Thrifty Thursday

Thursday was originally going to be a “free” day for me – no set plans. So I thought maybe I’d wander down to the Metrocentre for a mooch and then do my shopping at the big Tesco in Kingston Park.

Then on Tuesday night, we had to call Sky about Raji’s box which wasn’t working when we put in the new viewing card. Raji’s box had not been in use for 5 months, partly due to him not having set it up when he first moved in, and then due to Billy losing the new viewing card. When I’d called about this, I was told that they could not send out a new card but might be able to reactivate the old one if we really couldn’t find the replacement. So after two weeks, Billy accepted defeat and called them to ask if the old card could be reactivated. And was told that they COULDN’T do that, but could send out a new card! So the new card came, but Billy and Raji could not get the box to work at all. Billy then spent an hour on the phone to Sky tech support who, at the end, said it must be a faulty box and they could send out an engineer – at the cost of £65 and then if the box WAS faulty, we’d have to buy a new one! I wasn’t having that, so I called them to cancel the multi-room for Raji’s room, since they’d already had £50 payment for it when it wasn’t in use! And lo! An engineer would be sent out free of charge, and if the box DID prove to be faulty, we could have a refurbished one. Unfortunately, the time the engineer would come was anytime between 12 and 5pm on Thursday.

So my new plan was to go shopping just in this branch in the morning, and then do some jobs around the house for the afternoon.

When I went out to the car, I found that it was completely dead. Argh! I was sure I hadn’t left any doors imperfectly closed (which is the usual cause of this) and they all appeared to be shut. The car was parked well away from the house so I couldn’t get the battery charger to reach it, and we’ve tried before to remove the battery but it didn’t want to know. Then I remembered we have free RAC cover with our bank account, so I called them, and explained that I was pretty sure the problem was a dead battery and that I was sorry to be calling just for that. So then I had to wait for the RAC man.

He actually came fairly quickly and after looking manually and testing with his gadgets, he said that the battery was sub standard (it was the car’s original and was at the end of its natural life span) and that it had simply died of its own accord as there had been no doors left open and no lights etc left on. The chap was very nice and then when I asked if it was a model-specific battery or if the local garage was likely to have one in stock, he said that he had one on the van he could fit if I wanted to. I asked if that cost more than a garage and he said that it was comparable with a well known chain, and cheaper than buying one in a well known car shop. Further, as an RAC member, I would only have to pay for the battery itself and no labour. So I decided to go for it. £64.99 for a new battery, all fitted, and (hopefully) no more dead car every now and then, was well worth it.

So, finally, at 11am I was able to go to do the shopping. As it turned out, Billy was off work sick (with the light headedness and nausea that I had the other week) so if it came to it, he could let the Sky engineer in, though I would try to be back as soon as I could.

Mum had given me some vouchers from the newspaper so that I could get £2 off when I spent £8 on e.g. Fresh meat and poultry. There were several vouchers for different departments and I managed to use all but 1 – saving me £12! Then, being a thrifty shopper, and always after the best bargains for my family of five (including three very hungry males who can put their food away!) plus three hungry cats, and three hamsters, I took advantage of several multi-buys and BOGOFs to save a further £12.42. £160.71 of shopping for £136.29 – Bargain! (And several items won’t need buying again for a long while.)

Back home, I did a few jobs whilst waiting for the Sky engineer, and when he arrived, it took him all of 5 minutes to discover what Billy and Raji had missed – a cable had come out of the back of the box!! Glad we didn’t pay £65 for THAT!

At the end of the day then, what I SHOULD have paid:

* RAC call-out/membership £59 call out or £105.63 for the level of cover we have
* New battery £64.99
* Tesco shopping £160.71
* Sky call out charge £65
TOTAL: £ 349.70 (call out RAC) or £ 396.33 (membership)

Actual amount paid:
* New car battery £64.99
* Tesco shopping £136.29
TOTAL: £ 201.28

Savings: £ 148.42 to £ 195.05!

Not quite the “free” day I’d planned, but not bad in the end 🙂


  1. […] had died and it had only managed to retain enough charge for the electrics to work as it was new (previously, it would be dead in a day rather than the week it had taken this time!) He went out in the rain and set up the […]

  2. […] the end of last week, I had to call out the RAC for my car again – a it was dead – again! I was sure it must be a problem either with the battery not getting […]

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