cell phone

All posts tagged cell phone

And the Oscar goes to (repost)

Published June 6, 2018 by lynn k scott

I created this post, “And the Oscar Goes To…” a little over a year ago.  I felt like sharing it with all the parents of teens (and tweens).  We’ve got to support each other.  So unless you’ve been “repelled”, you’re doing a good job with your kids and their cell phone.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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S-t-r-e-t-c-h ….

Published July 19, 2016 by lynn k scott

….those grocery dollars.  It never fails…expenses keep coming in, paychecks seem to get smaller and yet your family insists on eating…and more than once per day!  It seems it’s a never ending food cycle.

I feel your pain and understand completely.  While I only have three mouths to feed, my daughter is pretending she is at least two people and we haven’t even hit the teen years yet!  There is hope.  There are ways you can stretch your food dollars bills.  Odds are, you have heard of some of these, but hopefully, at least one suggestion will be new.

The first option is coupons.  Yes, I said, and you might dread it; but they work.  I used to be an extreme couponer and in CA, that’s not easy.  However, there are deals to be found you just need to know how to access them.

  • Read the coupon policies for the store(s) you shop.
  • Learn how to stack coupons:  a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon used on the same item.  If the item is on sale….WOO HOO…maximum savings!
  • Read the coupons.  Some will only let you buy four of the same item in the same trip or same day.
  • Match coupons to sale items.

Next…shop multiple stores.  I know some will say, “I don’t have time to make several trips.” I respond with your wallet can’t afford you not to (true for many people).  Don’t drive all over creation.  Plan your trips and hit several stores in the same area.

Use saving apps on your cell phone.  Have you heard of ibotta?  It’s almost like coupons on your phone.  Granted, there is a pre-selected group of coupons to choose from.  You simply click on the items you use.  Sometimes you watch a 10 second video, other times you answer a question or sometimes the item unlocks immediately.  You can save anywhere from $0.25 to a dollar or more.  You simply purchase the item, scan the UPC code, take a picture of the receipt and “send”.  Once you reach $20.00, you can cash out your earnings.

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Another app is the savings catcher on the Walmart app.  You simply scan your receipt into the savings catcher and it will scan other stores in the area.  If the item you bought was cheaper somewhere else, you get the difference.  When you cash out, you can do so right to your phone and the cashier can scan the bar code right from the phone!

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There are many more apps, including apps from your grocery store, but I’ll stop there.  Ask your friends and family which ones they use.  I know my friends who hate to clip coupons will use the apps instead.

Shop local.  Learn where your local produce stands are.  They are typically local to your community and tend to have some great deals.  The one close to my job, I can get 10 pounds of potatoes for $2.00 almost all year long.  I can get Granny-Smith apples usually under $.50 a pound.  Go where the savings are.  You’re helping a local business owner meet his financial obligations too!

Buy fruits and vegetables in season.  To this day, I still meet people who have no idea what that means.  “In season” is when the fruit or vegetables are grown and harvested.  For example, cranberries are common and cheaper in the fall.  Blueberries are in season, right now, as I type this.  You can pay $1.98 for 18 oz. of blueberries in season, compared to $4.00 for the same package when they are out of season.  Know your seasons and plan your meals around them.

Buy meats that cook low and slow.  That sounds a bit odd to people.  However, the tougher cuts of meat such as pot roast, corned beef, stew beef, etc. tend to be cheaper than the nicer cuts of meat; tri-tip, london broil, etc..  They require longer cooking times and normally at a lower temperature.  If you don’t have a crock pot…GET ONE!  They come in very handy for these cuts of meat, will cook all day without you standing over them and will be fall off the bone tender when you’re done.

What’s in a name…brand that is…There are just some brand named items that are equally as good in the store brand version.  Stop paying for advertising of the brand and start thinking about the item.  Are the primary ingredients the same?  Odds are they will work or taste the same too.  Read labels and see what I’m talking about.  I’m not saying to give up your favorite shampoo or favorite snack, just know, the store varieties have something to offer.

Lastly, for the purpose of this post anyway, make a list and stick to it.  If  your like me, you make the list of needed items and then forget it when you’re ready to go shopping.  Once you’re primarily done with the list, put it in your purse, pocket, with the car keys…somewhere you will remember it.  If that hasn’t worked, many cell phones are able to record lists or notes.  There are even cell phone apps that are strictly for shopping lists.

So there is a handful of saving suggestions; just the tip of the savings iceberg really.  It’s enough to get you started, at any rate.  If you have suggestions on making those grocery dollars stretch, please feel free to leave a comment.  There are so many more options available than this humble list.

 

Did I Cave?

Published July 18, 2016 by lynn k scott

I like to consider myself an old-school parent.  I raise my kids with understanding, but don’t tolerate a lot of BS and will call them to the mat when they think they are going to get away with something.  As I only have one child left at home, I still have to temper my views with keeping up with today.

In comes the debate that plagues many of my parent friends:  when do the kids get a cell phone.  My daughter is 10.5, very mature for her age, and up to a few months ago, a snowball in hell had a better chance of not melting than she did in getting a cell phone before she was a teenager.

If you ask her, I’m the “mean” parent. I do most of the rule enforcement, handle school issues, run the household and put up with very little.  Heck, she even nicknamed me, “the funsucker”.  No lie…go ahead and laugh.  I did and thought…right on…I’m doing my job as a mom making her into a responsible kid.

Lately, my lil miss has been helping out with the dogs; getting them on and off their leashes for potty breaks, cleaning up after them, cuddling with my 3 year old pup, who thinks he’s 8 months old again.  She helps in the kitchen, does her assigned chores without much complaining, and is really a pretty good kid.

When I decided we weren’t going to homeschool and I put her in a very small, but private school, that meant, I didn’t really have sitters on hand.  Now, because school is out for 5 more (loooooong) weeks, she hangs out at my office with me.  I have some friends who take her from time to time, but she’s with me 90% of the time.  I know she gets bored.  So, she takes my phone to keep herself entertained.  I know what she’s watching and she knows I know.

That being said, I wanted my phone back.  However, it’s easier for her to be less disruptive if she can call into my private office and I can go to her versus her coming to me.  So, I told her dad we were getting her a phone.  By, “we”, I meant me.  Now, I’m still paying for my phone.  I wasn’t about to be doing the same for a 10-year old…heck no!

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Did my research and I was able to add a Go-Phone to my plan.  So for $80, she received an 8 Gig phone with a 5 megapixel camera.  It’s a Samsung and it’s not too bad, but a good “starter” phone.  However, there are several stipulations that go with this new phone.  Remember, I’m the “mean” mom.

  • She no longer gets an allowance.  She was getting $3.00/week if all her chores were completed.  Well, that’s about what her monthly phone bill will be so, I pay that.  She must continue to do all her chores.
  • She must maintain good grades.  She is a good student, but has to work for it.  She tries to slack off.  For spelling test, “I got this, Mom”.  She honestly thinks she will learn through osmosis or something.  Yup, she flunks a spelling test or doesn’t study to my satisfaction, she will lose the phone for a week at a time, so she can concentrate.
  • Lastly, attitude.  She’s a female, pre-pubescent (Lord, HELP ME!) and she’s my daughter and becoming well versed in sarcasm.  So, when the attitude goes awry, her phone goes away.

She has to turn in the phone every evening before going to bed.  Her phone stays with my phone.  There will be no staying up playing games, when she should be sleeping.  I think this will enhance her responsibility.  Oh, and this was the way I got out of thinking about her having a hamster.  That alone was worth the $80, if you ask me.

So did I cave?  Naw….I don’t think I did.  I think getting your child a cell phone is really dependent upon your family dynamics and the child in question.  As their parent, you can only decide when the time is right.

 

Buying a new cell phone

Published November 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

I will say, I am becoming quite the expert on purchasing new cell phones.  Over the years, I have been a customer with almost every major cell service provider.  I don’t have the best luck with phones.  I think it’s because I use them so often, they just wear out when I’m not dropping them into water or inflicting some other damage to them; completely on accident, mind you.

Yesterday, the time had come.  My 11-month old, Note 4, was telling me we were through.  It really hurts when you love your phone and it refuses to reciprocate.  That being said, I started researching my current plan, and found I was eligible for an upgrade.  I found a comparable replacement; same phone, newer model.  Why is it so difficult to just make the switch?  Ok, so I don’t have the best credit, but I do pay my bill.  Well shucks, a deposit is still required?  I’m not really feeling that option. After speaking with customer service, then the retention people (who can pull up my account), being offered a lesser option, and then finding out the representative really has no interest in retaining me as a customer, all goes quiet when I hang up the phone.

What to do….

CALL A COMPETITOR!!!

A girl has to shop around for the best option, right?  Well, the quoted price, was better, lower monthly cost, and it would only take 1-3 days to get my new phone with shipping.  Ummm….hmmmm…my phone is dead.  Last resort…need to go to the teenage hangout, over-priced, too many stores in one location destination…THE MALL!  (que scary music)

I first head to the store that repairs shattered screens.  Perhaps it’s just my battery.  Could be.  Also could be the charging unit. The $58.00 quote to replace the charging unit, not guaranteeing to fix the issue, is what drove me to my carrier’s store. Let’s try to work this out so I can be in touch with the rest of the universe, shall we?  No such luck.  I get a mid-20s kid (yes I can say he was a kid) who wasn’t that sure on plans, was going to charge me more for the phone vs online and I’d still have to pay off the old plan since I didn’t pay the monthly fee to waive the upgrade.  LOVELY!!!

Went to the competition’s store.  It was PACKED!!!  Thinking, “just great…I have to be at a meeting in 70 minutes”.  I check-in and let them know I must leave in exactly one hour.  “We’ll get to you as soon as we can”.  Ahhh, the polite, “sit down and wait you’re turn” brush off.

I was lucky.  I was the second person waiting for assistance and the person ahead of me needed a Spanish-speaking representative, so that bumped me up to first place.  I had been noticing all the indecisiveness while observing the other customers while waiting for my turn.

I witnessed people not having any idea what plans were available.  One woman had to call someone and discuss her options before committing.  Another couple must have gone through every available option.  All of these people were well into being serviced prior to my arrival at the store.  One person concluded their transaction while I was waiting.

It was my turn in just 20 short minutes.  The rep approaches me.  I say, “I need to be out of here in 25 minutes to make a meeting.  I know the phone I want.  You just need to tell me is it cheaper to add on to my husband’s plan or create my own plan.”

He stepped right up to the plate.  Cheaper to go with the hubby’s plan.  “What color would you like?”, he asked.  Simple response, “Whatever you have in stock.”  He counters with, “now that’s what I’m talking about”.

After covering the additional charges, trading in my phone, purchasing the new phone and porting over my number, I was out in exactly 25 minutes!  I didn’t get a chance to swap all my numbers over, but my old phone barely allowed us to factory reset it for the trade in.  I was done before ALL the people being helped when I initially walked in.

There is no excuse for a cell phone purchase to take hours; and yes, I’ve seen it happen.  Take 20-40 minutes to review information on-line, get phone stats, review plans and make a tentative decision BEFORE visiting a store.  Then, go into the store, play with the phones and make that decision while you are waiting for assistance. Ask a few plan-related questions to clarify anything you aren’t sure of when it’s your turn and finish the transaction.  Doing a little “homework” can save you from the rep selling you items you don’t need or want.

I see this as a way to be considerate of others.  Get in, get out and be on your way!  I for one don’t have all day; even if you do.

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