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Cable Bill Reduced 50%

June 16th, 2006 at 05:24 pm

My mom is one of those people that don't like to make phone calls to save money. I wrote last September that by making a simple call to the cable company I was able to reduce my mom's cable bill from $65 to $39.95 a month. Of course, that only lasted three months and I specifically told her that she needed to call back after 3 months to get a better rate again - something that she failed to do. In the meantime, she decided to upgrade her account to include some premium movie channels and on my return back to the US found she was paying $79.20 a month for cable.

Since there were other competing offers of a free month and $29.95 a month thereafter for similar service, I decided that I needed to make another call. I used the exact same strategy I have always used in the past. While I wasn't able to get them to match the deal, they did drop the rates significantly over what she had been paying.

I ended up keeping the exact same service that my mom currently had(including the premium channels my mom likes) for $39.95 a month rather than the $79.20. The deal is good for 6 months which equates to a total savings of $235.50. Certainly not bad for a 15 minute phone call.

While I know it is difficult for some people to call to try and get discounts, it's a skill worth mastering as it will save you literally hundreds (and most likely thousands) of dollars a year. I'm not sure that I'll be able to teach my mom how to do this, but I'll certainly give it a try since it is something that she should be able to do on her own.

Our Frugal Travel Entertainment

March 24th, 2006 at 07:53 am


We took a trip to the sea today. Over the years, we have developed a lot of games to liven up the trips which don't cost any money. I talked about how we always look for phone cards when we go out. Another form of free entertainment we enjoy whenever we go out is collecting stamps, but not the postal type. One of the great things about Japan is that almost anywhere you go, they have ink stamps that you can put into a book for free.

These stamps are located everywhere. At train stations, at highway stops, at museums, at virtually every tourist spot, at temples, at shrines just to name a few. One of my favorite books is the one we made climbing Mt. Fuji - there were a number of stamps at each rest station marking the height of each along the way and at the very top we got a huge one from the shrine that is located there. Basically there are stamps everywhere in Japan if you keep an eye out for them.


They even have sponsored stamp rallies. These are usually organized by tourist bureaus or cities. If you get stamps from all the designated places in the rally, you will get some type of prize. These are usually focused toward families with kids, but sometimes they have them specifically for adults. It is a great way to see a new area of Japan and you often find yourself in out of the way places you would have never gone otherwise.

We added 7 news stamps to our book today. Not only are they free entertainment for us finding them, but they also are great memory books as each time you look at them, you remember where you got them. With a little imagination and focusing on things that you like to do, it's not too difficult to find entertainment that doesn't cost a lot of money.