Coupons and Cars
I thought I wanted to talk about coupons and saving money tonight…
Coupons have become a way of life for Dick and me, especially since retirement.
Dick and I have always been very aware that it isn’t what you make, or bring home, it’s what you do with that! And, since neither of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths – in fact – not even silver-plated spoons, we have both learned the secrets of making the pennies we do have stretch.
One way is reading the local ads, a big one is buying food that is in season, another way is to use coupons. And more and more, I’ve turned to the computer to shop and find the cheapest price – as long as the shipping is free or very reasonable…because that factor has to be factored into the cost after all.
Right now, we’re sort of in the market for a new car. Let me clarify that – I mean “new to us”. Because, we’ve long ago gotten over caring what the Joneses were driving – we know what we like, and how to get it. “New car” may mean the latest model on the lot, or more than likely, it may mean a car just a few years old, already owned by someone who obviously has taken loving care of it, with a minimal amount of miles on the speedometer.
Our wonderful car that we’ve had since 2002, now is just pushing 150 thousand miles. We just put new struts on it (first time since we’ve owned it – and got such a deal on this, from a guy who just happens to love working on cars. He’s also retired – and really loves saving folks money. One of our sons introduced him to us, and the price, instead of a quote of $1,200 from a couple of garages, ended up costing us $280 – including the struts – which he even showed us and explained all about them and showed us why they were actually way overdue.
Anyway, in looking for another car, I started on the internet – I really know next to nothing about cars. However, it has been my job for years and years, to go find the best deal and then show Dick. I also do most of the bargaining – I love that part – yep, some people hate that part – I think of it as a game. I also always have at least two cars exactly equipped picked out, so I don’t really care which one we get, as long as it’s by far the best price. It’s worked for us.
With the financial state of our nation, the dealers are hurting, so I expect to even get a better bargain this time around. A couple of hints – make your offers real near the end of the month – the salesmen are trying to get their quota in for the month, and a lot of times a Sunday is a real, real slow day – pay attention to that – the salesmen get hungry when there are no buyers around – ergo, a better deal.
Actually, I started to write about using coupons and sales to save money, and then the fact that we’ve spent two Sundays recently comparing things like smooth rides, good gas mileage, the quietness of the car, etc. popped back in my head. We haven’t made a decision on one yet, so, we’ll keep on “shopping” for a while – we plan to make the big decision sometime this year…
That’s another good hint – don’t be in a rush – to buy anything. There’s always another “whatever” coming up! Shoot! There I go again – my mind is stuck on cars apparently tonight. Our car still gives us just over 29 miles per gallon, with the 150k mileage. When we first got it, used, with about 18k miles on it, we got 37 miles per gallon. At 90k, it went down to about 35, and now, it’s still giving us 29 – so we can’t complain about that at all. And I certainly want whichever car we decide on to have great mileage. Oh – It’s a 2002 Buick Century.
Well, Dick headed out about an hour ago, with coupons in hand, to pick up a few things for the house…
He has taken over the couponing since retirement. Has his own drawer, and although the way he keeps track of them sometimes drives me nuts, it does work for him! He also enjoys doing the shopping – he has had no problem finding things to do to fill all the extra hours he has in his days that used to be taken with meetings and planning and everything that it took to have a successful career. Now one of his “things” is to plan on which coupons will be going with him to help make sure our pennies keep stretching so that we have a very comfortable, stress-free retirement!