I've heard that quite a bit in the last few months as we told people our kids were entering full-day kindergarten. Well, as I am still wiping away tears just three days after the start of the school year, I am not in a huge rush to decide what I am going to do.
I asked my husband if he had any expectations of me finding a part-time job right away and he said he wasn't in any rush. We discussed it further and realized there are several advantages of me being the stay-at-home parent for a bit longer, at least through the fall/winter holidays.
One of the main advantages is that I can now tackle our money-saving and home improvement to-do lists. The projects that have been sidelined for the past five years simply because I couldn't always focus my energies on phone calls/estimates/negotiations while caring for our twin boys. My plan is to have a detailed project list by mid-September, but that hasn't stopped me from making preliminary calls on a few projects.
First up, finding the best trash services rate. I know, you were expecting something more exciting, but hear me out.
|Photo credit: RepublicServices.com|
Now, I would be more understanding if I knew everyone in my community was getting similar rates. Unfortunately, there are sizable discrepancies between rates, even within the same company for the same service in similar communities. How do I know? Well, I posted about it on a local Facebook page and I found some very interesting information - others are paying as little as $51/quarter.
So, today, while the kids are in school and I can have an uninterrupted phone conversation, I started on my quest and called a local competitor. They quoted me $72/quarter, which was higher than what the Facebook page members had quoted as their rates with that same company. I immediately posted the following comment on the Facebook post:
"Very interesting. I called Penn Container today and asked for their residential rate - $72/qtr. Big difference from the $51 and $62 quoted above. Well, at least that is better than Republic's $111/qtr."
Shortly after I posted that comment, I started writing this post. As I am writing, my husband calls to say Republic just called him (cue Twilight Zone music) and offered us a new quarterly rate of $66 and they would credit our account the difference for this quarter since we had already paid this quarter's $111. That is an annual savings of $180!
Coincidence that we got a call within minutes of my comment on the Facebook page (mind you, it was not the company's Facebook page, but a local message board page)??? Hmm, I am not so sure, but regardless, I now have a lower rate effective immediately and now I can cross that item off my list.