Shop Smart

Made in USA (free clip art)

Made in USA (free clip art)

Whenever making a purchase of an item that I plan to use for a long time, I try to perform what my engineering son likes to call “due diligence.” By that, I mean I will spend quite a bit of time finding out as much as I can about the product. I want to “shop smart” so as to not waste my money on a product that will not perform the way I want it to perform. I will try to find, and Read Full Review material on the product, do some comparison shopping online for it, and even check and see if there have been any complaints or recalls on the item.

In this day and age, I also try to buy American-made products, to support our economy. If we don’t help keep our country working, our taxes will end up going up to support the unemployed! And between you and me, I’d rather not join the ranks of the unemployed, so I always try to keep that in mind as well!

Whatever Happened to the Quick Oil Change?

Oil change (free clip art)

Oil change (free clip art)

Today I pulled into the Valvoline quick oil change place near my house. I deliberately waited until after the lunch hour so the the place would not be short handed due to their oil change technicians being off for lunch.

I though I had timed the trip well because there are 3 bays and each bay had 1 vehicle in it. One of the tech’s came up to my car and instructed me to pull in behind the pickup truck in the first bay. I don’t know what they were doing to that truck, but it sure seemed to be taking a long time. It was not just an oil change, that’s for sure.

Another car pulled in and was directed to the 3rd bay. About 5 minutes later the vehicle in bay 3 drove away and the car that arrived at least 10 minutes after me pulled into that bay for an oil. Another car pulled up and was directed to wait at bay 3. The car finished and drove off and the new car pulled in. All together, those were 3 cars got their oil changed while I was stuck sitting behind the truck being worked.

The car in the second bay had it’s hood up and no one seemed to be working on it at all. No cars were ever directed to that bay while I was there. Forty minutes after I had arrived I was STILL sitting behind the truck in bay 1. The Assistant Manager came up and apologized and asked me to move to bay 3. I pulled right in and he promised to give me a $10 credit on my bill.

They changed my oil but because I had a coupon for half price, they did not give me that $10 discount that I was promised. I asked if they would replace the burned out light bulb instead of the $10 credit, but they said they could not. WTF?

I totally feel ripped off and taken advantage of. I don’t think i will be going back to Valvoline again. I’d rather go to Firestone and sit inside their customer waiting area and drink free coffee and watch the TV or read a magazine instead of being held hostage in my car for 40 minutes waiting to pull into a Valvoline bay.

Warranties Are Important

warranty (free clip art)

warranty (free clip art)

Sometimes when I talk to my friends and family about things they are buying online, I get the impression that they don’t even take the time to view fine print about warranties and whether or not they can purchase a maintenance agreement. Such was the case when Marcel was telling me that he was thinking about buying a dbx ZonePRO 640 Speaker Processor from an Internet retailer. I asked him if he had checked out how long the warranty was on the product, and he told me he had not. What is wrong with people nowadays? You should always find out that information!

Any Big Sales This Weekend?

Columbus Day (free clip art)

Columbus Day (free clip art)

Sorry to admit this, but the Columbus Day holiday has always seemed the oddest and least celebrated holiday of all the official holidays throughout the year. We all learned a little bit about Christopher Columbus and several other notable world explorers while in school. And there is some controversy about whether Columbus really discovered America or did he land on a Caribbean Island or even Mexico or Central America instead?

But for me and anyone else who works in retail, Columbus Day means one more holiday to have an excuse for a sale and it is the last holiday before the big Christmas rush. I think the Columbus Day holiday has lost some of its shine in modern years and people are no so much interested in any sales during October unless it means they can get an early start on their Christmas shopping.

Do you know of any sales going on this weekend that will be worth going to the mall to save money on something you really need? I can’t think of anything, and I’m not willing to start my Christmas shopping yet, either!

Discovering the Fun of Baking

baking (free clip art)

baking (free clip art)

This week I have felt very creative and brave, so I’ve been downloading recipes and learning how to bake from scratch!Thanks to my mom, I already knew the basics of baking. I know the difference between flours, the difference between baking soda and baking powder, and how to measure ingredients properly. But until now, all of my baking has been done using packaged mixes and following the directions on the box.

Now I have a small collection of recipes to use for baking cakes, breads and cookies. I will be moving up to pies next week. I have been thrilled with the excellent results of my baked from scratch cakes so far. I can’t wait to try some of the different icings and frosting types on the different cakes. This is fun – but fattening. I will be doing longer walks and some aerobics with my Wii to help keep off the extra pounds.