Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sometimes you just gotta spend the money

The Sunscreen Fiasco
A friend of ours recently blogged about the dangers of "Body Mist" sunscreen, and I, much like her am a huge fan; she was sad to learn the body mist variety is not very good at preventing skin cancer, but I will never go back to smearing that greasy gunk that has been a staple of the sunscreen industry since I was born all over my body. So here we go, this is my favorite sunscreen right here.

no rubbing, just spray it on; fell in love with this back when I was teaching swim lessons at the Indian Springs Country Club in Tulsa for a summer session. It is all I will use, and worth every penny (most of the time).

So I count on this stuff costing about $8 maybe as low as $6, depending. We have a bottle in our bathroom but in preparation for our vacation I decide we should get a full bottle. I buy one for $8 at Wal-Mart. We pack our bags and I leave it at home. In Madras, OR I am in Safeway, I see it for $7, I buy it and take it back to the hotel room. We are leaving town to go to my sisters wedding (half hour drive or so) I throw the bottle in my suitcase and we leave fully intending to repack when we get to the next hotel. Three days later we are at the airport I never took the bottle out of my suitcase and now here we are at the TSA screening checkpoint; they have found it and it is gone.

We are on the ship (the frugalness will not allow the purchase to be made on the ship, I just know it would be outrageous), so we are on Catalina Island and I see it in a drug store, its $18.00, but I have no choice. We get it, and with the way the weather was, only used it once (mostly out of principal, it probably wasn't necessary). So $33.00 this year for one application of sunscreen; it’s still better than a burn.

The Air Conditioning Fiasco

In Texas a consumer has the ability to choose their power company, when I first moved here it was with a good friend of mine to work. I left Amy in Tulsa about 3 days a week and I was here in a very small apartment in an, lets just say interesting, part of town. The apartment recommended a power company and I signed up. The apartment was on the second floor and very hot all the time. I eventually realized that that air conditioning was never turning off, nor was the temperature ever comfortable. How annoying, when I showed the apartment manager my $300 electric bill for the 600 sq foot apartment, she said oh you chose an expensive electric company. I'm like you've got to be kidding me, I'm certain that this bill cannot be normal under any circumstance. Their test was if the air conditioner cooled the apartment to 20 deg. cooler than the temperature outside, it was fine.

Rest assured it is not fine it was so unbelievably hot one day I couldn't take it anymore. Any hint of frugalness out the door (for the moment) I drive to Wal-Mart and promptly purchase the LARGEST window air conditioner I can find. I race to the apartment and install it, once the temperature is cooler I come to my senses and the frugal side says that since we will only be in the apartment for three more weeks (we were waiting on the house to be finished, and Amy had moved down to join me) I could very possibly take advantage of Wal-Mart’s liberal return policy and have enjoyed cooler air at no cost to me. It worked like a dream, and we were rather comfortable during those last three weeks. Thanks Wal-Mart!

The Water Fiasco // with bonus theme park tip

More recently at Sea world I kept stopping to buy bottled water, every stop two bottles, two bottles six bucks. Mother in Law Linda in her wisdom suggests the souvenir cup with free water refills (who knew). We inquired and in fact it is true, buy the souvenir cup and get discounted soft drinks, or free ice water for the rest of the season (TIP: AT THEME PARKS, THE WATER IS FREE IF YOU HAVE THE SOUVENIER CUP, THEY DON'T TELL YOU THIS)

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