My washer is now fixed!! Wooo! I am so thrilled about this development. I have to admit, I don’t mind going to the laundromat. It’s an excellent place to people watch, and I love getting my laundry done all at once. The thing is, I’d hate to have to take both girls with me. That would put it on the list of Not Fun Things To Do With Children, definitely.
We finally made it out to the appliance store here on the island to see if they had the part we needed for the washer. As we walked in the door, we saw two men at the back of the space, each with his own desk. One leaned his chair way back, opened the back door, and chucked something outside. What was funny was he was throwing out his cigarette! I know Rhode Island has anti-smoking laws, so walking into a store with the scent of cigarette smoke lingering in the air was something I hadn’t experienced in a very long time, not since we moved from Virginia back in 2003. Back then you could still smoke inside a restaurant. Kurt and I aren’t fussy people, so when the hostess would ask, “Smoking or non?” we’d always answer, “First available.” I don’t think you can smoke inside anymore in Virginia.
I must ask Caroline.
The other gent behind the desk greeted us cheerfully with a “How can I help ya?” Kurt explained the problem and asked for new clutch dogs, and the guy immediately confirmed his diagnosis. He headed into the parts area and came back with a packet of new clutch dogs in his hand. He even set the new clutch dogs into the cam for us!
Total cost for the clutch dogs? $5 and some change.
Just for grins and chuckles, we asked the guy how much labor would be involved in replacing this part. Can you believe they’d charge $140 just to do an incredibly easy five-minute job?? Kurt’s in the wrong industry, let me tell you.
That, my friends, is why we needed new clutch dogs. The dirty-looking piece of plastic on the right is the old clutch dog, and if you look closely at the bottom of the teardrop shape, you can see how worn it is. The protrusions on it are almost flush with the body of the dog! That’s why the agitator wasn’t agitating properly; the agitator basically works on a gear system, with these protrusions fitting into the cogs of a gear. As the agitator turns, the protrusions catch on the cogs, and that causes the jerky motion of the agitator instead of allowing it to spin freely. Otherwise the clothes would never be drawn down into the water, and they wouldn’t get nearly as clean.
You can see how much better the protrusions are on the dog that’s sitting in the cam. I’ve now op-tested the new clutch dogs, and my washer works like new again! I’ve done two loads of laundry thus far, including Mary Ellen’s diapers. You don’t want to let those things set too long, let me tell you. Peee yewwww!
I’m so thrilled that we got this fixed for so cheaply, and now I’m glad I didn’t let Kurt talk me into a new washer. I’m kind of surprised at myself, really. I tend to be the one who’s begging for this or that when I really want it, though I try my best to get a bargain on whatever it is. Kurt can tend to be the one to try to make me see reason and discourage me gently from buying it right now. I guess it’s because I’ve been talking about wanting a new washer for so long, ever since I saw my first beautiful front-loading washer. But I don’t feel like shelling out a grand right now on a washer/dryer set.
I’m even more excited that Kurt fixed the washer for such a low cost. How often is it that you get away with fixing something for so little? Even stopping a leak under my sink, which required the replacement of the hoses (each costing all of $8 each), ran me $100 when Kurt was out to sea one summer.
I’m not sure I’m ever going to let him go back to sea. He saves me so much money being home! Then again, we do get all kinds of allowances when he’s gone, like sea pay, and family separation pay, and sometimes hazard pay, and if he goes into the Persian Gulf, then his income isn’t even taxable. Our taxable income for 2003 was a fraction of what he actually made because he spent seven months in the Persian Gulf. That was awesome, though I missed him terribly.
I managed to save the family a decent amount of money today! Last night we picked up a few last-minute things at the civilian grocery store here, like luncheon meat for Grace’s lunch and coffee creamer for me. Everything we bought was on sale, and I also had coupons for some of it. We usually buy our salad in bulk at BJ’s, but I noticed a Buy One Get One Free promotion for the bagged salads in the produce case, and as I investigated, I found a $2 off two bags coupon laying on the shelf. This meant I got two bags of salad for $3.49, but then with the $2 off coupon, both bags came to $1.49. You can’t beat it! We also bought the family pack of luncheon meat with the $2 off manager’s special coupon attached to it. It has a Use By date for today, so the store had to sell it last night. I’m sure we’ll go through all that luncheon meat this week, so I’m not worried about it going bad.
All in all, we saved $10 on a $25 order. YAY!
Then today, we had to do some major grocery shopping at the commissary. I have no idea when we last went to the commissary to stock up. It’s been a long time; lately we’ve just been buying this and that to get us by. We bought 90 items but I used $12 in coupons! Our grand total was $135, which isn’t bad at all. That’s enough food to get us to next week, though I’ll probably go to the commissary next Tuesday to get food for Christmas week, when my parents are here. I am not looking foward to going to the commissary on the 23rd. It’s going to be crazy busy in there, and everyone’s tempers are going to be super short. Maybe they’ll be open on Monday next week, and I can just go then. They’re usually closed on Mondays, so no one would think to go then. I hope, anyhow.
Do you have an awesome saving money story to share?