On Friday after work, I decided to do some errands in the Nashua area, since New Hampshire is sales tax-free and since I wasn't picking up V and M until Saturday morning.
My errands included some
Christmas shopping, but definitely included some things that I had been putting off, like getting my hair cut and getting the oil changed in my car.
What I didn't count on was the weather. We didn't get snow, which was good since if we had we would have been pounded with it. Instead we got about 2½-3 inches of rain, some of which was the freezing variety, making it especially heavy on tree limbs and power lines while freezing the roads just enough to make driving a little more adventuresome.
When I got to Nashua, I turned off of the highway to go to Sam's Club and Wal-Mart in neighboring Hudson. Only the power was out in that part of town. Totally out. No street lights, no traffic lights and no power in the businesses in that whole neighborhood. It was so pitch dark that I almost didn't recognize where I was, even though I've driven those roads thousands of times.
Because there were no working traffic lights, the Hudson police had to step in and direct traffic, all dressed in their rain slickers and waving their orange traffic director flashlight thingees, through this major intersection. In order to get back onto the highway I had to make a left turn onto a busy road, with traffic coming both directions. Of course there was no officer directing traffic where I was. Oh, no siree.
I decided to head towards downtown Nashua, towards the library and Jiffy Lube. One of my stops along the way was to a comic store, so I could get something for M for Christmas, which of course they were all out. "Come back on Thursday," the store owner said, after looking for the thing I wanted and not finding it.
At least this store had electricity, as did the strip of businesses on Main Street. But drive off of Main Street about a mile, as I needed to do to get to Jiffy Lube, and you were back in the powerless zone. No oil change for my car then. Not today, anyway.
Then K calls my cell phone to tell me that testing for V and M on Saturday had been cancelled due to - you guessed it - power outages. We agreed to meet at exit 11 and that she'd call me when she got to the highway,
I decided to skip the library then, figuring they might be closed as well and knowing I'll want/need to go there eventually. The next stop wasn't originally in my plan for this trip but once I knew I'd have V and M, I decided to go to the post office and get my mail.
I still needed to get my hair cut, so I went to the 24 hour Wal-Mart Supercenter in Amherst to do that. Naturally, as I was in the chair getting my trim, K called to tell me she'd be at our meeting spot in about fifteen minutes. Great. I still wanted to look for something specific there for V and M afterwards. K would have to wait so I could get these two other things.
Side point: this is why I rarely tip the salon women: When I was paying for the hair cut, I added in a tip that would have put the total charge on my debit card to $17. Instead, the woman entered $17.95 as my price, rounding her tip to $3. Of course, I didn't look at my receipt until well after I got home that night.
Now that you've read all that, I'll tell you about the thirty cents!!
My first stop Friday night was to Barnes and Noble in Nashua, because I had a coupon for an extra 15% off any item I chose that I wanted to use. It never fails, however, that when I actually buy stuff there I can invariably get the same stuff cheaper on-line. Such was the case this time. I bought for myself two books (that I hadn't planned on buying in the first place but looked good) in addition to the things I wanted to get for M. OF the two books I bought, both were cheaper on Amazon. One of the books I actually ordered on Friday night when I got home, the other I'll buy in February, when I discovered that the newest edition will be published and I'll still
get it cheaper than what I originally paid.
Yesterday my errand was to go to Barnes and Noble in Burlington, MA and return the two items I bought the night before. Not only did they refund me the purchase price of the items but also $1.48 in MA sales tax, which I did not pay when I shopped in Nashua. I ended up buying a different book for myself plus something additional for V and M. On this purchase they legitimately charged me $1.18 in MA sales tax. Thus, I inadvertently made thirty cents on the deal.
Labels: bonus, books, electricity, penny-pinching, shopping