Sunday, January 18, 2009

My husband, the haggler

In December, we closed a refinance on our house. Much better interest rate, lower payment obligation, and if we continue to pay what we're used to paying, the mortgage will be paid off about 10 years early. Can't beat that!

Since we closed early enough in December, we didn't have to make a mortgage payment that month, and we didn't owe one in January either. Between that and the refund checks we received (PMI, escrow, and overpayment of tax estimate at closing), we had a bit of extra cash to spend on the house. We didn't really need anything, with the exception of livingroom furniture (but I'm not ready to get into that yet), I suggested we replace the dishwasher so all the kitchen appliances match, and put a hefty sum into our savings. Paul agreed. Until yesterday that is.

Friday night, one of the kids notified us that there was something wrong with the dryer. Paul was pretty sure it was just the belt and spent the better part of yesterday taking the dryer apart trying to figure out how to change it. Poor thing still doesn't get that Google is your friend. This morning, when he still hadn't gotten it figured out, I typed in "change belt on kenmore dryer", and the first link gave step by step photos. Within 10 minutes Paul announced that there was nothing wrong with the belt and it must be the motor. We decided to skip the dishwasher and replace the dryer instead. Off we went this afternoon to HH Gregg. It went something like this:

Paul: Let's just replace both the washer and dryer.

Me: OK, but I want a top loader so felting is still easy, and we have to make sure it has both a delicate and handwash cycle.

We decided on the Maytag Bravos 300 pair. The salesman came over to talk to us and write up our order. He asked if we were considering getting a new bed and told us that if we were willing to go try out their Serta mattresses, he could give us $10 off.

Paul: Is that $10 per body?

Salesman: Sure, ok.

Paul: Come on baby, let's go lay on some mattresses. (After we had tried out a few.) Dude, you got any chairs I can sit in.

Yes, sometimes just being around him is a hoot. At least the salesman laughed.

While the salesman was writing up our order and checking on delivery, Paul told him that we were going to look at dishwashers. He told me he was going to see what kind of deal he could get if we bought a dishwasher too, because you know with the economy what it is, people aren't just buying a bunch of appliances all at the same time.

Next, while the salesman was writing up the dishwasher information and checking on delivery and installation, Paul told him we were going to check out the mattresses again. The salesman quickly went to get his manager to explain the differences to us. Now, mind you, I was thinking this looking at mattresses was some kind of ploy, and I know better than to question Paul when he's in haggle mode (I always wind up saying the wrong thing within earshot of the wrong person and he gets mad lol). Paul was really working this purchase. We really do need to replace our mattress, but I didn't think now was when we would be doing it. Paul haggled with the salesman and made him think we were going to go for the "cadillac" of Serta mattress sets and had him go check with the manager on what kind of deal we could get if we purchased the washer, dryer, dishwasher, mattress/box spring set, extended warranty on the washer/dryer pair, had them all delivered and installed. We wandered around in the small appliances while the salesman went to talk to the manager. I saw the manager give us a look. I just know he was thinking that we were bored on Sunday afternoon and were just messing around and weren't going to purchase anything at all.

The salesman came back and gave us a price that wasn't to Paul's liking. Paul let him know that it was more than he was hoping for and let slip that all we really needed was a dryer and not the dryer we had chosen with so many options .... we were looking at one that was in the $350 range now and might just go with that, but if they could come down to $3,500 for the lot, including all the extras, delivery, installation, tax, the works, he would sign right now. I about choked since that was basically saying we would pay full price for the mattress/box springs and washer/dryer, and get everything else at no charge.

The salesman ran off to talk to his manager, and we got another one of "those" looks. After quite awhile, the salesman came back and said the best they could do was $3,900 out the door. Paul hesitated a bit, then asked him to go see what kind of deal he could get if he added in a garbage disposal and installation (since this house didn't have one and we never installed one).

After 2 1/2 hours at HH Gregg, we walked out with a receipt for a king size Serta mattress/box spring set, Maytag Bravos 300 washer/dryer pair, LG dishwasher, garbage disposal, extended warranties, delivery, haul away, and installation for $4,000 and change. Next time we need a dishwasher, I think I'll let Paul go shopping by himself ROFL.

Even with all that appliance shopping, I managed to get some knitting done.

Jenn's gloves are almost done. Just need to finish the thumb on the first, and the fingers and thumb on the second.

Not as much knitting done on Emily's gloves, but I am almost done with the first one. Need to finish the thumb, and I don't really care for the pinky finger, so I think I'm going to reknit it.

Solo has gotten some attention. A couple more evenings of knitting and I should be at the second sleeve opening.

A couple of closeup shots since the detail gets lost in the full photos. I love the combination of the red and fuscia.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year ..... a few days late

There's been a lot of progress on Solo. I've worked on it almost exclusively during my knitting time. Just about to the center back, so about 1/4 done with it. So far I still haven't lost interest in it, so I may just get to wear it this season instead of having to put it up until next year.

I did do a bit of work on both pair of gloves too, just not as much as on Solo. I'm ready to start the fingers on Jenn's first glove.

And I finished the second finger on Emily's

No urges to cheat on the new program to get the WIPs finished either, so that's a good thing.

I finally got tired of all the grousing I've done about the poochy belly I've gotten over the past year, and decided to do something about it. For our anniversary, Paul and I bought an elliptical and I love it. I've added some strength training in with my cardio workouts now and hopefully this will do the trick. I figure I only need to lose 10 pounds so it shouldn't take too long to get back to where I want to be.

We're trying out the Flat Belly Diet too. Tomorrow is the last day of our 4 day antibloat jumpstart. Can't wait for that to be over!! Gotta love having a smoothie every evening though. It's just not enough calories for me with the workouts. I am ravenous by the time we're supposed to eat our next meal. I'll be altering the rest of the diet to make dsure I get enough calories since it's still under what I really should be taking in. I want to lose that 10 pounds, but I want to be healthy too ya know?