financing part of it.

We've had that car for about 1.5 years now, and the Uplander for 4.5 years.  The Impala has started showing signs of a possible transmission problems, especially when it's hot out, so we decided to look around at cars.  After checking out dealerships, and seeing what the new cars were like, and what their prices were like, we decided to look at much older cars instead.  We had about $2200 saved for car repairs, because we knew that the transmission is a pretty regular problem on the Impala we have, and it hasn't been replaced yet (it's got around 120K miles on it).

After looking at a few different trucks under $3000 (we decided we could use part of our savings if we needed to), we were about to give up on getting my husband a truck like he wanted, and started looking at cars.  Then we found a 1998 Toyota Tacoma.  It has 232,000 miles on it, but it runs great and has been well taken care of.  We paid $1700 for it.  And really, even if it doesn't last that long, it's still a better investment than any other car we've ever bought.  We've ended up losing quite a bit more than $1700 on every other car we've had (like I said, on the Ram, we lost $5000 on it, not counting the year and a half that my husband had paid over $500 a month).  My husband has done just a few things to the Tacoma since he bought it, like changing spark plugs, and fixing the bumper.  He's also replaced the radio, but that's all been pretty cheap (he used the radio out of his S10).  He really likes it, and it feels great to not have a car payment on it!

My husband's "new" truck!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Disney Movie Deals at Amazon

Amazon has a promotion going on right now, where if you buy 2 Disney movies from a certain list, you save an additional $10.  We actually did this about 2 weeks ago, and spent less than $40 total for 2 Blu Ray/DVD combo packs.  I even live in a state that gets charged tax on Amazon orders.  The list of available movies is here.  This promotion goes through the end of the month, and includes several movies that have just been released from the vault, or have just recently been released on blu ray, as well as newer movies like Chimpanzee. 

The prices have changed a little since I ordered mine, but most of them are still right around $25 each, making the total about $40 if you don't get charged tax.

These could be great Christmas presents!  It's hard to find Disney Blu Ray/DVD combo packs cheaper than about $20 each. We love the combo packs so we have the DVD for in the car on long car rides, and the Blu Ray for when we watch at home. 

Cash VS Credit, Which Do You Use?

My husband and I are reworking our budget yet again right now, because he really wants a Sleep Number bed, but I'm not sure I want the extra payment.  Paying cash isn't even really an option right now, since we just bought a truck for my husband (and paid cash!!), and we're in the middle of the basement remodel.  We are going to have to buy a new bed soon, though.  Ours has two springs sticking out the side now, and no matter how many times my husband tries to fix it, they poke back through and end up ripping sheets.   Sheets are too expensive to replace every few weeks!

Anyway, when looking around for creative ideas of ways to cut our budget, I keep seeing people say that switching to cash is the easiest way to do it.  That doesn't work for my family.  We've tried it two or three times, and we usually end up spending MORE when we have cash, than when we don't.

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