We have been a one-car family for as long as we’ve been a family. Then last month, right before our road trip, we bought a new-to-us minivan.
We were going to sell our 2000 Camry, but hesitated. I mean, it would be convenient to have a second car, wouldn’t it? Even though both of us work from home.
You can see the slippery slope here, can’t you?
Well, in an effort to keep down our costs on this not-yet-convinced-we-need-it-or-can-afford-it second car, I called our insurance agent and asked about a reduced rate based on the fact that we would hardly be driving the car. Less than 5,000 miles a year.
Yup, there definitely is a discount. Great! Almost $70 every 6 months. Even better!
But wait, the agent needed to get an odometer reading before initiating the policy. No problem. I ran out to the garage to get the reading. I told him the mileage (nearly 130,000) and closed the door.
Or so I thought.
In actuality, I had just nudged the door almost closed, which meant that the overhead light was left on. For five days. Until we went to drive the not-yet-convinced-we-need-it-or-can-afford-it second car. Which of course wouldn’t start.
The towing company came out to jump us. This our insurance company paid for. The new battery, however, to the tune of $93, was on us.
And there you have it. Epic frugal fail. I wasted $93 by trying to save $70.
There is a light at the end of this majorly SNAFUd tunnel, however. Before I called the towing company, I googled them. (Actually, I swagbucked them.) And lo and behold, they had a $10 off any service coupon on their website. State Farm should be thanking me. I just saved them $10.
I also saved us $10 by swagbucking Firestone and printing off a new battery coupon. And I checked out the prices of batteries online, so when the guy quoted me $105, I knew I was being overcharged.
While this whole dead battery experience has been inordinately frustrating, it did teach me a valuable lesson, which I am glad to be able to share with all of you today: Don’t buy anything without first spending a few seconds looking online for a coupon.
Stay tuned for a post in the coming days about how to get free shipping, free rebates, and other free coupon codes for all your online (and offline) purchases.
In the meantime, make sure you shut your car doors tight.