Friday, November 07, 2008

More From The Handbook: "How To Embarrass Your Children By Using The Economic Downturn Plan."

Twice last week, I made my crew of mini-Infidels feel like they wanted to put themselves up for adoption. I think they actually entertained a few fleeting thoughts of hitching a ride to the Safe Haven state of Nebraska.
Yeah, I pulled off these stupefying feats of embarrassment not once but TWICE!
Okay, so I received a coupon by e-mail for a free Blockbuster movie. After agonizing over selecting a couple movies we could all agree on while trying to shield my impressionable children from the outrageously graphic DVD covers they place right at a child's eye level, we marched up to the counter to pay, coupon in hand.
They refused to take my coupon because we were still a whopping 4 hours away from the clock striking November 1. The register totaled up 16 dollars and something cents.
I balked at the price, positive there was a calculation error.
Then I realized that Blockbuster had raised their pricing to a grandiose $4.99 a movie.
I told the guy that I was sorry to trouble him but I just wasn't going to part ways with 16 dollars of my hard earned money for some low-rent movies.
When his mouth dropped open in surprise, I considerately offered to re-shelve the movies for him. He declined.
The older kids flushed red and tried to hide themselves from the world in the darkened safety of their hoodies.
And then we walked out and went next door to the Kroger's video rental kiosk where we rented 3 movies for ONE DOLLAR a piece.
My kids got over the humiliation when they realized the tremendous savings aspect.
See, we're usually so cheap that we only check out movies for free from the Library.
I guess I've gotten spoiled and now by virtue of comparative pricing, everything hits me like heart-palpitating sticker shock.
The oldest Infidel daughter has waged a valiant battle against her acne for awhile, trying every remedy out there short of a clear skin voodoo ritual.
Finally, the Doctor took pity on her and wrote out a prescription for some medicated pimple cream.
We have insurance now so I didn't think anything about it when I left the prescription at the Pharmacy to be filled.
Twenty minutes later when I went to go pick it up and the very cute and very nice Pharmacist smilingly told me, "That'll be 60 dollars, please," I about stroked out.
Seriously? SIXTY BUCKS for a tube of Zit-B-Gone? Whoa.
Again, I sent my kids into Mortification Mode when I calmly informed the Pharmacist that I'd have to come back for it another day and left the prescription with him.
It looks as though bad times are here and are only going to worsen.
I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had to hone my once amateurish cheapskating skills into a haggle-at-the-dollar-store Grand Champion. I'm the new Scratch&Dent Queen. :)
My kids may hate my occasional Super Scrooge outbursts, but I think they're finally understanding the realization that our days of frivolously spending money without a plan or a budget is a thing of the past.

27 comments:

J-Mom said...

I miss free library movies!!! Here in Memphis, everything that's not a book at the library has a major charge. I think videos are $3 a piece!!!! Then of course late fees are awful on top of that! I won't pay for a movie here at the library!

Yeah, I have driven past that Pharmacy window before. I had been told $204 for daughter's medicine, with insurance too. I cried my way home, because I couldn't afford it. I finally learned to ask the doctor for samples and only prescribe generic!

Lisa said...

I have been experiencing the joys of non-generic prescriptions, too. I was told $170 for an antibiotic for myself. Umm...no thanks. I asked them to phone the doctor for something else and a few days later was told $112. Sorry, I don't want that, either. C

Lisa said...

Check with your doctor. There is usually a generic that they can give you instead. Emily has Zit B Gone and an antibiotic. :( I hate the battle of the zits.

Stephanie and Co. said...

Love those free library movies!
This recession is no fun. (But still you manage to make me laugh!)

Annie said...

I was mortified as a kid when my mom would take me to the Thrift Store. Now I call her and ask if she wants to go.

Suburban Hippie said...

I don't know what Blockbuster is thinking Netflix is $15 a month and you can get a lot more than 3 movies for that prices (depending on how fast you send them back.) I hate Blockbuster anyway.

That medicine is expensive. The pill is a lot cheaper and would probably have the same or better effects than the cream. It worked for me; mine is $30 for a three month supply.

Your not cheap you just have a good sense of value for money.

Stacey said...

I'm all about the redbox movies. Of course it's usually movies for the kids since there is almost nothing I want to see.

Tori :) said...

Redbox rocks- especially with the free movie Monday code they text me.

Millie said...

*munching on my Wendy's #8*

Did you say something?

*wiping my mouth with my sleeve*

Millie said...

If I'm going to pay to see a movie, it better have someone dream-worthy in it. And it better be one awesome dream. Or I'm suing.

Klin said...

$60 bucks for a tube of zit-b-gone!?!? I'd be calling the doctor for other options. Then if there weren't any I'd let the kids know we'd have to walk back to save the gas in order to pay for the precious prescription.

I love your ways of embarrassing your kids. Hubs and you must be related ;)

Youngblood4ever said...

Good for you. I think a little embarrassment does great things for children (or at lease the moms that are doing the embarrassing)! Our moms did it to us, it is now time to pass on the time-honored tradition, right?

Elizabeth-W said...

My daughter is supposed to see her asthma dr next week. She's doing great. When she went in for her allergy shot today I took a letter for the dr, detailing her current medications, and her total lack of symptoms. I informed him that I don't think she needs a check up now, and I'd rather save my co-pay for a couple months from now when she is much more likely to be having a flare. I said if after all this info he still is concerned about her he can call me to schedule an appt.
Do you think he'll have the guts to get me into the office?

PGirl said...

I feel like a total loser posting this, but I feel I must. I never had problem skin until I moved to Wyoming. I discovered this facial wash and it's fixed every problem possible where all Rx products weren't working. And it's cheap!

http://skincarerx.com/review_box.html?pid=209

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

j-mom and Lisa: The Pharmacist at the clinic we go to has been wonderful about scrounging around for the best deal for us and bantering back and forth with the Doctor's office. They prescribed a 60 dollar/mth BCP for me and she got it reduced down to a 10/mth BCP prescription. She assured me that the Kroger Pharmacist guy was correct and that there isn't any other cheqaper substitute for the pimple cream. Crap.

Hey J-Mom, not to rub it in but I spent about 30 minutes today on the Library web site catalog ordering up DVD's. I swear that I'm never going to pay for rentals again. It's ridiculous especially considering that most of the movies we've seen weren't worth even the dollar rental fee.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

stephanie: SMOOOOOCH!

Annie: Our thrift stores are more expensive than just trying to score good deals on new stuff at the clearance rack at places like Ross and TJ Maxx.

PGirl: I knew it! You're a shill for the Pimple Cream Lobby!

elizabeth w: I plan on telling the Dentist to wrap it all up in one or two appointments because I can't afford multiple co-pays for six kids while he works on "quadrants" of their mouth. It's also a fair distance from our house so you'd have to calculate travel expenses going back and forth a zillion times. I made my younger kids wait to go back-to-school because they needed immunizations and I wasn't willing to pay an additional co-pay ahead of their regular check-up appointment just for them to get shots to start school on time. Wicked I know, but 20 bucks a kid really adds up. That's in addition to my Papi getting a large chunk bitten out of his check every second week to cover health insurance.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

elizabeth w: So NO, I don't blame you at all.

millie: You have some lettuce in your teeth.

I'm lazy. Thanks for the comments. I had written up something brilliant this morning and blogger erased the entire post. I sat down to rewrite it out but it just wasn't as magical as the stuff I wrote off the top of my head the first time around so I wrote this lackluster post instead.

b. said...

Amen to you...things have GOT to come down in price-don't they?

I have grumbling to myself all day today about paying out for insurance every month yet still can't afford to take my kid back in for a better zit cream.

Hang in there. You're teaching your kids great things! They'll thank you later!

jay said...

An excellent life lesson for the Mini Infidels, say I! Non-essentials have to go when money is tight and that's that.

But sheesh! $60 for a prescription???? And with healthcare???

That's pretty bad.

Hilary said...

It's your job to embarrass your kidlets. You've earned the right.

Sorry those meds are so expensive - hopefully it works for her.

jams o donnell said...

It's got to be done. $60 for pimple cream? Yegods! I'm one of those who has to pay towards his prescriptions (under 18s and pensioners and those on social secuirty don't pay at all) but all I have to pay is just over £7 (about $10-11) per perscription.

Jean Knee said...

yes, my hub recently changed jobs and while we were in between insurance coverage my prescription was over $500 for one month. I went simpering and licking my wounds to Walmart for their $10.00 generic

Palm Springs Savant said...

Yup. Everyone needs to tighten their belts a bit. I was SHOCKED when we went to a local cheap-o Mexican joint and the burritos were $13.95 each. WHAT?????? So much for eating there anymore. I remember when mexican food used to be cheap.

aubrey said...

we love getting movies and cds from the library..the seattle library system is awesome and has every title under the sun. on a side note..i've been having pregnancy zits and started taking vitamin D from being deficient after my blood test results came back and within days my skin had cleared up significantly. which i found interesting..so just something worth trying.

Physcokity said...

Wait does the library not do movie rentals any more? Lame-O!

Have you ever seen Big Daddy? Mostly the scene where they're in the grocery store and getting dented cans b/c "M!crosoft went down 2 points today." OK I know it's not quite the same, but I try to find the humor wherever I can, and mad props to you for "cheap skatin'" your way through hard times. It's a skill your mini-infidels will come to cherish and respect, and hopefully pick up as well ;)

Nancy Face said...

16 bucks for three stupid movies? I would have declined them too! >:(

The prescription thing is just stinky.

wynne said...

I hate nasty surprises at the pharmacy counter. Especially when it's for some essential medication and you have to fork over the cash.

The mini-infidels come from some pretty hearty stock, though, so I'm sure they'll be able to weather the embarrassment. There may need to be counseling later, but that's not until they're all out of the house and have to pay for that stuff themselves.