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FrugalFriday

Suggestions for Contacting Companies:

In Writing. It’s always best to do it in writing. You are able to think about exactly what you want to say and how to word it. In my case, it comes out much more professional on paper than verbally.

Manners. The first part of being minding your manners when writing  is spelling and grammar. Run spell-check! Nothing says “I didn’t put a lot of effort into this” or “You’re not worth the time”  like poor spelling. The other obvious aspect of manners is language. Make sure that you address your letter politely.

Positive. Try to be upbeat and positive. If possible, start your letter in a positive manner. Is there something about the company/individual that you really like? Start with that. Once you have dealt with your grievance, then try to end on a positive note as well.

Be Non-Confrontational. Once you have said something nice, gently bring forth your grievance in a non-confrontational way. Unless you are just writing them to blow off steam and don’t actually want to work out a mutually agreeable solution, avoid saying things like “you’ve lost my business”. The only reason that a company would want to work with you to rectify any problems is to keep your current business and to maintain a good image in word-of-mouth advertising. Instead, try to phrase it in a way that encourages the company to work with you, such as “I’m unhappy with ___ . I am contacting you to give you the opportunity to rectify the situation.”

Make Suggestions. If you have some suggestions or ideas, politely include these in your letter as well. Many companies, anxious to please, will consider anything that you take the time to suggest, though do not be offended if you do not get the exact solution you proposed. (examples: The car seat cover is torn so perhaps you can send me a replacement? If the exact pattern is not available, a light brown would match as well.)

End in Expectation: Write as if you are sure that they too will be anxious to work with you. Closing with something such as “Thank you in advance for your willingness to work with me in this matter” will encourage agreement on their part.

Do you have a letter writing tip? Or a sure-fire way to get results? Please, Please Share!!

Related Posts: Success Stories: Free Repairs, Replacements and More

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I have discovered a secret!

Most companies are interested in ensuring customer satisfaction even after the sale is complete! If you have products that are broken, or need parts, try contacting them! Often they will repair or replace for little or no cost! It is a Finer Thing when companies still stand behind their products!

I purchased a wonderful bible organizer and cover in pink a couple years ago. I love this set. On Sundays it houses my wallet, tissues, notebook, bible and anything else I need it too. And it’s pink! I love pink! Anyway, the other day one of the handles broke on it. I was crest-fallen. I emailed Zondervan and they responded shortly after. They confirmed the type of case it was and mailed me out a new one no charge. I had it within a week! I was over the moon about it. Zondervan is a company that really stands behind it’s products! My likelihood of purchasing their products in the future just increased  because my opinion of their company just dramatically rose!

book case

I have a Graco car seat and it had a tear in it under the edge at the top. I actually think that many of them tear due to the design and the sharp edge at the top. Anyway, I contacted Graco and explained the situation and they replaced it for me.

Chloe received TJ Bear for her 1st birthday from her grandparents. He’s a bear that “reads” to you and Chloe loves him. He stopped working just before her second birthday. I contacted Hasbro but unfortunately they don’t make him anymore however they were kind enough to send me out a free item of equivalent value. (And my dad was able to fix TJ bear anyway. No, I am not going to tell you what was wrong with it because then you would all wonder why I wasn’t smart enough to try changing the batteries. LOL)

bear

I have several other letter writing success stories and my sister also has many success stories that she could share about the great customer service that some companies provide. Before you give up on something, contact the company!

Related Posts: Get Results with your Letter!

 

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It was the simplest of ideas; cheap, easy to make, and lasting…

Rock Critters!

This is one of the last rock critters we have kicking around. I would say he’s about 20+/- years old. He resides in moms garden. His eyes are missing so he just has rocks propped up on him. We used to have dozens of them but when you move clear across the province (a 23+/- hour drive), you can only transport so many rocks, regardless of sentimental value. At least that is what they told us when we were packing…I personally would have left the furniture and brought more rocks 🙂

How To Make a Rock Critter

  1. Choose your size rock and two smaller rocks for eyes. A rock about the size of a iron makes the best size I think but we made them smaller and larger and they looked fabulous set up as a little critter family!
  2. Paint the body a light color (or leave it natural if it is a light colored rock to begin with)
  3. Paint the spots a darker color (or use markers…not sure about crayons)
  4. Paint the smaller rocks black and glue on
  5. Paint on a mouth

My grampa helped us create these. We should have went into business I think. Growing up with Grandpa was such blessing! He’s in the hospital right now and could use your prayers!

FrugalFriday

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This week we have a guest post from a wonderful man, my husband, Scott! He is far more adventurous than I when it comes to making things like this from scratch. Though he has had a few things that…umm..maybe weren’t so great, the bulk of his attempts turn out fantastic. Yogurt is one of them!

“ My daughter loves Yop, the yoghourt drink.  It’s pretty pricy for the minuscule bottle, so I checked the ingredients and found skim milk, sugar, vanilla, active bacteria and some other stuff.  Since this sounded like skim milk yoghourt with sugar and vanilla I decided to make my own by mixing these ingredients with enough milk to make it look like a thin milkshake.

She didn’t seem to mind the changeup but I was still a little price sensitive and thought to make my own yoghourt and then I’m really just using my own raw ingredients.  I described the plan to my wife and she took it the same way she does all my raw ingredient experiments: not saying much and I believe not expecting much.

Searching the web for recipes and techniques proved to be enlightening: yoghourt (or yogurt or yoghurt) is dead easy.  You need any kind of milk, a large pot, thermometer, a small amount of yoghourt and sterilized containers.

I had a box of mason jars in the garage so I measured them up (1 gallon each) and boiled two in my large pot for ten minutes then left them to dry.  I then poured two gallons of 3.25% fat milk (a little under two litres) into the pot and set it on medium high heat, checking for 195 degrees F.  When it reached that I took it off the heat and watched until it dropped to 115 degrees F and then poured it into the two mason jars.  Next I added a big tablespoon of yoghourt to each jar, stirred it up and sealed the jars.

From here the milk and yoghourt mixture needs to ferment so there were a few suggestions: put the jars in the oven with the light on or wrap in towels and put in a cooler.  Either method recommended 8-12 hours of fermentation so I went with the oven since it seemed easier and we weren’t using it.

The next morning I took the jars out and had a nice consistently of home made yoghourt: not too thick or thin.  For eating and sauces I would like a firmer yoghourt so I could add whole milk powder before the yoghourt or just strain out the yoghourt.  For my daughter’s drinking pleasure I still need to add milk but it just feels great knowing I made that, all by myself (and twenty or so websites I read first).”

For more of his fabulous tips, check out his blog eBabble!

Wednesday WFM

    FrugalFriday

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So my Frugal Friday contributions have to do with cleaning supplies. Often we fall prey to the popular misconception that we need to have a cleaner for each task. While some cleaners do work best in performing a specific task, you do not really need as many cleaners as you may think!

  • E-cloths really do work!
  • Less is best! Find a multi-purpose cleaner you are happy with it and use it for multiple purposes!
  • An organized space = easy to find items (frugal with your time).
  • An organized space = easy to see what you have so you do not spend money on what you do not need! (How did I end up with 3 bottles of Windex and a refill jug of it?)

vinegar

Read more at Downsizing: What’s in Your Cupboard?, Cleaning Out Cleaning Supplies and my Earth Day post, More Green = More Green!

FrugalFriday

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I love aprons. I think that they symbolize my Beautiful Calling quite nicely. They help me to be a better wife, mother and keeper of my home. Brianna did a post a little ways back and talked about the importance of dressing for success. For me, this includes an apron as well. It helps me to focus and reminds me to be productive. It also makes me feel energetic and domestic and, believe it or not, pretty!

aprons 002

I am blessed to have an assortment of aprons and all of them are beautiful in some way. Some are pink and girly, others are crazy, wild and fun, some are sweet, I even have a flirty, skirty one in lime green and pink that my girlfriend, Carm, gave me not too long ago.

How is all of this frugal? Well two reasons. The first is that an apron, above all else, serves a practical purpose. It helps to keep you clean which means less laundry which in turn saves you on soap, water and energy! See More Green = More Green $$ for more ideas. And the second reason that this post is in the Frugal Friday category? If any of you read my Ultimate Blog Party Post, you will recall I mentioned an apron giveaway. Well, it was postponed since a blogging friend had one happening at her place, but here is your chance to enter!

While Ann, of Ann’s Gifts and “Sew” Much More, doesn’t have her website up as of yet, she does have a retail location so for anyone who is local. Her Apron Emporium is located at 505 Queensway West in Simcoe, ON and you can reach her at 519-410-1742. You can choose an apron for yourself or she makes fabulous children’s aprons as well. Above is one of the great ones that Chloe owns. Double sided, one side has bight vivid farm print and the other a solid color with pockets made with the farm print fabric. Below is a picture of the most recent apron she gave me. I was overcome and the picture doesn’t do it justice! It has all sorts of ‘patchwork pockets’ with Proverbs 31:13 and sorts of neat things. It is double-sided and has my name, my husbands and children’s names and all sorts of other embroidery on it. It is the most special apron I own!

aprons 001

How can you win a fabulous apron? You have 4 chances to enter!

Entry # 1: Leave a comment in this post with something interesting about yourself. Just short and sweet! If you are posting anonymously, please leave a way to contact you!

Entry #2: Blog about the giveaway, come back and leave a comment with the link to your giveaway post.

Entry #3: Leave a comment sharing the name of a meme and the website who hosts it. I’m relatively new to the blogger community and would love to learn about the different ones out there!

Entry #4: Subscribe via a reader or email. Leave a comment letting me know you did.

So go ahead and do one, or all of the above for a chance to win. A winner will be chosen at random on May 1, 2009 @ 8:52pm+/-!

FrugalFriday

And if you haven’t already, be sure to enter the Soapnut Giveaway!

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Those of you who know me, know that I love my cloth diapers! But I do still use disposables on occasion. They are handy to have tucked in the van for emergencies or if we are out and about and I know I don’t want to carry a messy diaper around.

Huggies has a new Pure & Natural Diaper out. You can read more here or get a free sample here. Mine is on it’s way! Who doesn’t like free samples?

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