Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A penny saved is. . . not NEARLY enough!

It's quite possible that I am still annoyed by the price hike on my favorite 32.oz chemical/artificial sweetener/caramel coloring/carbonated water treat.  Finding two quarters in my car, on the kitchen counter, in the couch cushions - totally a possibility on any given day.  Finding four quarters or a dollar bill?  Much less likely.

Reminded me of the fact that the $3 car wash (when we moved to our fair suburb 6 years ago) is now $6.  SIX DOLLARS.  Well worth it, mind you, when you have eight kids and two cars that you swap back and forth every day to cart muddy football players, snacking elementary students, volleyball players, and go on the occasional date night in.  Of course the best thing of all is when one finds QUARTERS while vacuuming out the van at the SIX DOLLAR car wash.  Ha!

Enough of the caps, already, I know.

Back in the day (before suburbs and eight kids), we washed the cars in our driveway with the hose.  I may, in fact, have a serious addiction to clean cars.  Even back then, most often pregnant, little munchkins running all over the place - I would get out and wash the cars on Saturday.  If he'd already finished mowing the lawn (that was before we had boys old enough to do the mowing - like when they turned seven), the Coach would help.  I always did the vacuuming, though.   OK.  I do have a problem.

When I turned sixteen and was given my own car (notice how I resisted the temptation for all caps), I washed it, faithfully.  Even without eight kids to get it filthy dirty every week.  It wouldn't have held eight kids, anyway.  It would have barely held the Coach and I.  But we sold it before he came on the scene.  The only "car wash" besides my own driveway was the one that you pulled into and fed quarters into a machine and washed it yourself.  Probably more quarters than it USED to take to buy 32oz of caffeinated refreshment. 


Enough about dirty cars.

Everything is getting SO expensive.  Milk.  Bread.  And have you bought ground beef, lately?  Good heavens.  One good reason to go vegan, for sure.  Except that I'm pretty sure my football players (and most likely the Coach) would cry "MUTINY!" 

Even Netflix is moving quickly out of the "affordable entertainment for a large family who is too conservative to watch regular TV" category.  There is a category like that, right?  When we first signed up, years ago, it was $9.99 per month.  Two DVD's at a time.  Then came streaming on the Wii.  For FREE.  How awesome was that?  And now?  It's $7.99 for one DVD at a time AND $7.99 for streaming.  Ugh.  Probably should cancel that DVD part, anyway.  I've had the same DVD sitting on the counter for a month, now.  Who has time for a WHOLE movie these days?

And while we are talking about internet?  The whole phone/cell phone/DSL thing is some kind of con.  The bill goes up nearly every month.  All so we can have three cell phones, one land line, three computers, a Wii and two Nooks online at all times.  Never mind that I have to turn all of them off to get some peace and quite around here.  Can I get a credit for that?

I had a phone line when I was a teen.  My own phone line.  In my room (what WERE my parents thinking?).  It had a cord, though, so I certainly couldn't go very far with it.  And the cell phone?  No such thing!  I had a CAR phone.  Mounted in the floor of my Civic.  It was awesome.  And way cheaper.

Sometimes I just sit and reminisce about the "juno.com" days.  Remember?  Free e-mail.  Your already in use phone line, a dial-up connection, sending and downloading e-mails in one fell swoop (and only when you chose to do it).  Sure, it took forever, but think how much LESS time we spent dealing with it all back then.  Free e-mail, I miss you.

Now, my e-mail checks itself without my permission, reminding me of those 117 messages I haven't responded to.  Then there is Facebook.  OK.  Well.  They've pretty much ruined Facebook, but I can't seem to give it up completely.

And Pinterest?  Good Heavens.  Fun.  Addictive.  And a lovely and delightful waste of time that I don't have.

I'm already wasting enough time.  And without my 49 cent bi-weekly afternoon caffeine fix?  I can't stay awake long enough to enjoy the time I'm already wasting.

Just a good reminder, at the end of the day, that our wise parents were right.  Nothing is free.  At least not for long. 

Well, except for the saving grace of our Lord Jesus.  No matter who you are, how much money you have (or don't have), where you live, what you drive, wear, eat or waste time on. . . God's grace is there.  Free.  His gift of salvation.  At His expense.  No fine print.  No loopholes.  No exceptions.

I'll always be able to be thankful for that, even when I can't find four quarters in my dirty car.


Zimms Zoo said...

I heard Netflix was going up and I completely forgot to see what they were charging us. Better do that.

I am so sad that they raised the price on your drink to 79cents. I can't stop now. I can't stop now. I. Can't. Stop. Now! (pep talk to myself because I stopped all the time when it was 49cents. OnCue drive-thru is WAY to convenient.)

peggy b said...

I love your blog. it is so real, open, honest and reveals the heart of an awesome woman. I am thankful for you and the way you live your life for all to see and learn from. You are doing a great job raising those beautiful children along with Troop. I miss seeing you!

amber said...

just yesterday shayne and i were talking about how we remember when gas was 99 CENTS!! {i like caps too} oh,man! we're getting old, Karen.. haha. with our "back in the day" talk. ;)

so true that EVERYTHING is going up in cost~ groceries here in Can. are horrible. my mom didn't believe a box of mini wheats cost almost seven dollars~ until she saw it for herself. then she stood in the cereal aisle and went into a tirade about how crazy that was, and how in the world could ppl afford to live here. until security had to remove her from the store. {not really. but i had my eyes out} ;)

i'm ocd when it comes to our vehicles too~ just cleaned the van out today. it gets to a point where i can't stand it anymore. you know, there's all these places now that will detail your car for around 100 bucks! i was telling shayne i wanted to get it done after the beating it took this summer w/ all the spilled sweet&sour sauce from mcdonald's! we better hurry and cash in before they raise their prices too. :)

your blog is such a happy REAL place. love it. hugs.