Jan
30
2015
How to negotiate cable prices {like a pro}

Posted at 9:30 AM on Jan 30, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 30th, 2015

cable prices

Is your cable bill one of the largest bills in your monthly budget?  If so, I have some tips on how to get that bill much lower.  My friends have called me the cable negotiating guru, because I know how to negotiate them down so I never have to pay full price.

We actually choose not to have cable at this point in our, but if we did have it – I wouldn’t be paying that much for it.  We choose to stream in Netflix and Amazon Prime instead to have more control over what our children are watching.  If you are interested to know how to save on streaming video you can read that article here.

Negotiating cable can be tricky; the cable companies use many tactics to keep you paying at your current rate.  You have to be willing to cancel your cable if they don’t allow you to negotiate – I will explain why below.

Here are some of my secret tips on how to negotiate cable prices like a pro:

1.) Use a competitor deal/flyer to negotiate your prices.

Just the other day I got a Direct TV flyer in my newspaper.  This would be the perfect time for me to call the cable company and tell them what offer Direct TV is offering me.

Negotiate cable using competitor ads

Then ask them “I am thinking about switching to {competitor name}. What can you do to match this price?”  Then be silent; put the ball in their court.  Many times they will easily start to lower your price, matching their discounted offer.  They typically do not want you to leave, so they will try to keep you as a customer as long as possible.

2.) Ask to speak to someone in the cancellation/retention department.

If you cannot get anywhere negotiating the prices with competitor deals, then the next step would be to ask for the cancellation/retention department.  These people can really make you a deal.  The phone operator that you spoke with earlier may have not been given the training or permission to discount rates.  Most people quit negotiating after speaking with only one person, but you really need to speak to an employee responsible for cancellation requests.  Tell them that you need a lower rate and are considering canceling and going to another service if they cannot lower your bill.

3.) Cancel your cable and wait for a follow up call.

If talking to someone in the retention department still doesn’t work, here is another option. This one can be hard to do, especially if you LOVE cable TV.  You must be willing to really cancel your cable.  I’ve done this a couple of times and they always called me back within the week to offer me a better incentive to come back to them.

It can get frustrating when you know that your friend is paying $40.00 less for the same services that you have, so you can always use that to negotiate as well.

If this doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with the company on their website under their contact form. You can usually get feedback from the company that way.

Keep in mind that if you do this over and over again without upgrading over the course of a few years, they may stop offering you a retention deal unless you add on a service. You may need to switch providers in order to get a better deal.

If you still cannot negotiate a better deal (which would surprise me), we have had great luck the past years having just basic cable and streaming in Amazon Prime (you can get a free trial of that here.)

How have you been able to negotiate prices on cable in the past? I would love to hear your advice.

cable FB

Jan
29
2015
Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

Posted at 8:00 PM on Jan 29, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 29th, 2015

 Here is a simple way to get those smells out of your carpet!  Here is how to make carpet deodorizer at home! Plus it is safe to use around pets and kids too! DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe,

I have four small children and the deodorizer products in the store always warn against using the powder around kids and pets.  I think that is crazy, so I came up with my own that is safe to use around both kids and pets!  It smells better too! Here is my recipe for homemade carpet deodorize.  Remember that while baking soda is non-toxic, pets and children should be kept away because either may try to lick up the baking soda.

Here is a simple way to get those smells out of your carpet!  Here is how to make carpet deodorizer at home! Plus it is safe to use around pets and kids too! DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe,

 

This recipe is very simple using only two ingredients: Baking Soda and Lavender Essential Oil  (I use Young Living brand)

 

Here is a simple way to get those smells out of your carpet!  Here is how to make carpet deodorizer at home! Plus it is safe to use around pets and kids too! DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe,

 

You first start by putting 4 TBSP of Baking SODA (not powder) into a glass container. I like to use these 4 oz canning jars from Ball.

 

Here is a simple way to get those smells out of your carpet!  Here is how to make carpet deodorizer at home! Plus it is safe to use around pets and kids too! DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe,

 

Next, add 10 – 15 drops of essential oils.  I typically add 15 drops because I like mine to smell really strong at first.

 

Here is a simple way to get those smells out of your carpet!  Here is how to make carpet deodorizer at home! Plus it is safe to use around pets and kids too! DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe,

 

Then just shake it up until mixed together.

That is it!  It is super easy and free of chemicals!

Here is a printable recipe for you just in case you want to put it in your homemaking binder.

Here is a simple way to get those smells out of your carpet!  Here is how to make carpet deodorizer at home! Plus it is safe to use around pets and kids too! DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe,

Jan
29
2015
My Birthday week – not always as expected

Posted at 10:11 AM on Jan 29, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 29th, 2015

birthday date

This week has been a crazy week for us, mostly because two of our kids have come down with the flu. It is not the stomach flu, but a high fever flu, making our two kids very sick and cuddly.

My 34th birthday was on January 27th, and typically we do a family day filled with presents and cake.  This year was a lot different.

First off – my nephew Liam turned 5 on my birthday. The past 5 years we’ve done a family party with him, but they moved overseas to Eastern Asia this summer. Not being able to spend time with him was really sad for me.

Mark did bring me out to lunch on my birthday – which was a nice treat!  The picture above was from our lunch date!

sick abby

This is how I spent the rest of my day – on the couch with this beauty. Abby is one of our kids that has the flu, and she has been feeling so sick. I laid on the couch for about three hours that day, she wouldn’t let me put her down.

So – on my actual birthday we did nothing. No cake or presents, but I was okay with that.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.51.16 AM

I posted this picture on the I am THAT Lady Facebook Page on my birthday – and I truly meant it when I said that I don’t care about the gifts, but would rather spend time with my family!

The next day, Abby was feeling a little bit better and we decided to cancel our babysitter who comes a few hours per day, and just snuggle on the couch.

cake

I made myself this amazing gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free chocolate cake (I got the recipe from a cookbook I got for Christmas)! Mark was gonna make it for me, but I was really in the mood to bake after being on the couch all day with a sick baby.

We also did presents after dinner!

sewing machine

I was so excited that Mark surprised me with a sewing machine (my mom and his mom chipped in too)! One of the things that I struggle with as a work at home mom, is doing things that I love to do. I could work, and clean, and take care of the kids all day long… there is never a down moment where I actually sit down and do something for me that I enjoy.

When I decided to make the big changes to this blog, one thing that I decided to do was dive into my passion of crafting again.  I’ve been working SO hard the past four years, it is time for me to slow down, and start enjoying things again!

So – my birthday was not what I expected, but it was one of the best ones I’ve had! I got to snuggle Abby for a few hours, and go out to lunch with Mark.

Abby is finally starting to act a little bit better this morning, even though she spent much of last night sleeping on my chest. I am hopeful that she will start feeling even better tomorrow!

And just as a side note – thank you all for the kindest comments under my post explaining the changes here on IATL.  You all were so kind and supportive and I am so thankful for all of you!

Jan
28
2015
How to create a budget you can stick to in 4 easy steps!

Posted at 8:00 AM on Jan 28, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 28th, 2015

Having trouble sticking to your budget? You need to check out these 4 critical steps so that YOU can finally stick to your budget!

The hardest part about budgeting is actually sticking to it and making it work.  It took us three years to figure out the best way to actually stick to a budget, and I want to share with you the 4 steps we have created to a budget you can stick to.  We share many budgeting tips and strategies on our other website MarkandLaurenG.com, where we teach you how to budget effectively through a LIVE broadcast of us putting our budget together every single month!  You can sign up to watch that here.

I recently did a reader survey, and asked a question about what you would like to learn from me in 2015 – a large majority of you wanted to know how to actually stick to a budget.  This is a common problem we see, because budgeting can be hard work – but well worth the sacrifice.

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Jan
27
2015
Saving money on Family vacations

Posted at 8:00 AM on Jan 27, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 27th, 2015
Taking a vacation with the family doesn’t have to break your bank.  There are many ways to take a wonderful trip and still stay within the budget.  Here are some ideas that my family has found helpful. When planning a trip, first choose your d
Jan
26
2015
How to Save Money at Disneyland

Posted at 7:00 PM on Jan 26, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 26th, 2015

Disneyland is said to be the most magical place on Earth, but how do you save money at Disneyland you may ask? The rides, the food, the landscaping, the shows, fireworks, parades, they are all top of the line and created to amuse the child in all o
Jan
26
2015
How to workout for free

Posted at 10:34 AM on Jan 26, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 26th, 2015
Are you wanting to get back in shape but just don't have the money to spend on a gym membership?  I am in the same position and as a busy working mom, I also don't have much time.  I wanted to put together a post on how to workout for free, for n