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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 72, March 2015
March 21, 2015

Springtime in Arizona, these cactus plants just bloom once a year but when they do it seems like everybody gets their cameras out and starts capturing them on film.

The sadists in our community then email them immediately back to their friends in the Northeast where the weather has been so miserable.

Personally, I can't tell a rose from a dandelion, all I know is they're very pretty this time of year.

Frugal Living Tip number One

My bride noticed that our cable bill was right at $100 a month... We use DirecTV.

After talking to some of my friends I learned of the internal antennas that pick up local channels that are within 50 miles of our house and they were very pleased with the quality of the picture that they were getting on their TVs.

I then investigated something called Sling TV.

For $20 a month, you get ESPN CNN etc.

Frugal living tip number two

After going through a lot of gyrations I decided it would be much easier to save money by calling DirecTV and mentioned that I was thinking about canceling my service.

We don't need any new equipment, we are quite satisfied with the DVR's and package that we have right now.

The first person I talked to at Direct TV said that she could knock off $10 a month from our bill.

Of course the first thing to go through your mind is why do you have to call and ask for them to reduce your bill but that's the way things work.

I asked for her supervisor but she came back and said that $10 a month is all she could do.

I then mentioned the magic words please connect me to the "customer retention" department... That is a fancy name for what the customer service reps are told to do on their scripts in front of them when a customer threatens to quit the service.

The customer retention lady said she would knock off another $10 a month that was going toward our rental of the DVR's... Something we really have learned we can't live without because of all the commercials.

She took another $10 a month off if we would make a 12 month commitment with a cancellation of $10 a month for the remainder of the contract.

So in summation that one phone call is saving us $30 a month and I don't have to be going through the attic trying to find the best placement for the internal antenna.

It also doesn't hurt to let the person your talk to know that you are a senior citizen, do not like change, all the while mentioning things like internal antenna and sling... You get the picture... It helps.

DirecTV is also the only way that we can get something very dear to us and that is the golf channel which we watch quite a bit.

Frugal living tip number three

Add to your list of companies that you should do business with the Charbroil Corporation.

Our outdoor barbecue which we use a lot especially during the hot summer months had the hinges break due to being 10 years old.

When I called to try and reorder the hinges I found that I had to buy the lid with it.

Then I found that they no longer make the lid nor the hinges, I purchased it at Costco.

I also found out that Charbroil products have a lifetime guarantee... I like that.

After emailing pictures of the problem Charbroil now is offering to replace the entire grill with any grill on their website, not sold by Home Depot or Lowe's for 30% off and free shipping.

At this time I have asked and received an email with this offer... My wife and I will choose something that we like and get a new grill.

If we order a new grill and we will I will try to negotiate a discount greater than 30%.

Remember the first law of negotiation, always talk to someone that can say yes... Law number two the worst they can do is say no that's the best we can do.

I hope this picture illustrates what a 10-year-old barbecue that sits outside in the Arizona sun for 10 years looks like.

Frugal living tip number four

When you find something advertised in the paper and go to the store and find it's out of stock... Do not despair.

Most people will not bother to go ask for a rain check from customer service frugal wife...does not have that should take the time as well.

Frugal living tip number five

So far I'm very pleased with the service that I am receiving from consumer cellular.

Adding my wife's phone when her contract expired in February added $10 to my bill... So I now pay $33 a month instead of the $140 a month I did with Verizon.

Here is their website.

We also have more talk time, more data than we did with Verizon.

In closing

Until next time, stay healthy and stay frugal and love the ones close to you.

God bless you all,

Gary and Julie

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