What Goes Around, Comes Around

Tomorrow is my last day of work.  Today some colleagues took me out to a nice lunch and surprised me with thoughtful going away gifts.  The first thought that went through my head – “Awwww…how sweet!  You guys are too much.”  The second thought – “Awesome!  Free stuff!” 

Frugal lesson #1 – To get free stuff, work with incredible people, make good friends, and then quit your job.

JUST KIDDING!  Well sort of.  The real lesson here is a life lesson – be kind, generous, thoughtful, caring, and genuine to the people in your life and you will receive the same in return.  This especially works when you are trying to get deals and discounts to sustain your frugal life.

Here are real world examples of this in my life:

CVS – I was confused at trying to figure out the secrets behind saving money at CVS.  I started chatting up a very tired and cranky looking employee.  Within a few minutes she not only told me how to get the best savings, but also personally led me to the bargain items I was trying to buy AND told me to call for her if I needed help!

Lowes – I am a regular fixture at my local Lowes Home Improvement store and have developed relationships with some of the employees over time.  They know my skill level, appreciate my enthusiasm, and have always given me GREAT advice on how to do my projects better, easier, and usually less expensively.  When we replaced our carpet last year, I was told by someone that I could only take the little 3″ X 3″ samples home.  Who on earth can decide which carpet you want for your entire house from a 3″ x 3″ sample?  I came back when the manager, who I am friendly with, worked and he cut a 12″ wide swath down the entire length of the carpet ROLL for each carpet I wanted.

S2 Metrobus – When I first moved to Washington, DC I had NO CLUE how to use the Metrobuses.  I was told by a local that I wanted the S2 bus to get back to my apartment.  When my bus pulled up, I sort of stood there looking at the driver and finally asked if he was going to 16th and V.  I sat at the very front of the bus and chatted with him.  I learned all about the bus system that night, how long he’d been driving, how the drivers rotate routes, and how many kids he had.  In turn, I got great advice, some free bus rides on his routes and a honk and a wave when I saw his bus go by on 16th street.

Frugal tip of the day:  Instead of trying to wheel and deal a few extra cents savings from someone, try being nice.  In the long run, you will probably come out ahead.

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