Just ask Dave, I'm not a domestic goddess. We survive around the house here, but with three small children it is always busy. Happy, but busy. Amid all this chaos I have found something I am good at. Architecture? No. Artistic endeavors? No. Laundry? Heavens no!
I am good at complaining.
Not your everyday complaining -- most of you know I am a generally positive person. My complaining gets our family money. Aha! I've peaked your interest. Basically I pay attention to the things I buy. If something is not right or I have a positive suggestion I make a call to that little 800 number you see in fine print on the box. In general the companies will replace the item with a full price purchase coupon if something is wrong. Here's an example: We like to buy the California Pizza Kitchen speciality pizzas. They are not cheap, but cheaper than going the the restaurant. I got one the other day where the toppings were not evenly distributed. Everything was in a line down the middle. So, I called. I now have a coupon which is worth a purchase up to $8.00. In my opinion that is one minute well spent.
A few weeks ago Dave came home with a little potato chip bag from lunch. "Look what was at the bottom of my potato chip bag." I wasn't sure I really wanted to know...but at the bottom of the bag was a one inch square black wad of debris. Honestly it looked like the dredgings from the bottom of the fry vat. (Yummy. LOL) So I called. The moment I mentioned our discovery the customer service lady swung into action tell me that there would be a special package coming my way to send the debris back in (turned out to be a preaddressed tyvek) and she took all my contact information. I can't believe I kept that little potato chip bag in my kitchen drawer until the envelope arrive. I imagine it was pulverized by the mail system, but it arrived on the other end. A week later we get a letter describing the analyzed contents (burned potato starch with salt) and containing 4 coupons for full size bags of any Lays brand (Rold Gold, Cheetos, and a million other speciality brands). Granted, it was a pain to deal with, but I traded one small individual bag of chips for 4 full sized bags. Not bad. There will be pretzels to fill school lunches for a while.
I wonder if I can figure out how to make this sort of thing work with the Electic and Gas company? (Not likely.)