Update on Neighbor From Hell

I haven’t updated about the neighbor from hell in quite a while and I thought today would be a good time to do so.

First, I’ll say that a fence WELL WITHIN our property boundaries was one of the best investments we ever made. We lost about 5 feet of land on all sides, but geeze it’s nice to have a physical barrier that keeps him, his guests and any town officials he has over at least a short distance from our house. Seriously folks, fences make the best neighbors.

Now that’s not to say that the fence has solved all of our problems – it hasn’t. Said neighbor is bipolar or something and every now and then he likes to be a jerk. I’m 99% sure he has a camera pointed at our back deck so he knows when we’re outside because every time we set the table for an outdoor meal, he has to mow the lawn or weed whack. Right along the fence that’s closest to the table. For hours on end. He weed whacked the same stretch of 50 feet for 3 hours the last time we attempted dinner outside. That’s not being particular about lawn care, that’s some serious effort at being a jerk. I should mention too that he also has a lawn service, so there’s no reason for him to mow or weed whack in the first place.

Then there was the time he decided to run the gas out of his snow blower next to the fence at midnight. He stopped long enough to refill it. We could have called the town on him, but we chose to be the bigger person and ignore it. We figured if we called the town it would give him some sort of justification in escalating his behavior and quite frankly, he has bought the town off in the past and I’m sure he’d just do it again.

I’ll tell you what, his behavior is annoying at times, but I just remind myself that he’s 30+ years older than I am and odds are that he’ll die first. And when he does, I’m sure hell will throw him a homecoming party.

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Money Saving Tip: Double Check Dental Bills

You hear stories all the time of people being ripped off by hospitals by being charged for services they didn’t receive, but did you know the same thing happens at the dentist?

Today, I saved $100 on my daughter’s dental work with basic math skills and knowledge of my insurance coverages. $100!

Here’s what happened. When they told me that my daughter needed a cavity filled, I asked for a quote in writing. They provided one and even included my deductible in the price. I went back to have the work done and the new price was $50 more than what was originally quoted!

I questioned it. They got mad that I questioned it and tried to silence me and tell me that I was wrong and that my insurance downgraded back fillings, but I knew I was right so I stood my ground. If I were a new patient or hadn’t spent so much time on the phone with the insurance company, I might have believed them. I didn’t though, so I put up the stink and argued it. They called the insurance company and I was right!

Once that was straightened out, they re-did their calculations — and I double checked them! No shame in my game! And guess what — they were wrong again! They were still calculating my portion at the wrong co-insurance.

So, it pays to be an informed consumer. I just saved myself $100 and I cringe thinking about how many people just assume the office is always right. In my experience, they’re rarely right, so check those bills people!!

Home Depot: An Unlikely Source for Small Appliances

I took a trip to my local Home Depot this past weekend to get some funky little halogen lightbulbs for my kitchen light. They don’t sell them at Walmart, so I figured Home Depot was probably my best bet. What should have been a trip totaling under $15 quickly skyrocketed to over $100. Why? Small appliances.

Home Depot, you never fail to amaze me with your selection of random items at sometimes spectacular prices.

This week they had a display of small appliances in the lighting aisle / main aisle. They had Ninja blenders for $49, air fryers for $49, electric pressure cookers for $39, 3-pot crock pot buffets for $30 and more. It was like Black Friday pricing, but probably a little better.

I made my selections, then came home and took to the internet to see what else other stores may have. It’s July, so it’s perfectly acceptable to start looking for Christmas gifts, right? The electric pressure cookers are priced at $49.88 on Home Depot’s website, which is still pretty good since they go for $85 on Amazon. The better deals are definitely in-store, but if you don’t have time or don’t live near a Home Depot, the online prices aren’t too shabby either.

Prime Day Bust

Today is Prime Day. Amazon is boasting that they have more deals than Black Friday, with new deals being released throughout the day. Excited for the bargains, I went to their website and took a look.

What a load of junk. No, literally. Dog leashes, kindles, various supplements, yoga mats and towels. Not really any of the big-ticket items people go for on Black Friday.

If you read my Groupon review, you know that I sent back my Ninja 4-in-1. I saw that there was one on the Prime Day deals, so I took a look. Any color for $84.99 refurbished. That’s worse than Groupon where they’re currently $69.99! That’s not a deal! The same thing is true for the Instapot they have one sale. The Prime Day price is not a bargain at all compared to other sites.

So, my final ruling: Prime Day is a bust, at least, for me it is.

Did you manage to find any bargains?

My First Groupon Goods Purchase & Return: A Review of Groupon Goods

I’ve been stalking the Ninja 4-in-1 deal on Groupon and when my birthday rolled around in June, I decided to go for it. The unit arrived 9 days after I ordered it, which is a lengthy time for shipping, but ok. I opened the box and pulled it out.

My heart sank.

The cooker was severely damaged. Like much more than you would expect from a refurbished item. Most refurbished items are like new with little signs of wear. This had a huge dent on the side and the bottom didn’t fit back together properly. It looked like it fell off the back of the truck. The box was in perfect shape with a ton of extra packaging, so I know it was shipped that way. I was duped.

ninja damage

I contacted Groupon. They have a 14-day return period and this item was not excluded, so I hurried up and had them send me a return shipping label. I packaged it back into the box it came in and I sent it out the next day with the mail. The return carrier picked it up from the post office at 5am on Friday, June 30th. It’s now Saturday morning and their website still says it has not yet been received. It was. More than 24 hours ago.

I Googled the return carrier. They are known for their poor service and lengthy return times. Hooray. Way to choose a bargain-priced carrier, Groupon. One more nail in that company’s coffin as far as I’m concerned.

To add insult to injury, I left a review of the Ninja at Groupon letting others know that the unit was so damaged that I had to return it. Sort of a buyer beware warning if you will. They have rejected 4 versions of my review with no explanation as to why. I asked a chat representative if Groupon doesn’t accept 1-star reviews and she ended the chat without answering. I asked another representative the same question and they ignored it, then referred me to email support.

That leads me to believe they don’t accept 1-star reviews. My faith in Groupon was totally shattered by this transaction. I just want my money back so I can go buy a cooker from a more trustworthy site like Craigslist. Yeah, I just wrote that — I trust the weirdos on Craigslist more than Groupon.

Buyer beware.