Monday, December 7, 2009

Pathetic/Awesome Weekend

Wow my weekend was a bit of a rollercoaster!! I can say with absolute certainty that I am no longer the 21 year old I used to be. I tried going out for drinks 2 nights this weekend (we better alert the church elders!!) and lets just say it caught up with me on Sunday.

Here's a quick glimpse though for what I did:

Friday night, my friend Jen invited me to her company holiday party. I wish I was smart enough to bring my camera to take a few pictures but I didn't. The party was at the Chicago Union Station, really cool location! I didn't know they have parties there but as you can see - they are pretty nice! This picture I pulled from the Union Station Website, this isn't from the event I attended, but it looked relatively close
The night was fun! They had a photographer there that took pictures of us with a Hollywood backdrop and red carpet! I'll have to remind myself to put those up later.
Saturday night I went to my friend/co-worker, Heather's apartment for a cookies and goolash party. I've never had such tasty food! Sorry to say but I was snacking on cookies and other delish stuff all night along with some drinks of course to conquer my thirst (only 3 Grey Goose vodka drinks that I SWEAR weren't that strong). I was only slightly convinced by my friend/co-worker David to go to Trader Todds afterwords for some karaoke awesomeness. (Editors Note: If you say "We're going to Trader Todds" I'm going to come with you) There I had 2 beers and then headed back to my apartment...
Do me a favor - Don't ever let me drink 2 nights in a row again. I was paying for it big time yesterday... without going into details, I was only slightly less sick than when I practically wished for death when I got the flu on Christmas Eve 2007 (thanks again, Mom!).

I guess I have to quote myself "As long as you have a funny story and no one was hurt, it was worth it." I had a lot of fun going out, but next time how about you come over to my place we'll play scattergories and we'll call it a night at 10:30? Cool? Cool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaable Guy!

I sit here writing this with glossy, yet extremely dry, eyes... I'm exhausted!! I've had one of those days where you're so sleepy it's hard to function which makes this whole achievement all the better!!

Today, after inspiration from a co-worker, I called RCN and asked to cancel our service (a total bluff). When they asked me why, I told them it was because Comcast was offering me a better rate for the same products. I gave them a bogus quote (about $15 less than what I'm paying now) that included DVR, HD, Internet as well as HBO and other movie channels we currently have all of the above except for HBO and the other movie channels -- and the service agent on the other line asked me if they could lower their rate or give me more services if I would consider staying.

Honestly, my goal was to end up paying less overall but this guy started telling me about their current promotions. It was an earful to say the least but basically to the right is our "before" services and to the left is our "after" services.
I just realized since I'm tired I didn't think about how usually the "before" picture tends to be on the left... You'll just have to deal with it cuz I don't want to re-upload them to be on either side :)
The upgraded package includes 20 Mbps High-Speed Internet (their fastest connection which is 4x faster than what we currently have), Encore, Showtime, and 84 additional channels including 15 new HD channels! Personally, I'm most excited about getting BBC America!!!
I'd like to tell you I'm getting all this for $15 less than what I was previously paying but I can't - I am paying $1 less/month though! I consider this a frugal battle victory - the war continues as I'm sure they'll try to creep up the price in the future. At that time, I'll just tell them I'm switching to RCN!
In order to achieve best results:
  • Don't just tell them you're cancelling - you're going to a different service provider. (Since many areas don't have more than one cable option if you have satellite, tell them you want cable and vice versa)
  • Be polite on the phone - the customer service workers aren't going to be motivated to keep you on as a client if you're rude to them. These people aren't getting paid to keep you on as a customer, so what's in it for them if you're mean?
  • If you have a legit offer from a competitor in your hands, that's preferable - however if you are comfortable with streeeeeeeeeetching the truth then make up a deal on your own.

Good luck and let me know about your results in the comments below!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not Without Coups, Babe

I officially love you if you get the Dane Cook reference in the title!

Since I've decided to talk more about my frugal activities I've though it would be fun to talk about the under used coupon crisis!!

I'm not addicted to online shopping, but I get my joys out of ordering something fun, letting my roommate know to look for a package of whatever awesome thing I bought- or better yet, actually picking up the package yourself and feeling the surge of joy that you have something fun, new and probably pretty to play with :)

Here's one thing about online shopping I didn't quite get until this past year - discounts are offered for almost every store - all the time! These discounts can range from free shipping to a percentage off the sale... or sometimes even a freebie with a purchase. My theory behind online coupons is this - if they don't pay for the brick and mortar costs of running a business, they save a lot of money by encouraging online business.

My recommendation for the day: ALWAYS CHECK FOR DISCOUNTS!

This is similar to ask to pay less that I wrote about last week, however it doesn't involve much other than a few clicks when you're online shopping. To offer you guys an example I did a quick google search of Bath and Body Works Coupons.

A few things to note right away:
  • 460,000 results come up. Stick to the first or second page though, many older/not even relevant coupons may be showing up.

  • When I entered "Bath and Body Works coupons" the BBW website came up 3rd, meaning that these websites promoting these coupons PAY to come up earlier in the search. This indicates that they have a more legit website than the 459,997 following websites.

Some of these coupons are printable, which is great if you have access to a printer and the brick and mortar location of the store, but they should also have an online checkout code too. Online checkouts generally ask for this promotional code right away. Authors note: What is this promotion they're running that you save $0.04 on shipping? Whew, run right out and jump on this one!!!

This is about the easiest thing you can do to save a few bucks here and there, especially in the midst of the holiday season!!!

Happy frugal shopping!